I “retired” from local television in 1996. At that time, the three local network affiliates’ 6:00 pm newscasts had a combined audience of nearly 200,000 adults 18+. Today, according to Nielsen, that audience has dropped about 25% over 10 years. Not all programs or newscasts have dropped to that degree. If you buy a commercial on all three local TV stations at the same time today, you would reach about 150,000 adults.
How does that stack up? Well, people get pretty excited about having a message at an Iowa football game. Thousands of dollars are spent every weekend trying to touch fans at a game. Only about 70,000 people (of all ages) attend a game, and the number is really lower if you take out all the ‘drinking impaired’ people.
With one commercial on three TV stations you would hit twice as many people as at one football game — and I believe with more impact.
Traditional media still has a lot of kinetic power and branding ability: When Apple wants to sell a new Nano it uses television and a very catchy ad. Try creating a brand icon only using your Web site, Facebook page or Twitter. Internet and social media outlets are building, but the real power today is not in the hype, it’s in the facts. Yes, busy yourself with social media, but don’t stop marketing with what works. Traditional media has not signed off.