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The Decline of TV Ads

Television used to be the go-to advertising medium for household goods, targeting the main deciders and buyers of the world -- Mothers. Unfortunately, the rise of the internet and Youtube has significantly reduced the number of television viewers. The growing population of millennials in the workforce is also a main contributor to the decreasing effectiveness of television commercials where their eyeballs are glued to smaller screens.

Based on the data released from Nielsen recently, published the trends of TV viewing trends from 2011 to 2017:

The data shows the decreasing number of hours young adults are spending in front of the television. By 2020, it is estimated that 18-24-year-olds will be watching just less than two hours of TV a day (Deloitte Global).

Major channels such as MTV, are seeing a massive decline in their viewership as they lose their audience to the internet. According to eMarketer, digital advertising spend will surpass the $72.01 billion television advertising spend this year.

So, what does it mean for marketeers?

First of all, it means television ads are no longer the bottleneck for many small-to-medium businesses who does not have the means to invest in mainstream media. For new and upcoming household brands that need eyeballs on their products can look out for another advertising medium that attracts the right target audience. As traditional TV audience is largely made up of baby boomers and Gen-X, younger brands might want to rethink the decision on television ads which is both costly to produce and costlier to advertise.

Internet is the new equalizer. The rise of easily accessible social media and digital advertising platforms, small businesses are now playing on the same field with big, established competitors. With growth hackers, small businesses can also take advantage of the real-time data and analytics to effectively target the right keywords in order to maximize the investment and increase ROI. More advertising money no longer means more exposure. The beauty of "viral content" is that there is potential for a brand or product to reach more than intended.

Most importantly, Above-the-Line (ATL) strategies are no longer "mainstream". Mass media like television and radio used to communicate to a wider spread of audience, and is not specifically targeted to a designated market segment. ATL advertising tries to reach out to the mass as consumer audience, whereas most marketers try to minimize advertising spend by targeting niche groups.

Alternatives to TV Advertising

Basically anything interactive that is not on television. Youtube, product placement in Netflix series, mobile ads and more. All of which is only a fraction of the cost of television advertising spend.

If you're interested to find out how we navigate this new realm of advertising age, drop us a mail at

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