Healthcare Advertising: Is Television Dying?

Don’t Eulogize Television Yet – It’s Alive and Well


Everyday you hear more and more about the emergence of social media and the increasing ineffectiveness of traditional media. And you hear that especially about television advertising. The media makes it sound as if everyone is pulling away from TV and putting that money on the web or in social media. But look before you jump off the train.

It is true that viewer-ship of network television is declining. Last year spring, audiences on the four major networks declined by 2.5 million viewers. But does that mean television is dying? Hardly. Nielsen survey from this past February indicates the average person views television over 151 hours per month – an all time high. That’s over five hours per day. And this continues an upward trend established a few years back.

True, audiences may be watching television differently but they are still there. The audience is spread across many networks and not just concentrated on NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX. And people watch television differently. It’s too easy to DVR (that’s a verb now) the programming they want to watch and view it whenever they want. But the audience is still very strong.

And that’s good news for healthcare marketers because television is generally the most effective medium in building a brand and creating an emotional bond. Sight and sound combined, renders a very strong and effective medium. Nothing communicates and impacts a consumer like television. Stories of successful television campaigns are still being written each day.

Yes, a media buyer has to be more creative, dig deeper, know the target audience and understand how consumers watch television. It’s not as easy as just buying the major networks anymore. Today it is more of a science . . . and an art. But for those who do it well, the rewards are still there.

Five hours a day average time spent watching television – and it’s primarily for entertainment. Don’t make funeral plans yet. There’s a lot of life left in television.

The more curious question is how do people find five hours a day to watch television?           



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