Hospital Marketing: Advertise on Television or Not?

Even with online video, mobile video and online viewing, traditional television watching is still supreme.  

You hear everyday that television viewing is in decline and is becoming less effective as an advertising medium.  Apparently that’s not true. Nielsen has reported in its latest “Third Screen Report” that in the third quarter of 2009, 99% of video viewing was done the old fashion way – watching TV. 

It is certainly true that television time is spread over many more networks and types of programming, but it’s still the center of attention in most households.  In fact, the report stated the average consumer watched 31 hours of TV per week.  Almost as much time as a person spends working each week.  An average of 4 ½ hours per day.  No one can say television is dying.

Even DVR viewing has not impacted television watching as much as anticipated.  The same report indicated that only 31 minutes of that time was in playback mode on a DVR.  Although for adults 25-34 the average time goes up to almost an hour a week watching time delayed television. Even though Nielsen is moving ahead to alter its ratings to include DVD viewing, this report indicates less than 2% of television viewing is via DVR.

Now certainly there are changes occurring.  Online television viewing is up 35% over the previous year and DVR viewing is up 21%.  So consumer habits are changing but nothing has supplanted traditional television viewing.

And if you add time spent online, consumers are spending huge amounts of time in front of a screen.  Adults 25-54 spend nearly 7 hours per week on the web.  Consumers are certainly spending massive amounts of time with the big three: television, web and mobile.  Americans today have an insatiable appetite for not only content, but also choice,” says Nic Covey, director of cross-platform insights at Nielsen. “Across all age groups, we see consumers adding the Internet and mobile devices to their media diet — consuming media anytime and anywhere possible.”

The implication for hospital marketers is that television advertising is still a very strong option.  Even with the increased popularity of web and mobile, television is still far above the rest.  It still delivers.  It should continue to be a serious consideration for any media campaign.  Americans still love their television.  With each American home having an average of 2.86 televisions, I should say, Americans love their televisions.


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