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Why 'Binge TV' Matters
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Though technology is racing at a fast pace, television remains the overall frontrunner when it comes to passive media. Provide all the statistics you want, but people in the U.S. like their shows regardless of media outlet. As television continues to spread into On-Demand and streaming capabilities, the way people watch television is changing. If television still proves to be the most effective way to reach consumers, it is crucial for us to take heed of the trends, and determine what moves are best for our brands and clients.

Ad buying for television just got harder.

Harris Interactive conducted a survey with 2,496 adults about their TV viewing habits. About 62% of those who mentioned that they have used technology to watch TV on their own schedules have also watched more than one episode at a time. Harris Interactive called this activity "binge viewing."

We thought this was a very interesting concept. When we look to place ads in different shows, we want to make sure that we 1) connect with the right audience 2) send the right message to the right audience and 3) send the right message to the right audience at the right time.

In the case of binge viewing, that would make planning a campaign more than frustrating. 

So what are we to do? We could choose to employ time-insensitive messages; we get the brand in front of the consumer. That works, but we lose the call-to-action and relevance. We could create longer time frames, thinking ahead of the consumer; so instead of the "just-in" philosophy, we play the waves. That, too, can work, but after a couple of weeks the vague message may send the wrong message to our audience.

We are not sure what the best answer is, since audiences are different for specific shows, and it would be foolish of us to select a single method for every single brand. 

One thing is sure: an integrated marketing campaign is nearly imperative. Since most audiences now are shifting to "binge viewing" in one way or another, we can minimize the confusion by making sure our brand's message is found in other channels. 

Ad buying was never meant to be easy.


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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