There’s been much in the press recently about the emotive power of big TV ads (Sainsbury’s Mog the Cat and John Lewis’ Man on the Moon) but the increase in ad- blocking is making digital marketers weep.

There are now 200 million people using ad-blocking software, up 82 per cent in the UK last year.  It’s one of the primary factors attributed to the general malaise affecting digital revenues at many media groups.

The Daily Mail might have the world’s biggest newspaper website enjoying 13.2 million unique users but it has so far failed to translate these numbers into digital profits, continuing to miss forecasts.

Is this just down to software? Probably not.

A recent article in the FT Weekend by Ian Leslie brilliantly charts the advertising industry’s ‘Mad Men’ heyday through to a time a few years ago where the rise of digital saw TV advertising perceived by many as wasteful and inefficient.

The piece highlights the realisation amongst many brands that while digital ads can be smartly targeted (or not in many cases), an online banner ad is never going to drive that emotional connection like a TV ad can make you grin, gasp or cry. 

Critically, digital doesn’t always translate into sales – three in 10,000 is the click rate on some Twitter ads.

In contrast, TV remains in rude health with people watching just as much as they ever did as well as now viewing on phones and tablets.

Of course ads like the Man on the Moon and Mog are well played through multi-channels to reach us as omni-channel consumers but TV remains the emotional medium par excellence.

Matt Sutton headshot

Matt Sutton, associate director

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