Are you turning people off with the frequency of your Olympic Sponsor TV Ad?

This is a guest post by Pam O’Connor a Senior Consultant at TrinityP3. Pam is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an AMI Certified Practising Marketer, has lectured for the AAAA, RMIT and is qualified to ‘Train the Trainer’ through the Australian Institute of Management.

My family are Olympic, Commonwealth Games, World Title tragics. We love to cheer, we love the excitement of a close finish, we love the heart strung music that accompanies the slow motion replays of sporting triumphant, the tears of human endeavour, the stories of pride and determination from parents of our sporting heroes.

Advertisements are also a frequent topic of discussion in our household. On Day One we were loving seeing the return of  the longer length commercial. Great branding ones that inevitably accompany the national pride that the Olympics endures. Longer length advertisements for QANTAS, Coles, Commonwealth Bank, Telstra, Swiss, McDonalds and even the Nine Network promos, all lead to conversations of what we liked and disliked about the content. By the time we got to Day 2 the repetition had set in, time and time again we kept seeing the same commercials.

Maybe there were some last minute extras thrown in or bought at “too good to be true” prices.

We are obviously not your average viewer but when is enough, enough? Advertisers need to be mindful of not only what commercial content is run but how many times they run them. Did these organisations consciously think about the likelihood of the audience seeing the same advertisement maybe six times within a 2 hour viewing of the sporting action?

Most typically not, the usual scenario would have been that when it was time to allocate key numbers for the Olympic telecasts the Nine Network asked the media agency assistant, who asked the creative agency junior account manager, who asked the marketing assistant who asked someone with some authority within the advertiser’s ranks –  What commercials are we running for the Olympics?

Was there any reach and frequency scenarios carried out per advertisement? Was there any thought that the frequency was being concertinaed into a short time frame. Was there any consideration to the makeup of the viewing audience being like us Olympic Die Hards? Did the Nine Network  ring any alarm bells when they logged the repetitive nature of the key numbers?

This often happens with major television events where the big sell of being a part of an event out of the ordinary of day to day spot buying. The big sell contains all the bells and whistles including hospitality at the event. The value looks great when the Cost per TARPs or Thousands are calculated, the event fits in with the overall marketing strategy and the time is right to spend a disproportionate amount of marketing funds in a short period of time.

The anticipated level of frequency of paper appears more than adequate but the loss in marketing value diminishes with every advertisement that is more than enough. Senior thought and direction needs to be had for all marketing decisions – senior management should not relax believing they have done the deal and juniors can sort out the detail.

Now don’t get me started on juniors making media decisions… there’s a story for another day!

What have you observed about the quality or frequency of commercials during the Olympics. Leave a comment with your views.

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About Pam O'Connor

Pam O’Connor looks too young to have been in the advertising media business for 30 years but alas...she has been! Seen all the tricks, heard all the tricks and can read between the lines of all the bells and whistles presented to any advertiser. Knows what to look for, where to look and how to look...advertisers simply do not know what they don’t know. Read Pam's bio here
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One Response to Are you turning people off with the frequency of your Olympic Sponsor TV Ad?

  1. Chris Walton says:

    Spot on Pam. Frequency (and reach) are merely inputs to the desired marketing outcome. If that outcome isn’t achieved questions need to be asked. More isn’t necessarily better, even if it appears cheaper. Indeed it can have the opposite effect, and the brands you refer to may do better by having their ads appear less. I’d had enough of that Duracell commercial about a week ago!

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