In the USA, and locally, there is significant industry discussion on the value and future of the free-to-air television commerical in the face of:
1. Increasing rates on network and spot television.
2. Increased fragmentation of the television audience due to cable and satellite (subscription) television and the internet.
3. Technology innovations such as Tivo and DVD-R giving the veiwer greater control over content.
Many advertisers are reviewing their television media investment and investigating the alternatives.
Branded entertainment and other alternatives
The alternatives for major television advertisers are:
1. Product and brand placement into existing feature film and television programming.
2. Sponsored entertainment, especially sport and music, both of which are gaining major corporate support.
3. Advergames with on-line games being used to promote individual brands and products or collections of brands or products, especially in the youth market.
4. Webseries films, such as the recent Toyota campaign in the US and the Jerry Seinfeld American Express campaign which drives consumers to the web to view.
5. Branded entertainment, such as the re-invention of the soap opera, driven by Mindshare New York, with programming commissioned, produced and broadcast for individual or a collective of brands and products.
Many of of these alternatives are cost prohibitive for all but the biggest advertisers.
Print has become increasingly more popular
For the majority of clients, print media offers better value for money with greater flexibility in reach, creative execution and cost. Magazines, newspapers, outdoor and direct mail are being driven by many advertisers re-directing television media budgets into print media.
This increase in print media activity has had an impact on the costs of print production. Over the past 18 months our colleagues in the USA (Triad Consulting Corporation) have tracked a steady increase in the cost of print production, especially the costs associated with still photography. While traditionally, still photography shoots have involved a photographer and a crew of five or six,
today the photography crew has taken on the dimensions of a film shoot with crews of 15 to 20 people not uncommon.
Like the still shoot in the Sophie Coppola film "Lost in Translation" - art directors, stylists, props buyer, props runner, lighting specialists and assistants, location managers and other crew traditionally seen on film shoots are now regulars at the still shoot.
The increased investment in print media has seen a corresponding increase in the photography cost and this is flowing on into the talent, artwork and studio costs, with costs of print production rising rapidly.
Benchmarking your print production costs and managing your visual assets
In print procurement, many advertisers make the mistake of focusing on the cost of printing. But the real cost of print is in the content creation. Often the cost of creating the content including the concept development, photography, artwork and archiving can contribute 80% of the total production cost.
By benchmarking the costs associated with your print production processes and reviewing your visual asset management strategies, major savings and cost controls can be achieved without impacting on the creative output. In fact advertisers and their agencies who have implemented rigorous production processes have reported not only greater
efficiencies, but greater effectiveness in their print advertising.
For more information on this or any issue associated with print prodcution email firstname.lastname@example.org
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