Four years ago, Maurice Saatchi was asked in an interview how he thought the industry would react to consumers fast-forwarding through recorded TV ads. His response was simple: do not underestimate marketers’ creativity. We’d change the speed of the ad, or make it work backwards if we had to, he mused.
That casual prophesy materialised this week. Some 80% of people fast-forward through recorded TV ads, and in response, Volkswagen have made an ad which, even when fast-forwarded, firmly delivers its message to consumers. The ‘slowmercial’ achieves this by remaining largely static, meaning that when when consumers fast forward, the ad behaves more like a moving press ad, remaining on-screen for as long as possible.
TV advertising remains on a steady path of change, becoming more targeted, interactive and integrated. Sky’s recent announcement of their ability to target ads at specific households during ad breaks, asks some fundamental questions for future TV advertising. And the ever-increasing hours of TV consumed through online platforms is blurring the advertising landscape. It’s an exciting and challenging future, that once again calls for marketers to be at their very best.