Television Advertising Continues To Reign Supreme

We are now 20 years deep in to the commercial aspects of the digital media revolution. Interestingly, one of the salient features of this time of great change is how enduring television remains.

Richard Huntington, the Director of Strategy at Saatchi & Saatchi in London, believes TV advertising continues to be much more powerful and appealing than any other form of mass communication.

Only a few years ago television advertising awards seemed an appalling anachronism, a vestigial limb of an industry that was wrestling with the death of television at the hands of the internet. Indeed until recently the British Arrows were the British Television Advertising Awards. In a moment of panic they were rebranded in case the T word suggested that these awards were no longer relevant to the new media World.

Increasingly this seems to have been a rather hasty and unnecessary bit of brand vandalism as television emerges from a cowed resignation that its days were numbered into a ‘third golden age’ as Kevin Spacey described it in his MacTaggart address last year.

Let’s watch some well made TV advertising now, so we can see first hand why it works as well as it does.

Huntington says television is the place that the greatest directors and actors of our age want to practice their craft, because it is free from the constraints of lowest common denominator audience testing and first weekend box office receipts.

Is it true that the greatest copywriters and art directors of our age also want to practice their craft on TV? Even in 2104, I think it is safe to say, “yes” to this non-rhetorical question. Chime in below.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.