At the recent 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Ellen DeGeneres received the Carol Burnett Award, honoring her acheivements in television. When she spoke poignantly about how grateful she was to be part of the “power of television,” I found myself saying “amen!”
Television’s ability to influence and inspire, and not just offer a much needed escape at times, is ever present; which indeed makes it truly powerful.
Here are a few things that marketers can count on when it comes to television:
TV is growing.
According to Nielsen’s National Television Household Universe Estimates, there are 120.6 million TV homes in the U.S. for the 2019-20 TV season, which is a 0.6% increase YOY. And behind the scenes, TV networks are leveraging their reach to do big things. Take Viacom’s MTV for example with the launch of their 2020 '+1thevote' campaign. This isn’t just an ad campaign, it’s a way to use the power of TV and their platforms to serve the cultural needs of their audience. Sure, you may be tuning in to see what Johnny ‘Bananas’ is up to on the latest Challenge, but now MTV is giving you what you need to be heard in this year’s election. That’s powerful stuff.
TV can make us watch.
Looking at the past decade, a certain big football game has brought in over one billion viewers, including eight of the most-watched programs in U.S. television history. Outside of this big game, the most watched programming are moments that the country watches together at the same time; presidential debates/addresses, NFC/AFC playoffs, World Series, State of the Union, Oscars and the Olympics. Audiences show extreme loyalty to tuning into their shows.
From Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, to Fox News and 60 Minutes, to The Masked Singer, these shows exemplify TV’s ability to consistently draw large numbers of diverse crowds.
TV has measurable effects.
As humans, we remember and engage with things we’ve seen on TV, and then we weave it into multiple facets of our lives. Without NFL broadcasts, there is no Fantasy Football leagues. Without the weekly rose ceremony on The Bachelor, there aren’t thousands of social interactions occurring across Facebook, Instagram and twitter. When Sara McLachlan sings ‘In the Arms of the Angel,’ we donate to ASPCA. Without Coors Light telling me it’s cool to come home and immediately take off my bra and grab a beer, I wouldn’t do it, or at least admit that I do. Direct and indirect effects of TV are everywhere.
As content continues to drive reach, the future for TV is bright. If you are a marketer looking to grow your business, you can’t afford to not be in the TV game, going for the big-time award.