Leisure marketing: An argument for putting less money into internet advertising and more into TV.

July 23, 2010

Despite all the excitement about the internet, people still stare at their TV screens a lot more than their computer screens.

Last month, Americans spent 158 hours of their free time watching TV, compared to just 25 hours cruising the internet.

Our job is to show you how your customers are spending their free time. Sometimes we don’t like what we see.

The internet has been a boon for leisure marketing specialists, opening up a whole new world of opportunities for our clients and our agencies.

It’s also been fun to represent an active medium that engages visitors, versus TV, which gets a bad rap for turning people into couch potatoes.

But sometimes the new world we’re excited about runs smack into reality.

Nielson’s release of its latest 3-Screen Report is one of those times new media enthusiasts should take pause.

In case you don’ follow it,  that’s the study that compares the amount of time people spend watching their TV, computer and cell phone screens.

If your leisure marketing is directed to these viewers, the following information might help you prioritize your media spending.

And help you understand why TV still makes sense for leisure brands.

The truth is people still spend 6 times as many hours watching TV as they do cruising the internet.

  • According to the study, the average American spends more than 158 hours every month watching TV.
  • By comparison, the average person spends just 25 hours of their free time cruising the internet each month.
  • In the last year, people actually spent 2 hours more each month watching TV than over the same period last year.
  • At the same time, internet usage on home computers actually declined 13% over Q1 2009.

Source: AC Nielson

Advertising on the internet still makes sense. Just not as much sense as the internet media would like you to believe.

That’s why I recommend you look for a media buying service that is media-agnostic.  Which means they don’t favor new or traditional media.

Here at CCT, if a client is in a leisure category like destination travel, our media department is shifting larger portions of our client media budgets to the internet portals where they’re searching for travel information.

But when a client needs to build broad reach and frequency against a large audience, we still enthusiastically recommend TV.

And if a client has the budget for both, we will often recommend a one-two punch of TV and internet advertising together to quickly raise awareness and drive more qualified customers to your website.

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