14 Mar 2013.

Why is the TV ad still not dead in the age of digital (r)evolution?

The TV ad is going through hard times. The creative heads are screaming: “They promised us expanded reality and holograms, why are we stuck, what TV ad?”. Why is TV ad not dead yet? Ivan Čadež offers several reasons.


By: Ivan Čadež, Creative Director at Bruketa&Žinić OM advertising agency*

The TV ad is going through hard times. Every year its castle is besieged by creative heads armed by hay-forks and torches, in a frenzy of festival-propagated ideas of the Ultimate Digital Disruption that will radically change the way in which we communicate. And the TV ad, unaware that it’s time is up, refuses to cooperate. “But TV is old and slow and expensive!” – scream the creative heads from below. “They promised us expanded reality and holograms, why are we stuck, what TV ad?”.

Here are several reasons why:

1  The TV ad is still working

According to last year’s statistics, TV is globally still number one type of entertainment for an average family. And this is what the hand that rocks the cradle of advertising hears – if you want to tell the story of your brand and reach as many people as possible, invest your money in TV.

TV ad is playing it safe.

After all, it is our duty, at the end of the day, to render concrete and real accounts to this hand that rocks the cradle. It is clear that creativity cannot be measured by a calculator, but a good idea must deliver in the effectiveness department as well, and the TV ad is still very effective.

2  There is nothing really wrong with the TV ad

There have also been complaints about the technological limitations of the video. It is one-tracked, linear, predefined and not suitable for modern people used to tailoring their own content. All I have to say to this is: “Luke, I am your father”, “Play it again, Sam”, “I’ll be back.”

These are all phrases that we know from film – a medium which is actually not at all different from the medium of TV ad. Film is capable of conveying every emotion – do we need anything more than that? The advertisement film medium perhaps is limited when compared to the interactive digital market communication, but there are other ways to the heart of the consumer.

3  TV ad doesn’t mind the overall digital integration at all

Maybe the TV ad simply needs to be approached in a way that will breathe a new digital value into its linear presentation of content. Shazam is already offering an iOS application that can recognize certain details of a TV ad and provide the user with more information on the product in the advertisement that is currently playing. Why not try and maintain the emotional effect of the advertisement film if there already are ways to introduce the digital into the picture, avoiding total disruption? Can we, perhaps, come up with even better ways?

4  Without TV ad, how would we in advertising explain to our parents what it is that we actually do?



*the text was published as part of HURA (Croatian Advertising Agencies Association) column at

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