For half a century political ads were only seen on television screens. In 2017, television as the sole viewing device for commercials is a quaint notion.
According to Nielsen¹, people now watch as much content as on non-TV screens as they do Live TV.
This creates its own series of problems for creative execution.
- For example, we:
watch fifteen to thirty feet from a TV;
watch six to twelve inches from portables;
watch Live TV as a concentrated behavior;
watch our handheld screens while multitasking.
Recognizably, phones, tablets and laptops require each creative be structured, written, visualized and sound designed differently than a television ad.
On top of the technical challenges, consultants must design individualized creative across platforms that don’t cross pressure or muddle their delta message.
An elegant matrix comes from our friend Animalia Mollusca Cephalopoda, the octopus. Its arms act independently and perform specialized tasks to benefit the main creature. As the octopus individual arms serve the whole, individual spots tailored to different screens will serve the campaign key messages.
To simplify the metaphor: The arms are the different advertising platforms; the tasks are the specific messaging.
This is a fundamental shift from trying to persuade voters by sheer tonnage of TV spots. It places an added discipline to have a well thought out, tonally consistent media plan. By adjusting budget allocation while spend the same amount of dollars, advertisers can persuade a greater number of voters.
It’s the way of the future.
¹Nielsen, Total Audience Report, Q1 2016