Thinkbox in four-week campaign to promote effectiveness of TV ads

LONDON - Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial television, is set to run a four-week ad campaign promoting the power and effectiveness of TV advertising, from Christmas Day.

Thinkbox: four-week campaign starts on Christmas Day
Thinkbox: four-week campaign starts on Christmas Day

Created by The Red Brick Road and directed by Chris Palmer, the ad will be screened across a variety of channels represented by Thinkbox's shareholders: Channel 4, Five, ITV (GMTV), Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations and Viacom.

It features a hypnotherapy patient unleashing a stream of consciousness and impersonating famous lines from TV ads, ranging from Bodyform, Budweiser and Cadbury's Whole Nut, to Fairly Liquid, R White's Lemonade and Sugar Puffs.

It intends to demonstrate how TV advertising is an investment that not only works instantly, but has the additional bonus of delivering value for years afterwards.

Media planning and buying for the forthcoming activity has been handled by WPP's MediaCom.

The campaign extends Thinkbox's first such promotional push, which was launched in May.

Lindsey Clay, marketing director of Thinkbox, said: "Christmas is a great time to bring our ad back to screens and capitalise in the fact that TV plays such a central role at Christmas, with families gathering around the TV together.

"It was very well received first time around, so we're hoping people will welcome its return on Christmas Day. Getting the message across that TV remains the most popular and effective ad medium is as important as ever."

Last month, research from Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia highlighted that, in real terms, advertising on television is now cheaper than at any time on record.

The cost of TV ads has fallen by almost a third since the start of the Noughties, attributed to declining demand and shrinking marketing budgets.

According to the study, the cost of 30-second ads today costs £4.81 per thousand adults, which, when adjusted for inflation, is 29% cheaper than the peak year of 2000.

Meanwhile, the amount of money generated by TV ads was overtaken by that directed online for the first time this year, according to a report by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers in September.

Online spend was up 4.6% to £1.752bn in the first half of 2009, while TV spend dropped 16.1% to £1.639bn.

According to the IAB, it meant online commanded 23.5% of all ad spend in the UK in the first half of 2009 - ahead of TV's share of 21.9%.

However, such claims were criticised for being misleading by Thinkbox, because the report combined spend for everything directed online, including classified, display and search.

The TV body argued that if the TV industry pooled together all the money from broadcast to combine ads, sponsorship and interactive, then last year total revenue would continue to be the market leader - at about £3.7bn.


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