Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
January 22, 2009 9:55 PM

Where Influence Lives

"TV still has the most influence on purchasing decisions in five major markets — even among Internet users — according to a study conducted in September and October 2008 by Deloitte."

That is how the eMarketer news item, And the Most Influential Media Is..., kicked off yesterday. That is the news and that is why television advertising is where it is and why it continues to maintain its position. Whether us Internet people like it or not, more people like to sit back and let the TV wash over them than hang out online and be the captain of the journey that requires action, participation and reading. After a long, hard day at work, the majority of people like to kick back and forget the day, instead of thinking about something pithy to say or futzing around with wires to transfer their digital pictures online.

It's probably a totally different audience as well. 

What do these types of surveys really mean? Do you think someone who is a very active TV watcher has similar buying habits and behaviours to those of a heavy Internet user? We can all answer this question in an anecdotal manner, but that would be a fascinating study. In the above news item, both TV and magazines advertising have more impact on the buying decisions of Internet users in select countries over the Internet itself. Are we saying one thing (like, "all TV advertising is annoying") but meaning another? By the sounds of this study, we're falling back into the classic adage that we say one thing, but do something completely different.

"Television’s dominance came despite the majority of consumers in all five countries saying their computers were used more for entertainment than their TVs. Deloitte said the top two Internet ad influences across all countries were search engine results and banner ads."

In the online world, it's all about search engines and banner ads. Interestingly, online social networks fell into seventh place, well behind newspapers, billboards and radio. But, that makes perfect sense...

"The reason TV continues to hold such sway is partially a matter of momentum, since TV ad spending still dwarfs spending on other media — especially online. eMarketer estimates advertisers spent nearly $70 billion on TV ads in 2008, compared with $23.6 billion online."

Which leads to the logical question:

When does that tide really begin to shift and change the landscape?

By Mitch Joel