From the kick-off of the record breaking Patriots-Seahawks game to the reliving the dead pan spin of Christopher Walken saying he’s got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell to Vinny Barbarino’s awkward red carpet moment, one thing is for sure- people are still tuning into premiere programs on TV. Let’s take a look at the coveted A25-54 (Live + SD) ratings for some of the one-night only programs that have graced many our living rooms in the past few weeks.  There’s:

  • Super Bowl 49: 41.9 (52.7MM individuals)
  • Oscar’s: 12.4 (15.6MM individuals)
  • SNL 40th : 9.2 (11.6MM individuals)
  • Grammy’s: 9.1 (11.4MM individuals)
  • Golden Globes: 6.6 (8.3MM individuals)

Yes, newspaper has documented decline in circulation, radio is seeing it’s audience fragmented between mp3’s, streaming, online outlets and satellite radio and we all know TV can be viewed in whatever quantum speed we decide when hitting the >> button on our controller. But one thing is for sure, when it’s a must see TV special, it certainly IS seen, and seen by many.

And it also should be noted that the above TV ratings are Live + SD (Live + Same Day), and not Live + 3 or Live + 7. Granted, other than the SNL event, I wonder how much higher the Live + 7 ratings reach for a sporting event or awards shows will be (knowing you will almost assuredly find out the results the next day overhearing co-workers at the coffee machine)?

No, TV does not offer the targeting capabilities of online. No, it does not provide an avenue for open exchange between your brand and your consumers like social media allows. No, it is not as flexible and as immediate in its messaging as radio (unless you have an ungodly production budget). And no, it is not the most efficient brand awareness tactic available. One thing TV still delivers on: it still brings brands the most amount of eyeballs across the nation (and world in some instances) in one fell swoop. A spot in any of the aforementioned shows may cost more than most brands annual budget, but for those brands who have deeper pockets, these type of programs should be considered every and any time.

We’re all very selective and as hyper-targeted as possible in our communication plans when selecting the right vehicles for our brand. But sometimes the no-brainer may actually be a no-brainer. Don’t be afraid of that out-of-pocket cost. It will deliver.

A big caveat to all of this is creative. With the masses of people premier TV shows will provide, you have to ask if this is this a spot a brand will be proud of in the end and have key decisions makers say “yes, this makes a lot of sense. Let’s run this ad!”