As media forms shift and develop, there is always plenty of hand-wringing about the “death” of one or another, with pundits claiming that viewers, listeners and readers will migrate to whatever is most new and shiny. Well, guess what? Newspaper ads are still with us (although spending is down) in pretty much the same form as when they first appeared in the seventeenth century. Ever get a Penny Saver circular dropped in your mailbox? That type of ad-filled gazette is the direct heir to those early publications, and it still fulfills the same function, spreading information about goods and services on offer.
In its time, television was going to destroy both cinema and radio, but those media forms are still with us. The new kid on the block, the internet, has claimed plenty of our eyeball time, but, as this post in Advertising Age suggests, we still prefer to watch TV, even if that involves watching Snooki:
But most of all, TV is significant. It has such high esteem that our culture has come to conclude that if something is on TV, it must be pretty noteworthy. In fact, even though we have hundreds of channels to choose from now, TV isn’t nearly as democratic as the internet, where anyone with a modem and a computer can create their own website, post a video, blog or tweet.
On the other hand, very few people get to be on TV. To Americans, being on TV means that either: a) you’re someone important, or b) someone important thinks you should be on TV. Being on TV is something to strive for. It’s the reason that people dress up, make signs and act ridiculous just to be on TV for a few seconds with Al Roker.
While surfing the internet is an active experience (you have to choose where to click) TV allows you to lie back and relax, confident that someone, somewhere, has done the selection (the gatekeeping) for you. With Americans still watching an average of 5 hours TV per day, it seems we still have some way to go before we kick the TV habit. For now, it makes sense for advertisers to keep shelling out big money for those 30-second spots.
Snooki Proves TV is More Relevant Than Ever – Advertising Age