LONDON, UK — At December’s The Future of TV Advertising Global 2023, TV and advertising executives debated the extent to which TV should be a brand-building channel or an outcome-driven one.

Recent 2024 forecasts show TV ad growth will slow. Some brands, themselves under pressure to improve results in a tricky economy, are hoping streaming TV can demonstrate those performance marketing capabilities.

But Lizzie Nolan, EVP, Managing Director, Strategy & Insights, Havas, thinks brands should beware rushing to the end of the funnel.

Speaking to me at the conference, Nolan called for a return to traditional media planning narratives.

Rethinking TV’s Role in Advertising

While TV and adjacent platforms account for approximately 16% of media investment, Nolan believes there’s room for reappraisal.

“I’m seeing that the vast majority of briefs are around consideration and reappraisal. So it’s quite surprising that TV, linear-plus-BVOD (spend) is flat given that,” she says, highlighting the need to align investment with the objectives of advertising briefs, rather than focusing solely on efficiency.

When asked about the trend of portraying TV as a performance medium, Nolan suggests a shift in perspective. “I think we need to change the narrative,” she says. “TV performs across the broad spectrum. So performance is about brand as much as it is about what people regard as ‘performance’ in the general narrative.”

The Art of TV Planning

Nolan argues for a return to the old art of TV planning, using strategic storytelling to command attention and foster brand connection.

“If you’re going to build a story which is going to be more right-brain, it’s going to command more attention, that generally needs a longer time length,” she advises.

“You can start to build that story and that narrative that resonates with people and use shorter time lengths in order to capitalize on the ad stocks, which will increase efficiencies and still get people remembering that story, remembering that brand connecting with it.”

She further calls for a more thoughtful approach to communications planning across the board, emphasizing the need to consider the platforms, channels, and formats being recommended.

Inclusivity in Advertising

Those brands which do embrace TV advertising for brand-building are increasingly considering how inclusivity features in their creatives.

Nolan sees a significant opportunity to create more engaging and emotionally resonant narratives.

“If you think about inclusivity and the kinds of characters that you need … then you are going to have a much more emotional point of view in terms of how you create that story,” she explains.

She cites a Vanish TV ad by Havas, which integrated a storyline around a girl with autism, as an example of how a brand can connect with societal issues and touch people’s hearts and minds.

“Inclusivity doesn’t need to be about the individual,” Nolan remarks, “It needs to be more about understanding what’s important in society and how brands can support and resonate with those stories.”

You’re watching Beet.TV coverage of The Future of TV Advertising Global 2023, presented by Index Exchange. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.