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TV reigns as king of influential media

February 11, 2009

Looking back over the past couple of months of Tangelo brilliance, I have noticed that the strategic themes emerging most often in our digital lair are those regarding social, interactive and viral media, the ultimate trifecta of non-traditional communication channels. However, when I heard the top-line results from the recently published study by Deloitte on the state of media democracy, I thought it very necessary to share with our team. I found it both grounding and intriguing to see, that despite the growing fascination with non-traditional channels, traditional media still reigns high in American and around the world, specifically regarding the power to influence purchase decisions. Other traditional media sources such as magazines, the internet and newspaper remain in the second tier, with radio advertising influence placing near the bottom half.  

















Other interesting statistics include search engine results and banner advertising as the two most influential forms of online advertising across all five countries. Cell phone advertising made this list this year as a form of influential advertising, ranking as high as fifth in Brazil. In Japan, ads in blogs are rated as fifth most influential, while in the United Kingdom, ads in video games and social networking sites are tied for ninth most influential. German consumers rank billboard or outdoor advertising as sixth most influential.  


Although I do not have access to the entire report, my hypothesis is that if traditional media isn’t losing any ground, and non traditional media is rapidly gaining ground, the implication is that people aren’t switching media channels, but are merely consumer more media, more often, an insight that lends much power to the effective nature of integrated campaigns in the advertising world.


Or are we slowly moving toward a cultural and industry shift? In 10 years, will TV be considered among the least influential advertising forms and social networks will reign at the top? Will we have to rethink terms like traditional vs. non-traditional media, perhaps even swap the channels that they define today? Or will a new form of advertising make emerge to rule the list?  


Statistics source: The Deloitte State of Media Democracy was an online survey that polled 8,824 consumers between the ages of 14 and 75, across five different countries: Brazil, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States.  The survey results have a margin of error of plus or minus five percentage points. 

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Crystal permalink*
    February 11, 2009 2:24 pm

    Two things come to mind for me. 1) What will happen when TV ceases to look like TV? It’s already happening with time shifting, interactive elements and so forth. 2) How does Deloitte define influence when it comes to purchase decisions? We’ve had it drummed into our heads and take it as an article of faith that a recommendation from a friend is the most influential and persuasive form of communication. Social media is closer to that moment of truth. As it proliferates and munches up more attention, and more involvement, it’s influence (persuasion and impact on behavior) will rise.

    TV is king in terms of creating awareness and desire and shouting news about brands. It helps consumers form opinions. But if all we needed was television or traditional media to make people buy, that’s all we would produce and all clients would request. So your point about integrated campaigns is a good one.

    What’s really interesting to me is Deloitte’s approach to the question. If it was a survey of consumers asking them what influenced their decision, that tends to over credit TV as it’s the default answer. And with integrated campaigns, asking consumers to analyze their own cognition is squirrelly to me. Was it the color of the apple or it’s placement on cart or the apple a day ad or your friend’s love of apples on Facebook that made you buy apples today? That kind of squirelly. Ask and they’ll answer. But is it true?

    Terrific thought provoking post.

  2. MelissaHamilton permalink
    February 11, 2009 3:17 pm

    Love this discussion.

    Being of the digital layer and often judged as the “of course she has a digital slant” I herald the research that TV is, in fact, still considered the most influential medium. And it certainly is by no means going away, but to Crystal’s point, changing.

    As we see media shift to digital forms we also see the principles of interactive influence how those media channels manifest. TV will always be video coming through a big box in your home, but how it is viewed, produced, scheduled, integrated, and tracked is what makes it become part of the much larger conversation about digital. Those campaigns that push, pull, and appear throughout a complex web of media channels with consistency and clarity in messaging will win in the end.

    Launch a TV spot without a digital slant that includes online advertising, search web experience, email, and now things like social and mobile and you may lose a valuable customer.

    I also always wonder, how many people were surveyed and who are they, and to Crystal’s point, how was the question asked?

  3. kimtrokey permalink
    February 11, 2009 6:06 pm

    Here is a link to the press release that announces more of the findings. The full study isn’t available to the public yet. They also don’t divulge anything about the methodology. I’m hoping to get my hands on the full report at some point.

    About the Survey
    Deloitte’s third edition State of the Media Democracy survey – now for the first time factoring in multinational survey respondents – was commissioned by Deloitte’s Media and Entertainment practice and conducted by Harrison Group, an independent research company, between September 17 and October 20, 2008. The online survey polled 8,824 consumers between the ages of 14 and 75, across five different countries: Brazil, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States. The survey results have a margin of error of plus or minus five percentage points. For more information on Deloitte’s State of Media Democracy survey, please visit

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