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Trust and traditional media

Wednesday 1st March

Today’s turbulent media landscape includes buzzwords like post-truth, fake news and the dangers of living in a social media bubble. Big corporations are putting transparency at the top of their list of priorities in their research and media planning. Digital media – the golden child of internet and industry – is beginning to teethe.

Trad-Digital Media

We’re not claiming that digital is ‘over’, far from it. Spend in this sector is rising and with good reason: it’s intensely personal, adaptable to all platforms and devices. People use digital everywhere, every day for everything, so there are always opportunities to get your brand heard. And, with a wealth of data at our fingertips, we can easily make our marketing more targeted and less wasteful.

And yet – if 2016 taught us anything, is that we can’t forget how young the internet is as a medium, compared to older, more traditional formats like television and radio.

For many people in the industry, ‘traditional’ translates to ‘irrelevant’ and they often dismiss these formats as a waste of budget, a 20th century relic potential consumers see as just background noise. But here at Total we just can’t agree. No other media gets the kind of reach that television does, and outdoor media inspires a level of trust and authenticity in a brand that make #hashtags feel a little hollow. Cast your mind back a few months to the massive buzz around the Christmas TV campaigns, the palpable anticipation of seeing the first John Lewis spot of the season – before talking about it on Facebook.

Radio is rapidly moving to digital, but that doesn’t mean numbers are declining – in fact, according to RAJAR figures, 90% of the adult population listen to radio at least once a week. Audiences associate radio with relaxation and escapism, as well as connection with their community. Cinema and television evoke similar positive associations, attracting audiences when they are at their happiest and most receptive to advertising.

These platforms have also been subject to legal scrutiny throughout the years, with regulation creeping up and pulling back around various policy changes. Some of this can be baffling to those in the industry, and for good reason. But anyone aware of the ASA’s hard work will know that weeding out the snake oil salesmen and maintaining high standards for the rest of us is no easy job. It’s this attention to detail that means the public and brands know that their spot is going out with a reputable programme – just ask Land Rover how important it is to be sure of your audience.

So, next time you’re planning your media campaign, think about the last time someone asked you if you’ve caught up on Game of Thrones, or better yet, look up how much Star Wars: The Force Awakens took at the box office in the UK alone.*


Article Written by

Megan Morgan

Broadcast Assistant, Total Media

This is Megan's first job in the media industry. Her favourite part of the role is learning about technical innovations in broadcast. Megan holds a BA in Media Studies from the University of Brighton

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