Magazine article Marketing

Raymond Snoddy on Media: Advertisers Could Score Late Winner

Magazine article Marketing

Raymond Snoddy on Media: Advertisers Could Score Late Winner

Article excerpt

There is only one more predictable thing in World Cup football than England going out on penalties to Germany: the fact that as a matter of routine, the advertising and marketing communities completely misjudge the bounce of the ball when it is fed into their path, and boot it into the stands.

With the advent of every big sporting event the same mistakes are made repeatedly - it is almost as if no one has bothered to watch the action replays. Or perhaps it is because all the ad men who were at the 1966 World Cup final have long since moved on to become consultants - or worse.

So when confronted with an event of the magnitude of this summer's World Cup, the media planning - it that's the right terminology for what happens- goes something like this: rates will inevitably rocket during the tournament, so let's bring our spending forward to April and May to avoid paying any of those premium rates in June.

Never mind that this premium event might just attract a premium audience, or that this sort of timid mentality doesn't appear to afflict US advertisers when it comes to the Super Bowl - by comparison a minor, regional sporting event.

The fact that the BBC usually wins the ratings battle when it comes to showing football matches head-to-head with ITV is a factor that has to be taken into account. Also, there is always uncertainty with strange things such as football tournaments, and a premature England exit could send audiences plummeting by anything from 70% to 80%. Advertisers don't want to be caught out by that sort of thing, do they?

So, time after time, the big brands neglect an opportunity and ITV gets stuck with having to accept record low prices for one of the world's biggest sporting occasions. The broadcaster will express mere 'disappointment' at ad sales for the tournament - a disappointment so severe that its coverage of the 2010 finals could be in doubt.

But where there are losers there are always winners, and if history is any precedent, someone will come in with a nifty turn of speed down the wing and snap up some last-minute bargains.

Naturally, Wayne Rooney's injury has not helped expectations, based on the rather simplistic theory that the lack of a functioning Rooney metatarsal means no World Cup for England. Indeed, a report from Media

Planning Group puts a pounds 14m price tag on the foot - either way - depending on whether or not he plays in the tournament. …

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