Throwing TV advertising out with the bathwater

February 12th, 2008

What parent hasn’t worried at some point: “Is it bad to let my child watch TV?” The answer, as we all know, is that there is no single answer. The debate about how much TV and which shows, if any, are okay, rages fiercely. An anti-TV campaign is here and here.

But while mommy, daddy and every researcher from Berkeley to Cambridge has jumped on the anti-TV bandwagon, someone else is on a different bandwagon altogether. Ever heard of a little thing called the Internet? lotion

Johnson & Johnson, one of the national’s largest television advertisers, has shifted gears and is promoting / selling its best-selling baby lotion through Web cartoons – known as “webisodes.” They haven’t abandoned television ads altogether, but the new push indicates the direction J&J is headed. The first webisode will run later this week on a J&J site,

This isn’t the first time J&J has gone to the web to entertain, educate and sell. Way back in 2006, they launched an advergaming site websitethat had moms, dads and kids giggling in front of computers.

Three reasons the Web works: Firstly, people are using the web for advice rather than TV commercials or programs. Secondly, TV spots are just ads and don’t have credibility with a cynical audience. And third, cost. TV ads are expensive to produce and cost a fortune to place on broadcast TV.

Websites drive traffic by serving a dual purpose – something TV ads can’t do. A website with a cartoon can keep an infant happy for a few minutes, while also enabling a parent to look for useful information. This multi-pronged approach is the wave of the present; straightforward single-dimension advertising is dying.

Posted Under: Advertising, Digital & Social Media
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