Chapter 11TV, the NFL, and the End of Demographics

The disruption that social media has created within traditional broadcast channels can be described in one word: proliferation. Today, media outlets are everywhere. They have become the opposite of the 1960s' living room where the whole country, regardless of their individual circumstances, age, or sensibilities, would gather around their living room TV sets and watch the Ed Sullivan Show.

In those days, reaching your target audience was much simpler because you knew where everybody would be in mass scale at any given time, based on the few shows that were broadcasting. In fact, in the dawn of television advertising, creative campaigns were merely a value-add to an industry that was focused largely on media buying as the primary commodity. Advertising under these circumstances was pretty easy: If you had a viable product, just run a spot on a top TV show. You knew everyone would watch the message, because they had no choice.

Given the vast proliferation of media channels since the sixties, you might think that finding and advertising to your target audience today would be more difficult. You may be surprised to learn, however, that by 2011, just six companies, or approximately 200 executives, controlled 90 percent of all traditional media consumed by Americans.1 Their approach to creative content has been to keep things relatively unchanged: producing, procuring, and distributing programming capable of generating the greatest ...

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