The Association of Commercial Television


The increase in time we dedicate to media relates to the expansion of electronic devices in population, shows Nielsen Admosphere’s data.

The average daily time Czechs spend with media grew to 7 hours and 14 minutes last year, which is a 14-minute increase year-on-year. Total media time includes media multitasking (such as browsing the Internet while watching TV). This is the outcome of Nielsen Admosphere’s data presented by Hana Friedlaenderová at the New Media Inspiration 2020 conference held on Saturday.

Most of the above-mentioned daily time still relates to watching TV, which is followed by media consumption on devices such as PCs, mobile phones and tablets. The third place in terms of time spent is taken by radio and five percent of our daily media time is devoted to print media.

The increasing penetration of electronic devices in the Czech population, namely the growth in smartphones, smart TVs and IPTV (owned by about a third of households) results in the increased time-shifted viewing. Last year, it accounted for 14:21 minutes par day on overage, which is 6% of the total TV rating. Despite the increase in time-shifted viewing, the overwhelming majority of TV is watched live.  

Average time spent watching TV was 3 hours and 43 minutes per day last year (comparable to 3:46 hours in 2018, 15+). TV is still watched by 93% of Czech households.

According to Nielsen Atmosphere’s data, the rise of paid streaming services has not been reflected in any increased demand of Czech households for paid services. Last year, they were used by 3.5% of households, with the most popular services prepaid by the Czechs being Netflix (1.7%) and HBO Go (1.4 %). 

YouTube (48%) is the most frequently watched unpaid web providing video content.  

Nielsen Admosphere’s data also shows that news are watched predominantly on TV (64% of households) and on the Internet (60%). 43% of Czech households watch news on their mobile phones. The TOP news sources include: Seznam Zprávy, TV Nova,, ČT1 and iDnes.czFacebook is the sixth most frequently used news source in the Czech Republic.

Top 20 Daily Most Frequently Used News Sources

Print newspapers – Radio stations – TV stations – Web

Source: Nielsen Admosphere, presentation at the NMI 2020 conference



Even though the range of services and devices for watching TV has proliferated in recent years, broadcast networks and advertisers should be aware that most viewers don’t care about the technology provided they get to watch what they want.

About three-quarters (74%) of global TV viewers, rising to 76% of Australians, feel this way, leading a senior executive at ViacomCBS to advise that viewers think of TV as content rather than the number and proliferation of the tools to access it.

That is according to Christian Kurz, SVP of global insights at ViacomCBS, who spoke to AdNews as he prepared to present research findings at last week’s Future of TV Advertising Forum in Sydney.

The study, called Today’s TV, polled 10,000 consumers in ten countries – Argentina, Australia, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Thailand, the UK and US – and concluded that viewers love TV, but want a simpler experience.

“[The research] has demonstrated how TV (defined as TV shows and movies) fulfils three primary needs: it indulges viewers, it brings the family together, and it opens our minds by raising the visibility of previously untold stories,” Kurz said.

Australian audiences appear especially strongly attached to their TV with 84% regarding TV as part of their daily lives compared to the global average of 69%.

Some 83% of Australians say TV is an important source of entertainment (versus 70% globally), another 83% are excited by the options to watch (versus 77% globally), while 88% find TV to be a source of comfort (versus 66% globally).

However, 79% of Australians wish it was easier to find TV shows and movies, while 85% say they would like to access all their TV content through just one service.

“Searching for content is time-consuming and frustrating – especially on VOD services. Viewers yearn for simplicity, with 80% saying they wish they were able to access all their TV content through one service and 77% wishing it were easier to find the TV shows and movies they love,” said Kurz, who cited the global figures.

“In short, people love TV as much as ever, but with so much great content it’s stressful to decide what to watch,” he added. “To improve their viewing experience, give them the ease and seamlessness they crave. This applies to advertising as much as programming.”



The TV viewing experience has been changing drastically in the last years, especially with the rise of streaming services and all new devices for accessing them. The way audiences consume TV daily is constantly evolving. Therefore, there is a rising need for most recent figures that precisely show people’s viewing behaviour.

This week’s egtabite puts the spotlight on a project conducted by ViacomCBS in collaboration with the Global TV Group.

A closer look

The project, aiming to shed light on how and why global audiences watch TV, involved 10,000 respondents aged 13-54 from 10 different countries (Australia, Argentina, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Thailand, UK and US) through 60+ hours of filmed footage. Using GoPro cameras, in-home ethnographies and online surveys, ViacomCBS got to see how consumers are watching TV today.

Global Consumer Insights

The main insights of this extensive research unanimously prove the undeniable power of TV.

First, people all over the world love TV more than ever before, as it remains central to their lives. TV is big and nuanced enough to have something for everyone. It is perceived as a companion, a unifier, and a source of inspiration. One of the respondents from Germany said: “For me, TV is a great way to be inspired and entertained.” While 69% of respondents feel that TV is an inevitable part of their daily lives, 70% say it’s an important source of entertainment.

Also, TV is bigger and better than before, in terms of content rather than devices or platforms that have been proliferating in the last years. 62% of all the respondents define TV as “TV shows and movies”. They perceive TV as content and not as the tools they use to get their shows and movies.

Third, people use TV to reduce stress and unwind after a tiring day. However, the amount of content that is available to viewers is overwhelming. Searching for content is time-consuming and frustrating, especially on VOD services. Therefore, audiences are seeking out viewing experiences that are easy and seamless, allowing them instant access to the content they love. If that is not the case, the viewers are turning to watching movies or shows that they are familiar with. The respondents admit that they occasionally turn to linear TV as a way of simplifying their choices.

TV indulges us, brings us together and broadens our horizons

The project proved that some viewing habits have remained the same. Despite a changing TV landscape, well-established needs continue to be served by TV.

TV still indulges us today, giving us a break from our busy lives and satisfying our need to unwind. It serves as a wonderful escape that lets the viewers get their “me time”.

Apart from offering a relaxing solo time, TV serves as a strong social connector, bringing audiences closer to each other. People prefer to spend quality time together with their close friends and families while watching TV, cooking and chatting. The most popular place for gathering remains a living room with a big TV.

Also, TV serves as a great mind opener. People are watching shows from all over the world, featuring different cultures which expand their views. TV allows them to learn new things and have a fresh perspective. One of the respondents said: “You feel like you are sitting and not doing anything when in fact you are exploring the world and going on a journey.”

Our research proves that we are living in TV’s Golden (or even Platinum) Age. TV is no longer limited to one screen at home – Today’s TV is a concept for consumers and tomorrow’s TV will be more important than ever,” says Christian Kurz, Senior Vice President, Global Consumer Insights, ViacomCBS. “The research shows that while TV continues to satisfy many crucial needs, such as personal indulgence, togetherness and broadening perspectives, consumers are increasingly craving ease and seamlessness in their viewing experiences.”

We Love TV

Finally, the ViacomCBS/Global TV Group project showed that TV today is loved more than ever, it is bigger and better than ever and also more complex. Whether we are viewing TV as a social ritual, getting out of our heads for a while, or expanding our mind, it remains the best way to relax and unwind in today’s complex world.



If you’re like me, then your LinkedIn feed has been all about the resurgence of branding and traditional media recently. Companies such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google began 2020 with Super Bowl ads. Executives from adidas admit having prioritized activation over branding, saying they were focused on the wrong metrics because of their responsibility to shareholders. Lately, even experts who believe most strongly in the importance of results-driven advertising have been acknowledging the critical importance of brand building to long-term success.

Some, though, have been “team branding” all along. For Marci Cohen, vice president of market insights at Spectrum Reach, the advertising sales division of Charter Communications, brand-building is step one in any successful advertising campaign. “Advertisers need to be part of the consideration set to be purchased,” Cohen says. “Advertising builds trust and awareness and desire. Over recent years, there’s been so much noise, so many ‘shiny things’ for advertisers to consider, that it was easy for some companies to just focus … on media towards the bottom of the marketing funnel. That’s changing.”

Cohen, who leads a team of more than 40 research experts across the country —advising on both traditional and advanced advertising — recently helped develop a campaign and whitepaper aimed at educating local advertisers about what national advertisers already know: When it comes to brand building, television in all its forms is vital. “Every single person uses media differently,” she says. “But, between the amount of time consumers spend with television, television’s broad reach and brand-safe and fraud-free premium environment, and the impact of TV creative on the big screen where most people watch, TV does unparalleled things for businesses of all sizes.”

Those benefits, she says, make the activation side of advertising more effective. Consider direct-to-consumer advertisers such as UNTUCKit and Wayfair, which have also begun investing heavily in traditional media, producing what the Video Advertising Bureau calls “short- and long-term success.”

Amy Bobchek, chief revenue officer of real-time advertising optimization platform Advocado agrees, comparing businesses that focus only on search engine advertising to a restaurant that advertises only in the back seat of taxicabs because most of its customers arrive that way. She says that not only is TV the number one way to build brands, but also “it boosts online ad effectiveness. People choose brands online that they’re familiar with offline.”

Results and branding are also important for Miriam Quart, president of agency Madison Avenue Consortium, known for its work with national beauty and packaged goods advertisers. I caught up with her as she was punching up the script for a TV commercial for a regional hospital. For her, the conversation about branding versus activation is about impact. “With so many ways to activate online, I’m seeing the pendulum swinging back to big ideas and the strategic planning and creative concepting that bring both parts — brand-building and executions, which are more sales-focused — together. There’s no divide between traditional media and digital anymore; it’s all just content and how it works best for the brand’s strategy.”

Even advertising consultant and speaker Tom Ray, who wrote Branding Is Out, Results Are In, asserts that branding is one of the most important elements of an advertising campaign. “It’s a myth that TV is just for branding, and that digital is for activation,” he says. “Traditional media, particularly television, can do both. If we allow advertisers to believe that it can’t and let them run only commercials that don’t give customers a real reason to buy, visit, or sign up for something, we’re doing them a disservice.”

Nicole Penn, president of EGC Group, whose clients include brands in automotive, education, healthcare, and retail, says that the balance between branding and activation depends on the marketer’s strategy. EGC worked on a campaign for an urgent care center in the Northeast last year, which had previously been focused completely on activation at the point of need — when people were making the decision to see a doctor — because the advertiser assumed that sick people would just choose the nearest center.

“Our hypothesis was that if customers understood value the brand offered — specially trained doctors, no wait times — they would be willing to drive a little further.” EGC kept the activation-focused search and social advertising, adding broadcast and cable television, including ads during sporting events. “The results,” Penn says, “were ‘ginormous.’ By the end of flu season, we had a client who understood that traditional media truly makes an impact on results and on the long-term value of the brand.”

Spectrum Reach’s Cohen says she expects more advertisers to be focused on branding and, in turn, television in 2020, even as companies selling traditional media offer advertisers more ways to measure advertising impact through platforms such as her company’s AudienceTrak. “Marketers do need to track sales performance — it’s not really an either/or,” she says. “They need both results and branding … but branding should come first.”



Recognizing that podcasts are a powerful companion to video, a growing number of linear and digital video services are creating podcasts that align with their audiences’ tastes. The podcasts cover everything from reality TV stars to history lessons to even iconic sci-fi shows, such as Battlestar Galactica.

In a sea of 800,000 podcasts, these video companies’ value proposition for brands and fans is their expertise: If they can parlay hit TV shows into companion podcasts, or use nuggets from TV to create podcasts that appeal to their loyal fans, they stand to grow their audience and generate incremental ad dollars.

“Podcasts bring advertising partners the ability to reach audiences in a refreshing and more personalized way that enables a different type of relationship with the consumer; for example, through host-read ads,” says Jason Baron, senior vice president of direct marketing for WarnerMedia ad sales.

As more Americans “cut the cord” and cancel their pay-TV service, cable and broadcast networks must find new avenues to engage audiences, promote their video content, and generate additional revenue — all while streaming services hunt to grow their subscriber counts.

Podcasting offers opportunities to hit all of those notes. As the podcast industry booms, one-quarter of Americans are listening to podcasts weekly, according to Edison Research. And advertisers are projected to spend $831 million in the space this year, per Magna’s latest estimates.

For those seeking a roadmap to leveraging podcasting, A+E Networks has charted a strong path. The company, which owns A&E and HISTORY Channel, ventured into the space several years ago, identifying hit shows that could be reimagined as podcasts or enhanced with a companion podcast. One example is A&E’s Cold Case Files podcast, now in its sixth season. The podcast takes audio from the TV show to create bonus content. Another podcast, PD Stories, is an extension of hit TV series Live PD and features the TV hosts sharing new stories exclusively for the podcast.

The podcast and programming teams now work closely together, notes Jessie Katz, A+E Networks’ director of audio programming and podcasting. “We’re connected at every step in the development process, considering what linear series could look like as a podcast, and vice versa,” she says. A+E owns content and the intellectual property rights to its shows, allowing for seamless development

Among video-based brands venturing into podcasting more recently, WarnerMedia Podcast Network is at the forefront. The AT&T-owned organization boasts a slate of original podcasts that reflect its networks, including Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO, HLN, TBS, TCM, TNT, and TruTV.

Examples of how they are aligning the networks’ expertise and fan interests include the new true-crime podcast from HLN, Down the Hill: the Delphi Murders, an investigation into an unsolved murder mystery, and TCM’s The Plot Thickens, about the life and work of director Peter Bogdanovich. On the lighter side, WarnerMedia recently debuted Give Them Lala…and Randall, a talk-show style weekly podcast featuring reality TV star Lala Kent and her fiancée, Randall Emmett, dishing on fashion, lifestyle, and social issues.

Sister sales division, Xandr, has also recently made a foray into B2B podcasts.

One challenge for video companies is getting comfortable with podcast measurement — or the lack thereof. In podcasting, there aren’t third-party ratings that linear networks and their advertisers use as currency for media buys. Publishers can see some basic information on downloads and generic demographics, or subscribe to custom studies, such as Nielsen’s new Podcast Listener Buying Power service.

Audience reaction can be a guide. When A+E’s HISTORY This Week podcast launched, within just two weeks it reached the number one ranking among history podcasts in the Apple podcast app. With that rapid ascent, “we know we’re on the right track,” Katz says.

Looking for similar hits, other video providers are doubling down. NBCUniversal’s SYFY channel — which uses its SYFY Wire website to distribute podcasts — has been rolling out an aggressive slate of new podcasts. These include the weekly show Battlestar Galacticast, which revisits episodes of the classic series, and Forgotten Women of Genre, spotlighting women’s contributions to the science fiction world.

Also, at NBCUniversal, the Universal Content Productions is launching the UCP Audio network to create original podcasts, kicking off with The End Up, a scripted series about a retreat for cancer patients seeking to end their lives, as well as a pair of unscripted true-crime shows.

Discovery Networks has said it will add podcasts to augment video on its forthcoming streaming platform. And AMC Networks is building its audio catalog, particularly with true-crime and investigative podcasts for Sundance Channel.

While TV shows require extensive planning and costly production, podcasting allows producers to be nimble and stretch their dollars, UCP President Dawn Olmstead has said. She estimated that it’s possible to produce a six- to eight-episode podcast for the same price as a moderate to highly-priced spec script.

“You don’t have to build sets, you don’t have to wait for availability for actors; you can literally write it that night and be in the audio booth the next day,” Olmstead says.

To meet increasing demand from Hispanic listeners, Univision is adding news and entertainment-themed Spanish-language podcasts, including a new podcast to peek behind the curtain of the Premios Lo Nuestro Spanish-language music awards show. Premio Lo Nuestro Podcast features behind-the-scenes interviews and soundbites, and is the first of several podcasts Univision plans to add this year to accompany its high-profile, tentpole TV events.

ABC, CBS, and NBC are adding podcasts at varying degrees, particularly from their news divisions. Even streaming video services are in the mix, with Netflix planning a slate of original podcasts and Apple reportedly developing podcasts to support its new Apple+ original shows.

However, as new podcasts flood the market daily, video services are a little late to the podcast space, and it may take some time to find an audience. To generate buzz, TV and streaming video services can lean on their ability to cross-promote across digital, linear, and social media channels. Also, their seasoned sales teams can leverage established relationships with brand advertisers, bundling audio with existing ad packages or offering it up as an experimental product.

Plus, video loyalists are already showing a willingness to turn their favorite networks into digital audio, notes Trevor Fellows, executive vice president, digital sales & strategy, NBCUniversal. “As we’ve expanded our brands beyond the TV screen and into the world of podcasting,” he says, “we’ve seen their avid fandoms follow — proving the power of a great story to inspire and engage consumers, as well as drive real results for marketers.”



In an era of connected TV, direct-to-consumer streaming, and the bewildering consumption habits of Generation Z, TV measurement faces dramatic change. No available currency today can independently cover the increasingly diverse and fragmented ecosystem of multiplatform video distribution. Attempts to assess the value, depth and reach of a viewing instance against a common denominator will suffer greater inaccuracies from poor integration of new platforms and models.

Due to growing fragmentation, the single currency model has been broken. New measurement upstarts claim to more effectively measure disconnected viewing habits for the majority of audiences watching video across multiple devices and services.

For Nielsen, the historically dominant TV ratings leader, the cracks are coming apart. Ad buyers and sellers want to connect the dots for holistic audience measurement with a depth of insight into demographics that goes beyond the scope of a single measurement panel. While Nielsen invests in integrated measurement capabilities for digital video to retain its dominance, new contenders to the throne knock at its door.

In the good old days of linear TV, brand marketers could run a TV campaign relying on industry stalwarts like Nielsen for a single integrated report on reach and frequency. Today, a plethora of viewing information is available from measurement providers, including YouTube, Facebook, Google, Comscore, Inscape, 605, Roku, and a raft of new upstarts.

In the age of digital, advertisers have developed an appetite for deeper audience segmentation and insights that go far beyond age and gender. These capabilities require more data points than traditional models provide.

This tsunami of data sources, driven by fragmentation in the media space, has had a critical impact on measurement. Five years ago, Nielsen offered unduplicated reach between different elements in a TV campaign to identify desirable audience segments on the local and national level. Nowadays, it’s tough to define and calibrate ad buys, based on whether addressable inventories are being duplicated for audiences that include linear TV in their multiscreen/cross-platform mix, let alone digital.

Further, new video distribution models and even the TV sets a majority of audiences own offer more potential for measurement than previous linear TV hardware. CTV and OTT video are making this worse.

eMarketer estimates that in 2019, nearly 60% of Americans were watching CTV, and over 70% were watching digital video. It’s no surprise that Nielsen’s business is suffering. With increasing fragmentation across distribution, audience viewing habits, ad inventories and capabilities for measurement and targeting — if it can only measure a small fraction of ads outside its mainstay of traditional linear TV, who will?

Comscore, formerly Rentrak, has been attempting to reach Nielsen market share for years with its set-top-box data, but historically had the same blind spots as Nielsen. The Inscape ACR dataset is providing census-level measurement of ad detection (excluding Hulu and Amazon Prime) on Vizio set- top-boxes. Companies like 605 and Comscore are now looking to integrate these datasets into set-top-box data to provide a more comprehensive view — not just linear and time-shifted ads, but also CTV and addressable.

But digital — YouTube and Facebook in particular — often takes flak for not being open with data. They might cite privacy concerns for this now, but it’s no strange coincidence that their initial walled gardens, with limited access to specific data, meant they set the rules by which they are measured. Brands have subsequently had to focus efforts on trying to connect the dots themselves to measure how digital video ads translate into real business outcomes.

Digital doesn’t always have to be a black box; we can trust that Disney knows every single impression running on Disney+. With Discovery’s recent announcement that it is licensing Inscape data directly, we can see the beginning of a trend where programming groups are taking these datasets in-house, where they can match instantly with the clickstream data from their direct-to-consumer services.

With so many parts of the industry rushing to build their measurement solutions, who can rebuild Nielsen? It’s ironic that rather than encouraging Google and Facebook to open up data, the TV industry has started to embrace the same outcomes-based attribution approach. It’s possible that Nielsen — or another player (LiveRamp recently paid $150 million for an early stage business in this space) — will become the new TV currency.

Nielsen is taking steps to adjust, recently working with Amobee to leverage its national TV panel and ACR data to expand the company’s cross-platform measurement to four screens.  If buyers can believe these attribution models could tie ad spend to outcomes, we may start to see investment switch from the unmeasured media of Facebook and Google.

Attribution will become the new currency. For Nielsen, only time will tell whether it fully embraces the broader opportunity or retreats to the core age and demo measurement of linear TV advertising.

If I owned Nielsen shares, I know which option I’d prefer.



The biggest ads from the biggest brands in big TV moments used to be dominated by cars, candy, and beer. Now—like everything else—it’s Big Tech.

For 32 years, USA Today’s Ad Meter has measured the popularity of Super Bowl ads, and this year’s list looked different than ever before.

Google nabbed the No. 3 spot, Amazon No. 7, and Microsoft No. 9. Even Facebook, which ranked much lower at No. 39, was airing its first-ever Super Bowl spot but still managed to beat out such TV ad stalwarts as GMC, Audi, Coke, and Pepsi.

Seemingly out of nowhere (although after years of building up to it), Big Tech has finally become the kind of major TV-advertiser class that used to be the sole domain of legacy brands—those TV ad staples in such popular categories as autos, beer, and candy. For most of their history, these companies scoffed at traditional media. Can’t measure it, can’t convert viewers into customers, not enough real-time data. Yet here are the 21st century’s most dominant brands behaving like their counterparts of the late 20th, using TV as a key tool to build image and consumer loyalty. Taking a half-step back, this development is a bit rich given that other than Microsoft, these are companies whose businesses are working, through digital advertising dominance and streaming content, essentially to destroy the modern TV industry.

The Super Bowl and most other high-profile TV opportunities like the Oscars and Grammys are now where the biggest tech companies go to forge the kind of emotional relationship with consumers that helps prevent us from becoming too critical, too nervous, and too creeped out by their actions.

It could not have been scripted better.


Microsoft was one of the biggest TV ad spenders in tech last year, shelling out half a billion dollars. On its Surface brand alone, the company boosted ad spending by almost 20%, to an estimated $219.1 million, according to measurement firm iSpot.

Amazon spent more than $1.25 billion overall in 2019, boosting TV ad spending for Prime, for example, by a massive 487% to hit about $210 million. Also notable for Amazon, it more than doubled TV ad spending on its home security system Ring, hitting about $79 million in 2019, compared with $32 million in 2018. Given that the company was recently accused of providing user data to Facebook and other companies without making Ring users aware that their data was being shared, adding to its other privacy scandals, it’s going to need all the brand loyalty it can muster.

Facebook is the smallest of the big tech companies, and it correspondingly spent just $300 million on TV marketing last year, with more than half of it, according to iSpot, going to burnish Facebook’s brand.


After Google ran its Super Bowl ad on Sunday night, Twitter lit up with posts about its emotional effectiveness.

„How long is it supposed to take to stop crying from the Google commercial?“

Microsoft received similar kudos for its ad profiling 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers, which hit the perfect balance of product, brand, and a message of female empowerment that Secret and Olay, both of which have been marketing to women for as long as they’ve existed, couldn’t manage to find.

Amazon was back at its goofy celebrity best, this time teaming with Ellen DeGeneres to wonder what life was like before Alexa.

And then Facebook dropped in with an homage to eclectic Groups, with a side dish of Sly Stallone and Chris Rock.

All the game needed to have a Big Tech full house was Apple, but even Cupertino managed to launch a new spot yesterday for its Arcade video game subscription service.

Anyone wondering why the planet’s biggest and most successful tech and digital media companies are increasingly turning to good old-fashioned TV ads need look no further for a reason than what comedian and talk-show host Desus of Desus and Mero had to say:

u can tell how evil a company is by how touching their super bowl ad attempts to be“

As I wrote on Sunday, Facebook made its users the focus of its Super Bowl ad to draw as much attention as possible away from its myriad of corporate issues. Each of the companies chose the largest advertising stage and its most strategic products—Facebook Groups, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft Surface, Google Search—as the device with which to build a narrative and emotional connection with users.

Back in 2018, Google CMO Lorraine Twohill heralded the brand’s ads “Parisian Love” (which became Google’s first-ever Super Bowl ad) and “Dear Sophie” as the spark for what’s become the company’s strategy around humanizing its products and itself. When she joined the company in 2009, the marketing formula was more tech nerd than Mad Men and went something like this: We have to launch a new product, here’s a blog post, and here is a video of the product manager explaining its features. Please watch the video.

“In the early days, we had a Chrome digital-only campaign, which was about three things: safety, simplicity, and speed. Very rational,” said Twohill. “That did get us so far, but no one gets out of bed in the morning and says, ‘I need a new browser.’ What changed the game for us was to go out and create ‘The web is what you make of it,’ which is essentially a brand campaign about people using the web to make their lives better.”

Replace “web” with soap, cars, beer, insurance, or burgers and it becomes pretty clear that these companies we see as among the most innovative in the world still rely upon some of the most hardy advertising tropes in existence. Amazon’s humor is no different than VW in 2011’s “The Force” that charmed us all just before the company’s reputation imploded under the emissions scandal. Or how Snickers uses it to avoid us looking too closely at the sustainability and labor challenges of the chocolate industry. Facebook’s Groups spot is the direct descendant of any commercial gleefully celebrating human gathering, from McDonald’s “You Deserve A Break Today” back in the ’80s, to the longstanding idea of Miller Time.

Microsoft’s Super Bowl ad was fantastic, but let’s face it, the point was Sowers’s story and her accomplishment, not a tablet computer, and could’ve easily been a spot for paper towels. Kind of like P&G’s long-running “Thank You, Mom” Olympic campaign. And while Google’s “Loretta” expertly uses its own products to make those human connections, it hinges on tying human connection and emotion to the brand, a tactic perfected in spots like Coke’s classic “Hilltop” and Budweiser’s “Puppy Love.”

Back then, we were being charmed by companies that we knew—or had some sense—that they were connected to such serious problems as obesity, pollution, addiction, and more. Those, of course, still remain, but say what you want about beer or fast-food burgers, they don’t lead to issues of data privacy and misinformation, among others.

The emotional connections forged by these ads seek to paper over all of that, at least for 30 seconds at a time.

Oh, and add in a CEO tweet for good measure.

„I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% @lizzo’s biggest fan.“


These challenges—and Big Tech’s need to cultivate as much goodwill as possible—aren’t going anywhere, so expect this type of TV ad spending to continue to grow, at least until they actually do kill broadcast TV. This will be most acute during major events like the Super Bowl, Oscars, World Series, and anywhere else our fragmented media culture manages to come together in anything even remotely resembling a collective cultural experience. The more we love their ads, the more likely we’ll be to buy and use their products, and therefore less likely to address potential concerns, vote to have monopolies broken up, or otherwise question their motives.

On the bright side, though, at least Big Tech didn’t try to sell us a baby peanut.



A multi-platform approach is essential in successfully targeting auto buyers. But it’s important to remember that, when it comes to reaching those potential buyers, TV advertising still tops the list. If your auto client is considering scaling back on their television media buy, then they’re in danger of missing out on the most important aspect of the auto buyer’s purchase journey. It’s a choice that could end up costing them way more than it saves.

Automotive continues to be one of the largest category spenders in media, and if your client wants a piece of that sizeable revenue, you need to catch the potential customer at the beginning of their buying cycle. Today’s auto buyer experiences three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. Targeting prospective buyers early, specifically through television advertising, pays the highest dividends.

Data-driven linear and addressable TV advertisinglet you target with precision, getting your client’s car ad or dealership spot in front of the right buyer. Add any other addressable targeting to the mix, such as OTT or live streaming, and you can reach the auto customer wherever and whenever they watch content. If you don’t put your client in front of the auto buyer early enough, the campaign is likely to run out of gas before it even gets on the road. Here’s why:

The Awareness Stage: The first step in the auto buyer cycle is when prospective customers begin to realize they will soon need a new car. This is brought on by anything from a lifestyle change, such as expanding one’s family, to experiencing one-too-many trips to the mechanic, to reaching the end of a lease.

Whatever the catalyst, this is when prospective auto buyers start to keep an eye on their options, contemplating what kind of car they’re going to purchase. Considering the multitude of choices, this can feel like an overwhelming endeavor. Where do they start? TV ads.

The Consideration Stage: Once the prospective auto buyer starts to consider their options, they begin to take notice of what they see in TV commercials. According to the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) “Start Your Engines” report, TV ranks first in helping consumers form their consideration list. In fact, of those who were surveyed, 45 percent of buyers ages 25–54 and 46 percent of buyers ages 18–34, reported that TV ads helped them select the make, model, and dealerships they planned to explore. Additionally, a considerable 76 percent of auto manufacturers stated a definitive correlation between TV spend and website traffic.

The Forbes article “TV Advertising Remains Huge Sales Motivator for Car Buyers, Even in Digital Era: Study” included an interview with Sean Cunningham, president and CEO of VAB, who spoke about the importance of TV advertising in relation to digital traffic. “The truth is that TV and digital work together very well,” said Cunningham. “TV has done a good job of fueling digital, which does an especially good job with dealer offerings…. When you need to mobilize customers en masse, in a tight timeframe…, TV is going to light up their online instruments and fill dealer showrooms with traffic.”

Here at NYI, one of our leading auto manufacturer clients ran a campaign focused on raising awareness and sales for a specific line of vehicles being sold in the New York market. Their objective was to reach the TV and digital consumers most likely to buy the vehicles. The results showed that households exposed to both TV and digital ads delivered the highest conversion rate — a 131 percent incremental sales lift — with sales revenue of $4 million and an ROI of $10.46 for every dollar spent.

If the bulk of marketing dollars is exclusively spent on digital advertising, they could likely miss the all-important consideration phase where the auto buyer is narrowing their options. Plus, when you add the ability to target consumers directly through addressable and linear advertising, you’re steering buyers directly toward your client’s brand or dealership.

Translation: Media buyers need to put a client’s brand in front of the auto customer during the consideration stage. TV advertising — both addressable and data-driven linear — is the key to getting prospective buyers to pursue a specific brand or dealership.

The Decision Stage: Finally, the auto buyer wraps up their online research, visits dealerships, goes out for test drives, reviews financials, and makes their purchase. Knowledge of the process and the ability to target help make this a win-win for all involved.

So, if you want to drive up revenue for your auto client, remember the cycle of the consumer’s journey. Digital is important, but it’s also important to lock in your TV media buy if you want to make sure that your client’s campaign is fully loaded.



AKA (Association of Communications Agencies) published its annual report on advertising for 2019.

In 2019, CZK 119.5 billion were invested in advertising in the Czech Republic. This is an expert estimate of net marketing spend based on a research conducted among advertisers by AKA in cooperation with Nielsen Admosphere last March. It is 5% more than last year’s 113.5 billion. “The shift is slightly above inflation and was reported for the fourth time in a row, which indicates that the industry is doing well,” said Marek Hlavica, Director of AKA, at today’s presentation of the latest figures. 

The media (including traditional media types, such as TV, radio, outdoor ads and display advertising on the Internet) to non-media (other Internet advertising including searching, social networks or cooperation with influencers plus point-of-sale ads, PR or events) marketing investment ratio remains about the same, i.e. fifty-fifty. More precise figures on non-media investments are expected to be available in spring.

“TV is still the leader among media channels and despite the increasing spend on digital, for the time being there is no risk that the Internet might soon overcome traditional channels on the local market,” said AKA. In price list comparison, TV has grown by 8% year-on-year, i.e. faster than other traditional media types, such as press, radio and outdoor ads. “A comparable growth dynamics is reported by non-media forms of communication, such as promotion events, direct marketing, social networks and content marketing, or consumer competitions,” concluded industry representatives.

In terms of media spend,, Kaufland and Lidl are the three major advertisers of the year again, just their ranking changed compared to the previous year – the two German brick-and-mortar retailers were outperformed by the largest local e-shop. The top 10 of the major media advertisers includes Billa (which spent 65% more on communication than in the previous year) and Internet Mall; apart from traders, the highest ranks were achieved exclusively by food and fast-moving goods producers. “Sazka is the only exception in the top ten. Our effort to find prior years’ champions – mobile operators and banks – in the ranking would have been vain for several years,“ said AKA.

In AKA’s opinion, this year the industry will discuss regulation of alcohol advertising, development of a Professional Communication Platform (refer to below), awareness initiatives against disinformation directed at advertisers, efforts to win support for creative industries from relevant ministries through the Czech Chamber of Commerce and, in a dialogue with clients, market standard innovations, specifically methods and models of agency ratings and orchestration of communication tools which keep growing in number.   

Against Disinformation, for Self-Regulation

“There was a merger of several agencies, which, however, did not include any local investment,” reminded Hlavica the recent mergers between Wunderman and JWThompson to establish Wunderman Thompson and between Young & Rubicam and a digital agency, VML, into a new entity, VMLY&R.

Another shift in the industry was the implementation of technical measures to block ad buying on disinformation webs and informing clients accordingly. “Cutting off these sources from digital ad financing is one of the ways to democracy and our industry declares its support for it,” said Hlavica. AKA as one of three national associations of communications agencies in Europe joined the signatories of the Code of Practice on Disinformation. “The fight with disinformation is monitored by the European Commission to which AKA has to report on its activities in this field on a regular basis,” states AKA, which considers the January conference in the Senate as the initial act to be followed by specific practical steps.

The industry may soon be impacted by the efforts of the Ministry of Health intended to regulate alcohol advertising, specifically to reduce the content of advertisements and the time when they are aired. “What the Ministry endeavours to do now is not a realistic solution to a problem with alcohol in the Czech Republic. Nowhere around the world these activities resulted in what the Ministry strives to achieve,” said Hlavica, Director of AKA. AKA tends to seek self-regulation or other awareness campaigns, such as Not Drinking Is Normal. “Unfortunately, our proposals went unheard,” says Hlavica.  

Alcohol advertising should not show living creatures, thinks the Minister of Health. 

Self-regulation has been applied in the industry in respect of marking commercial activities of influencers operating on social networks who are frequent ad carriers. The above-mentioned Professional Communication Platform was established to associate academic institutions (IKSŽ FSV UK), professional organisations (AKA, APRA) and market entities and start to push for self-regulation of the commercial use of influencers. The purpose is to clearly identify any paid content and differentiate it from the editorial one to comply with effective legislation. “SPIR is working on codification that will go through the approval process in the nearest future,” said Jan Binar from McCann, President of AKA, informing on the progress of their efforts.  

For Better Government tenders, Not Only in Brno

Public administration advertisers investing in information campaigns initiated tenders in the amount of CZK 2 billion last year, which was nearly double the prior year’s amount. “Although the Czech Republic fails to achieve the share of communication tenders in the total market as the developed European countries do, i.e. 15-20%, the shift forward is obvious,” thinks the Association.   

Professional associations of local agencies – both communication (AKA) and those focused on public relations (APRA) – have recently made Brno concerned. “There were no problems before but now, they managed to invite a tender for a creative solution at 100% cost. They even declared that if there were multiple highest bids with the same prices, lots would be cast for the winner,” said Lucie Češpivová from Dorland, Chairwoman of the Czech Independent Agencies Section of AKA, referring to the tender in the amount of CZK 10 million invited in Brno for the selection of an agency to communicate parking changes in the city.

“In the past, AKA cooperated with the Municipal Authority of Brno on certain tender documentation to the satisfaction of both parties. The contracting authority is thus well-informed in AKA’s opinion and its current approach is more than surprising. AKA addressed the Municipal Authority of Brno on 12 December to express its objections and offered methodological assistance in making adjustments to the tender documentation. There was no response from the city. Only after having delivered a reminder, we received a response a day before the deadline. The response by the Head of the Transportation Department of the Municipal Authority of Brno did not satisfy us – far from it. Contrary to the published tender documentation, he declared that the engagement did not contain any creative work,” describes Hlavica, Director of AKA. According to the tender documentation, the future supplier is required to make videos, write for the web and participate in the communication strategy.   

Why Aetna No Longer Wants to Work with Brno

Due to the approach adopted by Brno, the local agency Aetna, one of AKA members, has just decided not to continue their cooperation. Aetna received many prizes for its destination campaign called #BrnoTrueStory, including Effie for the most effective communication in public administration. However, it could not continue even though it was the winner of a tender which was held several months after the agreement between the city and the agency had expired.

“A new agency was not selected due to a legal mistake in the tender documentation. It took the city additional six months to invite a new tender together with lawyers. But the problem is that the tender is the same in fact, just with some cosmetic adjustments. Newly, a minimum amount was set, participants are required to prepare a more precise media plan and the formulation of the need to keep the defined brand book is less strict,” said Roman Šťastný, Aetna’s Executive Manager. “Given its very nature, the tender cannot be fair. And what is more important, time is flying and has no mercy. If the city does not mind to thwart its investment we have to come to terms with it. Fourteen months have elapsed between the agreement termination and the tender deadline. We can see such a critical gap in consistent brand building that there is nearly nothing to continue with. You can’t but start from scratch again. That is what we let other people do. We are so proud of Brno brand book that we wouldn’t change a single thing. We considered it to be a document that would survive and consolidate communication for the years to come – we didn’t mean it to be a template for a one-year campaign.”

“The recent approach of Brno to communication public tenders is unfortunate. Brno acts to its own detriment, i.e. regardless of all the people who are committed to providing the city with professional and effective communication,” highlights AKA.  

“Performance Marketing Got Depleted”

How do industry professionals look at the development of ad spend in future? “I can’t see any downsides. Brexit is a local issue in a way. For the Czech Republic it is an opportunity if we have enough offices. We also need more confidence. What the Netherlands or Scandinavia are able to do that we can manage as well if we want to,” anticipates Petr Chajda, Leader of Dentsu Aegis in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and Chairman of the ASMEA Committee (Association of Media Agencies). In retail consumption, Chajda can see advertisers’ optimism in respect of media ad spend. David Čermák from Momentum Praha, Chairman of the Activation Agency Section of AKA, confirms the optimistic outlook, stating that non-media investments will increase by 5-7%, same as last year.

“The conversion cushion of performance marketing got depleted and a brand combat at the storytelling level has just started,” thinks Jan Binar based on discussions with clients. He can feel that advertisers have more courage to take a healthy risk in communication.   

“Brands invest in their values in order to build their positions for less favourable times. The brand value provides producers with more room for manoeuvre at times when sales go down and competition escalates,” adds Hlavica, Director of AKA.

What Agencies Expect from Research

“We as media agencies will bring TV research into a sharp focus,” said Ondřej Novák, Chairman of ASMEA, responding to Médiář’s question. “At the same time, it is obvious that the “non-TV” part of research which is able to reflect the trends of non-linear online video content consumption in measurement (such as timeshifted viewing, HbbTV, IPTV, mobile viewing) will rise in importance. As media agencies, we would like to have consistent and comprehensive video content measurement across platforms and individual devices at hand, i.e. including all quantities that are important for media planning. In terms of technology and methodology, TV research goes full steam ahead of other common currencies and is on the top in Europe.”      

“Unfortunately, it is benchmarked with other currencies – Media Projekt, Radioprojekt and, to some extent, NetMonitor. Their quality is high, they have cutting-edge methodologies (after all, Media Projekt is the longest continuous research ever conducted in the Czech Republic, including sociological surveys; it has been carried out since 1994) but their practical importance for the sector is questionable for various reasons. At least in case of Radioprojekt – although we perceive the changes in ownership taking place on the radio market and we do not play them down – certain (at least ideological) direction to real measurement, which is by far not unusual in Europe, would be worth following.”  

And what about the Internet measuring? “The first problem is the definition of the Internet and what should be measured. Online environment has an essential generic problem – the field of measurement is nearly infinite. An important aspect for agencies is that records should include crucial players – Google, social networks, YouTube. In general, there is an enormous global problem to include these players in measurement just because they don’t need or want to. Even though the playfield is marked out, another issue is what to measure there – display, RTB? Or quantities such as impressions, Internet GRP? It will be complicated to make up measurement that will be helpful for everyone. Prospectively (which I emphasize), we tend to see a possible way out in a platform, such as video content consumption, on which measurements might mingle and industry associations might cooperate because this may be what major players in all positions – media, agencies, advertisers – might need. However, we are not living in an ideal world and there are plenty of business interests.”    



In 2019, TV aired more ads again in the Czech Republic with ad spots going up in price. According to Nielsen Admosphere,, the Czech largest e-shop, was the most powerful advertiser of the year.

The leading advertiser in 2019 was, the largest local e-shop spending on ads nearly CZK 1.8 billion, thus outstripping the previous year’s number one, Kaufland, and number two, Lidl. Kaufland, ranked second this year, placed ads in the amount of 1.7 billion in the media and was followed by Lidl on the third place with its spend exceeding 1.5 billion. The following positions were taken by Sazka, Procter & Gamble, Ferrero ČR, Nestlé, Henkel, Internet Mall and Billa while Unilever, Mountfield and L’Oréal dropped off the top 10 last year.

This results from the latest figures of Nielsen Admosphere’s monitoring. The data show price list costs, advertisers’ real spend is usually lower.

Top 10 advertisers by the price list value of ad space, 2019

Ranking Advertiser Spend 1.80
Kaufland Česká republika 1.65
Lidl Česká republika 1.50
Sazka 1.36
Procter & Gamble International Operations 1.18
Ferrero Česká 1.16
Nestlé Česko 1.10
Henkel ČR 1.06
Internet Mall 1.05
10  Billa 1.03

In CZK billion. Rounded. Excluding the companies’ own advertising. Source: Nielsen Admosphere

TV continues to be the strongest media type in terms of advertising and it made its position even safer last year as the TV ad spend increased by 8% to CZK 57.4 billion. The amount of press advertising grew by 1% last year to 19.8 billion. By contrast, radio advertising decreased by 1% to 7.9 billion. Outdoor ads rose by 3% to CZK 5.4 billion.

“With a significant lead, TV keeps its position of the most powerful local media type. In aggregate, TV companies once again aired more ads and increased their prices,” said Tomáš Hynčica from Nielsen Admosphere.

Price list value of ad space, CZK billion

Media type 2018 2019 Difference
TV 53.1 57.4 8 %
Press 19.6 19.8 1 %
Radio 8.0 7.9 -1 %
Outdoor 5.3 5.4 3 %

Rounded. Excluding the companies’ own advertising. Source: Nielsen Admosphere

In the forthcoming weeks, the media type ranking will be completed with the Internet data, published as usual by the Association for Internet Development (SPIR). The Internet is also expected to grow. “The total value of advertising in the Czech media is assumed to be about CZK 120 billion in 2019,” said Nielsen Admosphere. In the previous year (2018), the amount exceeded 113 billion.