Being a college professor has plenty of perks. But, seeing the digital revolution “first hand” is one of the best! What do today’s advertising majors think about their discipline and their future prospects in an industry undergoing such a major transformation?
In an attempt to dig under the surface, I assigned my senior media students a 5-page position paper on whether digital means the end of advertising or a new beginning. They had to pick one or the other and support it with outside research. Surprisingly, every one of my 46 students believe that today’s digital disruption means a “rebirth” of advertising. My students wholeheartedly believe that highly-targeted, programmatic content, driven by consumer research and AI, will replace advertising as we have known it.
And my students are not alone in their optimism that advertising will survive. New research from Deloitte found that that while TV ads now top nearly 20 minutes an hour, consumers are willing to trade accept fewer ads for free or discounted TV streaming. The optimal amount of TV advertising is 8 minutes according to the research. As noted in the chart above, mature viewers surprisingly have less tolerance for TV ads than millennials. Digital media companies need to rethink how they plan to include advertising in their future service offerings.