- Fox Network Groups pulled back the ad load for this year's broadcast of the Teen Choice Awards by 20%, but executives at the network forecast a potential 30% lift in ad revenue over 2016's showing, according to a report in Ad Age.
- The 2016 airing of the awards show had a 30% drop in viewers compared to 2015, but reducing the number of ad interruptions was intended to keep more eyes watching as well as provide advertisers with spots that air with more impact and value.
- The trade-off is that networks feel fewer ads mean they can charge more for those remaining spots, Ad Age said, but brands aren't sure if they should have to pay more for reaching a potentially smaller audience.
This year's Teen Choice Awards have become an odd proving ground for more experimental TV ad strategies. Not only did Fox cut down the number of commercials airing, the network also tested broadcast TV's first six-second ads during the show with brands like Mars and Duracell. This super-short ad format, popularized on online platforms like YouTube, was deliberately designed to keep Teen Choice's young target audience engaged, a move reinforced by the emphasis on ads with impact over larger ad volume.
For brands, Fox's proposition is a tricky one, as Ad Age noted. Teen Choice's slipping viewership numbers in recent years point to the overall decline in TV ratings, especially among younger demographics, while digital streaming and over-the-top alternatives are only growing in popularity. TV promises a perhaps safer and more assured channel for brands to advertise on, but networks continuing to charge higher ad rates has been met with some frustration from media buyers wanting to reach a larger audience to get the most out of their spend.
Regardless of whether Fox's play sees success, the news fits into a growing trend on both digital and TV of focusing on fewer, higher-quality and more targeted ads over sheer ad volume. Earlier this year, the Hallmark Channel announced it was dramatically cutting ad load on its original prime-time programming beginning in 2018, for example.