Navigating the busy months ahead is proving a challenge for the country’s marketers as they attempt to plan their seasonal Christmas sales drives around the twin events of the Rugby World Cup and a General Election.
“By itself a shorter Christmas period will have retailers sweating, but this year they also have to contend with the distraction of, and advertising for, the General Election on 26 November, traditionally one of the busier shopping weekends of the year”, says Rick Friesen, Chief Executive of ThinkTV.
But it is good timing for free-to-air television networks. The trifecta of the Rugby World Cup, General Election and Christmas is signalling a strong demand for Television advertising space. This period of sustained activity of marketing for, in and around these events means that 2011 is likely to end on a high note for the industry as advertisers compete for plum positioning.
“Q4 characteristically comes in as a strong performer in Television advertising spend most years, but this year probably more-so because of the likely growth in non-Rugby World Cup spend immediately following the event,” says Barry Williamson, Media Director of MEC New Zealand.
“This, coupled with the historic media growth associated with an election year, will mean a strong allocation of listings snapped up in July with the client mantra being ‘buy now to secure the best inventory’”.
The $600+ million New Zealand Television advertising industry tends to generate its highest levels of revenue in the second half of the year, which are typically 25-30% higher than the first half.
This trend is set to continue with both TVNZ and MediaWorks TV reporting exceptionally high levels of early bookings and enquiries for this period already.
“We have experienced unprecedented forward demand across the last quarter of 2011 which gives us a lot of confidence in continued market recovery. Importantly we have a very strong schedule across both channels creating great opportunity across our card,” says Paul Maher, TVNZ’s Head of Sales and Marketing.
Likewise, MediaWorks TV are happy with their initial indications of performance for this period;
“We have had very positive feedback from the market around our Q4 ratecard, strong programming lineup and client’s television plans for the last quarter of 2011. We are expecting demand to be strong, clients are telling us that many plans are signed off and there is more television activity than we have seen for some time. The Rugby World Cup, Election 2011, Bathurst, Melbourne Cup are all generating excitement and interest,” says Linda Farrelly, MediaWorks TV Director of Sales.
The General Election broadcast monetary allocation of $3.28 million for official election advertising, plus fewer restrictions of third party advertisers, will also contribute to tight availability in November. Each party receives a weighted allocation of the fund for advertising across broadcast, print, outdoor and online and TV advertising historically rates highly within the marketing mix for major parties.
With Television viewing and reach figures reaching record levels it seems logical to expect this trend to continue.
“Over a seven day period Television reaches 96% of the population. These fast and vast reach characteristics make Television ideal for political campaigning”, says Rick Friesen, Chief Executive of ThinkTV.
“The unusual occurrence of a home Rugby World Cup and General Election squeezed into the two busiest retail months points to a very strong finish for the favoured medium for the year. Our advice would be to get talking to the networks now, to secure your spots”.
(From a ThinkTV press release)