Politics Are Easy, Commercial Ratings Are Hard

Politics Are Easy, Commercial Ratings Are Hard 1If networks and agencies saw things the same way they do politics, the commercial ratings debate would be a lot less complicated than it was at this week’s Association of National Advertisers TV Forum in New York.

Morning moderator Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s “Hardball With Chris Matthews” kicked things off yesterday by polling attendees on their picks for the 2008 Democratic presidential candidates. Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton by a majority of 66% over 33%, a ratio that was replicated when asked about Republican hopeful Rudy Giuliani.

“I salute you,” Mr. Matthews told the crowd. “You’re young at heart, idealistic and have high hopes for America…..”

VOD was discussed during the following panel by Beth Comstock, president-integrated media at NBC, who reintroduced the term “viewser” to the ANA members. “Consumers have a more flexible relationship with content now,” she said. “More than half of Americans will watch videos online. They’re connected, engaged and in control. They want to participate with media, not just hang out at the watercooler. They’re in an engaged world.”

Ms. Comstock’s findings in the digital space led her to create three rules for engaging viewers online: be completely consumer-centric, gather insights at every step and create experiences unique to the medium. “Too often advertisers repurpose 30-second spots from TV. I don’t think that’s good enough. Streaming is a rich, immersive environment and we need to use different creative in different ways.”

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