Dan May 2017 blog header image

Holy Bleeding Eyeballs, Adman


How much time would you say you spend with electronic media every day? Watching, reading or listening to stuff on any device. A TV, radio, desktop computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Well, if you go by what the folks at Nielsen Media research tell us – they’re the ones who measure what we all watch and how we use electronic media – it’s nine and a half hours a day.

That officially falls into the “HOLY BLEEDING EYEBALLS” category.

Nine and a half hours a day. That’s 36 holes of golf. Plus lunch. And beers. That’s like running two Boston Marathons consecutively – assuming you’re crazy enough to attempt it. That’s the time it takes to fly from New York to LA, and then back to Atlanta. Who has the stamina for all that?

But when it comes to soaking up screen time, most of us are world-class.

Take a look at the handy graphic below from Nielsen. A lot of discussion in the business is focused on new internet connected devices and technology - Roku, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, DVRs, connected gaming consoles and smart televisions. But the data tells us we use them far less than the buzz would have us believe.

Three things really jump at you:

  1. Traditional “let’s-see-what’s-on” TV still dominates our day – by a significant margin over any other device or delivery method. Seems that old habits die hard. Or maybe not at all.
  2. AM/FM radio is like the honey badger – it don’t care. It just keeps eating almost two hours of our time every day.
  3. Smartphones are digital Doritos – we just can’t stop ourselves. Use has doubled in the last year alone. And it’s accelerating.

So what’s a marketer supposed to make of this?

Well, profit – if they’re smart. TV and radio still pack quite a punch and aren’t going anywhere. We love them in spite of their limitations. No, they’re not interactive. Yes, they interrupt our experience with commercials. And we seem to be fine with that. At least for now.

Smartphones, however, have essentially become another human appendage. We’re addicted to their magic capabilities. Marketers who can integrate them not as an advertising medium, but a fundamental part of their customer experience by being useful, entertaining or making life more convenient, can leverage the power of the device few of us can’t live without.

How’s that for some eye-opening opportunity? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go buy stock in Visine.


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