When was the last time you watched TV (and for how long)?


By Victor Guerra (@warvictorious)

Ask these questions to some kids and compare their answers to yours.

In 2000, “prime-time” TV content was mandatory topic of conversation next day. Today, while traditional TV viewing rates are still high, there is evidence that TV is loosing track with younger audiences: 18-24 year-olds in 2014 are viewing less TV year-over-year in almost 12%![1]

Don’t get me wrong, TV is still important and far to be dead; but it has lost its sovereignty with youth.

On the contrary, Marketing theory (books, business cases, seminars, etc.) as well as many agencies and marketing departments are still operating as they were 15 years ago.

The Gap

If you studied marketing 10 years ago, you learned it from an environment were:

  • Facebook had 1 million monthly users (versus 1.23 billion in 2013)[2]
  • There was no Twitter, no flickr, no Spotify, no foursquare, no Instagram, no Google+, no Pinterest, no Vine.[3]
  • Google did not own YouTube, it was an start-up from 3 former PayPal’s employees.

My own experience

In 1999, I worked for the first time in a web page. It was a very strange meeting: A couple of guys from IT, and two external folks looking at each other (a photograph and a designer). The challenge: To build a website for a national soccer tournament sponsored by us. It was very time-consuming and frustrating to take care of every single detail while page-visits were insignificant compared with our media’s ratings.

Ten years later, working as the head of a Market Research team, one young associate came by and proposed an experiment. She would create a fictional personal page in Facebook with a very specific profile to attract our brand’s target audience, and would use it to understand these people’s lives, values and dreams. It was an awesome project! We were able to start conversations and to find insights for advertising campaigns and promotions. This time there were researchers, advertisers and brand managers behind the effort.

Update Available

The speed of change in this topic, and the clutter of information about it online can certainly overwhelm anyone. And while you can and should learn by doing it yourself, being a marketing professional requires learning from the experts themselves.

That is why I enrolled in McGill’s School of Continued Education.  #CBUS111

What are you doing to update your knowledge?


[1] http://www.marketingcharts.com/television/are-young-people-watching-less-tv-24817/

[2] http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/feb/04/facebook-in-numbers-statistics

[3] http://visual.ly/complete-history-social-media?view=true

5 thoughts on “When was the last time you watched TV (and for how long)?

  1. I like how you relate back to broadcast TV. Just keep in mind, young people are still watching – they’re just watching online. They are watching on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Crunchyroll, or YouTube. If your target audience is watchers, rather than readers, then it’s also important to stay on top of the most popular online networks.


  2. Maryam

    I liked the style that you compared the procedure of 1999 and 2009 together and mentioned the difference, it is exactly the way it was and it is now. Great job.


  3. You shot us through time almost as dramatically as the changes you note – well done! The contrast of water cooler TV talk to today’s real-time digital information trade works well. Perhaps a better contrast is your first website building experience to today’s Facebook profile creation project. Not only did you explain why you’re continuing to develop your knowledge, you demonstrated how it will continue to go to work for you.


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