Watching the Commercials

Stacey Lynn Koerner on the TV ads of tomorrow

Formerly an executive VP at Initiative, Stacey Lynn Koerner was recently named president of Interpublic Media’s yet-to-be-titled “consumer-experience practice.” She spoke to B&C’s Anne Becker about the changing media landscape and its effect on TV advertising.

What’s the worth of advertising on TV today?

TV may be experiencing an erosion in its primacy of delivering content, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important for advertisers to be in the mix. People like to receive fictional content through the TV screen.

It’s one of the only ways we can be connected with the same content at the same time across the nation. It’s got immediacy. It’s a very important aspect of our culture because we have all the technology to connect us, but we don’t have to work with human beings to get most things done each day. It creates this sense of people not being connected, and TV gives us something to rally around.

How much are emerging platforms eroding TV viewing?

We’re just starting to see some of that. The best example is the Olympics. The nightly audience levels were lower than expected. However, the Internet traffic was much higher than expected. It’s not that the event has lost its luster—it’s that people want to experience content in ways that are most relevant or convenient. You are seeing technologies allowing for greater personalization of the experience, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the opportunity to choose content through the standalone TV experience.

What do you think about TV’s historically light presence at Four A’s?

This show is about the future and how clients and media agencies need to work together to better communicate with consumers. TV is the largest piece of the media puzzle—I look at it as the center of where consumers experience content. To have [TV] absent is to remove them from the dialogue, and that’s not fair to the conversations we’re all trying to move forward.