Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Media Habits and Daylight Savings Time

So, I've finally adjusted my sleep pattern to the Daylight Savings Time change we went through recently, but I'm noticing that my life pattern is still off a little.

I'm not used to it staying light later, the first week I was still working at my office for an extra hour because it was still light outside my window.

And yes, there are plenty of clocks around, it just didn't feel as late as it was.

Media Habits change too which is good news for some and bad for others:

How Daylight Savings Affects Media Usage

Television Viewing Goes Down, But Other Media -- Including Radio -- Benefit

For most people, daylight savings time is a minor annoyance that causes them to miss an hour of sleep every spring. But for smart media people, it should be a consideration when planning spring campaigns. The extra hour of daylight gained has a major impact on people's lives, allowing them to stay outside later as the days grow longer, and that in turn has a major impact on their media consumption.

The pattern on television is obvious. Each spring primetime ratings take a notable dip after daylight savings weekend, and sometimes they don't recover. But other media is also affected by the change. Outdoor campaigns can receive more notice in spring than in fall, when temperatures begin to warm up. And radio and magazines, which can accompany people in their outdoor activities, are two not-so-obvious choices for advertisers eager to connect with people as they stay out longer.

Ricardo de la Blanca, chief executive officer at DLB Group, an agency in Miami, talked to
Media Life about why daylight savings is important, what media it impacts, and why radio and magazines are among them.

Why does daylight savings have such an impact on advertising?

In an industry such as advertising, even the slightest thing can make the difference between a home run campaign and a complete dud. When planning your strategy for the months to come, it's extremely important to have a pulse on your surroundings and environment.

With the longer days and warmer weather that daylight savings brings, advertisers' efforts and focus will gradually shift from more at-home media outlets such as TV and Internet to more out-of-home tactics such as radio, magazines and especially billboards.

The message in campaigns is definitely affected since people feel different during warmer season, are more exposed and interact with each other in a completely different dynamic than during the cold season.

Moreover, the brands use these changes to create new needs and trends for consumers.

What media does it affect most and why?

The fact that it gets darker later in the spring than it did in the winter certainly has an effect on what we do in our daily lives. Since daylight savings brings warmer weather, we tend to be more outdoorsy and spend more time out of home.

In recent years, numbers for more at-home media outlets, such as TV, have shown drops in ratings of 10 to 11 percent during the week that daylight savings started up again.

This means that advertising campaigns should shift focus to more out-of-home tactics, such as radio, magazines and billboards, to reach consumers and broadcast their message more efficiently.

Do you think most media people are mindful of the effect of daylight savings on advertising? Why or why not?

Since advertising is a form of communication intended to persuade audiences, it's essential for media people to connect with crowds and be aware of consumer trends.

Adding daylight to afternoons benefits outdoor activities like sports and retail, indicating a change in lifestyles, mood, among others.

Media people understand that consumers change everything from one season to another in the way they eat, dress, shop and spend their free time, for instance. Media people are aware of this, and thus create summer-type campaigns during this time to be in accordance with the season and accomplish what the audience is looking for.

How have media people adjusted to daylight savings in their advertising work?

Media people are ready to adjust their work to any change in consumer trends. Since daylight savings is intended to make days longer and save energy, we are ready to shift campaigns to more outdoor-friendly outlets and find ways to advertise outside the conventional methods.

Why are radio and magazines included in your list of media that should be more prominent during warm weather months?

Adding daylight to afternoon benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours.

Since people are going to be spending more time outdoors, this means a shift from TV and Internet campaigns, to more energy-friendly channels such as magazines and radio.

These outlets should be exploited because they provide a strong out-of-home audience since they can easily accompany people in their outdoor time.

Are clients usually responsive when you discuss daylight savings time strategies with them?

Since DST is a seasonal change in people's lifestyle, our clients are very responsive with us and understand the importance of campaign shifts to interact and connect efficiently and emotionally to consumers.

(Source: Media Life, 03/14/11)

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