Godzilla and the Death of TV Advertising

We’ve all heard how television advertising is dying. Enter the search string “death of television advertising” and Google returns over 1.3 million news stories. But is it really dead, or are we simply calling it something else?

Recently, my friend Holden was visiting and we were watching a Godzilla movie. Full disclosure:  Holden is four years old, and loves the old 1950’s/1960’s Godzilla movies. We were watching our movie via the Shout Factory TV app through Amazon Fire. Shout Factory TV programming includes limited commercial interruptions. Interestingly, the commercial breaks include advertisements for local businesses.

So here we are . . . watching content via an app through a digital streaming service, with spots arranged and delivered through a digital advertising network – the very epitome of all that heralds and underscores “the death of television advertising.”

But how is this different from watching traditional TV?  Here we are watching an old movie on a Saturday afternoon, on our television, complete with poorly produced local spots. The only real difference is the source of the movie, which is irrelevant to Holden and me.  For us, we’re watching a movie on TV, and commercials come on at regular intervals.

Back to Godzilla for a moment:  For those of you not familiar with the history and story of the monster bent on destroying Tokyo, Godzilla was killed in the very first movie.

Dead. Finished. No sequel imagined.

But there were so many sequels to the original feature. Godzilla, despite being utterly and completely killed off in the first movie, comes back again and again. Sometimes he’s the one destroying Japanese cities, sometimes he’s allied with other monsters to defend the people of Earth.

And I think back to all the articles I’ve read lately discussing the demise of television advertising.  But like Godzilla, perhaps television advertising didn’t really die. Perhaps we only think it’s dead, and it will be back soon – maybe to destroy our marketing world, maybe to save it.

The point is, television advertising isn’t really dead. It’s still very much alive and kicking with Godzilla on Monster Island.