by Kayla Sheely

Every year around the Super Bowl, millions of dollars are spent on advertisements and millions of eyes are watching to see the latest and greatest TV ads. The Super Bowl commercials have become a cultural event, with some people enjoying the commercials more than the game itself.  

With all the hype around this time of year, we wanted to look at the evolution of advertising at Psychic Source, one of the brands Voice Systems Engineering provides services to. Carole Mulderig, Customer Acquirer in Media and Advertising has worked at VSE for almost 20 years and took us down memory lane as we discussed the changes in Psychic Source’s advertising over the past 15 years.  

Overall, the biggest change Psychic Source has experienced is the ratio of spending on offline and online media. “Back in 2005, 61% of our spend and new members were coming from offline, which was print, TV, and radio,” Carole said. “That was before Google and Yahoo became popular.” Currently, only 22% of Psychic Source’s spend is on offline campaigns.  

Another significant change in recent years is the way television advertising operates. In the past, TV was what was called Linear TV – the kind of television you had on your set at home – the old-fashioned kind, prior to online streaming. Now, TV is accessible almost anywhere you have an internet connection – through your phone, your laptop, your home television. A significant portion of Psychic Source’s budget is shifting toward this “Connected TV”, allowing more flexibility and a wider reach. Similarly, radio has also evolved. People don’t just listen to the radio in the car anymore. Carole notes that “podcast advertising is becoming pretty popular for us, and it’s bringing in a younger audience.” With internet radio and podcasts, people can listen in whenever they want and aren’t bound by traditional channels.  

On the other hand, print advertising is continuing to shrink for Psychic Source. “Back in the day, the big magazine for us was Cosmopolitan, and Essence was another magazine that that did well for us. That's how we were getting the majority of our new members,” Carole reflects. “We started out with print and magazines and newspapers being the main source of new members. In fact, they were the sole source before Google became Google and Yahoo became Yahoo.” 

Online advertising allows greater targeting and can help ensure that the ads are being shown to people who actually are interested in Psychic Source’s services. According to Carole, “acquisition for online advertising is paid search because you know it's a qualified customer. It's somebody looking for our services, instead of an offline ad that you stumble across.  However, online and offline advertising go hand-in-hand as what you may see or hear offline can direct a consumer to your website.” 

Like everything else in our world, the pandemic affected the way Psychic Source went about its advertisements. “When COVID hit, we had to come up with ideas to change our ad copy and base it more on uncertain times, anxiety, and stress,” Carole explains. “We’ve also implemented QR codes so people could scan with their phone and go right to the site, so that's exciting.” 

Carole’s favorite part of working in advertising is creating television ads. “I like seeing the response that it creates. I'm really excited about a lot of the advertising that we put out there, especially when we come up with something new and in new channels to serve ads.” There are many exciting new opportunities in the advertising field such as developments with connected TV, in-app advertising, and augmented reality. As the field of advertising continues to grow and evolve, we look forward to utilizing new ways to connect potential customers with Psychic Source’s services.