In the age of Amazon, Google and YouTube, television advertising seems like a step backward as opposed making progress reaching your target market. Despite what you may have read or heard, TV advertising is still going strong and delivering ROIs for smart companies who invest in television ads. Audiences for TV networks on satellite and terrestrial systems still number in the millions, and local TV stations are more than capable of engaging your customer base for small to medium scale businesses as well.
Like all marketing mediums, television does have its drawbacks, too. For example, the concept or throwing money at television advertising and seeing what “sticks” no longer applies. If you want to keep viewers from changing the channel or pressing the skip button, you need to be much more intentional and strategic with your marketing planning. Clearly, there are pros and cons when it comes to TV advertising, and you want to carefully consider each before making an investment. To help you make an informed decision, here are 5 TV Advertising Pros and Cons:
1. Pro: TV Advertising Can Reach Audiences of Millions
Compared to other forms of advertising, TV ads reach more potential customers. Let’s not forget that advertising on television puts your ads in play and reaching your audience much faster than other media, too. Grab the attention of your target market, and you’re all set. Revenues from increased sales generate ROI and your profit margin gets a little wider. With any luck, you’ll also gain a loyal following for your brand which is reinforced every time a satisfied customer sees one of your ads on TV.
Con: Targeting Your Ideal Audience Can Be Challenging
What you sell determines when you put it up for sale, and this applies to television ads, too. Breakfast cereals and snack foods perform the best weekday afternoons and on weekends when kids and parents are home to see ads. Products and services for adults perform best during primetime when most adults are home watching the news or an episode of their favorite TV show.
The challenge with reaching that ideal audience at the time of day they are likely to be watching is one of research and cost. Research may inform you best on when to run your ads, but if it’s during a prime advertising time of day you may find it costs far more to actually run your ads when they are likely to be seen by your target market. It’s a balancing act of timing ads to reach the largest ideal audience you can while minimizing your cost per advertisement.
2. Pro: Your Ads Reach Audiences Who Are Already Paying Attention
Ever see someone else watching TV? It can be difficult to get their attention when they are thoroughly engrossed in a show or the news. Even when there is a commercial break, most people remain glued to the screen even if they aren’t paying as much attention to what’s playing. If they’re seeing your brand name, product you make or service you provide, they are going to remember it later when shopping for what you have to offer. Few advertising media can make that claim.
Con: There Is No Guarantee Viewers Will See Your Ad
Thanks to Digital Video Recording technology and hundreds of channels to choose from, potential customers may flip channels or press skip whenever your ad comes on. Most viewers also take bathroom breaks during commercials, or leave the room to grab a snack and a drink from the kitchen. Regardless of reason, if they take a break from TV while their show is on break for commercials, there’s a good chance your ads will never be seen.
3. Pro: TV Ads Create Instant Credibility
Consumers tend to give more credibility to television ads and the companies who produce them. After all, making ads for TV is expensive and running them during primetime represents a significant investment. Viewers recognize that investment (even unconsciously), and they pay attention to high quality ads offering products and services.
Television also allows brands to create long-form content like product tours to present the public with an overview of all a product or service can do to make their lives easier and better. Long-form content also represents a significant investment There aren’t many people willing to sit through a 30-60 minute video on YouTube to learn about a product, but if it’s on TV they will let if play.
Best of all, even if it’s just background noise while viewers do something else, your advertising is reaching potential customers.
Con: TV Ads Can Quickly Chew Through Your Marketing Budget
Making even simple ads can be an expensive proposition. There’s filming and editing costs, and that’s a significant investment even before you buy your air time. TV advertising hasn’t gotten much less expensive even as technology and advertising techniques have evolved over time. Your marketing budget can quickly evaporate, and you will need a well-researched strategy in place to give your ad the best chance of generating and ROI for your marketing dollars spent.
4. Pro: Your Brand Gains a Recognizable Visual Personality
The way you present your brand to your audience is how you establish your visual personality. Logos, color schemes, slogans and other traditional components of advertising combine to create an image that always leaves a lasting impression on your ideal customer and audience.
Television ads are a powerful media for building your brand, and they are one of the fastest ways to both introduce a product and build a loyal following. Just think of all the brands you see on TV that are no household names and established pop culture icons. The gecko, Flo and that duck selling insurance is deeply inscribed on the national consciousness. With the right planning and writing, you can do the same with your brand.
Con: Making Changes Or Correcting Errors Is Difficult And Costly
TV advertising is an undeniably excellent way to build your brand recognition and establish yourself in the minds and lives of your customers. That being said, the prohibitive cost of creating ads makes updating ads, changing content or correcting errors even more expensive. Unless you plan your ads carefully and ensure that there are no errors in production, maintaining your brand image or updating it can be an expensive proposition. Keep this in mind when developing your TV marketing strategy, as your expenses can balloon out of control fast.
5. Pro: TV Advertising Makes It Easy To Evoke Emotion and Empathy In Your Ideal Audience
Bottom line, television ads breathe life and humanity into your brand. You’re no longer just the logo or the name. Your brand becomes the faces of the customers and employees portrayed in your ads. Your business becomes more than just another business: it takes on a life of its own. People start to identify with your goals and beliefs, especially if your values align with their own. The emotional impact of what you are trying to do as a company is writ large and given human form. No other medium but video has that power. Draw out those positive emotions and empathy from your ideal audience, and they will stick by you for life.
Con: The Airwaves Are Saturated With Emotional Appeals
When you only have a brief time span to elicit a buying decision or generate a lead with viewers, you have to depend on what will create the most powerful impression quickly. Unfortunately, this has proven so effective that every advertiser is trying to increase the emotional impact of their content. For many consumers, another emotional appeal after so many one after the other in a string of commercials can leave them jaded and inattentive.
You will need to set yourself apart with a unique appeal and approach to making powerful impressions that offers a new experience for viewers. Jarring them out of that constant murmur of emotional and empathetic appeal is how you’ll get noticed. The challenging part is the fact that discovering ways to generate that content for advertising can take a highly trained marketing team a long time to perfect. It’s possible, but it is a daunting task.
Television advertising is clearly a worthwhile investment, but you want to be aware of the potential pitfalls of running a TV ad campaign before you start creating one. So long as you consider your options carefully though and employ the right team of marketing professionals, you should start seeing returns on your investment in no time.
Are you considering a TV ad campaign or product tour for your brand? PTP Media works with many brands to get the most out of their TV advertising. Visit us online and check out our Ultimate Guide To Video Marketing, too. It’s got great advice for making the most of your marketing dollars and generating the best ROI possible for any media channel. Contact us today to find out more about how our team can help you get the ROIs you need from your TV ads.