With businesses from all over the globe pushing products left and right, the notion that your business can compete with them, especially on a non-digital media platform like TV, might seem far fetched. However, TV ads are nowhere near over. In fact, in a survey of internet users, it was reported that more than 83 percent of participants felt like TV ads left a lasting impression on them. If you want to hit the small screen with your goods or services, you can. All you need to do is to figure out your target demographic, find a station that will sell you air time, and summon the courage to expose your brand to the world. To help you get started, here is some information about creating a killer TV ad and getting it to the people who want to see it.
The Importance of TV in Marketing
First, let's go over some of the reasons why TV is still one of the most important mediums for marketing.
You can reach more people with TV.
People watch TV everyday, and with a single ad you can put millions of eyes on your product instantaneously. TV is one of the biggest leisure activities worldwide and the average amount of time a person spends watching TV in America is around five hours per day. In other words, if you want to go where the people are, TV is the place you will find them.
TV helps you focus on your target demographic.
TV is also critical for raising awareness of your brand because TV gives you greater precision when trying to focus on your target audience. It’s a well known fact that with TV, you can show commercials in between segments of a program your target demographic is likely to be watching. Not only that, but viewers are more likely to text a friend about an ad that interested them when they see it on TV then when they see it on a newspaper or the internet.
TV gives you a captive audience.
Ads in between TV programs are more difficult to ignore than ads on the internet. On the internet, ads are usually shown on the sides of websites and don’t interfere with the sites functionality, however, commercials are played in place of the scheduled program, not alongside, making them nearly unavoidable for viewers.
TV builds trust.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, TV ads are more trustworthy than ads on the internet. Studies show that consumer's trust advertisements on TV more than most other mediums, and 60 percent of people who buy products immediately after and ad do so after seeing the product on TV compared to the 40 percent of people who buy products after seeing them on the internet or social media. And trust isn’t something that’s gained easily in branding, making TV an invaluable asset.
Secrets to a High-Performing Ad
Now that we’ve gone over the critical importance of commercials for advertisers, it’s time to look at some key points for making a successful and profit generating ad.
Keep it simple.
A thirty second ad can’t have the same depth as War and Peace, nor should it. Commercials are about getting information from the TV to the viewer as quickly and seamlessly as possible. If, by the time the commercial is over, the viewer still isn’t sure what was being advertised, the commercial did not have the desired effect.
Tell a story.
That being said, a commercial should still have a heavy dose of humanity and relatability. That is why stories in ads are important. For thousands of years, stories have been the prime way of communicating ideas and messages to the public, and with mass media, they have more significance than ever. Fill your ad with real people with problems and desires, and you’re sure to make an impact.
Make it memorable.
With TVs blaring on every nation on earth, there is not a single moment where an ad, somewhere on the planet, is not playing. This means that if you want to get people's attention, you need to make your ad memorable. There’s no single rule for making an eye catching ad, but anything that’s breaks the mold and engages with the audience is advisable. A fun jingle or tagline may help also.
Focus on the first three seconds.
More often than not, people listen in for the first three seconds of an ad, then zone out after they lose interest. Those three seconds are vital. Use them to draw your viewer in with an interesting fact, a unique opening, or an important concept. Try to defy the viewer's expectations, since a dry list of facts do not entice people to pay attention.
Voice overs are everything.
Finally, a good voice over is the difference between a viewer muting the TV and turning up the volume. The voice in a commercial should be gentle but not weak, confident but not pretentious, eloquent but not pompous, and amusing but not silly. Find a speaker who can achieve this balance, and you’ve got yourself an ad.
Getting Your Message to the Public
Last but not least, let’s look at some of the fine points of exposing your brand to the masses. After all, a good ad means nothing if it's not being shown to the right people. Here are some details about the world of TV advertisements and how to go about buying some airtime for your business.
Broadcast stations versus cable channels.
Stations like Fox, NBC and ABC are broadcast station, while Bravo, USA and Discovery are cable channels. Broadcast stations often have a higher viewership, but they may be more expensive. Plus, for broadcast stations you have to go to that stations local representative to buy airtime. As for cable channels, you can buy airtime from the local cable system representative and you can purchase space for the entire market or for individual cable systems.
How airtime is priced.
Rate cards are priced for each 30 seconds of space within a particular program, while rotators are sold as unspecified time slots that will air within a specific length of time in the day. In other words, if you buy a rotator, you are buying a promise that your ad will be shown between, say, 8am and 2pm, instead of buying space in particular space. The cost of commercials is usually priced based on the number of viewers a program has, along with some other factors like inventory. If the amount of space a program has is low, the cost is high, and vice-versa.
Sizing a programs audience.
How many people watch certain shows is determined in a variety of ways. Companies like Neilson, for example, are responsible for gathering much of data on who watches what, and sends that information to cable stations, helping them set prices. They also determine what demographics watch certain programs, giving you a comprehensive look at where to focus your ads to hit your target audience. Remember that it is always better to focus your ads towards specific groups of people than to simply look for the cheapest time slots.
Negotiating with television stations.
Negotiating with TV stations is the same as negotiating for anything else: You want to get the most of something for the lowest amount possible. Since, there are multiple stations you can choose from, the odds of getting a good deal are in your favor. Stations want your business and are competing with others to acquire it, meaning that if airtime for one station is too expensive, you can try to bargain with a different one. Just make sure that the one you choose has programs that appeal to your target demographic.
Hiring an ad agency.
Some companies can navigate the ins and outs of purchasing airtime for televised ads themselves, but many prefer to use the services of an ad agency which is designed to negotiate with cable stations for the best price. Ad agencies get a discount when purchasing from media sources and it usually won't cost you any extra when you pay through an agency. For finding the lowest price, ad agencies are a resource you should seriously consider.
There are a number of myths about TV ads which hold people back from creating commercials and buying time. Ideas like ‘TV ads are only for large, well established companies’, ‘TV ads are too expensive for my business’, and ‘the internet is a much easier way to increase brand visibility’, are both untrue and widely held beliefs amongst business owners. Not only are TV ads still important in marketing, they are one of the most effective ways of making a profit for companies big and small. Not only that, but they’re well within reach no matter what your budget is. With little to lose and an enormous amount to gain, why don’t you try TV ads out and see for yourself why they are definitely worth the investment.
Contact PTPA today to find out how we can help you get your product on TV.