Television is often called “king” of the advertising media, since a majority of people spends more hours watching TV per day than any other medium. It combines the use of sight, color, sound and motion…and it works. TV has proven its persuasive power in influencing human behavior time and time again. But it’s also the “king” of advertising costs.
Advantages in Television Advertising
Television reaches very large audiences-audiences that are usually larger than the audience your city’s newspaper reaches. The area that a television station’s broadcast signal covers is called A.D.I., which stands for “Area of Dominant Influence.”
Some advantages of television advertising include the following:
1. Advertising on television can give a product or service instant validity and prominence.
2. You can easily reach the audiences you have targeted by advertising on TV. Children can be reached during cartoon programming, farmers during the morning agricultural reports and housewives during the afternoon soap operas. A special documentary on energy sources for heating homes and business will also attract viewers interested in heating alternatives.
3. TV offers the greatest possibility for creative advertising. With a camera, you can take your audience anywhere and show them almost anything.
4. Since there are fewer television stations than radio stations in a given area, each TV audience is divided into much larger segments, which enables you to reach a larger, yet, more diverse audience.
Disadvantages in Television Advertising
Because TV has such a larger A.D.I., the stations can charge more for commercials based on the larger number of viewers reached.
The cost of television commercial time is based on two variables:
1. The number of viewers who watch the program.
2. The time during the day the program airs.
One 30 second television commercial during prime time viewing (8 p.m. to 11 p.m.) can cost 10 to 30 times more than one radio spot during drive time (which is considered prime listening time).
While the newspaper may cover the city’s general metropolitan area, TV may cover a good portion of the state where you live. If such a coverage blankets most of your sales territory, TV advertising may be the best advertising alternative for your business.
Producing a commercial is also an important variable to consider. On the whole, television audiences have become more sophisticated and have come to expect quality commercials. A poorly produced commercial could severely limit the effectiveness of your message, and may even create a bad image in your customer’s mind.
Advertising agencies or TV commercial production facilities are the best organizations for creating a commercial that will be effective for the goods or service you are offering. But the cost of a well-produced commercial is often more expensive than people think. Some TV stations will claim they can put together commercials for “almost nothing.” Before agreeing to this, find out what “almost nothing” means. Then, determine if the commercial quality and content they are proposing will represent your firm’s image.
Many companies use the station’s commercial production facilities for creating “tag lines” on pre-produced commercials. Often, the station will help you personalize the spot for little or no cost…if you advertise with them. Remember, more than anything else, when it comes to making a TV commercial, you get what you pay for. And when you’re buying commercial time, it makes sense to have the best sales presentation possible.
Remember, like radio, the message comes and goes…and that’s it. The viewer doesn’t see your commercial again unless you buy more placements.
Creativity: A Vital Element
When you advertise on TV, your commercial is not only competing with other commercials, it’s also competing with the other elements in the viewer’s environment as well.
The viewer may choose to get a snack during the commercial break, go to the bathroom or have a conversation about what they just saw on the show they were viewing. Even if your commercial is being aired, viewers may never see it unless it is creative enough to capture their attention. That’s why it’s so important to consider the kind of commercial you are going to create…and how you want your audience to be affected. Spending money on a good commercial in the beginning will pay dividends in the end.
Don’t Use TV Unless Your Budget Allows
Attempting to use TV advertising by using a poorly-produced commercial; buying inexpensive late night commercial time that few people watch; or just placing your commercial a couple times on the air will guarantee disappointing results. To obtain positive results from TV advertising you must have enough money in your budget to:
1. Pay for the cost of producing a good TV commercial.
2. Pay for effective commercial time that will reach your viewer at least 5-7 times.
Properly done, television advertising is the most effective medium there is. But it is big league advertising…and you shouldn’t attempt it unless you have enough money in your budget to do it right.
If you’re still attracted to TV, it’s a good idea to call in an advertising agency for production and media buying estimates. Then, figure out what sales results you can expect. With such data, you should be able to reach a logical advertising decision.