Television is often called "king" of the advertising media,

since a majority of people spend 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 homesand 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 chargemore 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 for one 30-second TV

spot costing from $600 to $1,200, 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 (today costs
range from $2,500 to $20,000 and above).

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.



Buying Television Advertising Time

There are many things to know and consider before buying a TV

programming schedule. That's why, in most cases, using an

advertising agency or a media buying service is recommended when

advertising on TV. If these services are unavailable, find a TV

representative that you can trust. Your agency or representative

can help you select the programs you should advertise on in order

to reach your market. Also, ask about "fringe" time, adjacencies

and package plans.


When you are engineering your schedule, remember that

repetition (or frequency) is a very important ingredient to use.

Make sure your audience sees your commercial with the context of

the programs you're buying. Ask for a commercial affidavit.

Normally, it doesn't cost any more and the station will provide you

with a list of the exact times your commercial was run.


Other Considerations

For an effective and inexpensive way to get your message on

the TV screen, consider using pre-prepared TV commercials that may

be available to you through a manufacture or distributor you deal

with. You can add your name and logo to the end of the commercial

for little or no cost. Look at cooperative advertising, too. Many

companies offer prepared advertising materials you can use and at

the same time may pay for a portion of the advertising schedule.

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