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
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
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.
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.