Creating a television commercial is hugely expensive, but advertisers often prefer to spend that money rather than have six ads in other media. Virginia Hollis explains why.
TV has been the ‘darling’ medium for as long as I can remember and in my opinion that is not going to change in the foreseeable future. But why is this the case? Why are there so many ads on TV when it costs so darn much?
As a consumer of TV, this proliferation of ‘spots’ drives me mad. I just want to move on to the next scene in the programme. But we forget that we are not normal consumers. We know why companies advertise, so our tolerance levels are low. But is this true of normal consumers? I don’t think so. I don’t think that they are irritated by the fact that there are so many ads on TV. I believe that they have become tolerant and have come to accept that commercials are part of their viewing experience.
So why are clients happy to be one of many on the box? Every client will have a different reason, but I believe that TV offers eight key attributes that put it at the top of clients’, creatives’ and media’s consideration lists.
No other medium can reach 25% of the TV viewing public in one hit. ‘Generations’ can, and has done for many years. Yes, it is expensive but all you need is one spot in a campaign to boost your ratings exponentially.
We watch a lot of TV
South Africans with a DStv decoder spend an average of three hours per day during the week watching TV, and four hours per day on weekends. This equates to about 25 hours per week. If you consider how many hours the average person is awake per day, TV viewing takes up about 20% of the day.
Water cooler gossip
This might sound terribly old fashioned, but it is still alive and well and, in fact, probably even more so than in the past. When something happens on TV and especially when it is one of those “you won’t believe this” moments, tweets are instantaneous! Let the ref do something wrong when the Bokke are playing and count the number of tweets (if you can). Media, like Twitter, have in some ways made TV even more powerful.
Any brand advertiser will tell you that when they are on TV they see a positive reaction from consumers. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be spending an outrageous amount of money to advertise in programmes like ‘7de Laan’ and ‘Carte Blanche’, plus numerous other programmes in prime time.
TV has the ability to create deep, long-held emotional brand associations and this is an almost unique quality. But this only happens if you have great creative, and if you have both, this combination will lead to a more effective and compelling campaign. I do believe that creative that is memorable stays with a viewer for a long time.
TV can be (and often is) a catalyst for other media
TV advertising has a ‘halo effect’ across other products in a brand’s portfolio. If you advertise a savings account for a bank then there will be a beneficial effect for other products like home loans and investments. Another example would be advertising a beauty brand like a Revlon fragrance, and noticing a ripple effect for other products in this product portfolio. This is quite logical and often forgotten. TV can be another medium’s performance enhancer (steroid).
Everyone wants to be famous, as does every brand, and TV is the best medium for making and keeping brands famous! An example would be (and I’m sure that most readers are too young to remember this example) the old Cremora ad: “It’s not inside, it’s on top”. It’s the buzz, the talkability. Brands can buy awareness, but you can’t buy fame, and again this comes down to great memorable creative.
This is the most important aspect to marketers. They want to know that if they invest in a TV campaign, they are going to get results. There have been a number of studies conducted in the UK with regard to return on investment to prove that advertising on TV works. And it does: ask any direct response advertiser.
Ask any marketer why they don’t reduce their TV ad spend and they will tell you they can’t because they know that there will be repercussions. TV sells, whether it is measurable at the cash register or an increase in brand value/love.
Who’s to say that new technology is not making TV more efficient? TV will continue to be the darling medium, pulling plenty of ads and ad spend.
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