The Advantages of TV Advertising

TV Advertising has two core benefits. Brand awareness and response. You can reach new customers and increase your brand loyalty with existing customers. And, it drives sales or responses. But you could argue that most advertising has at least one of these core benefits.

What Makes TV Advertising Different?

So why’s TV different? I’d say it’s down to the power of the message, its well proven that video, a combination of vision and sound creates the best advertising messages. And then impact! A single TV advert can reach millions of people within that 30” time frame. I don’t even think Google or Facebook could deliver 8 million views in the UK in 30 seconds.

Now you may think, yeah but isn’t it really expensive? Well you’d be wrong! Yes, you can spend millions on TV advertising but you can spend far smaller amounts of money. Just read our post on TV advertising costs.

What is TV Advertising’s Biggest Benefit?

I’d say it’s biggest benefit is its low cost. The avg cost per view of a TV advert is less than half a penny, 0.5p! To put that into context, most digital video starts at around 2p per view, 4x as much!

Because TV has such a huge daily, weekly, monthly audience it makes it more affordable. TV advertising costs are based on supply (your total number of viewers watching TV on a channel or region by the audience) vs demand (the total budgets of advertisers wanting to advertise on that channel or region and audience).

Supply vs Demand

For example, 600 million viewers/ 30 million ad spend = £10 CPT or cost per thousand viewers.

Supply vs demand = cost

The more people watching TV the cheaper it is to advertise, although if viewing drops that increase’s the cost.

If demand is high, such as around the lead up to Christmas, this increases the cost. But if demand is low, such as in the summer months or due to external factors such as COVID the price drops.

TV Advertising Gives You Lots of Choice!

Another big advantage is choice! Channel choice to advertise around. SKY Media represents over 150 different channels, ITV1 Has various regional options as well as its own digital channels, Channel 4 has a mix of digital channels and some macro targeting options.

With Sky having so many different channels there are a lot that have quite small viewing figures, this means the entry level cost per advert can be as low as £3 per 30 second advert. At the same time you can buy a national advert in Coronation St on ITV and reach close to 8 million viewers, costing thousands of pounds for just one advert.

With ITV1 you have geo-targeting options, where you can advertise in the northeast of England only or in London only or a mix of regions, reflecting your store locations.

TV Advertising is Trackable!

TV responses can be tracked, it’s probably the best offline medium for response tracking, and that’s due to the impact of the ads and size of audience you can reach. If you have an advert in a big peak spot in the daytime, then you’ll see a response to your website or phone number within a few minutes. If you know the cost of that advert and then how many responses you received it’s easy enough to work out your cost per response.

TV Advertising Delivers Fame & Trust

We all know when we see an ad on TV that it must be true, you can’t make claims that aren’t. So when we see an offer or a saving we know it’s genuine. Being seen on TV also gives that impression that your business is doing well as it’s perceived as being expensive. This can really help advertisers and is one of the reasons why you should advertise even in a downturn. Viewers will have more trust that your business is in a good position even when the economy isn’t.

What are the Disadvantages of TV Advertising?

One of the main disadvantages of TV advertising is, I think production time of a TV advert can be slow. For most first time advertisers the legal clearance process can be off-putting, especially if your production company doesn’t have a lot of experience of clearing a TV commercial.

It can be confusing, there are a lot of technical terms that an advertiser may not have heard before. We trade in TVR’s or television ratings. It’s an industry standard and its simple enough to explain but again it can feel too technical for some.

Costs can soon increase massively. Yes you can buy ads for as low as £3 but you can also spend 50k on a single advert. So how do you know you’re getting a good deal or paying the right price? Are you spending too much or not enough? Really it’s an agencies job to manage this for you.

What Most TV Advertisers Don’t Realise!

What you spend is not necessarily what you get. TV broadcasters don’t know how many people will see your advert tonight until after its gone out, so they work to an estimate and as a result, they can overestimate or underestimate your delivery.

You won’t know until after the campaign has finished. If I spent 20k on a TV campaign I may get 22k of value or I might only get 18k. The value isn’t actually gained or lost, it becomes a trade credit or debt. If it comes in short I can request more value on a future campaign. If it comes in over I may have to under deliver on a future campaign.

The Job of a Good Agency

Is to try and always keep it so value is as even as possible. Some agencies will purposely try to over deliver so that they can audit against higher discounts than what they buy at, and so this can become a very grey area. Are you really getting the discount you were promised?

Is TV Advertising for Everyone?

It depends. I often ask are you ready to advertise on TV? Does your website convert really efficiently? Have you got a strong digital presence and campaigns? A retargeting campaign combined with TV or PPC campaigns can deliver brilliant results, often halving the cost of your PPC.

Are you targeting B2B rather than B2C? Believe it or not but there are TV options even for B2B but B2C business will often see the most benefit.

Does your brand need a refresh? Maybe this could be tied in with new TV creative and messages?

Cost is obviously important but as I’ve shown previously there are very cheap options for TV but if you want to advertise across several ITV1 regions to promote different retail locations then it can very quickly go up into six figures.

So for us, it’s more of a checklist, are you in the right position to do TV to get the best benefits from it.

Why Do Some People Write Off TV Advertising?

TV advertising is often written off as being too expensive without thought and this is probably my biggest pet hate. Most advertisers I speak to when we discuss how affordable TV advertising can be realise it very much should be a consideration in their marketing plan.

What Sort of Return or ROI Will I Get From TV advertising?

Probably the number one question that most new advertisers want to know is this one. There are quite a few case studies on the Thinkbox website but it culminates in showing TV advertising as the highest performing offline marketing channel at an ROI of around £1.75. But I don’t think this is really what advertisers are looking for.

What I say to advertisers is to work it out backwards, based on your planned spend, what would you need in terms of response/ sales to hit your target? And then look at how realistic that is, for example if you’re spending 50k, and getting 40 million views, and you need 4,000 in sales, then you need to convert 0.01% of viewers, which doesn’t sound too difficult to achieve. You can even go on to say if you have a conversion rate of 0.02 then you’ve doubled your target.

Find out how The TV Agency can help you maximise your ROI here.

What Does Success Look Like?

By having a minimum target for conversions needed, you can identify what success looks like and what it doesn’t and if it looks achievable. But bear in mind there are lots of other factors to take into consideration. Your creative, does it have a strong call to action or offer? The channel choice, the time of day you advertise, the length of your advert, to name just a few.

Who Does TV Advertising Benefit the Most?

Across the thousands of TV campaigns I’ve worked on I don’t think there is one type or category of advertiser that gets the most benefit. I’ve worked across Motor, Retail, home Improvement, Entertainment, gambling, Financial services, travel to name a few and they’ve all done exceptionally well out of TV.

What Success Looks Like to Us!

For me, I tend to be response/ sales driven. Because ultimately this is how most advertisers measure success. And as an agency I like to be able to show data, we did X, it generated Y. This doesn’t show the whole effect of TV advertising but it does give you a measure of how you’re performing.

I often say to clients that the best approach is to take an overview, realistically all your marketing should be working together in tangent and complimenting each other so that you can see what business has been generated vs your marketing spend, and this gives you a very top view of your performance.

Which is important because with something like TV advertising, not everyone will respond to your ads within a set time frame. At least half will respond when it’s convenient to them and when they feel they need your service or product and part of that process is them being exposed to your advert several times.

Yes, with TV, you can see instant responses but that is only part of the picture.

The TV Agency

And so this is where we come in, as an agency, to help you navigate the minefield which is TV advertising. We’ll take all of the above into consideration and tonne more to help our clients get the best results from TV advertising as well as an open and honest relationship to build trust. Ultimately, although it sounds like a cliche, our success is based on our clients success.

We want to work with clients that we have chemistry with and have an amazing business proposition, if that’s you, get in touch!

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  • TV Advertising