Why TV: Top 5 Reasons Businesses See Success with TV Advertising

John Hollins

John Hollins About The Author

December 23, 2020 at 7:45 AM


Since the first commercial aired in 1941, television has become the top advertising medium in the world. Bulova watches may not have seen this type of marketing channel dominance coming when they invested their $9 for the spot that aired before a baseball game, but today’s savvy marketers wouldn’t dream of launching a far reaching, successful campaign without using the power of television. Even with the increased growth of online usage, traditional TV is still king when it comes to audience reach and effectiveness, making it necessary to use this platform to build awareness around your brand. Statista predicts that it will also continue to be one of the most popular platforms among advertisers, with a projected ad spend of $51.26 billion by 2021.

TV advertising has been and remains one of the best ways to help businesses grow. Knowing more about why TV advertising works can help you design and implement successful campaigns. There are several reasons why businesses continue to succeed with this platform, below are five that we think are crucial to understanding why television is king.

1. TV Reaches a Large Audience

Why TV?Through TV advertising, you have the chance to reach some of the largest audiences out there. Millions of people still tune into the most popular programs, from weekly dramas and reality TV series to highly anticipated annual sporting events. For the 2019-2020 viewing season, there are 120.6 million households with television. There are TV programs for every audience, which gives businesses ample opportunity to connect with them through commercials.

With high-quality TV commercials, businesses can experience success by:

  • Reconnecting with previous customers
  • Introducing their brand to new customers in brand awareness campaigns
  • Increasing sales by encouraging people to buy a product or service
  • Increasing familiarity among audiences with repeat exposure to your brand through ads

2. TV Can Appeal to Viewers' Emotions

TV can use a combination of audio and visual marketing materials to appeal to your audience's emotions. Whether you want to use humor, sincerity, or other emotions to establish a connection, there are many ways to go about it in TV commercials.

For instance, you could produce a commercial that illustrates a particular pain point that your audience experiences through a sympathetic ad featuring an actor representing your customers. You could then show how your company works to improve that customer's life by providing a practical solution, visually showing how the person's life has improved. This ad would empathize with your audience and work to gain their trust.

One Deloitte survey involving 800 consumers found that nearly half would be more likely to recommend a brand or product based on their ability to connect emotionally. Meanwhile, only a small percentage would recommend a company's corporate responsibility principles or values. 

In other words, if you want to attract new customers and keep them loyal to your brand, emotional appeal is the key. TV remains one of the best ways to achieve that connection.

3. TV is Seen as a Trustworthy Medium

When acquiring market share, establishing brand loyalty is key and nothing gets that done better than building trust with consumers.  TV is a fantastic vehicle to do just that as viewers can be far more likely to trust a brand that appears on TV due to federal regulations that require truth in advertising among other things.  Though the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) provides some protection for digital shoppers, the FCC has several regulations in place for TV ads that helps compel honesty when advertising goods and services, providing a metaphorical blanket of assurance. Viewers can feel more confident in the information they are receiving, and safer when making purchases.

In addition to regulations, there is also a direct correlation between the reputation of the channels people watch and the trust they feel for the programming and commercials on those channels. People who regularly tune in to their favorite TV stations and programs likely do so in part because they've come to trust that network. In turn, they're also likely to trust the ads that the network runs, whereas they may be far more skeptical or dismissive of an ad that randomly appears while they're browsing online.

4. TV Has the Ability to Target Your Audience

One of the most common misconceptions about television advertising is that it lacks the ability to target specific audiences like online ad campaigns. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Like digital marketing, you can create highly targeted TV commercials that connect with nearly any audience. Using Nielsen and Scarborough data, you can craft highly effective plans to reach different gender and age groups as well as various behavior related segments (e.g. people who enjoy watching college football). Further, knowing that different viewers are drawn to different types or programs and networks, you can choose specific stations, days, and times to make sure your ads reach the right people at the right time.

With over 120.6 million TV homes in the U.S. as of 2020, you can target nearly any audience out there through TV ads, with the ability to go after specific demographics and other characteristics. Regardless of your audience's age, gender, interests, or other factors, there's no shortage of targeting options to get the most from your ad campaigns.

5. TV Will Capture the Attention of Your Target Consumer

Why TV: Top 5 Reasons Businesses See Success with TV Advertising

Many people watching TV also watch it more actively than passively, which means that people will be more likely to pay attention to your ads when they appear. Compare this to a static image ad that users encounter while scrolling down their social media feed or reading content on a website, which they may not even acknowledge. 

Your commercial may appear when the viewer is engaged in a show before the commercial break, at which point they are likely to see your ad. That ad may appeal to their needs, holding their attention until the end. Suppose your ad repeatedly plays during that same broadcast or in subsequent airings. In that case, viewers are also more likely to recognize your brand and even associate it with their favorite program.

Harness the Power of TV Advertising to Make Your Brand Stand Apart

TV advertising is one of the best ways to attract and connect with your audience. Using TV the right way will help you reach your audience at the right time and use emotional appeal in a way that other channels don't allow. With well-produced and targeted TV commercials, you can get the most from your marketing budget and supplement the rest of your marketing efforts.

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