No doubt you’ve heard about the demise of the TV commercial? Since the invention of the Internet and the growth of social media and alternate media channels – not to mention DVRs and the ability to skip ads – analysts, advertisers, consumers and just about every other self-anointed pundit and expert predicted the death of TV advertising. While some of the predictions have come true, and the industry has certainly seen a lot of change in the last 20 years, the staple :30 or :60 TV spot is still alive and kicking. Granted, TV ads may not be as efficient as they once were, but for the right brands, right products and the right customer targets they still represent an important aspect of a robust and integrated marketing program. And, today’s TV ads have an advantage not available 20+ years ago, they can be used in other media placements online, extending the ad’s lifespan and increasing the overall reach and potential return.
True today as it was in the past, TV commercials (or pre-rolls in front of your favorite YouTube or Internet video) are typically the first thing many people remember when they think about advertising. Commercials have the potential to break through the clutter and have a longer lasting effect than other marketing tactics. Other than a website, a :30 or :60 ad provides a unique opportunity to establish valuable brand and product perceptions such as visual identity, tone, personality and product attributes. For generating large-scale, mass-market awareness, it is still one of the best available tactics.
While there are many potential benefits associated with TV commercials, there are a few steps to take, and evaluations to conduct, to ensure a TV spot is a necessary component of your brand’s overall marketing program.
What is a commercial going to do for your brand? Above all else TV ads are best for generating awareness for your brand and products. Not just awareness, but qualified awareness about the key brand and product attributes you carefully mold and construct for the viewing public to digest. A TV spot can quickly reach tens of thousands to millions of viewers based on the media budget. TV ads can run the gamut from overall branding and product awareness to specific service capabilities and direct sales. Demonstrating the brand or product in action gives the audience a better understanding of your capabilities and creates a longer lasting impression.
Is a commercial right for your brand? Assessing whether a TV commercial fits your brand and business goals and aligns with your target audience is an important first step. Ask relevant business and marketing questions such as:
a) Would greater brand and product awareness drive additional sales or retention?
b) Would current marketing campaigns or product offers benefit from television coverage and promotion?
c) Is the target audience likely to be TV watchers?
d) Is there adequate budget to produce and run a TV ad in addition to other programs and tactics?
e) Could the brand benefit from having a more defined voice and personality best communicated via a TV ad?
TV advertising is not right for every brand, but through careful thought and analysis, you can determine if it’s right for your business.
How do you target an audience with commercials? Along the continuum of targeting capability for marketing tactics, TV advertising is about in the middle. TV ads have greater targeting capability than other awareness tactics such as outdoor, radio and newspaper; but much less than direct, database driven tactics such as direct mail, and many digital platforms. Media companies have robust viewership data on the various channels and shows they offer, and the media buy can be tailored to focus on the key demographics of your target. From females 35-50 with kids to males 30-55 interested in sports and outdoors, there are many demographic targets available. Key takeaway: know who you want to target and why, and ensure you understand the capabilities and limitations of TV targeting.
What’s the first step in making an impactful commercial? So you decided that a TV commercial is right for your brand, and you are ready to move forward, now what? The first and most important step is to find an agency partner who will listen to your needs, commit to understanding your brand and work with you to develop a campaign that not only addresses your immediate marketing need but also reinforces and builds your brand for long-term growth and retention. The right agency partner will take the brand insight and client input to create a commercial incorporating three guiding principles:
• Key brand attributes and characteristics that must be communicated,
• Specific target and objectives for this execution, and
• Guiding principals for how the ad should be developed.
A lot of agencies or individuals can “make” a TV commercial, but few can create an impactful, brand-enhancing piece of film magic. Committing financial resources to a TV commercial is an important step to develop a robust and integrated marketing program; ensure your investment is working as hard as it can be.
If you are ready to create the next memorable TV ad or even if you are not sure a TV spot is right for your brand, Glint can help you identify and create the right marketing approach to maximize the value of your brand. By understanding your brand and target audience, we will help you develop strategies and tactics to optimize your marketing program and enhance the return on your marketing investment.