Hey Marketers, TV Commercials are More Practical Than Ever

Looking for an advertising advantage? Consider making a TV commercial.

For the better part of a century there were two main kinds of advertising: print and broadcast. Print advertising was mostly in magazines and newspapers, and broadcast advertising meant radio and TV. But then the internet happened and the advertising world got turned on its head. Suddenly, vague methods of accounting for viewership were replaced by the very detailed data offered by web advertising, and the affordability and ubiquity of social media, content marketing and even paid search marketing suddenly meant that newspapers, magazines and broadcasting companies were seeing their advertising revenues plummet while almost anybody with a pulse and a web page could generate the clicks that translated into eyeballs that brought in their own advertising dollars—even if it was just a tenth of a penny at a time.

For many companies looking to stand out in the crowd, this seismic shift has meant a comparable shift in marketing budgets—not just in terms of how much is being spent but how it’s being allocated. And so most corporate marketing departments and advertising agencies are today spending vastly more time thinking about making the most of online resources. Many of them, in fact, have forgotten all about newspapers, magazines, radio and television.
It turns out that people still read. They still listen to the radio in the car, and they definitely still crowd around the television by the millions every night. Sure, NBC does fine selling ads against Tonight Show clips that drive viewers to its web site, but without the late night broadcast it would be just another web video. And television, more than ever, has cache.

There are some areas, in fact, where television totally and completely dominates the discussion. One of the most obvious, of course, is sports. Football, baseball, basketball and hockey viewers are counted in the tens of millions, and the vast majority of them are watching live TV, they’re not skipping commercials, and they’re a highly segmented, totally trackable viewing audience. That’s the kind of thing marketers dream about, and it still exists in TV land.

According to a recent article in Ad Age, technological advances in the way viewer engagement can be tracked are destined to drive down the cost of commercial airtime and present even more opportunities for creative advertisers to gain traction by airing the same commercials on television and online. What better place to view a viral video than during the TV show you watch religiously week after week?

With the increasing over saturation of visual imagery, television has never been more able to cut through the noise. As broadcast control becomes ever more democratized, the “old media” gatekeepers who remain become even more important. Together, all of this adds up to a perfect storm that makes great visual content, deployed where people will really pay attention, more relevant than ever.

So if you’re looking to make the most of every marketing dollar at your disposal, consider producing a television commercial that can do triple duty—targeting a specific audience on television, connecting to the message on the company web site, and reaching out to solidify new connections via social media. Couple that with the lower production costs and shrinking advertising rates that define the current climate, and the same marketing dollar goes three times as far.

Yes, we produce television commercials. In fact, it’s something we’ve been doing a lot more in recent years as marketers determine that quality TV production is more easily attainable than perhaps they’d thought, and that their TV commercials are more useful than ever.