What are the advantages of TV advertising?

Updated January 2019

TV advertising is effective because research shows it reaches viewers when they’re at their most attentive. One of the main advantages of TV advertising is having one brand message at a time unlike the blizzard of banners, ads, pre-rolls, and click-bait articles that clamour for your attention online.

The TV advertising medium places full-screen adverts in an advert break between quality programming. Advertising on television is a great way to place your brand near blockbuster dramas like ITV’s Vanity Fair and Strangers featuring John Simm. Or if you’re looking for a younger audience shows like Love Island provide compelling viewing every day for weeks. The advantage of placing your brand alongside the polished specimens on Love Island is obvious.

The growing number of terrestrial, cable and satellite channels have made TV advertising much more affordable for brands. Crucially this proliferation of channels means you are able to promote your offer to ever more relevant audiences.

The second screen Advantage

Another advantage of TV advertising is how people watch TV. Often viewers will watch TV with a mobile device nearby. This means any call to action from an advert can be instantly acted upon by the viewer. Before the second screen phenomena viewers would need to retain a brand or call to action message and act upon in later. The second screen has become a massive advantage of TV advertising.

advantages of TV advertising

But is TV advertising as effective as Online?

We live in an online age. You might think advertising on TV is old fashioned. You’d be wrong. TV’s unrivalled ability to increase profit, sales, trust and recall outperforms online advertising every time. Even online brands are waking up to the fact that TV is still crucial to their marketing spend and the only trusted way to grow their market share. Businesses – including brands such as Amazon, Trivago, Google & Purple Bricks – invested a total of £682 million in TV advertising in 2017. Source – Thinkbox.


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How do I start advertising on TV?

There are basically two types of advertising: branding (an attempt to influence what people feel about your company) and selling (trying to get people to buy a product). A good TV advert that is well-designed, engaging, and shown on the right channels to the right people, at the right times, will do wonders for your bottom line.

The best piece of advice is to choose an agency that specialises in creating and placing TV ads. They will not only help you create a great advert from your brief, and even help you write that brief, but they will also ensure your ad gets seen by the right audience, based on customer profiling and viewing behaviours.

A good way of getting the benefits of TV advertising without the large outlay of funds needed to buy TV media for a national campaign is to buy regional advertising. Another option is to use SKY’s Adsmart platform. Adsmart allows advertisers to buy advert slots in specific postcode areas.

But isn’t cost one of the limitations of television advertising?

Costs for making a TV advert can vary dramatically depending on the sophistication of the advert, positioning and the campaign length — but surprisingly you can get on TV with a great advert and see great ROI for much less money than you’d imagine. And the best agencies will drive the best deals with the broadcasters.

How can business owners prepare?

A TV advertising campaign often hits like a wave, a business needs to be prepared for one of the main advantages of TV advertising – reach. Once your first advert runs you’ll need to have your call centres or website e-commerce platforms ready. The surge of interest from a TV advert can overwhelm a creaky website wasting precious spend.

Social Buzz

Another thing to pay attention to is social media, the word soon spreads about a new advert and people will start hunting down the advert online. You need to have the advert running on your site to capture viewers who’ve heard about your TV commercial but haven’t seen it yet. Getting free site visits from a social buzz is one of the bonus advantages of TV advertising.

How does a TV ad improve sales?

Now is a fantastic time to make get the most from advantages of tv advertising. As we watch content across all our screens the lines between TV and online advertising are converging. The truth is that TV is still the king when it comes to awareness, brand recall and ROI.

“TV has the highest efficiency at achieving key performance indicators, or KPIs, like sales and new accounts. When comparing performance at similar spending levels, TV adverts still averages four times the sales lift of digital.” – Marketshare Research.

When planning your TV ad there are lots of choices to be made. Regional or national? A concentrated burst or less-but-longer? Humour or seriousness? How much to spend? How best to use the Ad across your social feeds and on your website?

“A recent report found that brands with a TV ad running saw a 22% increase in unique visits to their website.” VAB Research.


How do I gain the advantage TV advertising creates?

It’s wise to choose an agency experienced in getting new brands on TV who will hand-hold you from start to finish. They will see you get the best value for money whilst not compromising your target audience. They will drive value by optimising your Ads seasonality, regionality, times of day, and optimum channel selection.

Specialist TV ad agencies like Toast will create you the right TV ad and get it seen by the right people. They will give you the competitive edge, drive sales, and supply the data on effectiveness.

One thing is for sure TV is still the best place for your brand to make its mark. And if it’s backed up by your online marketing it can make a huge difference to your bottom line.