Television Is A Surprisingly Affordable, Effective Ad Buy

While we continue to see tremendous innovations in digital media, truth be told, we’re also seeing continual ROI from television. We are seeing some brands overlook traditional ad buys, opting for online campaigns exclusively. If this is you, you may be doing a disservice to your marketing efforts.

People still watch TV and read print

Television advertising still accounts for 25% of total media ad spend even here in 2021, when there are tons of other digital advertising options, according to eMarketer. Surprisingly, millennials report placing print ads in high regard, according to a Quad study that found over 50% pay attention to catalogs and magazines.

In a recent article for McKinsey & Company, authors Marco Aukofer, Thomas Bauer, Cody Butt, and Priya Rammohan reaffirmed that television is still a relevant medium. It remains the largest advertising vehicle in the world and is particularly effective at reaching mature audiences.

According to a report in Marketing Charts, people in the 50-64 and 65+ age groups spend five to six hours a day watching television. It’s an audience ripe for the picking, if you provide a products or service that they might utilize. Local business owners should pay special attention to this opportunity, as seniors tend to do more brick-and-mortar shopping, locally, rather than sourcing everything online.



Angela Mertz, the vice president of integrated media at EGC Group, concurs, “Audiences remember the ads they see on TV the most. There is really no match for the credibility and brand building that TV advertising provides to local businesses.”

Booking local TV ads is relatively inexpensive

Serial entrepreneur and founder of BusinessTown Bob Adams suggests that local cable is a solid option for small businesses looking to reach local customers, since costs aren’t as outrageous as those days when TV had little competition for ad dollars. Adams points out that subscribers to local cable stations generally have more disposable income. If you own a business and are considering television, these upscale customers might take an interest in what you have to offer if they see an ad on their local stations.

How to go Hollywood

The authors of the McKinsey & Co. article point out that with the guidance of an agency, businesses will see significant savings and reach higher levels of sophistication in the planning and execution of their television advertising campaigns than those who either go it alone or employ the assistance of a freelancing friend who has an NYU film degree.

3 comments about "Television Is A Surprisingly Affordable, Effective Ad Buy".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 3, 2021 at 2:02 p.m.

    True, Nicole, but please remember that the overall ad spend stats mash together all  sorts of promotional aactivities on a national and local basis---in short, they are not telling you what the typical ad spend media mix is for national branding campaigns of the kind usually seen on TV,  magazines and radio. Branding advertisers with any reasonabe sized business---hence  medium to large sized ad budgets---who ignore TV as well as other traditional media and go all-in on digital are in desperate need of professional media planning advice. Digital offers many benefits but it's not where all of the eyeballs are nor is it as ad-friendly as it should be and its very expensive---like 10-15 times more costly---to buy. If I were a branding advertiser with a $5-10 million ad budget I would certainly investigate ways that digital video could pinpoint certain hard-to-reach groups as well as the types of response indications it offers---but my basic platform would be a traditional media mix.

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, August 4, 2021 at 3:31 p.m.

    I had assumed upscale customers were often older and thus less likely to switch brands or embrace new ideas. I am always entertained by the not-dead-yet ethos, even at my age.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 5, 2021 at 8:21 a.m.

    Douglas, when you tally the audience surveys by age and then break the various age groups down by income or education---or both together----what you see is a very pronounced pattern where at every stage of life, the low brows far out view those with the highest incomes and/or the best educations. This is primarily a function of the fact that low brows are much more tolerant of sub par content---which TV abounds in---and less inclined to use alternate sources of entertainment or informational media. So even though "oldsters" watch much more TV than young adults, those aged 65+ with higher educations who live in affluent homes---hence  are great marketing prospects for many advertisers----can, indeed,  be reached by TV but not as easily as their less desirable, downscale, counterparts.

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