The Benefits of TV Advertising

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Four men watching television.
Four men watching television. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

While television viewing habits have changed with both the Internet Age and new technologies, such as digital video recorders, TV advertising remains effective as an advertising tool for small and medium-sized businesses, according to a 2013 survey conducted by Edge Research. TV ads continue to reach a broad spectrum of viewers with tremendous sensory appeal.

The Numbers Game

The principal strength of television as an advertising medium is its size, defined not only by the number of households reached, but also by the number of daily viewers. There are indications too that viewership is on the rise, even with Internet-based broadcast media developing. An advantage TV still holds over Web content is that commercials don't require the viewer to click to view. Live viewing doesn't permit fast-forwarding into the future, and viewer exposure may still occur with recorded programming.

Hit The Mark

Another advantage of TV advertising is that ads can aim as generally or as targeted as you require. Network news and hit shows attract wide demographics, so advertising ice cream, for example, would make sense directed at a general audience. A store that carries religious figurines may choose to run ads Sunday mornings during local church service broadcasts. Sales staff for stations will provide detailed information on their viewership to encourage an airtime purchase, saving time and effort spent on independent market research.

Cross the Border

An effective television ad has legs. National campaign catchphrases such as "where's the beef?" and company mascots like the Energizer Bunny cross into popular culture. Many local markets have advertisers known for their over-the-top ads. Popular culture in contemporary society now has a worldwide reach when an ad goes viral on the Internet. The 30-second and one-minute run times of TV ads are ideally suited for YouTube play. While there is no formula assuring viral success, TV ads share well as Internet programming.

The Sensory Experience

Sight and sound combined with smooth interruption-free delivery give TV a one-up on Internet programming, which may be affected by bandwidth and computer processing problems. High-definition screens and home theater audio systems increase the impact of production values, delivering emotionally involving dynamic content. Compared with radio and print advertising, the potential vibrance of a TV commercial involves a viewer, provoking thought and discussion, since watching television is often a group activity.

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