Think back to all the advertisements you saw yesterday. Chances are, at least half of them were television advertisements, or "commercials." Television advertising gives marketers the ability to reach their target markets in large numbers. Costs of television advertising is dependent upon duration, time and channel popularity. There are many genres of television advertising, but some are more widely used than others.
Direct Response Television Advertising
Direct response TV advertisements are used to get people to respond immediately to the ad. For example, you might see a commercial on television excitedly telling you to "Call now!" for a special, one-time offer. It might also explain that you only have 15 minutes to call before time runs out. Direct response TV ads are created in an effort to generate interest and demand in a company's product or service. The idea is to transform the interest and demand into a quick sale. Depending on length, direct response TV ads are generally priced anywhere between $40,000 and $50,000. They come in the form of infomercials, live shopping experiences (HSN, QVC) and also short-form advertisements.
Public Service Announcement
Public service announcements (PSAs), also referred to as public service ads, are another common type of TV advertising. According to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), a public service announcement is "any announcement (including network) for which no charge is made and which promotes programs, activities, or services of federal, state, or local governments (e.g., recruiting, sale of bonds, etc.) or the programs, activities or services of nonprofit organizations (e.g., United Way, Red Cross blood donations, etc.) and other announcements regarded as serving community interests, excluding time signals, routine weather announcements and promotional announcements." An example of a PSA could be the "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk" campaign promoted by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Although PSAs do not increase sales of products or services, they increase awareness and public responsibility.
Testimonial ads are seen on television all the time. Think about how many times you have seen the infamous Jared endorsing the Subway diet as a method of weight loss. Consider singer/songwriter Jessica Simpson promoting the acne medication called ProActiv. These are testimonial ads. They take satisfied consumers of products and services and turn them into spokespeople. Word of mouth advertising has always been the easiest and most effective method of advertising, and testimonial ads capitalize on it. Consumers are largely influenced by what others consider to be a good product or service. It's an opportunity for them to relate to others and enhance their image by purchasing products and services that are most popular.