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Is TV Commercial Production Still Valuable?

As TV commercial production has taken a bit of a secondary role in most marketing strategies over the last couple of years, digital video marketing has gained a lot of ground. So, what is the status of TV commercial production today? Is it still an essential tool in the video marketing toolbox, or is it becoming a thing of the past?

In 2020, 84% of marketers agreed that it’s becoming harder to grab viewers’ attention with television advertising alone. Most of the marketers surveyed by AWS said they no longer plan their TV commercials before their digital advertising. That can be seen as an indicator that TV commercials are no longer the advertising powerhouse they used to be. It’s become necessary for marketers to supplement their TV advertising efforts with digital advertising channels. But does that mean it’s time to ditch TV commercials altogether? 

In this article, we’ll have a closer look at some of the pros and cons of TV commercial production and try to answer the question of whether TV commercials still add value to marketing or not. 

Related reading: Marketing Video Production – Trends and Strategies for 2022


Limitations of TV Commercials

Most of the cons of TV commercials are related to the simple fact that TV is not digital. Digital marketing is cost-efficient and agile, and it’s easy to track and measure the results. These things are less valid for TV commercials.  


TV commercials can be expensive to produce and air

Producing a TV commercial is often quite expensive. TV commercials often require high-quality material and big production. And not only will you need to pay for the show, but you must also pay for the air time.


It’s difficult to make changes in your TV commercial

Compared to some other formats, TV commercials are less flexible and agile. To change or update parts of the advert, you may need to re-shoot the entire commercial. You will not be able to iterate during the campaign, and you’ll be restricted by the airtime available. 


It’s challenging to track and analyze the results  

If you compare it to digital video marketing, it’s more difficult to measure the results of TV commercials. Tracking the impact of television requires third-party data analytics companies, which still do not provide the detailed performance metrics of online media.


It can be challenging to target the right audience

TV advertising does not offer as many targeting options as digital advertising. With TV adverts, you can choose channel, show, and airtime, while digital advertising allows you to target your audience on a much more granular level based on things like interests, location, or age. 


10 Reasons TV Commercial Production Is Still Relevant


TV Commercials can reach large audiences 

If you compare TV to other traditional media outlets like radio or newspapers, TV reaches a much larger audience. Also, compared to those formats, video is a much more powerful media than text or audio. Opting for TV over radio, newspapers, or magazines will make your marketing more impactful.

Related reading: TV Commercial Production – Trends and Tactics in 2022


Some demographics haven’t fully adopted digital media 

Not everyone in the older generations has gone all-in on digital, and for those audiences, television remains the most powerful vehicle for conveying your marketing messages. If your audience is sixty years or older, investing in TV advertising to reach them definitely makes sense. In a Statista survey from 2019, 94 percent of adults aged 65 or above watched TV at least once a week. The corresponding percentage for Millenials was only 81%, which clearly shows the difference in behavior depending on age group. 


TV commercials can help you build trust in your brand  

There’s a special magic to “being on TV” that remains intact, even in this digital day and age. If your brand appears on TV, people tend to assume your business is doing well and has reached a certain size, as TV commercials are generally perceived to be an expensive marketing channel. “Blowfish branding” is a strategy where you aim to make your business appear bigger than it is, and TV commercials can be an excellent tool for achieving that. 


TV commercials are great for building brand affinity

We tend to remember TV adverts more than the short advertisements we see on social media and online. The screen is bigger, giving you a larger canvas for your creativity. Use this right, and you have a unique opportunity to convey your brand’s personality. When seated in front of the TV, people are already in the mindset to consume stories, and they’re often less impatient than when scrolling online. Smart brands take advantage of this and use TV commercials to build out their brand narrative.

Related reading: 5 Reasons to Invest In Brand Video Production


TV commercials provide you with a captive audience

Sure, some people will always use the commercial breaks to get more snacks or visit the bathroom. But most stay put, as they want to keep watching their show after the break. And while more and more people install software to block advertisements online, this is not the case on TV. On the contrary, many people enjoy commercial breaks. Instead of impatiently waiting for the button that allows you to “skip the ad”, as people tend to do online, the TV audience is comfortably seated in their sofas. Many will enjoy your commercial in a good mood, munching away on popcorn instead of with their finger ready to start scrolling. 


Dynamic TV commercial production allows you to repurpose the content

TV commercial production is an investment, and you want to maximize your ROI. The best way to do that in video marketing is always to apply a 10X mindset. This means you should always ask yourself how you can get ten times more from any piece of video content you produce. In our fast-moving world, things age and become obsolete quickly. 

This series of TV commercials that we did for Dollar bank is a great example of how a themed series has more impact than one single video. 

So don’t just produce a TV commercial; 10x it while you’re at it and create a content series. Shoot a multi-purpose campaign, make sure to capture behind-the-scenes material for your Instagram pages, create shorter videos to turn into social media ads, and b-roll so you can stay agile and creative in the post-production process. This mindset will maximize your ROI and get as much marketing as possible out of every shoot. 

Related reading: Dynamic Video Production – How to Make the Most Out Of Your Video Shoot


Television is not just cable anymore

The world of televisions has changed significantly over the past decade. Connected TV (CTV) has increasingly taken over and now dominates how we consume television. Platforms like Youtube, Netflix, and set-top boxes are all examples of how the television landscape is evolving. 

This has also gradually transformed the video marketing industry and introduced new ways to consume video commercials. 

There are more than 200 million CTV viewers in the US today, which makes CTV more than comparable to traditional television, which is slowly but surely losing subscribers. As a result, many advertisers view CTV platforms as the most crucial channel for displaying their TV commercials today. 

The free choice of service provider is part of the CTV concept and opens up vast opportunities for the personalization of TV commercials. With custom applications and personalized content, based on things like location or preferences, advertisers are able to target their audiences better. 


Personalized TV commercial production is on the rise

TV providers want to stay competitive with their online counterparts, and some of the trends in TV are starting to blur the lines between TV commercials and digital ads. Multiscreen campaigns and programmatic TV are examples of strategies that marketers should watch that may impact your offline media optimization strategies moving forward.

Related reading: Marketing Video Production Trends and Strategies for 2022 


TV complements mobile and multiscreen environments 

While many marketers think of mobile and desktop as alternatives to TV, it may be time to challenge this notion. And despite mobile’s continuous growth, marketers should perhaps not consider offline media like TV a thing of the past. Here’s an interesting fact that may change your perception of the mobile vs. TV rivalry: 94 % of people who watch television in the US do so with their phone in hand.

So yes, this could mean that TV and mobile should perhaps not be viewed as opposite media but rather as complementary channels. And that combining the two in creative ways may be one of those cases where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Research shows a so-called “halo effect” often occurs when consumers engage with content across multiple devices. This refers to a specific type of consumer bias, where positive experiences from a brand’s marketing are expanded into another channel, amplifying the total effect. Customers also seem more receptive to mobile ads while relaxed in front of the telly. While watching TV, as many as 59 % of viewers claim to pay additional attention to the mobile ads on their phones. 

Related reading: How To Leverage Live Video Production In Your Marketing 


Omni-channel is stronger if it includes TV commercial production

An omnichannel approach is an efficient strategy for staying top of mind with your target audience. Including TV commercials in your marketing mix will allow you to reach your audience in even more ways and create a more lasting impression. TV will allow you to maximize your impact, as television today is much less saturated than the digital marketing landscape. When many brands abandon a channel, that leaves a window of opportunity for those who stay and manage to leverage that channel well. 


Creativity Is Key In TV Commercial Production

While TV commercials sometimes are more expensive to produce, it’s important to remember that it’s not the size of your budget that will determine the success of your commercial. The most critical success factor in all marketing is the creative concept. Partnering with an innovative video production company, and allowing them to create something that is different and stands out, is the best way to maximize your ROI.  

Sure, large and polished productions can be cool, but it’s not what will make your audience fall in love with your brand. Before you start thinking about budgets or production, you need to define your key message – what story you want to tell – and to whom. For your story to resonate with your audience, you also need to understand who they are, what challenges they face, and what they aspire to.  

As human beings, we respond to stories. By using creative storytelling in your TV commercial, you will help your audience connect with and remember your brand. 

Related reading: Why Your Story Matters–And How To Tell It In A Brand Video

Related reading: Invest In Creative To Optimize Your Video Production Budget


Partner With An Award-Winning Video Production Agency

Covalent is an award-winning video marketing agency specializing in innovative and original brand videos and corporate videos. We excel at creating everything from authentic, docu-style videos to explainer videos and commercial ads. We’re experienced video marketers and can assist in every step of the process – from ideation to finished product. 

Get in touch to learn how we can help you make your brand and story come alive with video.


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