The Breakdown: How Do TV Ads Influence Consumers?
American adults watch about 5 hours of television each and every day. In 2016, a large amount of that was live television and this includes televised commercials. We already know that TV can effect someone’s buying decision, but we’ll breakdown exactly how do tv ads influence consumers in this blog.
People are still watching live TV today and are being exposed to a variety of products and services via TV ads.
How do TV ads influence consumers? Do they work for most companies that are trying to reach a target audience?
Keep reading to learn about the history of TV ads, how they may impact consumers, and whether or not they are a good choice for your marketing plan including CTV advertising.
How Do Advertisements Work?
Truthfully, a lot of people don’t believe advertisements impact them. They may not believe that advertisements affect their decision-making in stores or spending habits.
Although this may be true for certain individuals, most people are influenced by advertising when they don’t even realize it.
It’s easy to point out that companies wouldn’t invest billions of dollars into advertising on TV if it didn’t actually seem to do anything for their profits.
There are many different types of advertising and small businesses or large businesses alike can have great benefits when they use the type that works for them. This may depend on your product or service.
Luckily, TV advertisements can work for almost anyone because it is personal and right in the viewer’s face.
Advertising is rarely trying to get someone to do something right away, which is why a lot of people think it doesn’t work. Since they aren’t immediately acting on whatever the ad is portraying, they think it doesn’t work. Most ads play a longer game.
Creating a Successful TV Ad
A successful TV ad will create a positive memory or a feeling that will influence your behavior as time passes. It encourages you to do something later, not right now. People don’t really like being persuaded to do something, but when it happens without you realizing it, it can be more effective than you think.
People are more likely to do something when the request or persuasion aligns with their values, goals, and self-image. This means that people can easily be persuaded if they kind of already wanted to do whatever it is in the first place on a personal level.
No one wants to believe that they are easily going to be tricked or coaxed into doing something. If you think about how uncomfortable it is when someone tries to sell you something you don’t want, you can understand how people don’t want to be persuaded in that way.
TV advertisements work by making you feel or think about something in a certain way. This changes your thoughts and it changes the way that you behave, even if you don’t realize it.
When you start hanging out with new people that you want to be more like, this happens as well. We want to make subtle changes that make us feel better or more like the person that we want to be. Ads play into this idea.
Impressions are the name of the game and leaving impactful impressions is how good advertisements make companies money.
History of TV Advertisement
The first advertisement on television in the world was for the Bulova Watch Company in 1941. It was about 10 seconds long and cost somewhere between $4 and $9 to make. It was only viewed by around 4,000 viewers in New York.
With that advertisement, a new method of reaching consumers was found.
The great success of that first TV ad made other companies decide to do it as well. Television ads increased exponentially in the 1940s and since then, they have become more common as more people have watched TV.
Single sponsor television programs started to surface in the 1950s. A company would sponsor a whole program and use that platform to advertise their service or product.
This is different from a company buying an ad slot and only advertising for a set amount of time. During this time, major companies were able to afford this sponsorship and could advertise their company as much as they wanted during the whole program.
In the 1960s, companies started to be able to buy 1-2 minute advertising slots. This was what later became known as commercial breaks. An hour-long television program, for example, would have about 10 minutes reserved for commercials.
Broadcasting controversial television advertisements started to become an issue in the 1970s with commercials promoting cigarette and alcohol use. It resulted in a problem between the US government and the TV networks that saw these commercials as a large portion of overall revenue.
Notable Changes Since the 1970s
Between the 1970s and the 1990s, there were some important changes that impacted TV advertising up until now.
There was an increase in the time slot that was reserved for commercial breaks. Instead of 10-minute slots, commercial breaks became as much as 20 minutes long.
In the 1990s, TiVo was launched, which allowed people the opportunity to skip commercials altogether.
Since then, other options have been created that don’t include commercials as a required part of the TV watching experience. A lot of people use streaming services and OTT advertising may be a way to capture those audiences.
Also in the ’90s, actors and athletes were sponsoring products in commercials and this paved the path for celebrity brand endorsements.
The most important moment in TV ad history was when local cable TV options were available to consumers. Smaller companies were able to advertise on local channels to reach their local audience.
As time has passed, TV advertising has had good and bad connotations. This is true even today, as some people advocate for the advertisements and others criticize them.
How Do TV Ads Influence Consumers?
Now that you’ve learned about how TV ads got started, you may be more interested in giving them a shot yourself. Here are a few things you need to know about how consumers may be impacted by your advertisements.
1. Influence Purchasing Decisions
The main reason that companies buy ad space is to influence the consumer’s purchasing decisions. TV ads can be effective in this if they are done well.
Ads can be local or national and during a popular or unpopular time slot.
Depending on these factors, the target audience may be reached or it may not. If you’re using behavioral targeting, you may find that this won’t work with regular TV advertisements.
TV advertisements are trying to sell a product and service and are able to offer more information than a billboard or a magazine insert.
You can influence the decisions that people make by creating an impactful ad that offers plenty of information while still leaving them with questions about themselves.
2. Influence Social Conversations
When people see an ad that really sticks with them, they may talk about it with their friends or coworkers. If they want to look it up online, they may be able to watch it again and again.
Generally, people will do this with TV ads that evoke strong emotions. This could be a funny commercial, a sad 10-second ad, or something that creates a connection.
TV ads need to be impactful to influence purchase decisions, but generating more conversation about your product or service is another way to spread the word.
3. Influence Major Events
Since the creation of TV ads, there have been many people that believe they can be used for good or bad things.
They have a lot of power when they are done well and due to the amount of research that often put into these ad campaigns, they can be very persuasive.
Major happenings, like elections or big sporting events, can be influenced by advertisements. TV advertisements are an effective way to get across the right type of message and the right type of information in these circumstances.
Are TV Ads Worth the Cost?
There are many factors that influence how much a TV ad will cost, but they are generally going to be pretty expensive for large companies that want to advertise on the national level.
The length of the advertisement, the production of the ad, the times an ad airs, and the market that the ad is going to be aired in all impact the cost.
Commercials that are local will be between a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Commercials that are national can cost a lot more than that. For example, a 30-second ad during the 2017 Super Bowl cost on average $5 million.
TV Advertisement Creation
Local TV stations will generally use a production company in-house and write advertisements with their own marketing team. The local stations can figure out who will locally benefit from the ad and how many times it will air.
They will generally charge a small fee or may produce it for free if you sign a commitment stating that you will pay to air the ad for a set amount of time. This may end up being more cost-effective for you.
Shorter ads are obviously cheaper than longer ads because they take less time to create and produce. Stations will usually offer shorter commercials to keep up with the attention span of many TV viewers and the chance to air multiple, small ads in one span.
National ads are much more complex and are generally created by outside marketing teams. They cost much more money and therefore, generally have larger budgets to work with.
Choosing the Right Airtime
Obviously, the best time to air an ad is during prime time. This is after dinnertime and before bedtime. Think right around 7 pm to 10 pm, Central Time.
Most people watch TV during this time slot and you can reach more people.
This is the most expensive time to run an ad, but it can get you more attention and increase profits over time. If you can afford it, this is what you want to go for.
Ads run during the day cost around $100 to $300, but during prime time, running an ad can cost up to thousands of dollars in local channels.
Time of Year to Air the Ad
January is the best time to invest in TV advertising because stations are starting to get away from their hefty holiday ads and want to generate new revenue. You may be able to get a great bargain if you do it at the right time.
Stations will generally offer monthly contracts for local spots. If you are looking at a longer option, you can search out a 3, 6, or 12-month contract. You may be able to get a discount if you go for a longer contract.
Why Some Businesses Don’t Advertise on TV
You may be thinking that some businesses never have advertisements that you have noticed and they still seem to be huge successes.
Part of the reason for this is that these brands have already cultivated a following, meaning people know what they are, what they’re about, and what to expect.
This could be due to their longevity and being around for a long time. For example, some brands can be remembered back to when your parents were kids and people know what they are getting when they buy it.
Another reason may be that they have advertised in the past and no longer seem to need it due to their loyal band of consumers.
Many of these brands may even be eponyms, which is when you say a brand name, but don’t necessarily mean that specific brand of the product. It’s dominated the market so much that others just know what you mean.
Regardless, if you have a newer business, don’t have many loyal customers, haven’t created a solid brand, or don’t have the profits you need, TV advertisements may be something that you could benefit from.
Digital Marketing for Your Business
How do TV ads influence consumers? They work by impacting consumer’s emotions and sense of being to create a positive thought that changes future behavior.
This is a complex thing and, as a result, creating the perfect TV ad is not very easy.
With the work of professionals that know how to research and create advertisements that speak to people, you can have a successful ad campaign as well.
If you need some help with digital marketing, we have the answers you’re looking for. Check out our website to learn more about connected TV advertising and how it may be a good option for you.
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