When it comes to advertising via traditional television, there are some key components to make you the stars of day time soaps, the standouts of primetime, and the conqueror of cartoons. Read our four tools to triumph in traditional television to get your big message to the right people across on the small screen.
Picture this: It’s 2004 and you’re home sick from school. (Read: skipping school) You turn on the TV to watch your favorite daytime shows because your family is at work or school. For me, it was the USA Network all day catching the Law and Order marathon (don’t @ me I was 10 years old and a wannabe detective). Then, the commercials cut in.
Cut to: Old people on the screen talking about their rheumatoid arthritis and their entitlement to financial compensation from having mesothelioma. If it’s quiet enough, I can still hear the law firm jingles playing in the distance.
Does this look familiar???
Cut to: The evening when your family comes home and asks how you felt that day. You all curl up on the couch with your parents to watch the new episode of Boston Legal. The commercials cut in. Trailers for new movies and low sale prices on new vehicles come blaring across the screen. Nothing about mesothelioma or financial compensation.
Cut to: The start of the job at an advertising agency. You learn about traditional advertising and target audiences. You think back on your past and realize those commercials you saw at the time were perfect for the audience viewing the content. This effective media placement tells us that usually, older people are the ones retired who are home in the daytime and have their televisions turned on also watching Law and Order marathons (I mean, it’s a classic show). The media buyers’ accuracy in the media buying process by playing those commercials when they did, shows us that they are targeting the correct people. In the evening, those commercials are right for the working family who comes home to relax after a long day and turns on their primetime shows. That content is targeted for that specific group. You wouldn’t want to place a TV commercial for your new bookstore say...on a media channel that has a show similar to Marie Kondo (FYI, does anyone need 27 books on cat psychology? I know a gal). Knowing who you need to target for your ideal customer base is important to generate sales and grow your business, and as an advertising agency, we conduct research and do it all for you!
In the traditional advertising world, commercials can be sold by the length of time. Length is important to get your point across and not bore the viewer. Like an elevator pitch, you should know how long it will take to get your point across. You should also not swamp the viewer with too many offers or incentives. People can become overwhelmed when too many things are presented to them at once, so make sure you are conveying a message that gets people in your door and then you can present them with infomercial like offers. (However, I might need 12 of these mops because did you see how well they absorbed?!).
For example, a commercial can be a 30-second spot. This gives the advertiser 30 seconds to present their advertising campaign in a riveting and memorable way to capture the interest of their target consumer audience. But that doesn’t mean length is the most important part of the commercial. Commercials that have half of that time can still be memorable. One example of this is called a 15-second bookend. Bookends will play a 15-second spot at the beginning of the commercial break and then another 15-second at the end of the break. Due to the serial position effect, there is a tendency to remember the first and last items in a series best. This is just one way to help make sure you stand out in the crowd that is the advertising space. Having said that, this is where advertising agencies shine. An advertising agency is trained and skilled in the creative process to produce a memorable campaign for your business. We can help you sell your service or product in a catchy and noteworthy way to generate traffic for your business.
Media placement is another factor in the media buying process that can be helpful to the ROI for your company. Once the final media is completed for your brand, we then go and place that media with the television stations on your behalf from your allotted advertising budget. This is why full-service/media buying agencies are the way to go. As we already have solid relationships with media outlets for other clients, this means we can get you more bang for your buck.
As a note, the four main broadcast stations are FOX, CBS, NBC, and ABC, and the main cable provider varies by location. You purchase by the program for broadcast stations, meaning you can buy morning news, primetime shows, late night runs, etc. And for cable areas, you can buy channels such as ESPN, HGTV, and, of course, USA Network. Additionally, you can get almost 30% off the rate card when you buy annually versus monthly. Buying annually shows the station that you are committed to purchasing spots every month for the year and that saves you money because you are “buying in bulk”. This also helps maintain and strengthen the relationship with the station because you are telling them that you are loyal to their station for the year and know that it will have the ratings you want throughout the calendar year. This also helps with being consistent on television. “What is CenterRock Advertising, Alex?”
Consistency is key when creating a brand and increasing brand awareness. And so, if you buy annually, you get first dibs on the inventory, therefore securing the knowledge that your spots will be consistently on the air in the given programs that were purchased. Being consistent and in the right ballpark will make your brand be at the audiences’ top of mind awareness. However, the budget will always be a factor and having a consistent one for promoting your product is essential.
Time and time again, we see people cut advertising first from their budget to help cut costs. But to make money, you need to spend money, and getting the word out there to promote your business/product is only going to help your brand recognition and increase your traffic flow. We want to help you succeed, so whether it be home runs, Homer Simpson, or home renovations, advertising will help you get to home base.
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