In 2019, for the first time ever, the majority of global ad spending was digital. 50.1% of total media ad spending is now for online advertisements, which add up to over $330 billion. This trend is expected to only continue, as the number of dollars spent on digital is projected to double by 2025. So with all of this in mind, you might be asking yourself “is TV dead?” “Should I even bother with the medium?” “Should I focus all my advertising resources on digital avenues?”
Television is by far the most expensive medium to advertise on. Beyond the cost it takes to produce an ad, it takes a considerable amount of money to just buy time for your ad. The reason for this is quite clear. TV is remarkably effective.
Consumers are 11 times more likely to search for a product if they have seen it on TV rather than online. TV advertising is reported to be responsible for as much as 72% of all brand awareness. Customers are more motivated to buy a product if they see it on TV than if they see it anywhere else.
The effectiveness of TV, far from working against online campaigns, actually helps to compliment them. TV ads help to drive more traffic to websites and social media pages. Customers are more likely to click on an Adwords campaign once they’ve seen a TV ad for a product. Simply put, TV ads boost the signal of all other concurrent advertisements.
YouTube ads are the perfect representation of the modern attention span. There’s a 5-second window for advertisers to work, and a moment longer will cause viewers to click as fast as they can on the skip button. For the most part, people won’t voluntarily watch ads if they have the opportunity to ignore them.
This is part of what makes TV so effective. Audiences don’t have the same capacity to ignore ads that they do in print or digital mediums. Audiences are required to sit and listen for up to 30 seconds, a timespan that is remarkably harder to achieve digitally. The fact that these ads are unskippable allows for viewers to digest their content more completely. Messages and information are able to reach customers in a way that other mediums simply can’t hope to match.
According to a clutch poll done in 2017, TV is the most trusted advertising medium by far. By contrast, that same poll discovered that advertising on social media is the least trusted form available. The second least trusted form is advertising on all other digital mediums. In many ways, digital advertising is still treated with suspicion. Because there is virtually no barrier to entry in order to advertise, customers approach this medium with a touch more scepticism.
The increased effort and cost it takes for an ad to get on TV is something that audiences appreciate. They recognise that there is a higher barrier to entry to get your ad on TV rather than online. This perception grants an authenticity to TV ads that YouTube or Facebook ads simply aren’t given. If a customer sees your brand on TV, they are more likely to view it as more established, and more trustworthy than if they saw it anywhere else.
TV isn’t the advertising powerhouse that it used to be. The rise of the Internet has encroached on its business, and it’s unlikely to ever reach the market share it did in the latter half of last century. But even with these facts in mind, TV is still unquestionably the largest, most effective advertising tool you can use. Any refusal to use it would be a refusal to access the biggest audiences with the most persuasive messaging.