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Television Advertising Still Stands Out

In today’s digital age, where consumer behavior and marketing strategies are constantly evolving, the question of television advertising effectiveness is a fair one. However, my 26+ years of experience in broadcast media compels me to advocate for TV’s continued relevance in building strong brands. This perspective is supported in research, such as TV at the Heart of Effectiveness Report by Peter Field, which highlights television’s enduring role in fostering long-term brand building.

Successful brand building extends beyond immediate sales. It’s about creating lasting impressions within your target audience. Television advertising has evolved beyond traditional linear broadcasts. It now encompasses a vast and growing landscape of engaging video content:

  • OTT and Streaming Services: These platforms deliver a wide variety of shows and movies directly to televisions, offering prime opportunities to place video ads that capture viewers’ attention.
  • Live TV with Ad Integrations: Sporting events, award shows, and other live programming continue to offer valuable placements for video ads within the television viewing experience.
  • Connected TV (CTV): This rapidly growing area allows for targeted video ad insertion across various apps and channels accessible on smart TVs.
  • Broadband VOD (BVOD): This category includes video on demand content accessible through cable and satellite providers, offering another avenue for placing video ads within the television viewing experience.

Here’s what makes television video consumption stand out:

  • Unmatched Attention: Research from Amplified Intelligence, indicates that video ads require at least 2.5 seconds of active attention to be memorable and contribute to a brand’s mental availability.
    • Data from Lumen (nearly 100 billion ad views) positions TV as a powerful tool for building mental availability, meaning viewers readily recall brands during purchase decisions.
video viewing chart
    • Viewers dedicate significant attention to TV ads: over 15 seconds for 30-second commercials and 9.1 seconds for 15-second ones. Similar performance is seen with BVOD advertising.
    • While non-skippable YouTube ads contribute to mental availability, it’s to a lesser extent than television.
    • Formats like Skippable video ads and social media video feeds excel at driving immediate engagement. However, the dynamic nature of these environments typically not provide the sustained attention necessary for video ads to build lasting brand recall and achieve long-term brand-building goals.
  • Emotional Connection: Research by the IPA underscores the critical role of emotional connection in advertising. Content that sparks emotions resonates deeper, driving significantly higher market share growth per dollar invested compared to purely informational approaches. This is where television ad placements thrive – their ability to craft powerful brand stories that stick with viewers positions it as a strategic asset for building strong brands.
  • Building Trust: Reinforcing McLuhan’s adage, “the medium is the message,” the advertising platform itself plays a significant role in fostering trust. The IPA research demonstrates a growing link between brand trust and profitability over the past two decades. Television’s established reputation as a reliable source of information, compared to other platforms like social media, strengthens its strategic value for marketers. This translates to building brand trust, a key driver of profit, as evidenced by IPA data.
tv is trusted chart

Despite the evolving media landscape, television advertising effectiveness remains a powerful tool for marketers. Its ability to capture attention, build trust, and spark emotions offers a cost-effective way to create lasting brand impressions. Marketers should prioritize these strengths, not just focus solely on budget. Leveraging targeted video ad placements across TV’s diverse content – broadcasts, streaming, and on-demand options – maximizes these advantages. This coordinated approach, alongside budget optimization, ensures a well-rounded media strategy that maximizes brand equity.


Also see our recent report “Creative Comes Second: Maximizing ROI for Attraction, Destination, and Outdoor Brands” to discover how to improve your advertising creative with audience understanding, environmental context, and media channel relevance.

Contact us to discover ways that Watauga Group can help with your media strategy. 

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Contact us to discover ways that Watauga Group can help with your media strategy.


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Creative Comes Second

Learn how to maximum customer reach and relevance with tighter alignment between your creative development and media investments