Using All Advertising... Except TV

POSTED BY Greg Keating ON Dec 7, 2016 7:48:24 AM


You might wonder if it’s worth it to advertise your brand on TV. In theory, there are millions of people watching who may be able to learn about your brand for the first time if you run a TV commercial. While that might be true, there are plenty downsides.

TV Isn’t Direct Enough

It can cost thousands of dollars just to run a short and simple TV advertisement. That’s money that could go a lot further if it was put into the cost of running ads on websites, Google Adwords, Youtube Ads or other digital marketing advertisements. Another way that your brand could advertise itself is by offering promotions to consumers or creating in-store displays. If you think about it, each of these examples is far more direct than TV advertising. When you try to advertise your brand through a TV commercial, you are sending a message out to many different demographics of people. This might be perceived as a good thing if you think that all that matters is the sheer number of people your brand reaches, but what if the people who see your commercial are not part of your target audience? The people you want to reach may not even be affected by all of the money you spend on TV advertisment, because you have so little control over who sees what. Digital marketing tools are far more advanced and they allow for varying degrees of targeted messaging so that your brand connects with the right audience. 

Capturing Consumers’ Attention

Another major problem with TV commercials is that people don’t have the patience for them anymore (unless it’s the Superbowl). It’s hard to draw people in in 30 seconds. Most will just change the channel or fast forward if they have a DVR. If no one’s paying attention, your heavy advertising spending is quickly being wasted. An interesting study found that because of smartphones, people pay very little attention to live TV commercials anymore. “According to data from alphonso, mobile device usage peaks during TV’s prime-time hours, and spikes coincide exactly when programs break for commercials. The bummer for advertisers is that while they’re paying thousands for eyeballs on the screen, people are pulling out their device right when the ads come on” (  

YouTube Ads

Some people would argue that there’s very little difference between a TV commerical and a YouTube ad, and on the surface that may be true. Although creating a YouTube ad might seem the same as shooting a TV commercial, you won’t have to pay the high cost of television air time. Not only that, but YouTube works to target people with ads that relate to their search and view history in order to increase your chances of connecting with your target audience. Those are advertising dollars that are well spent.

Success Without TV Advertisements

Many brands have turned away from TV advertising and still managed to be hugely successful. One such example is the UK coffee chain Costa. Costa hasn’t advertised on TV since 2012, and yet it has continued to grow every year. Coasta’s executives have decided that they will add more value to the brand and consumers’ in-store experience if they focus on digital marketing (

As you can see, it’s possible (and maybe even smarter) to advertise your brand with everything except TV commercials. Digital marketing has come a long way, and if your brand uses it wisely you won’t have trouble with your advertising campaign.


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Topics cpg, Advertising

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