Firstly, it is important to identify the different types of TV ads that are created. For many that aren’t familiar with TV advertising, it’s common to think of an expensive multimillion-dollar campaign that includes celebrity endorsements to help consumers fall in love with a product or brand. However, not all TV ads are for branding purposes.
‘Strategic TV advertising’ vs ‘Tactical TV advertising’
Branded TV ads: media placement as a strategy
The objective of brand awareness is to get a product’s name, logo, or message in front of target consumers in order to differentiate it from the competition. Ideally, the message will have an emotive element, which connects with the consumer, so that when they are ready to make a purchase, the advertised brand or product stands out against the competition.
Brand campaigns generally mean big budgets. The majority of programming is typically selected based upon audience size, in peak time slots, which also attract huge price tags.
Measurable TV media: media placement as a tactic
Direct response TV ads are used for targeting very specific consumers to take immediate action, since measurable ROI is incredibly important to these clients. Direct response TV ads feature a strong call to action (CTA). These actions include, but are not limited to: visiting a website, calling a 1300 number or downloading an app. The aim of direct response TV advertising is to increase lead generation.
There is a misconception that DRTV inventory means overnight or daytime spots. Although this is the case for many clients, as it drives the highest ROI, DRTV inventory also includes selected primetime airings that deliver comparable ROI figures. The difference between ‘brand’ and ‘DRTV’ airtime, is that media selection is based on results/performance, not on audience size.
The direct response TV media buyer’s goal is to get an efficient price for a time period that will produce the optimal level of results, as this directly impacts ROI. This inventory can be purchased as either long form or short form units. The increasingly popular short form units are spots that are two minutes or less (typically 15 seconds, 30 seconds, or 60 seconds). Long form units are any spots longer than two minutes, with the most common being five minutes or 28 minutes and 30 seconds. Long form spots are often referred to as infomercials and are often associated with direct response TV campaigns.
Improved targeting capabilities help lower cost and increase ROI
DRTV advertising agencies leverage serious data analytics software and technologies that make the media buying process more of a science. Television advertising has evolved to a point where it can be bought, sold, managed, measured and targeted and it is optimised similarly to digital media. Using set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) as deemed most important by the client, which could be web response, lead or sale, the DRTV agency can not only track the success of a campaign, but continually optimise ad placement.
TV airtime can be analysed based on the KPIs to optimise the current schedule and build an understanding of performance for future media planning. In many cases, several weeks of data analytics and optimisations can drastically reduce media buying wastage. The media investment that would have otherwise delivered little to no result is then re-applied to networks, day parts, program genres, or specific programs to achieve KPI baselines and goals.
Optimisations are not typically performed until a large enough pool of data is accumulated. This ensures sound decision-making once trends have been clearly identified. Data analytics ensures that a company’s media buying is as efficient as it can be, with a data-driven ROI.
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