As with most other media used for advertisement message delivery, television and radio offer distinct advantages. Radio and TV are five of the media that form what is commonly referred to as the traditional media. The other components are newspapers, magazines and the internet. Companies typically build ad campaigns that rely on one or more of these media along with other support media.
Reach is a major advantage with TV ads. Despite criticism for high costs, advertisers have the best chance to reach a large audience through television. Reach is the total number of people exposed to your advertising message. Companies focused on generating brand awareness often have reach as a major objective. It is not uncommon for the most highly rated prime-time television shows to have 10 million or more viewers on a given night.
Television also offers the greatest creative opportunity among the traditional media. It has visual elements like print and audio like radio, but it also has dynamic movement. Advertisers often try to tell stories within their ads that have an impact on the audience. Creativity can give greater meaning to a brand beyond its basic product. With TV, you can target emotional connections, incorporate characters that the audience can relate to and offer multi-sensory appeal.
Radio is typically viewed as one of the lower-cost traditional media. Depending on how you look at it, this either leads to, or is a result of, the fact that local businesses constitute a significant amount of radio advertising. Radio does not require the video equipment and logistics of producing more expensive television commercials. Radio spots are also less expensive than TV placement, and they are often sold in packages of a certain number of spots in a rotation.
Radio and newspapers offer the most timely ad placements of any of the traditional media. This benefits the advertiser in two ways. One is that the turnaround time on getting an ad on air is very brief. A common time frame of a radio ad is three weeks production and two weeks to develop a total media buy. This is to produce an ad of strong quality and to buy significant air time. Small businesses can often produce and place on ad in just a few days. Timeliness also means that you can deliver more timely messages to promote current business activities and promotions.
Advantages & Limitations of Television as an Advertising Medium
Television has been used as an advertising medium nearly since the day the device was introduced at the New York World’s Fair in 1939. Television — and its ability to help marketers reach a mass audience — quickly established itself in American households, write the authors of the book “Electronic Media: Then, Now, and Later.” Television advertising is one of the most popular ways of conveying a mass message. In fact, advertisers in the US spent $59 billion on TV advertising in 2010, according to the marketing industry website, Emarketer. It offers numerous advantages, offering a powerful impact and reaching a wide audience. However, television as an advertising medium has certain limitations that inhibit its effectiveness.
Advantage: Convenient and Flexible
The television is a convenient and flexible advertising medium, owing to its widespread popularity and the ease with which a message can reach millions of viewers internationally and nationally. Television advertising allows advertisers the flexibility to use various approaches and different combinations of audio, video and text to make ads memorable and emotional, depending on the product or service or the target audience.
Advantage: Strong Impact
Television advertising uses audio and visual effects to create a lasting impact. Marketers interact color, sound, sight, drama and motion to ensure that their message is strong and persuasive. Additional tactics and props, such as attractive models, elaborative sets, enchanting graphics and audio-visual effects further enhance impact.
Advantage: Mass Coverage
According to an article published in the New York Times, 96.7 percent of American households own television sets. This amounts to more than 300 million people who have access to television. Cable networks, 24-hour programs and satellite channels have further hiked television viewership in the country, making the television a substantially lucrative mode of conveying an advertisement.
Consumers often bemoan the intrusive nature of television advertisements and find ways to avoid commercials. This limits the effectiveness of television advertising. Consumers either take time out during a commercial to make a trip to the refrigerator or surf programs on other channels. Furthermore, different technological innovations enable consumers to block advertisements all together. The V-chip is a device that consumers can program to block unwanted content on television, including advertisements. TiVo is another similar device that allows users to store television programs without commercials.
Limitation: High Costs
Television advertising costs more than other forms of media, such as radio, magazine, newspaper and Internet advertising. Quality commercials are expensive to produce. Typical production costs range between $200,000 to more than $1 million for each commercial, writes William Arens in his book “Contemporary Advertising.” Airtime costs are equally high, ranging from $200,000 to $400,000 for a 30-second slot, according to Arens. These costs can prevent detailed messages from being delivered and most advertisements end up being brief and fleeting.