Advertising on TV
is expensive. The production costs are high and that’s before you even get to the cost of the airtime. It suits bigger brands with big budgets, the sort of organisations who can afford to speculate to accumulate and… No sorry. We’re going to have to interrupt right there. This is an outdated, blinkered view of the possibilities that TV, a broader and more inclusive format than ever, offers brands and budgets of all sizes. Time for a closer look at what regional and local TV can offer brands.


Yes, getting on national TV, particularly at anywhere near peak time, is expensive. But then there is a lot more to TV than national peak time. The national commercial stations often offer regional (and in some cases micro regional) level platforms, with lower viewing figures and a far lower cost of entrance.


In addition to the regional offerings from the likes of ITV, Channel 4 and 5, this government has been on a drive to encourage local TV services in as many areas as possible. Ofcom has recently licensed 34 channels to deliver local TV services in their (largely urban) areas. Think of these as the television equivalent of your city’s drive time radio shows with their highly localised content and ads.


TV ads are becoming less about big budgets and big brands (although as long as there are peak shows there will be a place for those), and increasingly becoming a highly selective medium, hitting precise audiences on niche and regional channels. Stations are having to work harder to attract brands, and increasingly offering a staggering amount of detail about the viewer to the brand. Think about Sky AdSmart, who (in their words) can select households based “on factors such as age, location, life style or even if they have a cat!”


This macro trend follows other formats in a general fragmentation, offering greater specialisation to the audience and greater detail and choice to the brands interested in reaching them. This reflects the increasing desire on the part of the consumer for content that they want, and on behalf of the advertiser for a lower cost of entry and more detail about the consumer. On TV this can be seen not only in the regional ‘devolution’ of the big monolithic channels of the past but also in the sheer number of channels that offer viewers a greater choice. The dominant basic viewing platform, freeview, offers over 50 channels. Sky TV, the dominant pay TV option offers in excess of 600 channels. The consumer gets choice and so do interested brands. There is an ever increasing number of ad spots being traded on a more targeted, specialist and regional basis.


Fragmented audiences and cheap airtime offer a great way to discover the power of TV advertising for SMEs and local businesses (or businesses with regional interests).


While the development of ever more satellite and local channels, each catering to their own target demographics, has meant that advertising on TV has become cheaper and better targeted than ever, it’s also worth remembering that whatever the price point TV delivers. According to research (paid for by Thinkbox and conducted by Ebiquity between 2011 and 2014), TV ads generate more profit than other formats.

TV ads profit


Regardless of the size of your brand, there is almost certainly a TV option that will work for you. Get in touch with us today to find out what that is.


By Oliver Brown