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The Advantages and Disadvantages of TV Advertising

traditional TV set

Even though people have altered the way they watch television, TV advertising is still the most persuasive form of advertising.

More than any other marketing tactic, TV can reach a large and diverse audience. In the modern digital world, the growth of streaming services and on demand content has some questioning the performance of TV advertising.

However, as viewers continue to go digital, television advertising remains a critical part of any current marketing strategy.

This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of TV advertising to offer valuable insights for those looking for effective ways to advertise.


Table of Contents 

  1. Advantages of TV Advertising
  2. Disadvantages of TV Advertising
  3. TV Remains the Most Effective Advertising Medium
  4. Why Your Brand Needs TV Advertising
  5. Same TV Advertising Impact, On Streaming Audiences



Advantages of TV Advertising



We already know the standard format of the TV ad break dating back to when we were kids. Perhaps, you used this time between your favorite shows to rummage in the kitchen for a snack.

The TV ad has always been an expected part of the experience because it’s incredibly effective at affecting consumer behaviors.

As such, television commercials are simply a part of the entertainment culture. And with a long history of advertising, we’ve seen great ones and not-so-great ones.

Whether they make audiences laugh, or offer a sense of surprise, television ads leave an impact on the viewer. A lasting impression can lead to further engagement, such as searching online to find out more about your brand.

Here are some of the main reasons why TV advertising works:


Audience Reach & Engagement


TV advertising lets you reach specific demographics and geographic areas to ensure the right audience is messaged. Plus, ad-supported streaming services reward viewers for watching the commercial, so they can continue to watch TV afterward.

As more people consume TV programs than read print, it can reach more households on the big screen. While you can easily flip past an advertisement in a magazine, TV commercials retain a captive audience going into the break.


Viewers Visualize Your Brand


Since nearly every family has a television, it is easy for a brand to reach a big audience at once.

Going bigger and situating your brand between local news broadcasts showcases its relevance to the community. And, with the right frequency TV audiences resonate with your message for significant impact.


TV & Digital Go Hand-in-Hand


Chances are, viewers are using multiple devices while they watch TV. But this doesn’t mean that they are disengaged with the content.

While advertisers try to capture the audience’s attention, TV advertising can be a crucial medium when they watch their favorite TV shows. After the ad, these viewers can quickly search on mobile devices for more information.  

It’s why B2B businesses continue to venture into this advertising space.


High Credibility


Unlike other channels, a single TV ad will end up reaching a larger audience. And since consumers usually trust television more than other media, the investment is justified.

Consumers also see TV ads more than any other media. This is why it leads to higher performance, while also building confidence in your brand.

Though some viewers complain about the television commercial, research shows that many people actually choose to watch them and enjoy them. They understand the exchange they’re making to get the programming they want for free.


Big Opportunity for Smaller-Sized Brands


TV advertising is a big opportunity for small brands because it allows them to reach a wide audience with a single ad.

Additionally, local TV ads can be highly targeted and can help small brands compete with larger, established companies.

With the right strategy and creative execution, TV advertising can be a cost-effective way for small brands to get their message in front of a large, engaged audience.


Disadvantages of TV Advertising



With the rise of streaming services and other forms of video content, traditional TV viewership is declining, which can limit the reach and effectiveness of TV ads.

Another disadvantage is that television advertisements can be skipped or ignored by simply changing the channel.

It can also be difficult to measure the impact of TV advertising on sales or other key performance indicators, which can make it challenging to determine the ROI of a TV ad campaign.

Overall, while TV advertising can be a powerful tool for some businesses, it is important to carefully weigh the potential drawbacks against the benefits before deciding to invest.




TV advertising can be expensive, especially during prime time slots or popular events. This can make it difficult for small businesses with limited budgets to compete with larger brands.

CTV (Connected TV) advertising can offer several cost advantages compared to traditional TV advertising, opening up the landscape for smaller-sized brands.

CTV generates cost-effective campaigns because advertisers can target specific audiences and avoid spending money on viewers who are unlikely to be interested in their product or service.

Boiling down a hyper-targeted approach optimizes the budget and maximizes the return on investment (ROI).


Monitoring Results


B2B advertising aims to develop leads, increase website traffic, or encourage consumers to take action, but traditional TV doesn't offer a direct way for businesses to measure and track these responses accurately.

CTV provides detailed performance metrics, allowing advertisers to track the effectiveness of their campaigns accurately. 

With these insights, advertisers can make data-driven decisions, optimize their strategies, and allocate their budget to the most successful channels or campaigns.


Skipping Ads


TV viewers are usually channel surfing during commercial breaks, switching to other channels, or engaging in other activities. This behavior can cause advertisements to reduce their effectiveness.

Unlike cable or satellite television, ad-supported streaming services offer a reduced cost in exchange for watching advertisements. As a result, streaming viewers are more likely to engage with the ads since it comes with more content.


Content-Based Ad Buying


Content-centric advertising revolves around trying to display advertisements based on the content that is being displayed on a television. 

For example, a content-centric advertising approach might involve ad placements for fitness equipment on a sports program dedicated to 20 to 55-year-old males.

While this approach has some benefits, it also has its limitations. Instead, using an audience-centric approach focuses on understanding the needs, preferences, and behaviors of the target audience. 

By gathering and implementing data, advertisers can create personalized and relevant ad experiences that resonate with individual viewers. Target audience customization increases the chances of conversion, as ads are tailored to specific audience segments.


Maintaining Engagement


In an increasingly digital world, viewers have more options for consuming media, and people are no longer solely reliant on traditional TV for entertainment.

Instead, leveraging data for audience targeting reaches the exact audience at the ideal time and on the right device.

CTV ads can be seamlessly integrated into the viewing experience, either through ad placements within streaming content or native ad formats that blend with the user interface. 

This integration makes the ads feel less intrusive and more organic, improving engagement as viewers perceive them as part of the overall content.





TV Remains the Most Effective Advertising Medium


CTV Device


The rise of TV streaming and programmatic ad buying has changed TV advertising planning dramatically. For additional perspective, here are the latest trends in cord-cutting:


Given the shift in TV viewing habits, marketers must adapt their strategies to capture the attention of consumers where they spend the majority of their time.

As streaming audiences continue to grow, it is time to shift the focus from traditional cable viewers to the vast opportunities presented by streaming platforms. Here are other compelling reasons to embrace audiences streaming TV:




Last year, we saw for the first time ever, streaming services capture more viewers than cable or broadcast TV, according to data from Nielsen.

What’s more, consumers prefer ad-supported streaming options. A Deloitte survey found that 65% of respondents were comfortable watching ads to eliminate or reduce subscription costs. And, when given the opportunity, they prefer an ad-supported option for watching video content.




With the digital capabilities of CTV advertising, campaigns adapt to changing viewer behavior and consumption patterns to ensure that advertisers remain relevant and accessible to their target audience.

In addition, CTV advertising seamlessly integrates with digital advertising strategies, to create cohesive cross-channel campaigns. 

CTV ads can work with other digital channels such as display, social media, and video advertising, for a holistic and synchronized approach to reach their target audience at different touchpoints.


Trust & Influence


The longstanding presence of traditional TV has been a part of viewers’ lives for decades. And viewers often associate ads shown during their favorite shows as credible and relevant, enhancing trust in the brand.

TV adverts for streaming audiences capitalize on this familiarity. By adding the precise targeting of CTV, viewers will see ads that are relevant to their needs and preferences. 

Furthermore, CTV platforms feature premium content from established TV networks, production studios, and streaming services — transferring credibility from traditional TV to digital.


Is your CTV campaign reaching its full potential? Download the Complete Guide to CTV Retargeting to get the most out of your investment.


Why Your Brand Needs TV Advertising


Advertisers should embrace streaming TV advertising to effectively reach and engage with their target audience in a highly personalized and measurable manner.

TV advertising offers the opportunity to amplify brand messaging to a wider audience, and streaming platforms offer ways to narrow target audiences. 

Brands can amplify their messaging, creating a more significant impact on brand visibility among streaming audiences with the following:

  • Targeted advertising capabilities

  • Enhanced measurement and reporting

  • Growing ad-supported streaming options

  • Flexibility

  • Cost-effective

  • Brand control


Same TV Advertising Impact, On Streaming Audiences


As advertising budgets increasingly migrate from traditional platforms to streaming TV and smart devices, the future of advertising lies in OTT (Over-The-Top) and CTV (Connected TV).

Leveraging our extensive experience and expertise, we ensure that your brand reaches the right audience at the perfect moment and through the optimal channels.

Take action now and get in touch with us to explore the possibilities of harnessing the power of OTT and CTV advertising for your media strategy.




Andy Dixon, Content Writing Specialist at Strategus

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