Last Updated on May 21, 2023 by Lily Connel
Television advertising has been an evergreen marketing tool since the medium was invented but just like any other strategy, it has its pros and cons. From the powerful visuals to the ability to reach a vast audience, TV advertising has the potential to yield great results.
However, the approach also comes with its own set of challenges such as the increasing cost of airtime and the changing viewing habits of consumers. In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of TV advertising to help you determine whether or not this advertising strategy is suitable for your business.
1. TV Advertising Reaches a Large Audience Quickly
TV advertising still remains one of the most effective forms of advertising as television is a dominant medium in most U.S. households. It reaches a large audience within a short period of time, allowing you to showcase your business product or service to a wide audience.
TV advertising also allows you to convey your message with sight, sound, and motion, giving your business product or service instant credibility. It gives you an opportunity to be creative and build your brand, and it’s particularly effective for small businesses that rely on repeat customers.
You can also target specific audiences depending on the time of day or region of your slots, which is one of the benefits of advertising on television. Overall, the advantages of TV advertising are tapping into a vast number of people who watch TV. 
2. TV Advertising Builds Familiarity and Loyalty
One of the advantages of TV advertising is its ability to build familiarity and loyalty among the audience. Serialized shows with dedicated viewers can be the perfect platform to showcase your product or service, as it helps establish a connection between them and your brand. This connection is essential in creating repeat customers and increasing brand loyalty.
Furthermore, incorporating your brand into the regular viewing habits of your target audience can lead to positive associations and a sense of reliability. For instance, ads during the news have been proven to have a positive impact on brand trust. This means that your brand can benefit from advertising during such slots as it could encourage the audience to trust and remain loyal to the brand.
In conclusion, one of the prime benefits of TV advertising is its ability to generate brand familiarity and loyalty. This means that viewers are more likely to choose a brand that they are familiar with or have seen advertised repeatedly, establishing customer loyalty. This helps extend the customer lifetime value of a business and ultimately leads to long-term profitability and success. 
3. TV Advertising Allows for Creativity and Branding
TV Advertising is an effective way of reaching a large and diverse audience, but it’s not just about the reach. One of the benefits of TV advertising is the ability to be creative and build branding. A well-crafted commercial can showcase a brand’s personality, values, and unique selling point. With a captivating message and memorable visuals, a company can create a lasting impression on the viewers. The creativity in advertisements also helps differentiate brands from their competitors and create brand recognition that may lead to customers choosing them over others. TV advertising allows for more branding that is difficult to achieve with other advertising mediums. Brands can use colours, logos, and catchphrases to build a personality that can attract and retain customers.
Another advantage of TV advertising is the ability to target specific demographics with precision. Advertisers can choose specific programs and time-slots that their target audience is likely to be watching. For example, companies can advertise products during sports events or cooking shows to target specific types of viewers. This targeting ability increases the chances of a message resonating with the audience and thus increases the likelihood of a conversion. TV advertising also allows for different ad formats, including product demo video, celebrity endorsements, and animations to adapt to the target demographic. The flexibility in timing and format gives TV advertising a competitive edge to target the right viewer in the right way.
Despite the advantages, TV advertising has a few disadvantages that advertisers need to be aware of. One of the most significant drawbacks is the high cost associated with producing and airing an advertisement. The advertising fees and production costs for a 30-second spot can run into millions of dollars, making it challenging to afford for small businesses with limited marketing budgets. Another disadvantage is the declining viewership due to the rise of OTT (Over-the-top) streaming services, making it difficult to reach a significant audience. Additionally, some viewers may ignore or skip advertisements, change channels during breaks, or opt-out of advertisements altogether using a DVR. The shift of viewership from traditional TV to on-demand programming also means that the impact of TV advertising on sales is becoming more challenging to measure.
While there are pros and cons to TV advertising, it remains a prominent and effective marketing channel. Companies can take advantage of the reach and creative branding that comes with TV advertising. Targeting audiences with precision and adapting to their needs can maximize the chances of a conversion. On the other hand, the high cost and declining viewership of traditional TV Mean you need to consider if it is the right platform for your business. TV advertising offers endless opportunities to create powerful messages that connect with audiences, but equally important, companies must be able to balance the cost and benefits of this medium. 
4. TV Advertising is Effective for Influencing Consumer Behavior
TV Advertising is a powerful medium for influencing consumer behavior. Despite the advent of the internet and other media formats, television remains a dominant medium for households in the USA, both in terms of live TV and streaming services. Advertising on TV can showcase a product or service to a wide audience, allowing businesses to highlight the features and packaging of their offerings.
It takes multiple touch points to influence purchasing behavior, and TV ads have been popular with large retailers since TVs first appeared in living rooms. The increasing accessibility and affordability of cable TV have made TV advertising a viable option for small to medium-sized businesses as well. Proper preparation is crucial to creating effective ads, such as having a strong script that highlights a compelling offer. Engaging an advertising agency can help develop an entire campaign.
TV advertising has several significant advantages over other mediums. For one, television reaches a large audience during a short period when viewers are attentive and receptive. The medium’s sight, sound, and motion allow companies to get their message across quickly and easily, lending a sense of credibility to their offerings.
Businesses can unleash their creative prowess and develop distinct personalities, making it easier for small enterprises to repeat customers. However, the cost of producing and airing TV ads and the lack of flexibility in modifying them are some of the disadvantages of TV advertising.
5. TV Advertising Can be Costly
Television advertising offers a lot of advantages when it comes to reaching a massive audience in a short amount of time. However, it is not without its downside, especially when it comes to cost. TV advertising is expensive to produce and run, and it is important to weigh the benefits against the limitations before investing in it.
Even a simple 30-second ad requires a lot of effort, including hiring a script writer, actors, and a director. The production process can be time-consuming and stressful, and it is important to be present during the shoot to ensure that your product is being presented in the best possible light.
One of the biggest limitations of TV advertising is its cost. Producing an ad can be a huge expense, and buying airtime to run it is even more expensive. Cutting corners on production can harm your brand reputation, leading people to associate your product with an inferior ad.
TV ads also need to be run numerous times before they are remembered by an audience, making it even more costly. It is important to ensure that you can afford to run the ad multiple times before investing in TV advertising.
Another limitation of TV advertising is the difficulty of making changes to an ad once it has been produced. Unlike print advertising, which can be edited easily, TV ads often require re-shooting or editing at a significant cost. It is important to plan and ensure that the ad is produced to your satisfaction before it is released.
Overall, while TV advertising offers numerous advantages, it is important to consider the cost and limitations before investing in it. It may not be the best option for smaller businesses with a tight budget. However, for businesses that can afford it, TV advertising can be an effective way to reach a massive audience with a powerful message. 
6. TV Advertising Requires Quality Production and Script
TV advertising does not come cheap, and it requires significant investment in terms of cost and effort. Producing an impactful TV ad requires a strong script that highlights a compelling offer for consumers. Although small to medium-sized businesses can also benefit from TV advertising, it is better to enlist the services of an advertising agency to help create a comprehensive campaign.
An effective TV ad gives businesses a platform to showcase and demonstrate their products or services, and it also creates an opportunity for them to be creative and attach personality to their brands. With its combination of sight, sound, and motion, TV advertising can enhance a business’s credibility and offer instant brand recognition.
However, TV advertising also has its limitations. TV ads are expensive and can quickly eat up a business’s budget, especially when it comes to airtime costs and repetition frequency. Making changes to TV ads is also challenging, as it requires updating the entire script and reshooting the entire ad, costing additional money.
Furthermore, targeting a specific audience with TV advertising is not as effective as other mediums, although it can still be done by considering who your audience is and purchasing airtime on the appropriate channels. Ultimately, businesses must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of TV advertising before deciding if it is the right medium to promote their products and services. 
7. Updating TV Advertising Can Be Challenging
Updating Advertising Can Be Challenging
Once you have created a television ad, making updates to it can be a challenging task. Unlike print advertising, where changes can be made easily, updating a TV ad requires additional investments. If you have to change a sale price or a special offer, it means updating the entire script, which can be a costly affair. This also means reshooting the ad, adding additional expenses. These difficulties accompanying changes to TV advertising make it challenging for businesses.
Despite these challenges, TV advertising has many advantages. TV reaches a vast audience within a short period, and it allows businesses to convey their message with sight, sound, and motion. With well-crafted ads that highlight strong offers, businesses can attach personalities to their brands, which can be particularly effective for small businesses reliant on repeat customers.
As TV ads require repetitive airtime to effectively influence consumer purchasing behavior, most TV stations offer pricing structures encouraging the purchase of advertising in chunks.
However, TV advertising can be expensive, and running an ad multiple times can quickly eat up a budget. Additionally, targeting specific audiences with TV advertising can be a challenge. Businesses purchasing airtime must consider their audience before structuring an ad; while Spanish-speaking consumers can be reached through Spanish-language stations, for instance, daytime slots might best reach stay-at-home parents.
8. TV Advertising may not be targeted at a Specific Audience
Te advertising remains a popular medium in most U.S. households, despite the internet’s growing popularity. Advertising on television allows businesses to showcase their products and services to a wide audience, conveying their message with sight, sound, and motion. TV advertising reaches a much larger audience than local newspapers and radio stations, and it does so during a short period, generating more attention from viewers who are the most attentive.
It also allows businesses to be creative and attach personality to their brand, which can be particularly effective for small businesses that rely on repeat customers. However, the disadvantages of TV advertising should be taken into consideration. Airtime and production costs can quickly eat up the budget, as TV ads are most effective with repetition, leading businesses to purchase advertising in chunks.
Furthermore, it can be challenging to make changes or updates to an existing ad, especially when reshooting the entire ad is required. It is also difficult to effectively target a specific audience with TV advertising. While it has its pros and cons, with proper research and consideration, TV advertising can be a successful marketing strategy. 
9. TV Advertising is Still a Dominant Marketing Medium
Despite the rise of streaming services and the internet’s popularity, television advertising remains one of the most effective forms of advertising. It allows businesses to showcase their products or services to a wide audience, and the sight, sound, and motion can give instant credibility.
Additionally, television reaches a much larger audience within a short period of time, and viewers are most attentive when watching TV. For small businesses, it allows them to be creative and build a brand personality, which is particularly effective for repeat customers. Moreover, with cable television, even small to medium-size businesses can reach a more targeted market.
However, TV advertising has its downsides. Firstly, it can quickly eat up a budget, especially if you want to run the ad several times, as repetition is necessary for influencing consumer behavior. Updating the ad can also be challenging, as it requires reshooting the entire ad. Lastly, it is difficult to target a specific audience effectively. 
10. TV Advertising is Essential for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses
TV advertising remains to be a dominant medium in most US households, whether through live TV or streaming services. For small to medium-sized businesses, it can be an essential tool to showcase their products or services to a wider audience.
TV advertising allows businesses to demonstrate how their product or service works, giving prospective customers an idea of what to expect at the point of sale. It often takes multiple touch points to influence consumers’ behavior, and TV advertising has been proven to be an effective way to do so. The arrival of cable TV has lowered production costs, making it more viable for smaller businesses to advertise on TV. However, TV advertising requires an effectively produced ad, which can be a challenge for small businesses. As an alternative, it is better to engage with an advertising agency to create an entire campaign.
TV advertising offers significant advantages. It reaches a larger audience than print or radio, and during a short period of time. It also allows businesses to convey their message with sight, sound, and motion, giving their products instant credibility.
TV advertising offers an opportunity to be creative in building a brand’s personality, which can be particularly effective for small businesses that rely on repeat customers. However, there are clear disadvantages in TV advertising, particularly cost. Producing an ad and purchasing airtime can be expensive, and TV ads require repetition to be effective, which can further increase costs. Updating TV ads is also difficult, and targeting a specific audience can be a challenge.
The ability to call out to potential customers from the comfort of their own homes is one of the most significant advantages of TV advertising. The sight and sound combination of TV ads has a grand impact that is difficult to match. TV is more intrusive than other advertising mediums, interrupting what a viewer might be doing to watch and listen to the ad. TV ads are lighthearted, humorous, thought-provoking, or heartbreaking, depending on the message the advertiser wants to convey. TV ads can also reach a broad audience instantaneously, with specific audience targeting possible.
TV advertising production can be time-consuming and stressful. The production of a 30-second ad requires a scriptwriter, actors, a director, and retakes, which can take an entire day or more. Even if the job has been outsourced to an agency or producer, there is still a need to be present to make sure the finished product is in line with the advertiser’s expectation. However, advertising on TV is expensive, and cutting corners on production can lead to an inferior ad that negatively impacts a product.
To be effective, TV ads need to run multiple times, meaning that repetition is crucial to achieving results. Running ads multiple times can be costly, so businesses need to budget accordingly. Updating TV ads is difficult, and requires a reshoot of the ad, or at least part of it. Changes to print ads are easy to make, but not for TV ads. To conclude, for small to medium-sized businesses, TV advertising can be essential, but it comes with its pros and cons, which businesses ought to evaluate carefully to make the best use of their advertising budget.