4 Things to Know About TV Ads

October 11, 2017

TV is no longer the single largest advertising medium in the US, having recently been overtaken by digital media. But TV advertising is still a more than $70 billion business, and it’s still growing, albeit slowly. Here are 4 updates on TV advertising, courtesy of a few new studies from Advertiser Perceptions, Morning Consult, and Nielsen.

1. Advertisers Believe That TV Ads Offer the Greatest Impact

In a recent survey of 300 marketers and agency professionals (50/50 split) involved in advertising and media decision-making, Advertiser Perceptions asked which of 6 media provide the greatest impact.

TV ads emerged at the forefront of this survey of perceived effectiveness, cited by 40% share of respondents. That was almost double the share of the next-closest competitor (23%). That competitor was digital video, suggesting that advertisers generally feel that ads featuring sight and sound have the greatest ability to influence consumers.

TV ads led the way regardless of the respondents’ media involvement, title, advertising vertical, region and budget. Worth noting is that digital video ads come close to TV ads in perceived impact for tech, consumer electronics and entertainment advertisers.

2. Consumers Feel That TV Ads Are the Most Entertaining

In a separate study, Morning Consult polled more than 4,400 US adults, asking them a series of questions about their feelings towards ads.

In terms of overall favorability, print ads and billboards led the way, with 55% of respondents having a favorable outlook towards each, versus fewer than 3 in 10 unfavorable.

Close behind, though, were TV ads, with about half (49%) having a favorable attitudes towards them, compared to 42% unfavorable.

These results are generally in line with separate research from Kantar Media on consumer attitudes to advertising.

By contrast, twice as many respondents were unfavorable (55%) as favorable (27%) towards digital video ads, though in this case these were measured only as pre-roll video ads. (Mid-rolls could be considered more acceptable, and tend to have higher completion rates.)

Once again, online pop-up ads showed up as almost universally disliked: 72% hold an unfavorable view of them, against just 17% who are favorable towards them. This is just the latest in a series of studies (such as this one) that have found a strong dislike towards pop-ups.

The general knock on pop-ups is that they’re intrusive – and that bleeds over into digital ads in general. In fact, three-quarters of consumers surveyed by Morning Consult find internet ads (excluding social media) intrusive, compared to 69% for social media ads and 66% for music streaming ads. Close behind, almost two-thirds find TV ads intrusive, while only 44% feel the same way about print ads – which could be why they have the highest favorability ratings…

Meanwhile, when asked which ads are entertaining, TV ads topped the charts, cited by 60%. Interestingly enough, print ads were next, found entertaining by 49% of respondents. Consumers are less likely to find social media ads (41%), ads on video streaming (41%) and internet ads (39%) to be entertaining.

Those are among the better-targeted ads, though. Ads on social media (46%) and internet ads (45%) were considered the best targeted by respondents, with TV ads lagging at the rear on this measure (37%).

Premium Report: Advertising Channels With the Largest Purchase Influence on Consumers

3. Ad Spend Increases; Branded Integrations Stall

While TV viewing time is declining – particularly among younger age groups – the TV universe is growing, with an estimated 304.5 million people in TV homes for the 2017-2018 season.

Primetime TV ad spend has been slowly climbing alongside that larger universe, according to Nielsen. This past year, advertisers spent $61.1 billion on primetime ads during the 2016-2017 broadcast season, up from $59 billion during the 2015-2016 season. The average cost of a 30-second spot during primetime was $2.5k last year, per Nielsen’s report.

Spending on day-time TV ads also has been growing, though quite modestly. During last year’s broadcast season, advertisers spent $22.8 billion on Total Day ads, up from $22.6 billion a year earlier and $21.9 billion the year before that. The average cost of a 30-second spot for Total Day last year was $757.

Overall, General Drama attracts the most advertising spending, totaling almost $11.3 billion from September 2016 to July 2017. News (i.e. Nightly News) follows closely, with $10.5 billion in spend during that time period.

The other way for brands to get in front of TV viewers is through sponsored integrations. Interestingly enough, these have actually declined over the past couple of years.

Looking specifically at original non-sports primetime programming on broadcast networks, Nielsen says that there were 611 brands with in-program placements during the 2016-2017 broadcast season, with a total of 4,346 branded integrations.

The number of brands with such integrations was down from the prior year (648) but up from the 2013-2014 season (574). However, the total number of integrations declined for the third consecutive year, down from 4,701 during the 2013-2014 season.

Premium Report: US Media Audience Demographics

4. TV Ads Are Getting Shorter

Although long-form ads have been finding some success, the trend has been towards shorter TV ads in recent years, reveals Nielsen.

So far, during the first half of 2017, fully 41% of ads aired have been either 15 seconds (36%) or 10 seconds (5%) in length.

By comparison, in 2014, fewer than one-third (31%) of ads were 15 seconds (29%) or 10 seconds (2%) in length.

The biggest change has been the growth in 15-second ads, which so far this year account for more than one-third of ads aired. Ads that are 30 seconds-long, by comparison, have fallen to less than half (49%) of commercials aired during the first half of this year, from 61% in 2014.


Explore More Articles.

Marketing Charts Logo

Stay on the cutting edge of marketing.

Sign up for our free newsletter.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This