If Video Killed the Radio Star,Who the Hell Killed TV Advertising?

Guest Article | TV Advertising

Well… no one.

The thing is we talk about TV advertising a lot. Mostly when we are helping our clients build their content plans. When we ask if they’re considering a TV ad, their first response is usually, “we could never afford that”.  We understand why.

Historically, advertising on TV was only viable for larger businesses with sizeable marketing budgets. Those with smaller budgets could only afford a slot when, quite honestly, no one was watching. And let’s face it, how did you know it was “working” for you?  It was a bit like driving around with a billboard on your car.  It got seen, but was that really the right street to drive down?

That’s all changed. The use of data means that your advert can get in front of the right person at the right time. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how technology is changing TV advertising at the moment. We wanted a refresher on this to ensure that we really understood these new developments, so we had a chat with Leigh Robinson from Sky AdSmart. 

It was so interesting that it would be downright rude to keep this info to ourselves! Here are some of the highlights…

Hi Leigh, firstly, can you explain what AdSmart does and how it has opened up the TV advertising landscape?

AdSmart has opened doors for businesses of all kinds to access TV advertising. The service allows them to access the most powerful form of marketing while showcasing their ad alongside the very best brands in the world. 

The clever bit is the use of data partnerships to target demographics allowing businesses to really hit the nail on the head in terms of audience, so you can be sure your ad is reaching the right screens in the right homes. This precision, combined with a low media buy entry point of £3000, is what has made TV advertising feasible for smaller and/or local businesses.

That is clever! But for those people on a tighter budget how is this use of data helping max out their ROI?

It’s all about getting your ad in front of the right person. So to put it metaphorically – instead of shouting about your product to a whole street, targeted advertising using data is like knocking on the door of the people who have actually expressed an interest in what you have to offer. 

The reason this can save so much money is because it is efficient. Data allows businesses to identify a niche target audience and only shows your ad to the relevant households. Amazingly, data from Capify allows us to identify households that have been actively searching for products like yours and keywords related to your business, meaning your ad is put in front of an audience who are already interested in what you have to offer.  

Even better, 75% of your ad must be watched for it to be counted as an impression, so it won’t cost you anything if your ad is skipped or fast-forwarded.  Every advert has an impact, so every penny of your budget counts.


What about local businesses? Why is AdSmart such a game-changer on a regional level?

Previously, if you wanted to advertise on TV in the South West you’d have to advertise in the entire region, which is a huge area of the country. You’d have to accept that your advertisement wouldn’t resonate with every household, so your ROI may be lower than desired. These factors put TV advertising out of reach for most smaller businesses with a local customer base. 

Now, businesses can show their ads within a highly focused location, right down to a specific postcode or 5-mile radius from a town center – so you’re really getting the most out of your budget by advertising in the right place.  

We know that people are watching more Video on Demand (VoD) these days, Tell us about advertising on these platforms- how are they different?

VoD platforms can be a great way to reach more viewers because they’re not restricted to Sky customers; anyone can access them. There are fewer restrictions on online apps such as Skysports and Sky News, so brands can have more creative freedom and fun with their advertising content. Many brands choose to run shorter, more creative ads on these digital platforms alongside their TV campaigns.

How can performance be measured?

You are able to see exactly how many Sky homes went on to purchase your product or visit your site. It’s so rewarding for businesses to see exactly what they spent and exactly how many sales they made as a direct result of their ad campaign. Take a local car dealership, for example. If they ran a campaign, they would be able to see exactly how many Sky homes went on to purchase a car from them- a level of accuracy that just can’t be matched by most other advertising methods. 

Housing charity Shelter saw a 40% increase in their Google traffic as a result of their campaign, allowing them to focus their spend and prove the impact that the campaign had on awareness. It’s this level of analysis that really shows how much this form of advertising can pay off. 

Thanks Leigh, this has been really useful. Finally, do you have any advice for businesses that are considering TV advertising for the first time? What should they keep in mind when planning a campaign?

1.Timing is key

Planning, production, and passing the clearcast process can take around two months – ensure you allow enough time to get your production out in time, especially if it’s a seasonal campaign!

2. Speak to professionals

You may think that your audience is too niche – but there are so many methods of targeting you may have never heard of – there really is something out there for every business.

3. Make sure your advert looks the part

If your ad is going to be shown alongside some of the biggest brands in the world, it needs to look like it belongs there. It’s a good idea to work with a video production company that can guarantee your campaign looks amazing.