Selling the Benefits of TV Advertisements

Woman holding domestic product emerging from television, portrait
Erik Dreyer / Getty Images

TV advertisements combine video and audio to make a compelling sales pitch for most clients. Radio advertisements may be cheaper, but they don't offer pictures. Newspaper advertising has still pictures, but little else that would boost a client's sales. Learn how to sell the benefits of TV advertisements so that potential clients know their money is being well spent to build their business.


It's true that TV advertisements are usually the most expensive form of media to buy, but you can explain the reason behind the higher price tag. First, TV commercials involve more steps in production. Discuss the options of TV commercial production so that the client can make the correct choice in getting a spot created.

One client may have the money and need for a glossy, TV network-quality image spot, while someone else just needs a bare-bones commercial to announce a sale at a furniture store. Make sure you understand the six forms of media advertising so that you don't try to oversell clients on pricey productions that will scare them away from buying a TV package from you.

It's easy for a first-time client to be overwhelmed by the costs involved in creating a TV advertisement before it ever gets on the air. Simplify the steps to calm nerves. Local TV stations usually have most of the tools of a fancy production company and may be willing to build a commercial for free, if a client buys ad time.

Sell the fact that while up-front costs may be greater, more people will see a TV commercial. Radio listeners are too quick to change the station when the commercials come on, and dwindling newspaper readership means there are fewer people glancing at newspaper ads as they flip through the pages. Making an investment in TV advertising has the biggest payoff.

Reaches a Target Audience

With each year, television becomes better at reaching a client's target audience. That used to be radio's big advantage, with all the various radio formats allowing a client to make easy decisions on where to place an ad buy.

With more and more niche cable TV channels, television offers many of the same advantages. A garden supply center can buy commercial time through a local cable TV company so that ads appear on a home-and-garden cable channel. Buying cable TV advertising not only helps a company reach its target audience, but cable ad rates are usually much cheaper than those on broadcast TV stations.

But the audience on a cable TV channel is also much smaller. So while the rates are lower, a client may be reaching only a few thousand viewers with a commercial.

A broadcast TV station can offer a better opportunity to reach more people, although at a higher cost. However, there are options for TV stations, too. If clients want their ads to appear during a local 6:00 p.m. TV newscast but can't afford the cost, you can steer them to the morning newscast instead. They still reach the desired news audience but at a much lower rate.

TV Spots Are Memorable

Give yourself 30 seconds to think of TV commercials from your childhood. Chances are, a few classic ads come to mind almost immediately, even though you haven't seen the spots in years. Some memorable examples include the "Life" cereal commercial ("Hey Mikey, he likes it!"), Alka-Seltzer ("Plop, plop, fizz, fizz") and Wendy's Hamburgers ("Where's the Beef?"). Can you remember radio or newspaper advertisements the same way?

The best ads on TV and even the worst can stick in viewers' minds forever. All it takes is a memorable hook – a jingle, funny line, or cute kid as a spokesperson.

Get potential clients to stretch their minds so that you can help them come up with something that will live in viewers' heads long after the 30 spot is over. Commercials don't have to always be funny to have an impact. Nor do they have to be big-budgeted national advertisements. In your local area, you probably have familiar commercials that everyone in town knows by heart.

The key for you is to steer a client away from creating a commercial that looks like everyone else's on television. If a spot from a local bank looks like every other banking advertisement, it's not going to catch the audience's attention or be memorable one minute after it airs, much less one day or one week.

Selling TV advertisements requires knowledge of the client's needs, creativity in production and targeted placement on the air to be successful. If you do your homework, your client will see the benefits in improved sales, and you'll become the go-to person for any company that wants results.