3 Basic Elements to an Effective Retail TV Commercial

August 14, 2009

TV Call To Action for Post #8TV advertising can be the most effective form of advertising you can use to grow your retail chain – or it can be colossal waste of money.  

You decide. 

Don’t depend on your ad agency to tell you.  A lot of them are too busy winning awards with your money to worry about what’s effective or not. 

 It’s up to you to know the difference between commercials that win acclaim and those that win customers.  

 To help out, here’s s are some basic (but essential) elements that every retail TV commercial should possess.

 1)      Call to Action:  Why advertise if you’re not providing consumers with tangible reasons to shop your store?  The key word here is tangible. Stay away from generic platitudes like “low prices” and “great selection.”  Or other obvious claims like the one I saw the other day for a fence company, where they proudly advertised: “We build dependable fences.” As if there was a market out there for undependable ones.   

 2)      A Brand Promise:  A lot of retailers (and some ad agencies) think that a strong call to action and a branding message don’t mix well in a 15 or 30-second TV commercial – you have to choose one or another.  On the contrary, it’s only when both the brand promise and the offer coexist, that you have the makings for an effective TV commercial.  Would you rather have a .99 cent hamburger from a no name burger joint or a .99 cent Big Mac from one of the most recognizable brand names in the world?  Without a brand promise, your price and item commercial will fall flat.

 3)      Consistency:  Al Ries, probably the nation’s foremost authority on retail marketing said it best:

“Brand building is boring work. What works best is absolute consistency over an extended period of time.”

Find something that works and stick with it. Just ask BMW who has stayed the course since 1975 with “The Ultimate Driving Machine”.  Or how about Maxwell House Coffee’s 94-year history with its “Good to the last drop” positioning?   Short and simple – consumers reward consistency.

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Retail Television Advertising Still Makes Sense

August 13, 2009

Why do retail advertisers continue to spend 46% of their ad budgets on television advertising? And only 7% on the Internet?

Graph for Post 5

It makes perfect sense to me. TV commands such a lion share of the nation’s media spending because it deserves to. After all is said and done, it comes down to results. No amount of wishful thinking can change the fact that TV advertising produces better “brand building” results than any other media platform, including the Internet.

Don’t know about you, but I could of swore I saw the Geico Gecko and that creepy, but effective Burger king character for the first time on TV.

With that said, the Internet is a powerful complement to traditional mass media when it comes to providing consumers with in-depth information on a product or service. It’s weakness; however, is its inability to transform a brand promise into a brand personality. For that – nothing beats the sight, sound and action of a 30-second television commercial.

TV is not dead and it’s not dying. There’s too much evidence out there for anyone with slightest bit of intellectual honesty to deny.

You don’t have to look any further than online video consumption to realize that television is more than holding its own in the digital age. Are people really abandoning their 50 inch plasmas in favor of viewing downloaded video content onto their laptops and cell phones? Or are they spending all their time on YouTube watching one of the thousands of insipid videos submitted each and every day? Perhaps some are, but it’s far from being a groundswell – even among the young.

According to the latest Nielsen Media Research Study on media usage, 18-24 year-olds are watching just under 5 ½ minutes of online video a day versus 3 ½ hours of TV daily.

As Andy Donchin, the director of national broadcast for Carat, the largest media buying service in the world put it:

“traditional media is still very strong and a great influencer. You need to get immersed in digital, but traditional media is still doing the heavy lifting.”

I couldn’t have said better myself…

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