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Maximizing the Impact of TV Advertising

The Ward Group has been buying TV since rabbit ears were high tech, and we're not kidding. Our agency has been honing our TV buying skills for nearly four decades, and we've tackled everything from small-scale to large-scale campaigns, local and national buys. We consider TV buying to be one of our core competencies, and our wealth of experience translates to a team of TV buyers and planners with an extensive knowledge base. Recently, our team generously shared some of their insights and tips for successful TV buying. 

Use the Full Creative Capabilities of TV

TV advertising offers a unique advantage with its ability to combine both visual and audio elements into a single, powerful ad unit. Even if a viewer has the TV muted, the video component of the ad is still capable of delivering the brand's message effectively. Similarly, if a viewer has the TV playing in the background while performing household tasks, the audio component of the TV spot can still grab their attention and convey the brand's message. In addition, TV advertising can cause consumers to view a brand as more authoritative and trustworthy when they see it promoted through video on the big screen. 

TV ad units are typically available in 15 and 30-second increments, and clients often ask us which is more effective. Our experienced TV buyers typically recommend a mix of both lengths to maximize reach and frequency. This approach allows your brand to occupy ad slots from both durations, avoiding the risk of message saturation. We also suggest creating different versions of your video messaging to weave a compelling narrative and extend the impact of your ad. By strategically running various versions of your video ads during your TV campaign, you can take your audience on a journey and achieve a more sustained impact with your 15 and/or 30-second spots. 

Regardless of the creative approach you decide to take, our buyers stress the importance of establishing your brand name early in the ad and repeating it multiple times to cement it in the minds of viewers. Additionally, a strong and consistent call to action (CTA) is critical to prompting viewers to take action after hearing your message. Failing to include a brand message and a clear CTA can lead to viewers quickly forgetting your ad. Therefore, it is essential to include both elements to maximize the impact and effectiveness of your TV advertising campaign. 

Consider Advanced Strategic Tactics

While the creative aspect of a TV campaign is critical, executional factors can also have a significant impact on its effectiveness. Despite the increasing focus on digital strategy, we continue to embrace strategic executions in our TV campaigns. One of our favorite techniques is the :15 second roadblock, where we run the first and last ad slot in a commercial pod. This approach enables brands to tell a mini-story within the same pod and creates a disruptive way to capture the viewer's attention. Another technique we enjoy implementing is TV roadblocks, where we run an ad in each broadcast station in the same daypart to fully "own" the video ad space, regardless of the network viewers are watching. These are just two of the many TV executional strategies we can leverage to help our clients achieve their marketing objectives. 

Include and Incorporate Streaming

While traditional TV can be costly, especially for clients with modest budgets, the rise of streaming TV platforms has presented an opportunity to reach a more targeted audience at a lower cost. Although the way consumers view content on streaming and traditional TV may be similar, streaming TV can be a more cost-effective option. At The Ward Group, we prefer to blend traditional and streaming TV buys whenever possible to maximize reach and address the fragmentation that has arisen due to the proliferation of TV consumption options. A comprehensive TV plan should include a combination of all long-form video components to ensure the best possible results for our clients. 

Focus on Appointment Viewing

As TV viewership options and fragmentation continue to expand, it's important to consider the type of content that will capture the attention of your target audience. Longform video content, whether it's on traditional TV or streaming platforms, offers a wide variety of options to choose from. Our TV buyers recommend targeting appointment viewing opportunities to maximize your ad's impact. Sports events and late-night news programs are great examples of programming that viewers make a point to watch. Additionally, shows with a dedicated following, like season premieres or finales, or highly anticipated events like award shows, are prime opportunities to capture a captive audience. Simply running an ad on TV isn't enough - you want to ensure that your message is reaching an engaged audience who will be receptive to your brand. 

Don’t Forget About Negotiation

To get the most value out of a TV campaign, our TV buyers recommend starting negotiations as early as possible before the execution date. Our buyers are skilled negotiators who prioritize our clients' interests. However, we also excel in turnkey situations when there isn't much lead time for negotiations. Our ability to extend our clients' TV budgets through skillful negotiation has earned us praise from clients in the past. 

Keep Up With Changing Times

As with any industry, the TV landscape is always evolving and it's essential to stay on top of these changes to remain competitive. For example, the TV industry has recently shifted from GRPs to impressions as its main media currency, and as a result, we've had to adapt along with other advertisers. It's vital to recognize that the way things have been done in the past may not be the most effective way to move forward. By keeping up with the latest trends and technologies in TV buying, we can help our clients stay ahead of the curve and achieve their goals. 

Align With Experts

In summary, a successful TV media buy involves implementing a well-rounded plan that includes a clear creative strategy, strategic executional factors, and appointment viewing. It also requires keeping up with the changing times and commencing negotiations as far in advance as possible. With the complexity of the TV landscape, it's crucial to align yourself with experts who can help you achieve your goals. The Ward Group is ready to provide their expertise and help you navigate the ever-changing TV industry, so don't hesitate to contact us today to get started! 

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