The Pros and Cons of TV Advertising: Is this Marketing Method Still Worth the Investment?

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Oct 2, 2019

Oct 2, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

With the rise of the digital world, it’s difficult to know whether you will reap the benefits of a TV marketing campaign. According to a study by Ball State University, despite the Internet’s rise in popularity, television remains the dominant medium in most American homes.

But even though it’s a favored pastime, is TV advertising still an effective form of marketing? We investigate below. 


On average, the population spends over four and a half hours in front of the TV, which means plenty of time for advertising your business. More advantages include:

Access the Right Audience

A television ad must have a good script to highlight your product’s benefits and be well-produced. One advantage of TV advertising is that you can reach a much larger audience compared to newspapers or radio stations.

It is also more effective as your viewers will be more relaxed and attentive. They can also see the personality behind your business straight away. And, the combination of audio and sound will be far more effective than a static billboard. 

Effective in the Long Run

On the surface, TV ads can be the costliest form of media due to the intricate process. Discuss your plans with an ad agency to see whether a glossy advert is more practical or whether you need a simpler one to announce a sale. 

Head to your local TV station for a cheaper option so you can buy ad time instead. Even though up-front costs are more expensive, TV commercials are more effective than a radio advert that a consumer can change in a second.

Always be mindful of your product and the advert you need as there may be a more cost-effective solution. 

Chance to Sell Directly 

A call-to-action is crucial in any form of marketing, from the TV to a smartphone screen. Consider using a “call now” infomercial if you’re selling a product that needs a demonstration so customers can see the benefits. 

Cable networks often sell 30 to 120-second advertising spots for less than traditional commercials. Another benefit is that these commercials include toll-free phone numbers so you can measure the return on your advertising investment. 

More Memorable 

If you ask any Baby Boomer, they can reel off a list of TV adverts that they love. The best and worse TV ads can stick in your memory forever; all it takes is a memorable hook.

You don’t have to spend thousands on a good ad but it must have a fresh angle. For example, if you own a furniture store, watch as many industry-related adverts so you know what to stay away from. Instead, find an animated and fun way to showcase different couches with a jingle difficult to shake off.

Establishes Credibility and Trust 

Research shows that 63% of consumers said they trusted TV ads before making a purchase decision. This is partly because of credibility but also because audio and visual can convey a more impactful message in a short period of time. 


When weighing up television advertising advantages and disadvantages, there are other factors to consider, such as:

The Cost

Creating a TV advert takes longer than launching a social media campaign and will make a dent in your budget. Remember, you also need to pay for writing the script, acting, and camera work.

Buying airtime is also more expensive as you must decide where and when to broadcast your ad. For example, buying a slot during prime time will be far more costly than the middle of the night, but would enough people see it?

Further, repetition is key to getting your message across and staying at the forefront of the consumer’s mind. You must find the perfect balance as too much could lead to consumer fatigue and annoyance, so repetition must be planned out. 

Difficult to Make Changes

If your product’s price drops, then it’s a hassle to tweak your ad. Unlike newspaper advertising where you swap out a coupon, TV advertising means you have to update your script and re-shoot an entire ad which can be costly. Even then, you may have several ads scheduled to air before you can show consumers the new version.

Gamble Finding the Right Time to Air

Even if you air your TV ad at a popular time, viewers may not always be captive. They may run to the bathroom or kitchen during the breaks, or if they record the show, they may skip the adverts altogether. This risk can cost business owners thousands. 

TV Adverts are Fleeting

Unlike static advertising like a billboard or social media campaign, TV ads are far more difficult to execute. You have to discuss the consumer’s problem, establish the value of your product, outshine your competitors and prove the credibility of your company. 

All of this has to be squeezed into 15 to 30 seconds. If the viewer watches the entire advert which is unlikely, they must be able to digest your message before the advert is over. 

So, Are You For or Against TV Advertising?

When deciding whether TV advertising is a viable marketing strategy, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. TV advertising is a great way to establish your credibility, brand identity, and reach more eyes than other forms of marketing.

But you must consider your finances and whether your company can hold the weight of buying air time and creating an advert which is costly enough. Good luck!

Did you find this article helpful? Check us out for more marketing-related content.