What is Broadcast Television?
Broadcast television is a form of mass media that works well to generate awareness, attract attention and has the ability to appeal to emotion. Unlike cable; however, broadcast television can be obtained free, over the air using an antenna. Broadcast television is also a limited number of networks whereas cable has hundreds, even thousands! For example:
- ABC (American Broadcasting Company)
- NBC (National Broadcasting Company)
- CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System)
- FOX (Fox Broadcasting Company)
- The CW (Joint Venture between CBS and Warner Brothers)
- MyNetwork (Owned by Fox Entertainment Group)
- PBS (Public Broadcasting Service)
- Univision (American Spanish-Language)
- And many more (just not as many as cable…)
Characteristics of Broadcast Television
With 97% of Americans owning at least one Television set, it is not a surprise that it is the major mass media of advertising. Media planners and media buyers recognize that this dominant form of media is what fills the top of the purchase funnel because of its unique characteristics.
- Audio-Visual – this gives television advertising (and TV shows) the ability to tempt, tantalize, and convince by appealing to the human senses of sight and sound.
- Live Medium/Informative – News programming dominates broadcast television today. Many network stations now have 5-9 hours of news a day! In addition, in times of crisis, local television is the key medium most of the population goes to for information because of its capabilities to go live quickly.
- Reach – television is known as a reach medium. Advertising on television enables one to easily reach targeted audiences based on demographics and research. Media buyers and planners often use Nielsen or comScore ratings, Scarborough research, and media buying software like BluHorn to ensure reach is maximized based on the available budget.
- Convenience – information and entertainment via television is right at everyone’s fingertips. Many based their daily schedules around what television shows they watch. For instance, they will watch their favorite early morning news show such as the Today Show or Good Morning America when they wake up, evening news when they come home from work, and their favorite Prime Time show such as Big Bang Theory, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice or NCIS.
How is Television used for Advertising?
Familiar with the Geico Gecko or Chester Cheetah? What about slogans such as Rice Kripsies’ “Snap, Crackle, and Pop” or McDonald’s “I’m lovin it” (did you sing the jingle?)? That’s how television is used to create a long-lasting impression of brands that many won’t quickly forget.
Knowing that television is capable of generating broad awareness and lasting impression of a product or service through pervasiveness, impact, and targeting, media buyers and planners create strategies to ensure that not a dollar is wasted.
They take into consideration the daily habits of those that watch Television. Media planning software enables the planner to design a media plan that will reach the intended demographic in a cost-effective manner. And, media buyers ensure that the programming bought are not only the highest rated for that demographic but the most cost-efficient by making sure they hit the lowest cost per point possible.
Most people are no longer just watching TV. More often than not, they are also using a device such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Many think television seems “old school” but it is in fact far from it. eMarketer research indicates that the main behaviors while watching TV are online shopping, scanning social media, and texting.
As previously mentioned, TV is king and fills up the top of the purchasing funnel by attracting attention. Other mediums such as radio, digital, social, outdoor, and print support these initial efforts by driving home the message through the frequency of delivery.
- Radio – considered another mass medium enables the media buyer to choose stations that match the demographics of the TV schedule. Therefore, ensuring that the TV viewer will now hear an identical message on their radio.
- Digital – can be utilized on a much more granular scale, targeting those within specific geographies, or with specific behaviors and interests. This enables advertisers to find those likely to purchase or have an interest in a service. In addition, data that comes back from digital campaigns can often be overlaid on TV buys to ensure even better targeting.
- Social Media – since it is known that most are scanning social media on their smartphones, laptops or tablets while watching TV, this is a great opportunity for advertisers to drive users to find out more information either through a likeable business page, or via an ad where users can click through to a landing page or website for more information. Like digital, the demographic data gathered over time from social media can be applied to the television strategy.
- Outdoor – is one of the trickier mediums. The artwork has to be supportive of the campaign but yet simple enough to read as one is driving by at 70 mph. However, the impressions are super high and with the right creative advertisers can drive home the key points of any campaign reinforcing what the consumer has seen on TV.
- Print – many believe that print is no longer a value to advertisers but that’s quite false. Print advertising can expand the 30-second message seen on television by giving the consumer the ability to find out more information at a slower pace. For instance, Macy’s can promote their one-day sale through a TV ad and then illustrate exactly what is on sale in a print ad.
Broadcast Television is always a number one choice when media planning and buying for any market, when the budget is available. Using BluHorn’s media buying software allows the buyer to organize, analyze, and communicate media buys for broadcast TV, cable, radio, outdoor, print and digital media. BluHorn is the media buying solution for planners and buyers alike. It was created for media buyers by media buyers.