TV in recent years has expanded into hundreds of broadcast, cable and internet channels and programs for viewers to choose from.
At the same time, we are bombarded with an overwhelming clutter of advertising messages, from all directions — as many as 5000 a day. Meanwhile, there is an ongoing explosion of web media
, so that people more and more have the option of getting only the entertainment, information and advertising they want, rather than having them pushed on them. Obviously, these three factors affect the response you get to TV advertising, from local level to national. Today, successful TV advertisers have to learn how to work with the web, not just fear it, because it isn’t going away. (For some elaboration on this topic, see my FAQ page
.)It’s not just TV — our relationship with all advertising has changed.
The way most people now perceive it, much of advertising is and has always been about tricking us. At the least, it tells us all the positives but leaves out any of the negatives. The worst of it is just outright fraud. So, by now, we’ve been tricked so many times, we’re highly resistant to it. The funny commercial on the Super Bowl no longer makes us think the dishwater beer might taste good the next time.OK, all that aside, can you still make money from TV advertising?
Clearly some people are making plenty of money from it. We know this because we see many advertisers who continue to run their TV ads over months and years. The old rule still applies — if you see someone advertising on TV — or anywhere else — and they continue to do it over time, they are almost certainly making money at it.Right now, here’s how it looks to me:
The effectiveness of all advertising, including the local “immediate response” TV advertising that has always been my speciality — varies greatly
among different advertisers and different markets across the country. For example, there are cities where it would be very difficult for a lawyer who has never advertised on TV to just start out now, hoping to get phone calls, and make any money at it. But at the same time, there are cities in which lawyers in certain practices are almost certainly missing out on excellent TV response because they are too afraid of losing money to even try it. We see two main kinds of TV advertising. One is “branding”
— also known as “image” advertising. The idea is to propagandize people over a long time in order to position yourself positively in their minds. Big companies do this. They can afford it. It’s the advertising you see at night on prime-time television. The other kind is “immediate response”
— if possible, convince viewers to grab their phones and call right now! This
style of television advertising mostly runs on local stations in daytime. It has been the speciality of my agency
since 1988.The essence of Gary Davis Media commercials
has always been “Catalog of the Air
”. That’s the idea that some people, looking for certain services, will purposely watch TV at a time when they they know that the people who sell those services advertise, and look for someone to call. Let’s say, Jenny needs a lawyer.
He friend tells her, “Jenny, you need to hire one of those lawyers on TV.” Jenny is the viewer my commercials have always been made for. I think, if people ever do stop watching TV commercials, viewers like Jenny will be the last to do it
. For one thing, they are the least likely to use the web, instead. And they are not watching all the commercials, anyway. They are just looking for that one person they need to call.