The Marketer's Guide to Linear TV Advertising in 2024

Feb 16, 2024
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Linear TV advertising faces stiff competition from CTV, but it remains a significant force if marketers can take advantage of its features.

Where does linear TV fit within the marketing portfolios of modern brands?

Linear TV Advertising Defined

Linear TV, the traditional method of broadcasting television content on a fixed schedule, has undergone significant changes to compete with on-demand alternatives. While its reach may not be as extensive as in the past, these changes have ensured linear TV advertising remains a valuable channel for marketers.

The enduring relevance of linear TV for advertisers is evident in major events such as the Super Bowl, award shows, and live sports, which draw millions of viewers, offering prime opportunities for targeted advertising. The communal viewing experience and the appeal to older demographics further contribute to its importance in the advertising landscape.

Read more in What is Linear TV?

Addressable TV vs Linear TV

Television advertising has evolved, presenting marketers with two distinct paths to reaching mainstream audiences. Linear TV follows the traditional broadcasting approach while addressable TV leverages data for personalized ads to specific households.

Linear TV, synonymous with traditional television, involves scheduled programming broadcast through designated channels at specific times. Despite streaming's rise, it remains popular due to its familiar format. Primarily attracting older demographics, particularly those aged 50 and above, linear TV includes live events like sports and awards shows, maintaining its appeal through time-shifted viewing. Linear TV advertising is delivered through commercial breaks, targeting the predominant older demographic with longer, brand-focused content.

Addressable TV advertising delivers unique ads to different households watching the same content, utilizing data and technology for precise tracking. With a focus on personalized and relevant viewing experiences, addressable TV is influenced by connected TV and OTT platforms. These technologies integrate seamlessly, providing new opportunities for targeted advertising.

Read more in Addressable TV vs Linear TV: What's the Difference?

Building Your TV Marketing Strategy

Building an effective television marketing strategy involves treating advertising as storytelling, and creating a narrative that resonates with the target audience. A successful television advertising strategy ensures these stories are engaging, boosts brand awareness, and drives sales.

Investing in TV advertising offers businesses broad reach, and credibility, and significantly influences audiences. TV ads can integrate with online engagement, generating leads, increasing website traffic, and ultimately boosting sales. Overall, a strategic TV advertising approach allows businesses to establish credibility, reach a wide audience, and leave a lasting impression on potential customers.

Read more in How to Build an Effective Television Marketing Strategy.

Developing Your Next TV Ad

Crafting an effective TV ad campaign involves several crucial steps, each contributing to its success. The first step is choosing a compelling big idea that communicates the brand's benefits to consumers and resonates with a target audience. This idea can be expressed through characters, taglines, and captivating imagery, providing a coherent message across different ads in a campaign.

Defining a budget is a critical second step, ensuring that the creative vision aligns with financial considerations. Storyboarding helps marketers visualize the action within the allocated time frame, guiding the production process.

Selecting a production company, if needed, involves thorough research and comparison, considering their expertise, track record, and alignment with the brand's vision. Shooting and editing footage requires adherence to schedules and budgets to maximize usable footage during the shoot and maintain the overall campaign vision during editing.

The final step involves strategically running the commercial on broadcast channels, cable channels, or streaming services based on the target audience and advertising goals. Tips for success include clear brand representation, a compelling storyline or jingle, incorporating a signature character or theme, simplicity in concept, and a focus on high-quality production.

Read more in How to Develop the Perfect TV Ad.

Local TV Ad Rates

The cost of producing a TV commercial varies based on factors such as complexity, creative elements, and the production process. Factors like scriptwriting, casting, location scouting, and special effects contribute to production costs. Broadcasting expenses, determined by location, TV channel, broadcasting time, and viewership projections, add to the overall investment.

On average, producing and airing a 30-second television ad in the United States costs over $100K. Local television ad rates can range from $5 to $100 for every 1000 viewers. Strategic decisions, such as investing in high-quality production or optimizing broadcasting expenses, significantly influence the return on investment.

Budgeting for TV commercial production involves understanding the breakdown of costs. In pre-production, tasks include script development, determining shooting locations, and budget allocation for resources, including talent fees. Production efficiency relies on time management, precise storyboarding, and resource utilization to maximize output.

Read more in Local Television Ad Rates: What Is the Cost of Advertising on TV?

TV Advertisement Examples

The most impactful linear TV advertising campaigns transcend the role of mere product promotion, leaving an indelible mark on our memories. Diverse in nature, these ads can emphasize a traditional product focus, emotional storytelling, or humorous observations. Recognizing the suitable type for specific marketing goals is crucial to maximizing effectiveness.

Some key qualities that define great TV advertisements are:

  • Capturing the audience's attention within the first few seconds
  • Visually striking imagery
  • Compelling storytelling
  • A catchy tagline or jingle

Whether funny, catchy, or narratively compelling, an ad should convey a short, simple story that resonates with viewers while reflecting the company's values, brand identity, and product quality.

Read more in The 10 Best TV Advertisement Examples Ever.

Shoppable Ads

Shoppable ads are a burgeoning force in e-commerce, enabling users to make purchases directly within an ad, be it an interactive video or a social media post. These ads facilitate immediate product acquisition from the served ad, often found on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, featuring a "Shop Now" or "Buy Now" button for swift in-app purchases. Technology such as QR code generation and connected TVs can also bring these benefits to television audiences.

The convenience shoppable ads offer is key, allowing users to seamlessly shop without navigating to external websites. This frictionless experience not only enhances user satisfaction but also contributes to increased conversion rates. Shoppable ads provide businesses with a platform to generate sales and bolster brand visibility by reaching engaged audiences within the social media sphere.

Read more in What Are Shoppable Ads?

Where CTV Comes In

Connected TV (CTV) advertising stands out as a potent force in today's media landscape, offering unparalleled precision and flexibility to reach high-value audiences at scale. In contrast to traditional linear TV advertising with its predefined time slots, CTV allows brands to engage viewers through internet-connected TVs in a personalized, data-driven manner.

  • CTV vs. Linear TV Advertising: CTV excels in precise targeting based on user data, offers advanced analytics, and suits cord-cutters. Linear TV, while having a broader reach, relies on traditional Nielsen ratings and lacks detailed measurement.
  • CTV vs. Addressable TV Advertising: CTV's scalable individual content delivery offers more precise targeting than addressable TV's focus on households.
  • CTV vs. OTT Advertising: CTV ads prioritize premium inventory, while OTT covers a broader range of devices and delivery methods.

Read more in How Connected TV Advertising Fits Into Your TV Marketing Mix.

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