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TV Advertising FAQs

Below we've answered many of the questions frequently submitted about advertising on TV. Of course, if you'd like to discuss your query in greater depth, please call our TV experts on 0800 088 6789. Alternatively, why not submit your enquiry through our contact form?

Why is TV advertising now so affordable?

The proliferation of channel choice driven by the digital switchover has had a significant impact on the costs of advertising on TV. Firstly, it has resulted in an increase in advertising inventory now available; a by-product of which is the lowering of TV advertising costs by 30% compared to a decade ago.

Secondly, with smaller, niche TV channels now available as marketing platforms, there has been a notable increase in the number of zero-rated advertising spots – in other words, those that attract an audience of less than ten thousand. These are not chargeable, yet still attract considerable levels of response for businesses that target audiences based on specific interests. Essentially, TV now works more efficiently, with half of all television airtime now free.

What’s a typical budget for businesses advertising on TV?

Contrary to popular belief, in 2015 61% of the total number of TV advertisers spent less than £250,000 across the year. In fact, 25% of businesses active on the small screen spent under £50,000, with a mere 15% spending over £1 million. So don’t be fooled; TV advertising can work extremely well for businesses on tight budgets, with every £1 spent delivering on average £1.79 in return profit. Guerillascope has a proven track record of successfully launching businesses on TV from as little as £5,000 per month.

What is a ‘Cost Per Thousand’?

Cost-Per-Thousand (CPT) is the cost of 1,000 commercial impacts - or individual viewings - for a target television audience. This is the standard trading model for the UK TV advertising market, though channels which are not registered with BARB will typically trade on a Cost Per Spot basis.

How are the costs of a TV advertising spot calculated?

The cost of a TV spot is calculated by dividing the total impacts by 1,000 and multiplying the number by the purchased cost per thousand (CPT). For example, if a TV spot reached 80,000 viewers, and the CPT was £2.80, then the cost per spot would be £224. The greater the number of TV viewers reached, the more expensive the cost per spot becomes, therefore television channels with higher TV ratings, such as ITV, will require a bigger budget than Motors TV.

What about the costs of producing my TV advert?

The last five years have ushered in a technological revolution, with new products and innovations opening up the TV advertising market to more business than ever before. For the first time, companies – with the aid of a decent smartphone and iMovie – now have the capacity to create their own broadcast-quality TV ads, a byproduct of which is the lowering of costs charged by professional TV production agencies. Businesses have never had it so good. Guerillascope operates its own production arm, providing creative solutions from just a few thousand pounds.

How has digital technology affected TV advertising?

The digital switchover has driven a swell in television content now available to TV viewers, bolstering an advertiser’s capacity to run targeted TV campaigns relevant to the interests of fragmented audiences. And, with the advent of HD and 3D television, not to mention multi-screen TV advertising formats such as ITV Hub, TV has become more accessible, immersive and responsive, with the small screen now regarded as the new point-of-sale medium.

Yet, despite these technological innovations, research indicates that linear television viewing remains a staple of the nation’s daily viewing habits. In fact, studies have shown that, in 2015, only 13% of television viewing was done so via non-live, time-shifted or on demand platforms. This suggests that, far from replacing linear TV, the rise of on-demand and Smart TV technologies are seen as a supplement to the live schedule. What does this all mean? It’s simple: Television viewers are now watching more TV ads than ever before.

How is the effectiveness of a TV advertising campaign measured?

To ascertain the effectiveness of your TV advertising activity, we use analytical software that enables us to measure response uplifts on a cross-platform basis. This tool allows us to correlate specific TV spots with web traffic to accurately identify which areas of the campaign are performing most efficiently. By inserting a simple pixel code onto your website, we can:

1.     Identify the Cost Per Lead and Cost Per Acquisition, as well as other response metrics such as Impacts Per Acquisition that demonstrate the efficiency of your TV advertising campaign.

2.     Measure lead generation and response by channel, programme, day-part, hour of the day and postcode, allowing clients to see what aspects of their campaign have been working.

3.     Provide reports are available by week, month or in real-time.

4.     Provide clients with their own online log-in access for complete transparency.

We also refer continually to TV scheduling and value positions in order to ensure we deliver what is stipulated in your free TV advertising plan.

Which channels offer regional TV advertising?

ITV, Channel 4 and Sky all cater for local business interests with regional TV advertising platforms to varying degrees. 

ITV is broken down into 15 macro regions, which can be bought individually or as part of larger packages; with available regions including London, Central, Granada and Meridian. Channel 4 provides a broader, less concentrated framework of 6 regions – Scotland, The North, Midlands, South, Northern Ireland and London. 

Sky AdSmart transforms a subscriber’s set top box into an advertising server, granting advertisers with access to a system that can literally pinpoint a key demographic through over 90 mosaic audience profiles. Viewers are reachable in terms of region, metropolitan area, lifestyle and 124 postcode areas.

Exactly how much commercial TV do people watch in the UK?

In 2015, the average adult TV viewer watched 2 hours, 36 minutes of commercial TV a day. 66.2% of all TV viewed was on commercial TV channels, with 98% of the population reached per month. 45 TV ads were seen per adult each day – 6 more than in 2005.

Which TV advertising formats are available to businesses?

A TV advertising campaign can be launched in a variety of formats. For traditional TV spots, the difference is mainly found in the length; with 10, 20, 30, 40, 60 and 90 second durations commonly available to TV advertisers.

A 30-second TV ad is typically aired to introduce a key selling point or new promotion. A 10-second creative is an effective tool in reaffirming brand presence and driving response, whilst a longer 90-second television advertisement is customarily seen as a marquee launch, designed to build brand awareness and stir viewer engagement. Many businesses will use a combination of lengths during the course of a television campaign to serve different stages of the marketing process.

TV advertisers can also opt for TV sponsorship, which creates an association between product and TV content whilst delivering brand prestige and visibility.

How much would it cost to advertise during Coronation Street?

Running a TV spot during an episode of Coronation Street – one of the UK’s most popular TV shows – would cost approximately £60,000 per 30-second spot. Prices will generally differ considerably depending on which TV programme holds the spot, as well as the TV viewing figures said programme generates.

Who regulates television advertisements?

Clearcast is the industry body responsible for regulating the content of television advertisements. Businesses and agencies must adhere to a set of strict guidelines – licensed by Ofcom and enforced by the ASA – when developing a TV advertising campaign. Failure to comply may result in your TV ad being banned from television. In order receive authorisation, your TV ad will have to pass through six stages of approval:

1.    Submission of script.

2.    A dialogue with your Clearcast consultant where you receive feedback on your proposal.

3.    Pre-production approval. If your TV advert is suitable, you are notified by email.

4.    Upload of finished advert onto Clearcast’s online system Adway, where the creative is checked and approved.

5.    Clearcast Morning Viewing – your consultant sends the advert to the viewing reel where it is revised.

6.    Post-production approval – provided your advert meets all relevant checks, it is approved and sent to you and the broadcaster.

Which day-part is the most profitable for TV advertisers?

This completely depends on your product/service, the objective of your campaign (is it for direct response or brand awareness?), budget and the television audience that constitutes your core customer base. There is no single day-part that offers the most profitable return on your investment. For more information, please contact Guerillascope with your specific requirements.

How is the TV viewing audience calculated?

BARB (Broadcasters Audience Research Board) is a research panel of approximately 11,500 television viewers who are representative of all TV households in the UK. Each home denotes, on average, about 4,000 of the UK population. They help provide statistics around what and when people watch, their age, gender and demographic.

Guerillascope uses cutting-edge TV advertising software to obtain and analyse TV viewing data from any day, month or year, therefore allowing us to measure the TV ratings for a specific show or television channel. A TV viewing audience is measured in Impacts (number of viewers) or TVRs (the percentage of the buying audience tuning in).

What constitutes television viewing?

BARB measures TV viewing both in and outside of residential households; meaning engagement on portable devices is such as smartphones is incorporated as TV viewing. A viewer must observe a TV advertisement for at least 10-seconds in order for it to registered and recorded on the BARB system. Due to this, if a viewer fast-forwards through your TV advertisement, you’re not charged a penny.

Do TV advertising costs remain consistent throughout the year?

Daytime prices remain fairly consistent throughout the year, though peak time costs do fluctuate in relation to the supply and demand of airtime by a variance of 20/30%. This is usually influenced by factors such as seasonality, market movement and major sporting events. Overall, TV pricing remains great value for money in relation to other forms of media throughout the year.

Where have the young TV viewers gone?

This is another myth. According to a report from Thinkbox, 58% of all video consumed on an average day by 16-24 year-olds can be attributed to TV, with this age group watching 30 TV advertisements per day on a TV set. To put it simply, the small screen still reigns supreme for young viewers.