Lead Forensics

Why TV Remains a Big Draw for Small Budgets

17 January 2024


When Guerillascope set up shop back in 2001, TV advertising was seen as the thing big brands with hefty budgets did. Fast-forward 22 years, and the picture is quite different.

By demonstrating how individual TV spots could drive response and acquisition, we certainly played our part in changing the narrative. Our line-by-line approach to TV buying proved that you could deliver high returns on a relatively low budget; we offered a genuine alternative to the wasteful package deals put together by large network agencies, at a time when independent TV specialists were few and far between.

But we can’t take too much of the credit – not when you have the likes of Thinkbox beating the drum with such unwavering conviction.

And it’s to Thinkbox we turn – by way of its recent event, ‘Getting on TV’ – for some home truths that dispel the lingering myths around the medium’s viability for those with limited spends.

Small spends dominate the market

Take, for instance, the fact that 763 advertisers invested less than £50k on TV in 2022, with a further 568 spending between £50k and £250k. In fact, just over 70% of the total number of TV advertisers spent under £1million.

See, the strength signalling and sense of prestige TV engenders benefits brands big and small; it demonstrates to the viewer that you have confidence in the product being advertised, and so should they.

And what’s more, this show of strength needn’t cost you the earth. On the contrary, the average price of one view of a TV ad in the UK is just 0.8p. You read that right. Meanwhile, television’s average Cost Per Thousand of £8 is cheaper than YouTube (£12) and all other online video (a whopping £130).

It’s just as accountable as other media

So, we’ve covered the myths around cost and accessibility, but what about accountability? Many have tried to use this as a stick to beat the small screen with, but it simply does not hold up under scrutiny. For one, television is known to drive search, while spikes in web traffic can also be attributed within a five-minute window and quantified through Cost Per Visits and Leads. With sophisticated analytical software now part and parcel of every campaign, every penny of your spend can be accounted for.

Then there’s the longer-term impact. This can be measured by looking at sales figures and market share over a period of time; invariably, there is a correlation between investment in TV and growth in both areas. On average, a four-week campaign delivers a weekly sales uplift of 25%.

Factor in the ability to create an effective TV ad for as little as £3-5k and the case of whether television is a goer for businesses on tighter budgets can be filed in the ‘solved’ drawer.

Is TV still relevant in a fast-changing world?

But what of the medium’s much publicised decline? Is any amount of money worth putting into TV these days? Well, while many of its detractors would to try to convince you otherwise, it’s going nowhere anytime soon.

The recent airing of Mr Bates vs The Post Office on ITV is just one demonstration of television’s enduring capacity to frame public discourse. It shunted the scandal to the top of the news agenda after years of obfuscation, and put pressure on the government to act.

4.8 million viewers have so far tuned in, with 12.2 million doing so via ITVX. This is indicative of the shift to BVOD witnessed in recent years; indeed, advertisers can no longer plan a fully-formed television campaign without apportioning budget to video-on-demand platforms, which are now as easy to access as linear channels thanks to the rise of smart TVs. Television is moving with the times – so must brands and agencies.

Helping you hit your targets

The good news is that this hasn’t blunted television’s ability to reach specific audiences. The rise of BVOD is yet another pathway to engaging viewers with distinct interests and backgrounds; just like the advent of digital TV broadened horizons in the early 00s, on-demand platforms are doing likewise now. The TV market is an ever-evolving beast that caters for a range of options.

Our ability to analyse and optimise the performance of spots by channel, days of of week, hours of the day and even postcodes will ensure your investment is being targeted in ways that deliver the best returns.

So go on, dip your toes in the water. A small splash may lead to big waves.

Let's get social