A brief history of commercial TV in the UK
Channel 5 was the last national terrestrial analogue broadcaster to launch on the UK.
In 1997 viewers could watch BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, C4 or Channel 5 which provided a mixture of commercial or non-commercial choice. However, a growing number of homes now also had satellite or cable subscription services which gave them access to a large number of channels from the likes of Sky, Discovery, Turner, Nickelodeon and UKTV.
In summary, the last 60 years have seen viewer choice increase (more channels to watch), and as a result viewer numbers for each show and channel have decreased (fragmentation of viewing). In 1970, just one spot in Coronation Street on ITV1 could have been seen by an average of 30 million people. However, now an average spot in Coronation Street would reach only 8.8 million people.
This development in the TV industry in the UK has helped shape the role of ‘the media planner and buyer’. With so many channels to choose from to advertise on, a media planner / buyer is an essential part of your ‘team’ to make sure you are buying on the right channels, and at the right price.
TV and effectiveness
Britain is a nation of TV lovers, with recent research showing that for the last 10 years, viewers watch an average of 4 hours of TV on a daily basis. There are a number of great benefits to TV advertising, as it enables advertisers to;
TV opportunities in the UK
The UK is home to hundreds of commercial TV channels which provide a fantastic platform for advertisers to promote their business or products on. There is something for everyone:
Overall, TV today is as popular as it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago, and it provides great entertainment for UK viewers, and fuels those ‘did you see that on TV last night’ conversations.
How is a TV advert created and produced?
Once the strategy and core objectives of the TV campaign have been identified, the creative execution can start being developed, through various stages:
How is TV advertising planned and bought?
From an advertiser’s point of view, it does not matter how many channels there are, as long as you know that people are watching the adverts and can measure when, where and how they view.
An advertising agency such as Recipe put research at the heart of their planning, in order to understand your business and your consumers. They will look into:
Once the market has been researched, the media planner will then determine how best to allocate your budget to maximise return on investment.
Once the media plan is agreed with the client, the media buyer will take over to ensure that the planned campaign is delivered.The media buyer will ensure that the right spots air on the right channels, monitor the value and delivery of the campaign on a daily basis, and communicate to the client with regular updates of the spots due for transmission. If any changes to the plan are required, it is the media buyers role to make sure that these happen.
Once the last spot airs, there is a 10 day lag until all data is final, and the buyer can then start producing post campaign analysis where they can report back to the client the delivery against the plan. This will include confirming how many times then advert was seen, on what channels, at what times, and the overall reach of the campaign.
How do we analyze the TV campaign?
Clever software exists which means that your media buyer can use your sales data, or web traffic data to calculate the return on investment from your media spend. This is why people refer to TV as being ‘accountable’ and is one of the reasons why advertisers love it so much.
TV can build mass awareness of a brand quickly (80% of your target market could see it at least once within 4 weeks), and you can report on how many people have seen the advert, and how this has translated to sales and return on investment.
How much will a TV campaign cost me?
TV advertising is often misconstrued as a very costly media platform, and as a result many businesses assume that they cannot afford to advertise on it. However we have excellent case studies on how advertisers can launch an create an impact with as little as £35k, and other studies where advertisers have invested just £5k, but have achieved a highly targeted campaign.
Clients often ask for estimated TV costs, but this is very difficult to do as costs are affected by a number of variables:
However we have put together a number of topline costs to give an idea of what varying budgets can achieve, click here to find more.
Don’t be alarmed if you have less than £100k to spend on media. It is possible to spend as little as £3k on TV media and generate a response, and we have done many test / launch campaigns with TV media budgets of around £10k.
An overview of the process