TV or Digital - is it a choice?

By: Bill McCabe

Digital video or television advertising? Many advertisers are feeling pressure to declare for one or the other, as if they were diametrically opposed political candidates.

For example, Hallmark recently announced that for the first time, it would not be running any holiday television advertising. Instead, they are focusing their spend on digital venues such as YouTube and Snapchat. This announcement comes on the heels of advertisers such as Quiznos and Campbell Soup shifting a significant amount of their budgets from television to digital. 

On the other end of the spectrum, some advertisers still view digital video skeptically. They’ve relied on television advertising for years, and they believe its ability to sell products and build brands is unmatched. So digital is ignored or used very infrequently.

“Why are we making it an either-or choice?” is the real question. To take a television-only or digital-only stance can be a huge mistake. In every planning session, both mediums must be considered and weighed against advertising objectives. 

If you want to grow your brand and move product, television has the reach and frequency to achieve this goal. Whether you’re using a 30-second image-building commercial on network television or a response-producing, two-minute spot on targeted cable shows, you know you’re tapping into a powerful, proven advertising method.

If you want to reach a highly targeted segment (i.e. millennials searching for their first home purchase in southern states) or try to get your ad to go viral or capitalize on multi-screen (mobile, tablet) options to reach your market, then digital is a great choice.

Eliminating one of these choices arbitrarily though, not only prevents you from capitalizing on a potentially viable approach, but it can deny you the synergy that results when you use both. We’ve found that when we incorporate both television and digital video into a campaign, one complements the other.

Television viewers see a motivating commercial that engages them, demonstrates benefits and even changes their perceptions. Digital video viewers then see the same or different ad on their mobile devices where they can easily click to learn more, take advantage of a promotional offering and/or buy right now. These advertising experiences can be a compelling one-two punch - bringing greater impact on prospective customers than either alone. Plus, for those potential customers that may be hard to find through TV, you can add a digital video plan to extend your reach specifically to that audience.

So don’t fall into the trap of being an either-or advertiser. Instead, make your decision from a situation standpoint. In some instances, campaign objectives dictate using only television or only digital to achieve very specific goals. More often than not, both mediums can be leveraged simultaneously to achieve a broad range of goals and maximize the reach of your campaign. When posed the question, "Television or digital?" Feel free to answer, "Yes, please."

For a more information on making TV and digital video work together for your brand, give Sue Schell a call at 312.396.0322 or visit our contact page.