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Why TV Ads Doesn't Work Today?

Television advertising has been around for decades, dating back to the early 1940s. In its prime, product and service sales skyrocketed whenever it was advertised on TV as the television was a staple household furnishing. However, traditional television advertising has seen a decline in effectiveness in recent years, despite other forms of advertising still booming. Here’s why television ads don’t work in this day and age.

Decline in TV Audience

Traditional television viewership has steadily declined among every major demographic for many years. With the emergence of other more popular forms of media, particularly mobile applications and online websites such as Tiktok, YouTube and Instagram, the time and attention once spent watching TV has shifted to these more accessible media. This means that since less people are watching TV in general, advertisements shown on TV won’t be able to reach their target audience as effectively.

Online and Mobile Dominance

Did you know that as of January 2021, a whopping 4.66 billion people worldwide are using the Internet? That’s more than half of the world’s population! And of these 4.66 billion people, 92.6% of them accessed the Internet using mobile devices. In comparison, the number of people watching cable TV is a lot less, which means that ads shown online are more likely to be seen and clicked on by consumers as opposed to ads shown on TV.

Better Advertisement Platforms

With the variety of different media and platforms now available to us, better advertising platforms now exist as well. The top five most effective advertising platforms are all online- Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Television advertising doesn’t even make the list!

This can be attributed to a couple things: the fact that social media and online search engines are much more engaging than traditional television or the fact that more people spend their time online rather than watching television. Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that there are better, more effective advertising platforms out there.

Intrusive and Irritating

Picture this: it’s a nice Sunday evening and you’re at home, watching a movie with your family on Fox Movies. Just as the movie is about to reach its climax, the screen shifts to a loud person advertising their product, annoying music blaring in the background. How would you feel? Irritated, perhaps?

TV ads can be annoying, and this is a turn off for most people. It makes you not want to buy the advertised product or service. On the other hand, advertisements on leading social media platforms have evolved to be subtle and less intrusive, and this makes people more likely to engage with that ad.

Issues With Target Demographic

Television programmes are usually standardised, and so are the advertisements shown on TV. This means that brands are unable to select their target demographic as their ad will be shown to virtually everyone, targeted or not.

Part of the reason why ads shown to people on Google and on major social media platforms work so well is because they are specifically targeted to them based on their interests. The algorithm suggests products that a person is likely to buy, which increases the chance of that person engaging with that advertisement. On the contrary, as television advertisements cannot be specifically targeted, people are less likely to interact with those ads.

All in all, although traditional TV advertisements are still a viable form of advertising, they don’t work as well as modern advertising, i.e. online ads. This in turn has caused most brands to switch over from traditional advertising to digital advertising. So, if you’re planning on advertising your product or services, try advertising it online!


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