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    Commercial TV Advertising in Australia 

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    Why Consider Commercial TV Advertising in Australia?

    Traditional commercial TV advertising might face competition from online content, but free-to-air networks still hold immense power. 

    Today, millions of Australians still tune in daily for news and shows, making TV ads a goldmine for reaching a broad audience. 

    commercial TV advertising

    Television reach transcends generations. Older viewers still rely on traditional broadcasts, while millennials use them for news and selected shows. Broadcast Video on Demand (BVOD) also expands its reach further, allowing younger demographics to catch up on programs at their convenience. 

    A well-crafted TV ad can build trust and reliability for your brand and foster a positive connection with viewers. The power of storytelling through visuals and sound also allows you to create a lasting emotional impact on your target market. 

    Commercial TV advertising requires a significant investment, but it offers a massive reach. The cost per thousand impressions (CPM) for TV ads can be competitive with targeted online ads, especially when you factor in the broad audience TV commercials can reach.

    Understanding the Australian TV Landscape

    Understanding the Australian TV landscape is crucial for maximising the impact of your commercial TV advertising campaign. Here are some things to consider: 

    Free vs. Pay TV 

    Free-to-Air Networks (Channel 7, 9, 10 etc.) offer a massive audience across demographics, making them ideal for broad brand awareness campaigns. Their strength lies in popular shows, news programs, and live events that attract many viewers. 

    Pay TV Options, on the other hand, offer targeted channels and premium content, allowing you to reach specific demographics with higher disposable income, making it ideal for niche services. 

    Broadcast video on demand (BVOD) is a game-changer for reaching viewers who consume content online. It allows viewers to catch up on free-to-air programs on their own schedule, often with targeted advertising.

    BVOD expands your reach to younger demographics who might not watch traditional TV as much but still enjoy specific shows. 

    Most popular channels in Australia 

    In 2023, Seven Network took the title of Australia’s most-watched network, with 17 million viewers in the recorded year.

    Because it is home to the most-watched screens, marketers and advertisers still seek the channel to create growth for different brands. 

    Nine Network’s Michael Stephenson said that the future of TV is Total TV – a combination of terrestrial, live streaming and on-demand. “We license, create and curate our content schedule to maximise audiences across live TV, live streaming and on-demand.”

    The growth of 9Now is critical to advertisers and reflective of changes in consumer behaviour.” 

    Daniel Monaghan of Network 10 shared, “10’s strength is in our premium entertainment, which engages younger audiences. Whether that’s comedy, reality, new concepts, fan favourites or existing shows, we give younger audiences entertainment to escape the everyday.

    The results prove it, with 10 having more of the top entertainment programs for the under-50s, 25 to 54s, and 16 to 39s than our competitors.” 

    Below are the national broadcast commercial percentage shares for the 2023 survey year (latest available data): 

    Network  All Ages  25 to 54  16 to 39s 
    Seven Network  41.6%  37.0%  37.1% 
    Nine Network  37.0%  37.1%  37.6% 
    Network 10  21.4%  25.9%  25.3% 

    Australian networks divide their audience into All Ages, 25 to 54 and 16 to 39. While this may seem random, the 25- to 54-year-old demographic is targeted in commercial TV advertising because it represents a large part of the population with disposable income.

    These shows that target this group include dramas, comedies, reality shows, and programming. 

    On the other hand, the 16—to 39-year-old demographic is considered the tech-savvy group that becomes a target for online advertising.

    However, free-to-air TV shows cater to them, with content like music shows, talent competitions, and animation. 

    Launching your commercial TV advertising campaign 

    A good marketing and advertising agency can help you navigate the process of launching a successful commercial TV advertising campaign to achieve your marketing goals.

    Here is your step-by-step guide: 

    Step 1: Know your audience & goals 

    Successful commercial TV advertising campaigns start with understanding who you’re trying to reach. Define your ideal customer by considering age, location, interests, and what you want to achieve (brand awareness, website traffic, sales).

    You can use our digital marketing strategy template to help you create your ideal customer for this step. 

    Step 2: Craft your compelling message and get creative 

    What makes your brand unique? Develop a clear, memorable message that resonates with your target audience.

    Highlight your brand’s selling proposition and consider partnering with a creative agency to brainstorm captivating ad concepts. 

    Step 3: Production time! 

    Turn your vision into reality. Write a script and storyboard to visualise your ad’s flow. Consider hiring a professional video editor to ensure a professional final product that reflects your brand’s image. 

    Step 4: Choose your channels & negotiate airtime 

    Analyse your target audience and budget to choose the best channels. Are you opting to air your TV ad to a free-to-air channel, pay TV, or BVOD?

    Negotiate airtime slots with the chosen channels and consider prime time vs. late-night options to get the most value for your investment. 

    Step 5: Launch, Analyse, and Refine 

    Once everything is in order, congratulations! You can launch your campaign and track key metrics based on your goals (website traffic, brand recall surveys). 

    Analyse data to understand the campaign’s effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.

    You can even use this same data to negotiate adjustments with the channels, like requesting additional airtime during peak hours if the results are positive. 

    How expensive is commercial TV advertising?

    You can’t deny the appeal of commercial TV advertising, but is it worth the bulk of your marketing budget? Here are some cost factors you need to consider: 

    Ad Rates 

    Prime Time vs. Daytime: The time slot dramatically impacts cost. Prime time slots, when viewership is highest, command premium rates compared to daytime slots. 

    National vs. Regional: National ad buys reach a wider audience but cost significantly more.

    Regional targeting, on the other hand, allows you to focus on specific markets in your local area at a potentially lower cost. 

    commercial TV advertising

    Alternative Options 

    Spot Buys: Purchasing individual airtime slots offers flexibility but might not guarantee consistent ad placement. This is usually the more expensive option, considering bang for your money.  

    Package Deals: Networks often offer bundled packages with pre-determined airtime slots at a discounted rate, offering consistency but less flexibility. 

    Production Costs and Budget Stretching 

    In-House Production: Consider creating a simple ad in-house to reduce costs, but ensure it maintains professionalism. 

    Working with Professionals: Hiring a video production company guarantees high-quality production but adds to the overall cost. This cost can vary from $5,500 to $25,000 per ad production, depending on quality and resources.

    Airtime Costs 

    Costs can vary slightly between networks, but generally, Seven Network might command a slight premium due to its highest viewership in 2023.  

    Nine Network might be comparable to Seven for national primetime but could offer slight variations depending on the program. 

    Network Ten might be slightly less expensive, especially for non-primetime slots. 

    Below are ballpark figures for the cost of airing a 30-second commercial on the top three networks in Australia: 

    Network  Primetime  Regular Programming 
      National  Regional  National  Regional 
    Seven Network  $10,000 – $100,000  $5,000 – $50,000  $5,000 – $50,000  $2,500 – $25,000 
    Nine Network  $8,000 – $80,000  $4,000 – $40,000  $4,000 – $45,000  $2,000 – $20,000 
    Network Ten  $5,000 – $75,000  $2,500 – $35,000  $3,000 – $40,000  $1,500 – $15,000 

    For accurate pricing, it is best to contact the companies directly. Check the links below if you’re looking to advertise with any of them. 

    How to create a successful commercial TV advertising campaign

    Once you have considered all the factors in deciding to go for commercial TV advertising, you can start creating a commercial that resonates with Australian viewers – and achieves your marketing goals: 

    commercial TV advertising

    Tailor your message.

    Craft heartwarming commercials that resonate with families watching together during prime time.

    However, you can also consider fast-paced, humorous ads that grab attention during late-night programs.

    Tell a story in seconds.

    Australian viewers are bombarded with ads. Aim for impactful commercials under 30 seconds that tell a short story, evoke emotion, or present a clear value proposition that keep the attention of your audience. 

    Write your script and create your storyboard.

    Write a script that captures your message and resonates with your target audience.

    It could be funny, emotional, or interesting – but make sure it’s not going to be longer than your budgeted time.

    After, you can visualise your ad’s flow through a storyboard, ensuring a clear narrative and impactful visuals. 

     Find the right tone.

    Australians appreciate a good laugh. Consider incorporating humour to make your ad memorable.

    Another approach is emotional storytelling, which can leave a lasting impression and build brand loyalty.

    A straightforward business pitch, while effective, should be done with caution. Ensure it’s not overly promotional and blends with the overall tone of your ads. 

    Follow restrictions.

    The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has guidelines for advertising.

    Be aware of restrictions on specific products like cigarettes and alcohol, and ensure content is appropriate for the target audience (e.g., no R-rated violence in daytime slots).

    Familiarising yourself with ACMA guidelines can help you avoid costly fines and ensure your commercial TV advertising strategy reaches the intended audience without any legal hiccups. 

    Measuring Your ROI: How to Track the Impact of Your TV Campaign

    Your captivating TV ad is out there, great! Now, it’s time to measure its impact and calculate your return on investment (ROI). 

    commercial TV advertising

    Website Traffic. Did your ad drive viewers to your website? Inserted QR codes in your TV ad let you see how many viewers scanned them, indicating ad interest. You can also use website analytics tools to track traffic spikes coinciding with ad airtimes.

    Brand Awareness Surveys. Did your brand recognition increase? Conduct pre- and post-campaign surveys to gauge brand awareness and measure the impact of your ad.

    Call-to-Action (CTA) Performance. Did viewers take the desired action, like visiting a store or signing up for a newsletter? Track phone call metrics, coupon redemptions, or form submissions triggered by the ad.

    BVOD data. Analyse viewership data from Broadcast Video on Demand (BVOD) platforms. This provides valuable insights into how many viewers engaged with your ad outside of traditional TV broadcasts.

    Success Stories. Stay inspired! Research successful commercial TV advertising campaigns in the 2020s. Analyse their strategies and what resonated with viewers. Consider award-winning campaigns by companies like Ikea, Snickers, or Subaru for inspiration.

    The Future of Commercial TV Advertising in Australia 

    While some might say TV advertising is a relic of the past, the Australian market demonstrates its ongoing power. Here’s a glimpse into the future of TV ads: 

    Merging TV and digital ads. The future lies in integrating TV ads with digital campaigns. Today, you can utilise social media platforms to create pre-buzz and post-ad discussions, extending the reach and impact of your message. 

    Social media use. Leverage social media to amplify your TV ad campaign. Use platforms like Twitter or Facebook to share snippets, behind-the-scenes content, or interactive polls related to your ad, to incite conversation around your brand. 

    Addressable Advertising. This allows you to target specific demographics with tailored TV ads. Personalise your ads by utilising data and technology to ensure it reaches viewers most likely to be interested in your product or service. This will help you maximise your commercial TV advertising campaign effectiveness. 

    Is Commercial TV Advertising Still a Viable Option for Businesses? 

    Yes, commercial TV advertising is still a viable advertising option for Australian businesses, but with you must approach this with caution, or add a strategic twist. Here’s why: 

     Pros of commercial TV advertising: 

    Mass Reach. TV offers unparalleled reach, allowing you to connect with a broad audience across demographics, particularly for live events and popular shows. 

    Brand Building. A well-crafted TV ad can significantly boost brand awareness and establish a sense of legitimacy and trust. 

    Emotional Connection. The power of storytelling through visuals and sound can create a lasting emotional connection with viewers, fostering brand loyalty. 

    Cons of commercial TV advertising:

    Costs. Commercial TV advertising can be expensive, particularly during prime-time slots. 

    Limited Targeting. Traditional TV ads offer less audience targeting compared to other digital channels like Google Ads, Facebook ads, or sponsored content in Instagram Reels and TikTok. 

    Shorter Attention Spans. Viewers are bombarded with ads, so capturing attention within seconds is crucial. 

    The TV Advertising Guide’s Key Takeaway 

    Commercial TV advertising is a powerful marketing tool, especially when integrated into a multi-channel strategy. Here’s the key to maximise its effectiveness:

    Craft a Compelling Message: Create captivating TV ads that grab attention and drive viewers to seek more information online.

    Amplify with Digital Channels: Use social media to extend your message, spark conversations, and monitor campaign performance, enhancing your TV ads’ impact.

    Combine TV and Online Channels: TV provides broad reach, but pairing it with online channels allows for precise audience segmentation and retargeting, ensuring your message hits the right audience.

    Leverage the Strengths: By understanding the pros and cons of commercial TV advertising, you can effectively harness its power to achieve your marketing goals.

    At Mindesign, we excel at creating the perfect marketing mix for your business. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you succeed.

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