You Can Teach an Old Television New Tricks

January 5, 2009

Radio was supposed to kill print. Television was supposed to kill radio. The Internet was supposed to kill television and all other media. Last I checked, none of that has happened. Instead, radio is hanging on, TV is going high-def, and print—well, print is killing itself.

One thing that hasn't changed much, however, is how one advertises across these media. For television, the same routine has held true for as long as anyone can recall:

  • Give a ton of money to someone to create the ad.
  • Give a ton of money to someone to buy limited, all-inclusive chunks of air time based on potentially misleading viewership numbers.
  • Sit back and pray that folks are seeing your ad and acting upon it.
  • Rinse and repeat.

In other words, it wasn't the most favorable system, and many business owners have stayed away from television advertising as a result. Well, our good buddies over at Google are changing the way television advertising is done.

A Familiar Face

Essentially, Google has beefed up its well-regarded AdWords system to include television. The importance of that is a good deal of control has been wrested from faceless others and put into your hands. You now select the networks, times, and individual shows (a rarity in the past) for your ad's airing. You also have the AdWords system to help you choose based upon the demographics you wish to reach.

Better Value

Many people don't know that ad production costs have come down in recent years. This was likely irrelevant, however, as you were always forced to buy significant blocks of air time at up-front prices that were well beyond your control. (To be fair, I have to say that you would be given "make-good" time if your commercials failed to reach the number of viewers forecast.)

Within AdWords, you bid on air time, and you pay for the actual number of households that viewed your ad. And since you control the bidding process, you get to decide exactly how much you're willing to spend. You also have the power to alter pretty much any aspect of your campaign at a moment's notice. That will help you get a better handle on ROI.

But Wait—There's More

So much, in fact, that we won't discuss it all in this post. Suffice it to say that this is a game-changer, and it may make television far more cost-affordable for many organizations. We've already gotten into the game for one client, and we're in the middle of producing their first TV campaign.

Stay tuned for more information about the AdWords system and updates on our television debut.