What Your Clients Need to Know About TV Advertising

BY Kathy Crosett
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At the start of the pandemic in 2020, advertisers pulled back in a big way. System1 has been studying what your clients need to know about TV advertising in 2021. The picture on how to communicate with customers grew blurry as our country suffered through violence related to social issues and a contentious political election. Even now, advertisers hesitate to blatantly and humorously promote their products. Instead, they are donating to social causes that align with their missions and what consumers are telling them they care about.

Consumer Response to TV Ads

While we are waiting for life to find a new normal, System1 analysts believe we are about to experience a shift in consumer thinking. During the last couple of decades, we’ve become ‘left-​brained.’  This means we are focused on facts and perhaps some of this shift can be linked to the rise in technology. “A narrow and goal-​orientated type of attention is applied to all things, a tendency to see things as black or white, as truths or lies.” Advertisers have followed this trend. Their messaging, as a result, hasn’t been as creative or effective, as it once was.

However, consumers now watch more TV than before. They remain emotion-​filled because of the pandemic and other social changes. System1 research measured our emotional responses to TV ads and the subsequent growth in market share realized by specific advertisers. Since the pandemic started, consumers responded positively to TV ads that feature familiar characters, present nostalgia from the past, and humans who are connecting and protecting each other. Consumers haven’t been very interested in performance-​focused ads and hard sells on pricing.

B2B TV Advertising

The news is not as positive for B2B advertisers. In System1’s opinion, TV ads from these marketers score only one out of five stars. This outcome means the ads don’t do well with emotional connections and they don’t have a long-​term impact. B2B marketers can change their outcomes by appealing to our right-​brained emotional selves. These findings come at a time when B2B marketers may be looking for a better way to connect with their target audiences. The latest research shows that “B2B content shares declined by ‑72% on Twitter over the last five years.”

This analysis also draws on the research of Peter Field, a B2B Institute Research Fellow. Early in the COVID-​19 pandemic, Field looked back at what happened to advertisers during the Great Recession of 2008. His research showed the importance of continuing to emphasize brand during recessionary times. In fact, for companies that can afford it, the mix of a 60%/40% budget allocation to brand building and promotions, respectively, works best.

What Your Clients Should Know About TV Advertising

Ultimately, consumers expect empathy and understanding from the companies they do business with. This expectation holds true for TV ads which, when properly created, appeal to multiple emotions. To learn more about which consumers respond to TV advertising, check out AudienceSCAN, available from AdMall by SalesFuel.