TV vs. Billboards Ads: What you Need to Know

Tony Moncini

Tony Moncini About The Author

Feb 23, 2021 1:30:00 PM


TV vs. Billboards Ads: What you Need to Know

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to rely strictly on social media ads for an effective marketing campaign. Producing a TV or billboard ad can attract a lot of potential customers. However, it's essential to know the differences between the two, so you can spend your advertising budget wisely.

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The Reach of TV vs. Billboard Ads

Even in the age of streaming and cable-cutters, television is prevalent in American households. According to Nielsen, over 96% of U.S. homes still get traditional cable TV. With so many people tuning in, it's safe to assume that your ads will reach your target audience.

The variety of stations also allows you to pick a network that resonates with your audience. For example, if your primary audience is baby boomers, you can advertise on a channel that caters to that demographic. A television ad also allows you to reach potential customers that live farther away from your establishment.

It's a little more challenging to accomplish this with a billboard ad. There's no guarantee that it's reaching your target audience, even when placed in a high-traffic area. You may still attract curious newcomers, but even this is a random chance if the billboard is not customized to your location.

TV Leaves Lasting Impressions

TV vs. Billboards Ads: What you Need to KnowThe biggest perk of TV advertising is its ability to tell a story. Even if they've never used the product or service before, many people are familiar with the Geico Gecko or Mr. Clean. One study also found that children are more likely to ask for products that use cartoon characters in advertising.

Emotional commercials can also tug at heartstrings with a simple storyline, making it easier for consumers to remember your service and use it themselves or recommend it to friends and family.

Billboards can only have one static image, but they're still useful for raising brand awareness. They’re especially effective when used in conjunction with a TV ad. A billboard with consistent messaging featured in your brand's commercial will keep your product relevant and potentially attract more business.

Which Ad is More Engaging?

Unlike a billboard, TV ads are multi-sensory and can evoke an emotional response to your brand. In fact, advertisers frequently use music to showcase their brand and give it a positive association. Even if the ad itself isn't very engaging, a popular song in the background can entice consumers to research your service or product and learn more about your company. 

Which Ad Gets the Point Across?

Studies show that TV watchers still digest information from commercials even if they're not paying attention. Forty percent of television viewers use it as background noise while doing other activities. One study found that the best way to appeal to these viewers is by encouraging them to take action.

TV vs. Billboards Ads: What you Need to KnowAn ad directing users to visit Target's website resulted in a 30% spike in visits within the first few minutes after airing. Interestingly, the study also found that visual ads were the least likely to engage multi-tasking customers. Even if a driver looks at your ad, they may forget to take action once they get home.

Unlike television ads, billboard ads are working 24/7 to reach customers. The average TV commercial lasts 15 seconds. Digital billboard ads display for a standard 8 seconds and are part of a 64-second loop, while a static billboard is displayed for up to four weeks. Travelers may see your ad displayed multiple times, especially during congested traffic. 

ROI on TV vs. Billboard Ads

TV ads generally offer the highest ROI, as much as 300 to 500 percent. Part of the reason for this is that customers see the product as approved by the channel airing the commercial. This confirms the legitimacy of your brand for more cautious consumers.

A billboard ad can also generate a high ROI, but it's difficult to quantify compared to TV advertising. You can also lose money if there are fewer people on the roads on a given day. 

Is TV Advertising Right for You?

TV vs. Billboards Ads: What you Need to KnowWhile billboard ads can be useful, they tend to cast more of a "wide net" than targeted TV ads. Additionally, a TV ad employs audio and storytelling elements to set your brand apart from rivals. Consider asking an experienced media partner to help you craft a meaningful TV ad that will allow your business to harness the power of TV advertising.

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Topics: TV Advertising