TV vs radio advertising – Pros and cons

The face of advertising has changed dramatically over the past few years with the continued upsurge of online, digital-targeted promotions. Of the £16 billion spent on advertising in the UK in 2015, it’s estimated that almost 50% was online; a figure that by 2018 is predicted to rise to 56.5%.

With the average UK family now owning more than seven devices that connect to the internet, these figures are no real surprise.

However, despite the intense shift there’s still a very definite place for TV and radio advertising. Choosing between the two will depend on your budget, target market and how you want to present your products and services.

Radio advertising

Radio is still an extremely popular advertising medium, particularly among small, local businesses. It can reach the right people in the right numbers at the right time. There’s often an emotional connection to the station. According to the UK Radio Advertising Bureau, local radio stations are an important part of the community. Businesses that advertise on air can benefit from that emotive connection. It increases validity and, as a result, trust.

A huge advantage of radio advertising is the cost-effectiveness of it. Between hiring copywriters, directors, producers, art directors, actors, video equipment and studio time, producing a TV advert can swallow entire budgets. Radio simply requires fewer resources for production. As well as production costs being much lower, national and local radio rates can also be much more attractive.

People generally listen to the radio when they are getting ready to go to work, performing household chores or travelling in the car. This has subsequently created a unique advertising environment. Listeners don’t change radio stations when adverts come on in the same way that TV viewers do. 

However, there is a risk that listeners are only paying partial attention to the content and therefore may miss core advertising messages. Advertisements that use only voice and/or music can often blend in to general programme content, lessening their effect.

TV advertising

With more than 80% of the UK population watching TV every day, TV advertising can communicate with a very large audience. 

Advertising on TV offers a number of benefits to businesses. By incorporating sound, colour, images and movement, the whole package is interesting and extremely engaging for consumers. Ads that capture the attention of the audience can start consumers talking, effectively reaffirming and spreading the advertising message.

Despite being considered mass media, TV advertising can in fact be very targeted in its approach. Production companies will have all manner of information on how businesses can best reach their intended demographic. In its simplest form, toy manufacturers would be best to advertise during Saturday morning cartoons, and a food product company would probably get the best return on investment by advertising on a food channel.

For many companies, however, the costs involved in TV advertising is a major drawback. Production alone can run into the hundreds of thousands and the air time often isn’t much cheaper. As an extreme example, a 30-second advert during the Super Bowl half-time interval in 2015 cost a staggering $4.5 million ($150,000 per second). This cost, although out of reach for the majority of businesses, demonstrates the potential return TV advertising can offer. 


How Outlook can help

We can deliver high-quality TV or radio content without making a compromise to the creative, the price tag or our service to you.

We’ll manage all the creative development, production, focus group research, online post production, legal clearance and broadcast deliveries.

For more information about our advertising services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.