Are You Wasting Your Marketing Budget On TV Ads?


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A recent study by YouGov found that over 61 percent of people dislike advertising.

I know, big surprise right?

But what is surprising is that likable, funny ads often aren’t effective. A study by Advertising Benchmark Index found that ad likability doesn’t correlate to brand linkage or messaging. And a study by Ace Metrix found that making TV ads funny didn’t increase their effectiveness or persuasiveness .

In plain English, just because people like your ad doesn’t mean they are going to buy more of your stuff.

So how do you improve brand engagement and drive more sales?

The answer might surprise you.

Right Time, Right Message

We all know that consumers just aren’t shopping the same way anymore. People are actively carving their own shopping journeys and they expect relevant content, delivered exactly when they want it.

How does this affect advertising?

Since people are carving their own shopping journeys, they don’t want to watch ads while they’re trying to relax. Instead, they seek that information out when they’re ready to shop.

This is already evident with TV ads. One study found that 86 percent of people skip TV commercials and another study reported that 60 percent of people download or record shows so they can skip ads.

And for those of you on YouTube’s side of the great TV debate — bad news, it’s not just TV ads. 94 percent of YouTube users skip pre-roll ads after just 5 seconds (when the “skip ad” button becomes available).

So how do you improve engagement?

Simple, make it fun and worthwhile for consumers to engage with your content.

How do you do that? With a gamified promotion.

Gamified promotions are essentially branded games that consumers engage with in order to win prizes.

Customers choose when and how long they interact with your brand.

And the experience is both fun, and potentially rewarding. Which makes for a much more positive experience than having brand messaging shoved down your throat when you just want to watch a video of a kitten sneezing.

Better Engagement Rates

Do you remember the last time you actually paid attention during a commercial break on TV?

If you don’t you’re not alone. One study found that 87 percent of people use a second screen (like a laptop or cellphone) during TV commercials.

That’s bad news for marketers considering consumers who use a cellphone/tablet while watching TV only recall 1.6 out of every 3 brands mentioned in commercials compared to 2.43 out of 3 when they’re solely focused on the TV.

Gamification is different. It turns consumers from passive recipients into active explorers of your brand’s content. And it forces engagement — you can’t use your phone to check Facebook while you’re playing a game or you’ll lose!

Plus gamification makes engaging with brand content fun. We’ve had consumers continue to play games for years after the promotions have ended!

Better Results, Proven ROI

Another problem with TV ads is it’s hard to measure the ROI. There’s no click to count, no open rates to analyze. There’s not an easy way to prove that your (expensive) TV ad was why someone purchased your product.

On the flip side, gamified promotions make tracking your ROI really easy. Some even come with built in analytics (like ours). You can see exactly how consumers interacted with your promotion, and if you include a tie to sales, even how many made purchases.

And that’s not all.

Most TV ad proponents talk about how great TV is for long term goals. And that might be true.

But why would you settle for just long term goals when you can achieve short term AND long term success with gamified promotions?

Gamified promotions let you actively drive the results you want by incorporating your goals into the game. You can prompt social sharing, loyalty program and email list opt-ins by making them rewardable actions within the game — all of which sets you up for long term success.

And you can drive sales by incorporating purchase codes within the game to give you that short term boost in sales.

Not to mention you can collect vast amounts of personal data when you run a gamified promotion. Information like names, emails, birthdays, favored products, shopping histories — pretty much whatever you need.

Personalization is here folks, and the information you can collect from gamified promotions is going to be extremely valuable for providing the relevant and timely content that your consumers expect.

Let’s see TV ads do that.

Has TV been dethroned as the top spot in your marketing plan? Tell us why or why not in the comments!

John Findlay
John is a founding partner of the digital engagement agency, Launchfire (est. 1999). In his too-many years in the business he's developed gamified digital engagement strategies & promotions for a mighty impressive list of leading marketers.


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