Why TV Advertising Still Rules Brand-Building

Quick—name the biggest brands you know. Coca-Cola. Apple. Amazon. Besides being massively famous, what else do these brands have in common?  

They’re all huge TV advertisers.  

Coca-Cola’s biggest marketing campaigns have always featured TV commercials, from “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” in the 70s to the more recent “Share a Coke.” Apple is known for its sleek, product-focused commercials. Amazon’s also a top TV spender, encouraging last-minute gifters to take advantage of Prime’s two-day shipping during the holidays. And that’s despite founder Jeff Bezos famously saying, “Advertising is the price you pay for having an unremarkable product or service.” 

There’s a reason TV is consistently the centerpiece of major marketing campaigns. (This conclusion isn’t based on anecdotes alone. 40% of the most awarded campaigns between 2015 and 2019 used TV as the lead medium.) Since the late 1940s, TV has been one of the best ways to build a brand. Today, it remains one of the most powerful channels for growing brand trust, awareness, and recall. 


TV provides immediate credibility.  
TV builds brand trust. 

Brand trust has been on the decline for years. A survey from PwC found that while business leaders believe 87% of consumers trust their company, the reality is just 30%. There are countless reasons for this, from growing competition to increasing scrutiny on social media to data privacy concerns, but regardless of the cause, the outcome is clear: a lack of trust is bad for business. The same survey reported that 44% of consumers have stopped buying from a brand because they no longer trusted it. 

So how do you build—or rebuild—brand trust? That’s a complicated process, but TV advertising is a useful item to have in your trust-building toolkit. 

TV consistently ranks high for trustworthiness, with global trust levels recently reaching nearly 70%. This is in part due to TV’s status as a well-established, traditional channel. The most trusted ad formats are all traditional channels—print, TV, direct mail, and radio. On the other hand, digital and social channels typically claim the lowest trust levels as consumers grow increasingly jaded about online advertising. In fact, twice as many people say TV advertising leaves a positive impression compared to those who say the same of digital. 

But TV's trustworthiness is also due to its high barriers to entry. Extensive approvals, including the brand itself, its agency, and the networks on which the ad airs, mean there are multiple checkpoints during which anything misleading is likely to be caught. Plus, TV’s high costs imply that only a legitimate and vetted brand could afford to be on TV in the first place.  


Mass reach equals greater awareness and recognition. 
TV builds brand awareness. 

Despite rumors of TV’s death circulating for the last decade, it still boasts the broadest reach of any marketing channel. In a day, TV advertising reaches 70% of the US population. In a week, it reaches 90%. In a month, TV reaches almost everyone in the country. That’s a lot of eyeballs watching your brand on-screen—eyeballs belonging to both existing customers and entirely new audiences. And by engaging new audiences, you make more people aware of your brand.  

We’ve seen TV impact awareness for our own clients. On average, established brands have seen aided awareness increase 85% and startup/new brands have seen it grow 100% while advertising on TV with us. Direct traffic, a proxy sign of awareness, has also seen growth. Across nine brands, clients on average saw a 34% increase in direct traffic during their first year after launching TV. This suggests consumers are remembering the advertisers’ names and typing them directly into their browsers when searching for a solution the client provides. 

The new audiences you reach on TV will likely include in-market potential customers you hadn’t previously targeted but could also include future buyers and purchase influencers. Even if some of these consumers never become customers, they’re still incredibly important. After all, 89% of purchase decisions are discussed with others, and word-of-mouth is another major driver of awareness.  


TV commercials leave an impression. 
TV builds brand recall. 

TV’s ability to connect with large audiences in a memorable and engaging format remains unmatched. Through the combination of audio and visuals, TV presents your brand to your audience in the comfort of their home, while they’re primed to consume content. So it makes sense that 77% of ad views happen on a TV screen compared to just 10% on mobile devices. 

But our data shows brand familiarity is an even stronger driver of purchase intent than awareness. So it’s a good thing TV lets you go beyond awareness alone to tell a compelling, emotional story in a full 15 or 30 seconds. That way, viewers learn your story, not just your name. 

According to TVision and Lumen, TV generates more visual engagement than YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram. A 30-second TV ad on average generates 13.8 seconds of attention, while a 15-second YouTube ad generates about 5.0 seconds of attention, and Facebook and Instagram ads generate just 1.5 seconds.  

As a result, according to Comcast and MediaScience, TV ads result in 2.2x higher ad recall than mobile ads. Overall, brand recall more than doubles when a consumer sees both a TV commercial and a digital ad for the same brand, as opposed to seeing only a digital ad. 


TV doesn’t only drive brand. 
TV drives brand, sales, and long-term business results. 

While TV is known for its brand-building power, it is a full-funnel channel, boosting awareness, consideration, purchase intent, and loyalty. Brand and sales results. 

Mid-funnel channels can show some of the strongest signs of TV’s influence. Tracking branded search, email/text open and signup rates, and other engagement indicators can help you identify how TV’s moving consumers from awareness to purchase. Because TV also drives direct sales response.  

According to WARC, TV generates the greatest sales impact of any form of video advertising, driving 44% more sales than when an ad is not seen at all. That’s compared to 37% for YouTube ads and just 21% for Facebook ads.  

VAB reports that 77% of app-driven brands see a direct correlation between their TV campaigns and traffic to their mobile app. And ecommerce brands can see double-digit percentage increases in revenue in their first year after launching TV. 

We’ve seen this firsthand. An ecommerce snacking company saw major brand and sales impacts within weeks of launching their first TV campaign with us. National aided awareness jumped 100% while new customers increased 166%, setting a company growth record. Customers driven by TV were also highly retentive, with a 20% higher lifetime value than customers driven by other channels. 

TV also drives other results tied to both brand and sales impacts. Our clients have seen everything from TV making them number one in their category to burgeoning stock prices. One received a call from Disney after airing an ad on TV—they wanted to partner to promote a new movie. This same client benefitted from improved pricing power while advertising on TV. The top consideration for choosing a solution in their category was price. But despite their perceived affordability falling, new customers were flooding in.  

TV has an equally pronounced impact on businesses’ internal cultures. Everyone from board members to stakeholders feels excitement when their brand launches TV. Clients often report renewed energy from their sales force. One even had distributors call to thank them for elevating the entire category through their TV ads. 


How brands grow through All-Inclusive TV. 

At Marketing Architects, we offer a solution called ‘All-Inclusive TV.’ Our clients only pay one bill for media, and we cover everything else their campaign needs to succeed on TV, from strategy development to creative pretesting and production to campaign attribution.  

Learn more about how our unique approach to TV advertising has driven transformative growth for brands across growth stages and industries. Or connect with our team to talk about what TVs could do for your business.