Advertisers Pay Huge for Your TV Time & Why

by on June 30, 2010

in Entertainment

TV Ads and Advertising In General

TV adsAdvertising, believe it or not, is deeply integrated into our society.  It has become such because we spend money to survive & to play.  People have discovered that consumer perceptions can be manipulated to help us make our purchasing decisions and hence, advertising was created.  That first TV ad was for a Bulova watch that aired on July 1st, 1941.  Bulova paid $4 for that TV spot.  Oh how times have changed since advertisers just coughed up $8 BILLION to be able to pummel you with ads for the 2010-2011 TV season.

TV advertising is one of the most cost effective methods of advertising.  Television commercials are one of the biggest investments a seller can make and hence, why advertisers dropped over $8 billion with the networks.  That $8 billion is for just the basic networks.  I’m not even addressing cable TV.

If you want to skip to the bulk of the TV part, just skip on down to the “Advertisers Pay Billions To Advertise To You” section.  In the following few sections, I’m going to chat a bit about how & why of advertising & marketing, as I’ve come to understand it through various means of exposure.

How Did Advertising Become a Core Industry?

Advertisers pay huge amounts of money to networks because ads work.  It befuddles me and I suspect that it may befuddle you also.  But the methodologies of television advertising, which is comprised of carefully interwoven psychological presentations of themes, colors, subjects and volume do work.  If they didn’t, advertising would not be a multi-billion dollar industry.

Advertising to the consumer encompasses almost every single aspect of your life.  It’s in the magazines we read, it’s on the roadways we drive on and even the internet we “surf” on.  But it doesn’t stop with the obvious advertising we are overtly aware of.  It seeps into the stores we shop in and walk past.  Merchants drop millions on the presentation of their wares, from the colors of the interior to even how the store is set up.  Have you ever wondered why the toys are ALWAYS in the back of the store?  Well, except for toy stores that is.  Every major store you walk into is designed to expose you to the most product possible, whether that be via sight, sound or smell.  Nothing is accidental.

When I worked for Century 21, they had an entire division dedicated to instructing the agents on what works and what doesn’t for them to be successful.

When a product advertisment pitches to you based around a theme about family and loved ones, they’re tugging at your weakest link, your familial emotions.  When you watch a TV ad with some of that cool, classic rock from your high school days, it’s to give you that emotional anchor to those fun, care-free days.  It’s all emotional associations with the past, with colors, with hoped for perceptions.  Dudes & dudettes, it’s an uphill battle if you don’t pay attention.

Didn’t I mention TV in the title?  Sorry.  I found myself getting carried away about the world of advertising.

Advertisers Pay Billions To Advertise To You

Networks recently had their advertising sales show (upfronts) for the 2010-2011 TV season and compared to last year, they did pretty good for themselves.  How good?  The major networks reportedly brought in 15% more ad sales than they did last year.  Or to sum it up, networks sold over $8 billion dollars in ad time.  Thank god the upfronts is the discounted ad sales time of the year!

Numbers have not been officially confirmed, but industry analysts have estimated the following sales from the upfronts, per network:

  • ABC – $2.4 billion
  • CBS – $2.2 billion
  • NBC – $1.9 billion
  • FOX – $1.8 billion
  • The CW: $350 mil

With that kind of money being sloughed around, I can’t imagine a few folks crying foul on TV ad volume will have much affect.  We’ve been crying foul for years.  I don’t see why it will change anything now.  But there you have it.

The next time you want to scream because the ads are 30% louder than the show itself, just ask yourself who the networks might listen to, you or the billions being offered to their coffers?

This has been another Cinema Static Opinion piece.  Thanks for reading and if you want to hear more about TV ad volume, check out my other tirade about Loud TV Ads.

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[ABC Upfront Sales, CBS Upfront Sales, The CW Upfront Sales, Fox Upfront Sales, NBC Upfront Sales, TV Ads.]

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