Is TV finally dead?

Dalibor Šumiga Behavioral marketing/Neuromarketing, Marketing

behavioral science, behavioral marketing, marketing, commercials, promosapiens, tv advertising

It’s not…

Is TV an effective advertising channel?

It is… but not for the reasons you hear most often…

THE PEACOCK’S TAIL EFFECT

Have you ever seen a male peacock?

behavioral science, behavioral marketing, marketing, commercials, promosapiens, tv advertising

The peacock male is the most commonly cited example in psychology, when describing a phenomenon called “costly signaling”.

Although its tail makes it difficult for him to move, which automatically makes him more vulnerable to predator attacks, it also shows his reproductive potential – the more magnificent the tail, the more attractive the male peacock is to females who want to expand their offspring.

WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE BAKERY?

If you ask any person on the street in Zagreb (capital of Croatia) which are the most famous bakeries in the city, most will tell you – Mlinar and Dubravica….behavioral science, behavioral marketing, marketing, commercials, promosapiens, tv advertising

Source: Mlinar.hr/Tripadvisor

Why those two? Do they have a secret recipe for the best croissant in town? Do they have the best prices?

Not necessarily, but it’s already clear from the pictures that they have invested a lot of money in the presentation of their products.

This is “costly signaling”.

Of course, the question arises, what does it mean to a customer that a bakery has pumped in a bunch of money into the look of their branch? There’s no rational explanation, but there’s an irrational one – everything’s a matter of perception….

The bakery invested a lot of money in something that doesn’t bring a return of investment immediately. They did it to show that they’re here for the long run. This is “costly signaling”.

WHY IS TV EFFICIENT THEN?

All these examples bring us back to the question from the beginning of this blog – why is TV advertising effective?

Most often you will hear that it’s because of its reach. Digital possibly has an even higher reach than TV, especially if we are aiming to invest in both channels. For the amount you will pay for a 2 week campaign, you can advertise on digital almost all year round.

So, it’s not a reach.

behavioral science, behavioral marketing, marketing, commercials, promosapiens, tv advertising

It isn’t precise targeting, because digital is the undisputed ruler here as well.

The reason why TV advertising is effective is because it’s – expensive….

Yes, you read that right, because it’s expensive. This is “costly signaling”.

A brand that can afford TV commercials is certainly not here for a short term. It’s a subconscious perception that your customers can’t articulate, but that perception influences their decisions.

What if you don’t have a budget for TV advertising?

Make sure to show “costly signaling” on other channels of communication and in relation to customers. Give them something that doesn’t bring you direct financial benefit, but in the long run shows that your relationship with clients is not just a “one night stand”.

TV isn’t dead, it probably never will be, but that’s never been a problem. The bigger problem lies in the fact that most experts who talk about this topic didn’t remember to look for the answer to this question in psychology … 

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