Which television commercial really made it

Three myths about TV marketing that belong out of the world

Myth 1: TV advertising is expensive

Advertising on German TV is becoming more expensive, a look at the statistics shows. According to the television panel of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Fernsehforschung (AGF), the one-thousand-contact price for a 30-second spot in 2018 averaged 19.19 euros - and has increased by more than 3.50 euros over the past five years.

But this statement is not so general. The actual cost of a commercial depends on many factors, including the broadcaster, the program environment, the time it was broadcast, and the length of the spot. It does not always have to be the prime-time block with the greatest reach on large channels such as RTL or Pro Sieben. The budget that is invested in only a few broadcasting slots there can instead flow into a diversified channel mix on the smaller special-interest channels. A booking there results in a large number of diversified spots that address different target groups and thus provide broader knowledge and more data points for campaign evaluation. At the same time, the spots run away from the mainstream of the largest advertisers, which minimizes considerable wastage and increases the potential efficiency of the campaign. This means that not only big brands can inevitably place commercials on TV. Even with a relatively small budget, smaller marketers can achieve significant results with a significant impact.

Myth 2: TV advertising can only be measured imprecisely and is too scattered

The inaccurate measurability and the associated high wastage are a frequently used argument against TV campaigns. The problems are well known: The AGF television panel only comprises a few thousand households and is then extrapolated to the German population as a whole. The smaller the transmitters, the smaller the number of cases - with the consequence of corresponding inaccuracies in the extrapolation. The same effect arises when considering more pointed target groups in order to counteract a wide spread. Last but not least, the TV panel can be used to determine the range achieved, the number of contacts and the media pressure. In the end, however, it cannot be said whether and to what extent the campaign achieved its goal. Compared to the pixel-based measurement of display or mobile campaigns, TV advertising appears to do poorly.

"Even with a relatively small budget, smaller marketers can achieve significant results with a significant impact."

Patrick Skorupka

In times of digital touchpoints, an isolated view of linear TV consumption is outdated. Measurement methods integrated into the overall marketing mix are becoming more important than ever. The good news is that what has long been considered a key success factor in performance marketing can now also be applied to TV advertising. The key for this is provided by algorithms based on mathematical models and machine learning. They are particularly effective in interaction with advertising material that is expanded to include a specific call-to-action. The clear message encourages the viewer to find out about the advertised brand and the product behind it via second screen immediately after the spot. With TV-to-Web attribution, recorded data such as website visits, registrations or app downloads can be assigned to the broadcast data within a short time window after the broadcast and thus the influence of a commercial can be determined.

In this way, TV advertising becomes measurable all at once. With KPIs such as the cost per website visit or the cost per download, it is possible to precisely track how the advertising budget used has had an impact on individual channels, program environments, days and times, individual spots or over time. Rather, the data obtained can be used to optimize follow-up campaigns - and thus put reach and investment in an optimal ratio, minimize wastage and significantly increase the overall performance of the campaign. The same applies to the creation of the advertising material. A / B testing enables the comparison and the associated optimization of several spot variants such as different spot lengths, varying stylistic spot content or, of course, advertised product offers.

“In times of digital touchpoints, an isolated view of linear TV consumption is obsolete. Measurement methods integrated into the entire marketing mix are becoming more important than ever. "

Patrick Skorupka

Incidentally, anyone who believes this approach only works for digitally or short-term products and services is wrong. Sure, a viewer who is reached will not necessarily switch to the advertised insurance company immediately, buy a new kitchen or apply via a job portal within a few minutes. But attribution can prove the demonstrable interest in the offer and brand and thus optimize it.

Myth 3: TV advertising is becoming less important

If the justifications against TV spending and measurability run out slowly, often only the killer argument can help: In times of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Co., classic television would have had its day anyway. This accusation is often expressed in the same breath as the success reports of the streaming services.

© RTL Group

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Turning point

How the transformation of moving images affects TV advertising

The transformation of the moving image market is affecting television advertising. Inquirers no longer accept the broadcasters' loss of range and are increasingly turning to online video.

However, a look at the current figures on television consumption shows that this argument is too concise. The fact is: The way of watching TV has become more differentiated. Younger target groups in particular naturally use video-on-demand, YouTube and other online-based channels, while older viewers remain loyal to traditional television. On the contrary, TV consumption is increasing overall and is being supplemented by newer media offers. TV is still the Germans' absolute favorite medium. According to the BAT Freizeitmonitor, a full 95 percent of the population watch television regularly. And not too close: The AGF television panel determined an average viewing time of 217 minutes per day and viewer for 2018.


As an advertising medium, TV is still of unbroken relevance and continues to reach an unbeaten audience like no other medium. Rather, creativity in the design of advertising material for target group activation and, above all, data-driven approaches are required. If television advertising relies on the dynamising power of data and becomes more flexible with regard to digital channels, it has the potential to remain attractive in the long term and to have an impact - for marketers and media planners as well as for viewers.