Advertising on TV is a marketing method that can be both wide-reaching and powerful. When it comes to zeroing in on a specific, targeted demographic or market, however, many people think that this is an area where TV advert production is not so very strong. This is, quite simply, a misconception. TV advertising is not only capable of targeting a specific demographic, but is a very powerful and effective way to do so.
Targeting a Specific Demographic Through General Broadcast
The idea that TV is not a targeted advertising channel is not an uncommon one, and is usually found among companies that are fairly new to TV advert production. The image they have of the TV advertising process is this: an advert is set loose into the world on the airwaves, where it will appear on the screens of anyone and everyone who happens to be tuned in at that moment. This gives amazing reach, sometimes getting an advert shown to millions of people in just a matter of seconds, but is also indiscriminate. People of all ages, interests and backgrounds will be shown an advert in equal measure.
This seems reasonable on the face of it, but with a slightly more in-depth look at how advertising on television works it is not hard to see why it is flawed. In fact, this image is accurate only for adverts shown in a very limited number of slots, alongside programmes that have an unusually broad appeal. In most slots, the people who are tuned in will not be of all ages, interests and backgrounds. Most shows do not have such broad appeal, and the viewers will be from a specific group or a small range of demographics who find that programme appealing. Naturally, these less general, more targeted groups will also be the ones viewing the advert.
A Matter of Scheduling
In light of this, targeting a specific audience is not only possible, but quite simple. It forms part of the process of choosing when and where your advert will be shown. Different demographics tend to watch and different times, and most TV programmes and even some entire channels are very specific in the kind of viewers they draw in. Just about every possible demographic fits in somewhere, so once you have found out which slots have a viewership matching your target market it becomes comparatively easy to get your advert in front of a highly targeted and specific set of potential customers.
For many companies, this can be better than advertising in a prime time slot. These are the slots that do put adverts in front of a very large yet untargeted group. For products with extremely broad appeal, such as household essentials, this is great because it gets an advert in front of several million people and none of them are irrelevant. For products that appeal to a more specific market, these slots are astronomically expensive because of the number of people watching and many of them will not be good prospects anyway, making a less competitive but more targeted slot a much better option.