TV is one of the greatest storytelling platforms civilisation has invented. Humans love stories, stories bring us together, and emotional storytelling lights up and lingers in our minds for a long, long time.
So it is no huge surprise that one of the most effective ways to use advertising is to tell stories that engage the audience’s emotions. Think of a great ad and chances are it will be emotionally engaging – from a drumming gorilla to a CGI meerkat.
To tell rich stories you need time. You can’t say much in a glimpse. It also helps if you can tell them with sound and vision on a big screen. Step forward TV advertising.
TV offer advertisers the freedom of time to enable creativity to thrive. 30 second ads are by far the most popular form of ads on TV – accounting for just over half the ads that are on TV – which suggests that this time-length offers the right balance between cost effectiveness and enough time to communicate a core brand message.
TV is the perfect canvas for storytelling, and TV ads are proven to be by far the most likely to make people feel emotional, the most likely to make us laugh. And this is important because creating an emotional response is incredibly effective in advertising. We remember how things make us feel, which goes to explain why TV advertising has such long-lasting effects.
In fact, brand advertising on TV (the home of emotional commercial storytelling) delivers very long-lasting business effects, with half of sales made in the first 14 weeks following a brand TV ad campaign, and the other half taking place in the remaining two years after airing. This is in sharp contrast to, say, online search and social media advertising, which both have an immediate but short-lived impact.
However, TV doesn’t have to be used exclusively for emotional storytelling. The fact that it gives advertisers time also means it is great for explaining products or services, for showing and telling, for demonstrating product benefits.