Using TV In An Internet World

Dec 2 22:00 2001 Kevin Nunley Print This Article

For some reason, a lot of ... net ... think thatjust because their business is ... that all ... must be as well. However, with the recent ... dot-com co

For some reason,Guest Posting a lot of beginning net entrepreneurs think that
just because their business is Internet-based that all their
advertising must be as well. However, with the recent explosion
of dot-com commercials (just look at the Superbowl!), it has
become apparent that television is a great medium for advertising
your e-business.

Don't let the horror stories about the expense of TV commercials
deter you. With a little creativity, even a small business with a
limited budget can afford to run an effective TV ad campaign.


One of the most expensive parts of advertising on TV is getting
your commercial produced. That average 30 second TV spot costs
around $200,000 to produce. Of course, you can find far, far
cheaper ways to get an affordable spot.

Your commercial should look professional. Any touch of amateurism
will sink your spot from the beginning (unless the junk look is
part of a gimmick that makes sense to viewers).

TV production equipment used to cost tens of thousands of
dollars. Now anyone can own a digital video camera that gives a
professional film look. The cost of these cameras is $1,500 or
less making it possible for one person production houses to do
work up to Hollywood standards.

Find out who does small-time, inexpensive TV production by
checking your yellow pages, calling the creative director at a
local ad agency, or contacting the production departments of TV
stations in your area. Everyone in media knows everyone else and
will be happy to give you the name of a friend that does low-cost

Forget expensive actors. Run video of your product or service in
action and have a professional announcer read your copy. Check
local radio stations for a DJ who has a pleasing voice and good
delivery. Offer them $50 to read your 30 second copy.


TV prices have been coming down for over a decade. There used to
be just three network TV stations in your town. Now you likely
have FOX, WB, UPN, several other independents, and a bevy of low
power TV stations. You may have 100 more channels available on
cable. You have a neighborhood video store stacked with
choices...and digital video delivery is just around the corner.

With all those choices, audiences are split in much smaller
groups. TV outlets can't charge near as much for commercials as
they did back in the old days. In lots of markets TV ad prices
are lower than radio's and far lower than the daily newspaper's.

One place to get very effective and low-cost TV commercials is
through your local public television station. It's an option that
most of us overlook, but some savvy marketers are using with
great results.

Public television is dealing with big cuts in their funding.
Federal funds, which have always formed a small part of their
budget, are drying up and stations are having to look elsewhere
for money to buy programs.

It used to be that a program sponsor only got a very short, basic
promotional line at the beginning and end of the program. It had
to go something like "This program made possible through a grant
from Jim Bakery, where bread is always fresh." Now the FCC has
relaxed those requirements allowing pubic TV sponsorship lines
look more like full-featured commercials.

Call your local public TV station and ask about their sponsorship
policies and opportunities. Because the cost of your "ad" is seen
as a donation, your promotional expense is tax deductible.

You also build awareness and goodwill in the community when you
support public broadcasting. You can bet the movers and shakers
in your town will notice. Public broadcasting's audiences are
well education and high income.

As a final piece of advice, remember that a TV station's lowest
prices probably aren't published. You will have to call the sales
manager at the station to get them. Expect far lower prices when
your ads run outside prime time or in packages of multiple

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Kevin Nunley
Kevin Nunley

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