The average household owns 2.24 televisions, according to A.C. Nielson, the company responsible for compiling television ratings. A recent study says people watch on average, more than four and a half hours of television a day. Cable and satellite make TV reception possible almost anywhere, and television remains a top leisure activity. A large audience is just one reason television remains an effective advertising medium.


The television audience is the largest of any advertising medium, As per the TAM Annual Universe Update – 2010, India now has over 134 million households (out of 223 million) with television sets, of which over 103 million have access to Cable TV or Satellite TV, including 20 million households are DTH subscribers. In Urban India, 85% of all households have a TV and over 70% of all households have access to Satellite, Cable or DTH services. TV owning households have been growing at between 8-10%, while growth in Satellite/Cable homes exceeded 15% and DTH subscribers grew 28% over 2009.


The commercial production possibilities of TV advertising are as limitless as the budget you have to produce them. Producing a television commercial for very little money is also possible. This allows even the smallest businesses access to the medium.


Buying commercials or spots outside of prime time is one cost effective way to reach your customer. The average spot length is 10 seconds, which are available at a lower rate during non prime time hours.

Also read: Traditional vs Programmatic Marketing


Ratings measure the households and individuals watching particular shows and networks. Ratings are gathered several ways. For the 56 largest markets, Nielson uses a People Meter. It is a small electronic device that captures exactly what people are watching throughout the day. In smaller television markets they send paper diaries and people record what they are watching. The higher the ratings, the more people are watching the program. The ratings give advertisers a fairly accurate idea of the audience their advertising is reaching.


Television advertisers can target their customers based on specific demographics. Demographic categories include sex, age, income and education. The basic television demographic categories are Adults 18-34, Adults 18-49, Adults 25-54 and Adults 35-64. This information is gathered along with the ratings, allowing an advertiser to match a product’s demographic with the network’s or show’s demographic. Marketing through programmatic media means one can encompass various segments across demographics including age, social standing to a particular geography in different areas of the country.

Also read: Benefits of Programmatic Marketing


Demographics and ratings allow you to target your specific customer. If you are selling perfume, and your customers are women in their 20s, you want to advertise in programs highly rated with Women 18-34. You can also narrow the demographic even further, targeting Women 20-29 or even Women 21-25. All broadcast TV stations subscribe to Nielson. They receive computer programs and updates from Nielson enabling them to help you target your specific customer.

advantages of television advertising


Buying television advertising comes with some safety nets. When you buy a television advertising schedule you are guaranteed certain ratings for the duration of the schedule. The ratings for television programs are regularly measured four times a year: fall, winter, spring and summer. In the largest television markets the household numbers are measured every day. If your schedule does not reach the ratings (number of viewers) promised, you are entitled to ‘make-goods.’ ‘Make-goods’ are additional free television spots given to advertisers to make up for the lack of audience during the original run of the schedule.