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TV Commercials

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Television commercials can be a very effective means of advertising a product or service. Early television commercials were done live and often integrated into live shows. Television advertising can give an effective return on investment. A well-designed television commercial will entice and entertain consumers and create a memory associated with the item being advertised.

How it Works

The primary purpose of television commercials is to sell products or services. In some cases, the product being sold is an actual person. For example, political commercials are often designed to create an impressive image or perception of the candidate or topic being pitched.

One of the ways in which advertisers attempt to sell their products is through creating a memory or association that will be linked to the commercial and thus, to the product. Advertisers sometimes use humor to create a memory. If they can make the audience laugh, then the product will be associated with the good feelings and enjoyment that the advertisement creates.

Another way in which positive associations are created is through the incorporation of music. For example, in the 1970s, Cocoa-Cola used the song, "I want to teach the world to sing," in their ad which went on to become a widely successful television commercial. It became so popular that people who have not heard this song for 30 years will still be able to sing along unconsciously without any effort. The song and the imagery used created a feeling of world peace, harmony and joy that people started relating with the Coca-Cola Company and their products.

Imagery is also used to manipulate perceptions and associations with products. For example, the Mars candy company has created animated cartoons to illustrate their famous M&Ms, creating personalities and funny situations that bring a smile on the viewers' face. These images are immediately recognized by the viewers.


Using television commercials as a medium of marketing can be extremely beneficial. Repeated exposure to advertising imagery often leaves a lasting impression on the consumers and can even create anticipation for the next commercial in the series. A number of years ago, a coffee company created a splash by introducing a couple whose entire relationship revolved around their coffee drinking habits and their enjoyment of the product. Over the course of twelve months, people were intrigued by the interactions of this couple and remembered the coffee because of the commercial. TV commercials also make it possible for you to target your key demographic.


Purchasing advertising time can be a very expensive proposition. The prime time and special event commercial spots can cost literally millions of dollars. However, the opportunity for product exposure to potentially millions of consumers can make it worth the expense for many companies. Even small local companies often risk vast amounts of advertising dollars in an attempt to create a buzz about their business.


The timing of your commercial is an important aspect of your advertising efforts. Make sure that the advertisement reaches the audience only when you are geared up to launch your product.

Last Updated: December 21, 2011
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