The Most Influential Ad Slots On TV


When it comes to advertising, it is not just about the content of your advert but also about when and where it will be seen. The aim is to place your media in front of as many members of your target audience as possible in order to provoke the best response; something which often involves some careful planning.

When talking about TV commercials this process often involves considering the time at which the advert will be aired and the programme during which it will be shown. Some of the most sought after advertising slots can demand astronomical fees, but will ultimately have the biggest say in how successful your commercial is. Here are some of the most influential ad slots On TV today.

Super Bowl Half-time –

This is perhaps the Holy Grail of TV advertising slots, but it definitely comes at a price. Thirty second segments were sold at a record-breaking 3.8 million dollars each during the 2013 Super Bowl, as millions of sports fans around the world sat back to enjoy an event that is dubbed ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’.

The benefits of placing your advert here are obvious. Not only will it be viewed by eyes in countries all over the world, but (if you get it right) it will be talked about for many weeks following the event. Super Bowl ads are always highly anticipated and every year the best ones make the news alongside the outcome of the event itself.

The XFactor Final –

For the last decade, the UK Saturday night TV landscape in the run-up to Christmas has been dominated by one show in particular; The XFactor. Families all around the UK regularly settle down in front of their TVs in order to see which act will be voted off next and who will ultimately win the series.

The commercial advertising was rumoured to cost in the region of £200,000 per thirty second slot during this year’s final. Viewing figures may have dropped slightly for the last series, but an estimated 8.5 million people still watched the final and were a captive audience for any advertisements aired during it.

The ‘Friends’ Finale –

The American sitcom ‘Friends’ is arguably one of the greatest TV series to ever be aired on television and so this was reflected in how influential advertising space was during the episodes. The final episode was aired in 2004 as part of a two hour special and managed to bring in a whopping 52 million viewers; many of which will have watched advertisements from companies who had paid in the region of $2 million to feature during the ad breaks.

‘Friends’ may be finished, but the continuous repeats seem to live on. In 2010, Comedy Central paid big money for the rights to show the episodes exclusively; taking them away from channel 4 and E4 who had previously been airing them. These repeats can still provide very influential ad slots for top brands and ad agencies, such as this, due to the show’s cult following and its audience being from a key demographic.

The Simpsons –

The fact that any cartoon show has hit the heights that ‘The Simpsons’ has (and been able to stay there) is testament to the show’s writing and continued ability to keep itself topical. Now in its twenty-fourth season, the long-running American cartoon regularly attracts audiences of between four and nine million people. Perhaps this explains why companies are still scrambling to have their ads aired during the commercial breaks and paying in the region of 286,000 dollars per thirty seconds of screen time.

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Image author owned

By Chris Mayhew

Chris Mayhew has worked in advertising for two years and is interested in the production of TV commercials and the strategy behind placing them on screen. He would recommend Happy Hour Productions to anyone looking for an excellent agency to produce their TV advert.

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