Television Advertising in India
Television made its entry in 1950 in America and its impact was so deep that within a decade it spread over all European countries, besides Canada, Australia and Japan. In India, it was first commissioned in 1959 on an experimental basis and the commercial telecasting started only in 1976. It is the scientific synchronization of sound, light, motion, colour and immediacy that are its salient features. In India, transmitting stations are called Doordarshan Kendras. Colour transmission started in 1982 on the eve of ASIAD 82 in India.
The telecasting system is based on the coverage namely, V.H.F. and U.H.F. V.H.F. means very high frequency band spectrum. U.H.F. implies ultra high frequency band spectrum. The latest one is C.A.T.V. which means community antenna television system, which is popularly known as Cable Television. With the advent of cable television, a viewer can select from a choice of several channels – all offering lot of good programmes with lot of advertisements. At present, television advertising is very popular in India.
Types of Television Advertising
Broadly, there are two types of advertising namely, “sponsored programmes” and “announcements“.
1. Programme or Sponsored Programme
It is a type of telecast where a story, play, a film is sponsored by the advertiser who pays for the time. He takes advantage of this and advertises his product or service.
The merits of sponsored programmes are:
1. It builds an image for the advertising house and its products.
2. The programme can be designed to fit the sponsor and his product.
Announcement is a kind of telecast which is presented to the audience between the sponsored programme and the station break. Here, the advertiser pays only for the duration of advertisement, as he is not paying for the sponsored period. Majority of the advertisers go in for this type.
The advantages of announcements are
1. It is very economical.
2. It is most flexible; and
3. It is effective for advertisements that are brief. These television commercials can be of 10,15, 20 and 30 seconds duration.
Advantages of Advertising in Television
1. Ability to create deep Impact: Television is a perfect synchronization of sound, sight, motion and colour. It successfully catches the viewers’ attention. It is an ideal medium to exhibit products, including its demonstration. Colour advertisements present the products in their true original form. T.V. commercial very nearly replaces personal selling.
2. It is selective and flexible: Like radio and newspapers, T.V. is a highly flexible and a selective medium. It can be used locally, regionally and nationally. The advertisers are free to choose the time slots and the nature of message to the viewers through sponsored programmes and announcements.
3. It is a mass communication media: Television viewing is highly popular even in rural India. It is a mass medium where an entire family is exposed to it, perhaps for several hours a day. So, television advertising is considered a platform for gaining popularity for a product.
4. Helps Distributors and dealers: A TV campaign of a product or a service is appreciated by dealers and local merchants. T.V. has more prestige and glamour than any other media. That is why, wholesalers and retailers of a product are very impressed by TV advertising in view of its immense popularity and try to stock more the products that are advertised in television.
5. It is immensely Popular: The most striking feature of T.V. medium is its instantaneous transmission of sight, motion, sound and colour, irrespective of wherever an event took place in the world. Of all the media, TV is the closest to replicate the actual life conditions. It presents events as they are and as they happen. This offers limitless opportunity for advertising.
Disadvantages and Limitations of Advertising in Television
1. It suffers a short life: The commercial message on T.V has a very short life. For a moment it is viewed and heard and the next moment it is gone. It does not remain as a part of household like a magazine or a calendar on the wall. If the prospects misses the commercial, the advertiser loses his opportunity. It warrants repeated relay of messages to have an appreciable impact on the target audience.
2. It is very expensive: High cost of advertising on television is another serious limitation. In recent years, the rates have risen so much and it is weigher than that of newspapers, magazines, radio, and outdoor media. Hence, advertisements produced are very brief and up to the point, perhaps providing inadequate information. The high advertisement tariff of TV may be out of reach of small and medium-sized manufacturing units.
3. Too many commercials: TV advertising suffers from over-crowding of too many commercials in a very short span of time. Both the advertisers and the viewers complain about it. This ‘clutter’ reduces the effectiveness of the commercials. The advertiser feels that he has spent a lot without much impact and the viewers feel that it is quite difficult to remember all advertisements, which they may not be in a position to recall.