Should your tire dealership be advertising on TV?
When it comes to advertising, TV ads still reign supreme as the best way to get yourself and your brand out there. Promoting your business on TV can help you reach an enormous audience and bring big rewards, but it comes with a significant price tag. So if you’re a tire dealer, is it worth the expense?
TV advertising is not for everyone
If you’re a tire dealer with just one or two locations, TV advertising might be prohibitively expensive and the return on investment won’t necessarily be worth it. If you’re a larger enterprise, it might be worth looking at. Either way, it’s important to do your research first. How many people will you reach? What are the best times to advertise to hit your target audience? How long of a “spot” do you need to get your message across? How much does production of the advertisement cost? What kind of deals does the TV station offer? And is this the best way to get “bang for your buck”?
There’s no need to advertise nationally
Just like radio, TV offers a range of options for advertising locally or in specific areas. Cable advertising, for example, allows businesses to target very specific geographic areas at a lower cost than major network advertising, so you certainly don’t need to pay Super Bowl prices. Local TV stations are more affordable and often the most effective route to take.
Advantages of TV advertising
There are an estimated 116.4 million “TV homes” in the U.S., meaning TV commercials can be seen by hundreds of millions of people. Because TV commercials reach a much larger audience than any other kind of advertising, they can build a brand quickly. By using sound, images, and movement, a commercial can become interesting and memorable to consumers, reinforce the business’s message and get people talking.
Disadvantages of TV advertising
As it is so expensive, advertisers have very little time to get their message across in TV commercials up to 30 seconds usually, meaning the message is often general, rather than specific. Studies show people do a lot to avoid commercials, using technology to block advertisements, leaving the room when ads come on, switching channels or using on-demand TV which allows people to watch ad-free. You’ll also be reaching a lot of people who are not your audience.
What does it cost?
There are two main costs involved with TV advertising; production of the commercial and buying the airtime. Depending on the quality of your commercial, production costs can include camera crew, actors, location costs, makeup, props, equipment and lighting and editing. While it is possible to create an advertisement for a few hundred dollars, the best ones cost thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It’s the same with airing your commercial; if you’re running it on a local station, you may pay a few hundred or thousand dollars, but on a national station during a prime time show, you won’t get much change from $400,000. It also depends what time of day or night your commercial is running. Daytime and very late evening is cheaper than 6pm to 10pm when more people are watching. TV advertising is seasonal as well; the run-up to Christmas, for example, is far more expensive than January when there are more slots available.
What about other forms of advertising?
Other forms of advertising might be cheaper and more effective, and certainly more targeted. Local radio station ads, for example, are much cheaper and easier to produce. If you have a TV commercial made, you could consider advertising online as well. This is a more targeted way to reach your audience.
Don’t forget to put the ad on your YouTube channel and other social media platforms. Once you’ve gone to the expense of making the ad, you may as well push it out as far as possible.
Get the place and timing right
Choose when and where to advertise on TV carefully. While the lead-up to summer is more expensive to air a commercial, tire dealers might want to remind people to replace their tires before going on a long road trip. You need to figure out the days and times your target market will be most likely to watch TV and what they will watch so your commercial is reaching the right audience.
The TV network you’re dealing with, or your media buying agency if you have one, will be able to advise you when their peak audience times are (times of day, days of the week, right down to specific ad breaks during popular TV shows) but you should get a fair indication from the pricing, anyway.
Try to advertise in the most targeted way possible. It makes more sense for a tire dealership to advertise during Top Gear, for instance, than it does during Orange is the New Black, because you’re hitting an audience you know is interested in cars.
Negotiating a good deal
Negotiate a good deal for yourself — don’t just pay the walk-up price. Often you can negotiate better spots and prices by signing a contract to air your commercial over a period of three or six months. Some local and independent stations may even produce your commercial for free if you sign up with them for an extended time. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Have a plan
Don’t just make one single TV ad. If you’re going to invest the time and money, create at least one shorter 15-second ad and some longer 30-second versions so you have options and you can keep your advertising relatively “fresh.” Have a strategy and run a proper campaign; create a suite of advertisements that complement your TV commercial, such as radio ads, newspaper ads and flyers and make sure you cross-promote on your social media to reinforce your message. Don’t be tempted to scrimp on production costs as this could backfire and damage your brand.
Watch these great TV commercials by tire dealers
For inspiration, have a look at these three great tire dealer TV commercials.
VA Tire and Auto
Big Brand Tire and Service