Comparison TV and YouTube Ads:

 “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

John Wanamaker


tvAn Irish user, on average spends 40 minutes a day watching YouTube content. Whereas, TV viewing time per person is 220 minutes a day. YouTube average watching time is growing dramatically, as more and more companies are choosing YouTube to publish their content: movies, TV shows and series etc. At the same time the number of companies are switching from traditional advertising to online advertising is increasing as well. The reason for this is that online marketing tools are more cost effective, allow direct respond, ads are more targeted, the impact is highly measurable.

For many decades TV ads were considered to be a great investment, as it allowed to reach mass audience. Recently, Google has claimed that YouTube ads are 80% more effective in driving sales comparing to TV advertising. In the following article, we will try to find out how effective both tools are comparing to each others.

TV advertising

TV Advertising is not just a tool to influence people, getting people to buy stuff, but it is the best investment for building a credible and trustworthy brand. Many advertisers are reluctant to switch their marketing budget from TV Advertising to online video ads. TV ads doesn’t drive sales, but they change perception of the product, and attitude. At the same time, generally consumers find TV advertising misleading, boring and irritating.

YouTube Ads

Basically, there are two formats of YouTube ads: TrueView In-Stream ads and TrueView Discovery ads.

In-Stream ads are just like TV ads that you probably see every day, but instead of streaming on your TV, the ad is displayed before a user watches the video.

Whereas, discovery ads work alongside with other YouTube videos. They appear in search results, on watch page and home page.



TV Ads: YouTube Ads

  • Very effective for building a strong brand name.
  • Allows to reach large audience
  • Highly controlled by advertising policies.

  • Highly targeted. An advertiser can target by interest, different demographic groups, by topic of the video a user is watching, remarketing.
  • There is no budget limit. This platform is available small, medium and big companies with any budget.
  • There is not limits on the length of the video.
  • Call-to-action is available.

  • Consumers have negative attitude toward TV Ads.
  • Low/Medium targeting. Targeting is usually based on the main content.
  • Low attention. Many consumers get distracted by using other devices during watching TV Ads, like smartphones, tables.

  • All ads are accepted, as long as they don’t break YouTube policies. Therefore, the quality of the ads might suffer due to reluctance of marketers to produce high quality content.
  • Expensive. Comparing to TV Advertising, YouTube ads are more expensive. On average 1000 views cost €20, whereas TV Ads will cost €10.

Both tools are highly effective. A company should be driven by the objectives of the campaign. I would strongly recommend for any company to find the balance in allocating marketing budget to reach the ultimate result.


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