Radio, TV and cinema advertising

A woman is recording a radio advertisement for a small, local business

Cinema, television and radio adverts can deliver massive audiences for businesses like yours. What's more, they offer unique creative opportunities to build atmosphere, convey emotion and fully engage the viewer or listener's attention.

However, costs can be high, and most small businesses feel that TV and cinema advertising are out of their reach. In general, these media are better suited to national brands with large budgets. That said, both TV and cinema do offer local solutions for smaller businesses.

Radio advertising, on the other hand, is both affordable and a highly effective way for small firms to drum up business.

Whichever route you consider, it's essential that you base your efforts around what you know about your customers' behaviour - so you stand the best chance of them seeing (or hearing) and engaging with your ad.

Radio advertising

Local advertisers love radio. It reaches the right people, in the right numbers, at the right time.

Car dealerships, for instance, can advertise during the rush hour, to catch people in their vehicles, and retailers can promote special offers in the run-up to the weekend, when more listeners are likely to be heading to the high street.

People listen to radio ads. Listeners don't change station in the same way that TV viewers fast-forward or channel-hop during ad breaks. This makes commercial radio an ideal medium for small businesses to reach new customers.

Local radio stations are often important to their community, and businesses that advertise on air can benefit from that connection. Moreover, listeners are loyal and often see their favourite station as a trusted friend. That warm feeling can extend to the regular sponsors and advertisers.

With radio commercials airing frequently, and listeners tuning in for hours at a time, it is possible to build a strong presence on the radio. The human voice is a powerful selling tool, conveying emotion and authority.

Promotions and offers work well because radio drives response. In fact, many listeners are also online, so radio can be a great way to get people to visit your website there and then.

Production of radio ads is relatively low-cost and fast. The script should be catchy and memorable, there should be a clear call to action, and a good tag line or jingle.

Air time can usually be bought in cost-effective packages, and many radio stations offer all-in deals, which include production of the advert.

Cinema advertising

There are more than 770 cinemas and 4,200 cinema screens in the UK. If you want to be seen on the big screen by young people and families in your area, you can book time locally and link your cinema commercial to certain categories of film or even specific films.

The advantage of cinema advertising is that your audience is both local and totally focused on the screen. A local ad on the big screen will be watched and absorbed by the audience without distraction.

The production cost of cinema advertisements can be surprisingly low, and you can advertise from as little as £95 per week. Pearl & Dean, for instance, offers two cinema ad options for local small businesses:

  • Slide advertising allows you to show up to three stills, which appear for 7.5 seconds each.
  • Digital advertising offers moving images with sound.

Television advertising

More than 80% of the UK population watch TV every day. Advertisers can access data on viewer habits and audience profiles across the many different terrestrial and digital channels, to ensure their adverts reach the right people at the right time.

Television advertising is not the obvious choice for most small firms. However, if you want to engage and inspire your local market with a TV commercial, television stations do offer low-budget advertising packages for small businesses. Ads are usually transmitted outside peak time.

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