What TV Can Teach Us About Marketing

What TV Can Teach Us About Marketing

Television was and still is the Holy Grail of marketing. A company that can spread a message via TV can transform its fortunes. Even with social media, hundreds of millions of men, women, and children of all ages stare at television screens.

So, it’s poetic that a television set holds the answers to advertising. Not the box itself, but what is on it. If you spend countless hours watching TV, you’ll notice the messages which can revolutionize a marketing plan.

And, considering there are no bad ideas, it’s only logical to give them a try. Here are a few lessons worth learning.

Infiltrate and Attack

(Warning: Spoilers Ahead) Mad Men is a show about the advertising industry in the 60s and 70s. Don Draper, the golden child, starts out as a happy guy with all the trimmings before he begins to undergo self-reflection. By the end of the show, he ends up at a guided retreat where he plans to exorcise his demons. In fact, he’s using the platform as a way to come up with the ultimate advert. It’s sneaky and it’s unethical, yet Don works in a crazy world.

The thing modern marketers can take from this is the need to expose yourself to new things to stimulate ideas.

Tell a Story

Lots of shows go from one episode to the next without any direction. They are easy to watch and do pull in viewers, yet they aren’t as effective as series with stories. Take “How I Met Your Mother” as an example. Throughout the seasons, viewers are drawn into Ted’s journey to find the mother of his children. Plus, there’s the revelation of who that person is after investing time in the program. Finally, it finishes with a huge twist which no one sees coming.

You can use this to develop ads which follow on from one another. Then, when people see them, they will want to know what happens next, much like a series finale.

Be Funny

There is an Irish betting company called Paddy Power which has gone a different way with its marketing. Instead of being passive, it’s openly active with its wit and sense of humor. PP goes beyond the usual jokes you’d find on TV and is rewarded for its bravery. Being funny and witty is one thing, but edging towards the dark side is another entirely.

The key here is not to avoid taking risks. You learn from your mistakes; plus, a gamble is original and unique.

Use Intuition

Reality shows are designed to pit people against one another. “Survivor” is like a modest version of The Hunger Games but without the killing. Still, forming partnerships and stabbing people in the back is part of the game. The best strategy is to trust number one and hope for the best.

Although it sounds ignorant, there can be too much emphasis on numbers. Reality TV teaches advertisers to listen to their gut.

Did you ever think being a TV addict could be this rewarding?