August 2008 - Channel Crossing: DRTV

The 10-Second Spot:
Keys to Maximizing Its Benefits

By Sharon Sulflow

The benefits of the 10-second television spot are synergistic once a marketer eventually decides to integrate them into his or her media mix. Why?

These brief, flexible spots are available in all of the popular nationally televised news, talk, game and variety programs. Plus, they have been shown to be the most efficient way to secure recognizable advertising time in top network, syndicated and cable programming that reaches the greatest number of viewers-especially effective to drive retail or web traffic. What’s more, the 10-second spot is a terrific, economical way to target national audiences.

One unique way to utilize the 10-second spot is as a closed captioning sponsorship. (This is the FCC-mandated visual depiction of the audio portion of a television program for the hearing impaired.) CC sponsorships are isolated 10-second spots typically found during nationally televised programs, which identify the sponsor as the principal provider of the closed captioning funds. Ideally, these 10 seconds provide reasonably priced national exposure to increase brand awareness and support retail. Many clients integrate the 10-second spot as part of a combined long-form and short-form rollout campaign.

The 10-second message allows the purchaser the ability to increase impressions and garner name recognition throughout an advertising campaign at a lower cost than most other forms of advertising. Compared to nationally aired commercials and print media, 10-second spots provide the lowest cost per consumer reached. The pricing of the 10-second message is a fraction of the cost of a 30-second commercial and can still deliver the same national viewership. In fact, the overall results can be more beneficial because lower costs translate into a greater number of spots booked during a specific week or month.

It may make sense to consider airing the 10-second spot as your primary form of advertisement-i.e., as a simple web driver. The capability of constant exposure provided by the 10-second spot, coupled with the advantage of its low-unit rates, can help ensure a strong, successful campaign.

Remember that the 10-second spot airs within a particular program, and not outside of the program as a separate break. Because of this placement, the viewing audience is more likely to notice this mode of advertising because the viewer still is engaged in the actual program. This can benefit any campaign with increased brand awareness. Ten-second messages can render strong levels of recall and persuasiveness. Remember to include a web address in the 10-second spot, which will drive consumers to a particular website and assist in reaching the advertiser’s goals.

Lastly, the 10-second spot allows for product introductions and service announcements in both audio and video media. This form of exposure can only benefit an advertiser’s overall plan, enhance brand awareness and increase the chances for a truly successful campaign.

With so many areas in which to place the 10-second spots and with all of its advantages, why wouldn’t everyone include them with all their campaigns?

Sharon Sulflow is a senior short-form media planner at Cesari Direct, a full-service DR advertising agency based in Seattle. She can be reached at (360) 718-2272, or via e-mail at [email protected].


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