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Official FAQ Inquisitor at SavvySME


Which is more effective: TV advertising vs YouTube advertising?

Is TV advertising still relevant? Which has a greater reach, more targeted audience, and better ROI?

Top voted answer
William Siebler

William Siebler CEO at

Any form of advertising can be effective but it needs three things:

  • Right audience.
  • Right message.
  • Right media (marketing platform).
  • For an ad to work you need to find out if your audience is paying attention in there.

    Tom Valcanis

    Tom Valcanis Owner at

    I would suppose it depends on which audience you are chasing - but TV viewership seems to be the province of the Boomer generation. YouTube ads are more targeted, and you can appeal to laser-focused demographics. YouTube advertising would be more cost-effective, too.

    Beau Ushay

    Beau Ushay Owned Media & Content Specialist at

    As William Siebler  has alluded to above, get an understanding of who you're trying to reach first, before you embark down the path on where to spend your money.

    Know your best customers, what motivates them and their decisions. Then get the right message into the right channel at the right time to make them a willing customer.

    Aishah Mustapha

    Aishah Mustapha Community Manager at

    Top 10% Advertising

    Yes, I agree with Tom. It depends a lot on who you are trying to reach out to.
    TV still has a wider reach or higher penetration in Australia than YouTube but that number is slowly declining as the younger demographics between 18- 49 year olds are watching less and less. The over 50s are the ones who are propping up the numbers.
    The younger target audiences are moving to video on demand services such as Stan, Netflix and online entertainment such as YouTube, social media, etc. Therefore, it’s not just YouTube that’s luring TV audiences away. Back in the days, tv stars were big but now, online and social media influencers are also shaping market trends and consumer demand.
    At the end of 2018, YouTube has 15 million unique Australian visitors monthly, with a lot in the millennial generation. But TV still has the upper hand in terms of total viewership. Foxtel has about 2.8 million subscribers at the end of June 2018. TV ratings tend to peak for live sporting events such as footy, Olympics, cricket and the occasional blockbuster TV show episodes like MasterChef finale.
    If you compare ads, YouTube ads are more customisable, has a lower minimum spend and better analytics than TV. But is it more effective? This study by Google says it generates better ROI than TV, but you have to take it with a grain of salt.
    That being said, a lot of brands are using a mix of YouTube, TV and other type of ads to get the right conversion rate and effectiveness. For smaller businesses, YouTube at its current price point can be more attractive to start with.

    Reg Sorrell

    Reg Sorrell Video Producer at

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    TV definitely has a wider reach, but YouTube's is laser focussed. If your ideal prospect types in keywaords you want to be found for on YouTube, that is a lot more powerfult than randomly watching an ad on TV. Anyone younger than the Boomer generation watches less TV and more online content, so it you want to appeal to future customers, online is where it is at. As for ROI, I would put that in YouTube's camp as well as you can tweak your Google ads as more info comes to hand. TV does not have this ability.

    Knowing who your customer is and where they hang out (on and offline) will help immensely when trying to reach them.