Video Ads vs. TV Commercials

June 6, 2023

With 9 out of 10 viewers wanting to see more videos from brands they follow, video has proven to be the most effective tool in your marketing campaign. That being said, now that you’ve created them, what’s the best way to distribute and promote your video? Are TV commercials a thing of the past? Or do they still hold up against modern video ads elsewhere? We’re taking a closer look at this today, weighing video ads vs. TV commercials.

TV Commercials (Pros and Cons)

If you’re like me and an 80’s baby, you’ll know growing up that cable television was it! TV commercials were easily the most effective method of advertising for your company (see here a remnant of my childhood commercial experience–as well as a very young Matt LeBlanc!)

But with streaming services and the influx of video platforms such as YouTube, video ads started giving the classic TV spots a run for their money. Adding to this, social media now presents an even greater opportunity for advertising and brand awareness. So, is TV a thing of the past? Or do TV commercials still hold some power? To help answer this, we’ve curated a pros and cons list below:


  • TV still holds a large audience, especially for special events (note the Super Bowl, with 113 million viewers in 2023). Thus, regarding your overall brand awareness, healthy exposure is very high, dependent on when your commercial is broadcast.
  • Rather than getting lost in the shuffle of social media posts, TV spots create a more focused approach. Visibility of your product and/or service may be greater.
  • It can reach a more diverse audience. Again, if broadcast during a popular viewing time to a wide range audience, you can attract a new crowd of followers.


  • In regards to viewer tracking, the algorithms of social media and online platforms are much more accurate over time. Thus, the ability to hone in on your target audience via video ads is better than with TV.
  • The cost of running a TV commercial is quite high. The spot alone can be in the thousands, not to mention the cost of hiring crew, locations, etc.
  • While there is potential for great viewing numbers via TV, it is not a reliable factor. What with the onslaught of social media, a lot of viewers are reported to be on their phones during TV commercials, thus missing them entirely.

VIDEO ADS (Pros and Cons)

As stated above, the power of online video is now a proven fact. It’s reported that 89% of online consumers are more likely to buy a product when a video ad accompanies it. Quite effective, for sure! But do video ads and streaming services pose the victor when it comes to your brand promotion? Let’s take a look at its pros and cons below:


  • Advertising via social media and/or streaming services is a much lower cost. Adding to this, it’s also easily manageable, with budget caps and quick alterations readily available.
  • Call-to-action buttons are directly linked to social media ads, so provide much easier access for customers. Plus, by being attached to social media, it directs your consumers straight to your online presence, introducing them quickly to your brand’s overall image.
  • There are multiple video formats available when posting (as discussed here). You can include interactive content, as well as explainer videos, live video, etc.
  • Online platforms provide easier data collection and analytics. Over time, online algorithms can find your target audience, and help alert you on how best to cater to their needs.


  • There is potential to get lost in the shuffle, amidst a myriad of ads and posts. Adding to this, the competition is high, so rising to the top of search engine results is tricky and ever-changing.
  • It’s imperative to have consistent online activity to continue to grow your social media presence–thus, the need for social media managers is more and more a top priority for your team, adding cost.
  • It provides direct contact with consumer–this is both good and bad. While the immediate engagement can produce sales and growth, it can also open your brand up to negative feedback and non-favorable publicity.

It all holds some uncertainty, to be sure. But if you know your brand’s needs and your target audience, making the best decision for your business (and how you market it) will be much easier.