Traditional TVCs vs Videos on Social Media

For decades, the television has been the focal point for entertainment consumption around the world. The TV set still remains consumers’ number one device for viewing video content. But nowadays, more and more consumers are watching video through new services as well as on a variety of different screens — smartphones, PCs, laptops, iPads, and other tablets-and it is these new services and screens that will be driving a big chunk of growth in video-related usage and revenues in the coming years.


Television advertisers learned this a long time ago that they had access to the most pervasive and influential medium on the earth. But no one turned on TV to watch the ads — they turned it on to watch the programmes they liked and the ‘interruptions’ i.e. the ads, were times to put the kettle on. The successful advertisers hence produced ads that were more entertaining than the programmes themselves. The challenge was to entertain the viewer more than their chosen programme, while getting their brand across and, usually, in less than a minute.

With the emergence of the Internet in the late 20th century and social media’s rise in the early 21st century, there has been a rise of such prominent platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube and Pinterest. Social media’s bloom has coincided with increased emphasis on customer engagement in advertising. This directly relates to the fact that companies want more direct, real-time and interactive exchanges with customers that provide immediate feedback and personal connections. This global shift in media preference has forced advertisers to brainstorm new, innovative ways of targeting the customers; as traditional media may not be the most effective channel anymore.

A significant advantage of streaming videos on social media is that users have high degree of confidence about the information posted by their real life or online friends, and by trusted opinion leaders. A video recommended from a friend has a much stronger endorsement for a brand than the one that just appears because you happen to be on a certain website or TV channel. Shareable content is a measurable equivalent of the old-fashioned word of mouth because comments, blog mentions, social media thumbs up and shares can all be tracked.

According to a report by CISCO in 2019, videos will account to 80 percent of the global internet traffic, nearly a million minutes of video will be shared every second and 5 million years would be required by an individual to watch all the videos.

According to data from Facebook, the amount of videos from people and brands in the news feed has increased 3.6 times year over year, and more than half of the people who visit Facebook in the U.S. every day watch at least one video.

Smart businesses use videos as a tactic to improve consumer engagement by including videos in emails which in turn increases the open rates, click-through rates and increase in conversions when video is added to a landing page. Videos are easily searchable and a video on social media can affect organic search results as well as be an entry point to the business’s website. YouTube and other such video hosting sites provide extensive viewer data that can give deep insight into the behaviour of viewers who interact with the videos. Amazon, Dell and other online retailers have publicly shared statistics showing that a posted video can increase the odds of customer purchasing an item. Whereas in traditional TVC the total emphasis lies on the emotional connect and recall factor. Businesses have no way to critically analyse whether their advertising is captured by the actual targeted audience or not.

Videos on social media platforms have an advantage over television. The communication between video streaming and the company is expressed in likes, comments, tweets and social shares. This facilitates immediate feedback regarding products and services. Hence, social media campaigns yield higher levels of engagement and create “halo effects” wherein users increase the reach of each campaign by sharing branded content within their own social circles.

Here are are major differences:

Videos on social media:
Two-way conversation
One-on-one marketing About you
Brand and user-generated content
Authentic content
Community decision-making
Unstructured communication
Real time creation
Bottom-up strategy
Informal language
Active involvement
Deep analytics

Traditional TVCs:
One-way conversation
Mass marketing About me
Professional content
Polished content
Economic decision-making
Controlled communication
Pre-produced/ scheduled
Top-down strategy
Formal language
Passive involvement
Poor analytics