TV vs. YouTube Ads? Which Ones Capture More Visual Attention

TV vs. YouTube Ads? Which Ones Capture More Visual Attention



Over the past decade, media usage patterns have changed drastically. The use of moving images outside TV has increased tremendously.

YouTube ads has a significant share to play. Since its inception in 2005, YouTube provided us with moving images and since then as established as one of the leaders and a highly used video-sharing platform online.

However, TV is still significantly used more. No wonder so many households go crazy after Spectrum TV and other cable services and still long for mouth-watering cable deals.

It can’t be denied that change is underway, especially among the youngsters. The current data shows that American teens spend 34 percent of their video time watching YouTube.

Also, people are found using several media devices simultaneously. They could be watching TV and YouTube at the same time.

This change of behavior has affected advertising as we know it. There was a time when TV advertising was considered an indispensable form of communication between companies as well as customers.

Passive consumption of television is rising, making it easier for consumers to avoid advertising.

This change has been supplemented by various developments like time-shifted TV, internet, VCR, social media, and YouTube itself.

TV is still a significant marketing element but it’s no longer as decisive for advertising as a brand or a product.

Statistics show that spending on TV advertising is considerably higher compared to spending on YouTube advertising despite the change that’s underway.

TV vs YouTube Advertising 

No matter what type of advertising it is, YouTube and TV ads eventually have the same goal. It revolves around creating brand awareness or informing about a new product or service.

The expected outcome is to peruse the viewer to buy your product. That’s why purchase intent and brand awareness are the critical elements of advertisement success. 

For an ad to be effective, it must contain the following elements:

  • Information 
  • Practical use 
  • Stimulation (spark curiosity)
  • Negative emotions or irritation 
  • Transformation or entertainment 

These factors tell whether an ad meets the customer’s need or not and is deemed useful for practical use.

YouTube ads have been effective in leaving a positive influence on the purchase intent of the customer.

Perceived entertainment and customization have been the strongest in their effect when it comes to YouTube.

TV and YouTube content are consumed on different devices. It’s convenient to watch YouTube content on your mobile device.

In contrast to that, TV content is still seen on the TV set. Although some cable companies have created apps that let you access you your entire channel line up on your mobile device, watching TV on a TV is still predominant. 

Television consists of advertising in the form of commercials that appear again and again. Advertisement is embedded in YouTube are embedded differently.

As compared to TV, there is no chronological presentation of ads on YouTube. In fact, the ads are embedded between two clips. The user has the liberty to skip the ads after a few seconds as well. 

Remember the Audience Doesn’t Pay Attention 

Sometimes, your audience is not watching the ad, to begin with. When this happens, you must capture their attention over the course of the ad.

Chances are the music is not inviting or the images aren’t colorful enough. For an ad to work, it must attract attention before it does anything else.

Only then it can work. This task is complicated but if you are able to accomplish it, you matter what channel it is distributed through, it will work.

TV or YouTube, Which Is More Appealing?

Despite the advent of modern media consumption means, TV ads continue to have a stronger and immediate impact on the recipient compared to YouTube ads. This has led to more attention and bring positive emotions.

One important thing to mention is that an ad that cannot be remembered isn’t going to have any effect.

However, TV ads can leave an implicit impact on long-term memory. These ads are so powerful, they can unconsciously remember even if there is no conscious access.


This could impact the purchase decision of the one watching. For instance, if the ad is about encouraging a customer to dial Spectrum mobile phone number, they might actually do it!

In the long run, the effect doesn’t turn on the conscious level but it is still effective. So will TV advertising is still a better choice to adversities as long as YouTube coverage doesn’t exceed classic TV.

There will always be other things that count when it comes to retention of the ads such as mode of presentation, contact quality, and coverage. 


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