The different types of TV Adverts

6th March 2020

The different types of TV Adverts

When deciding the approach for your TV advert idea it is key to consider the different types of TV Adverts available. Concretely, you have to consider how you want to make the viewer feel after watching your advert and your message in association with your brand.

Essentially that’s what TV Adverts are, ‘messages’ which should always be ‘In-line’ with your brand. Over the years companies have experimented with adverts, some have been really successful and others not so. For example, many people can recall the Christmas Coke Cola advert. However, many of them will not be able to recall the Tango advert. It involved a man randomly slapping people in the street and young people started mimicking the actions of the characters within the message. Consequently, the avert was soon banned.

Below we look at a few examples adopted by brands over the years. Many of the different types of TV adverts mentioned have been really successful and memorable, and brands across the board continue to adopt these approaches.

Celebrity endorsed

Here a brand will use a celebrity to endorse their product or service. Celebrities generally have a sense of ownership and validation, and the viewer is left to think: ‘if this celebrity can get behind this product so can I’.

Customer review

‘People buy people’. In these adverts happy customers say nice things about your product or service either in their home for a real customer experience or at the place of buying the service. This gives the viewer a sense of validation – ‘these people being interviewed are just like me, and that is exactly what I’m looking for’.

Informative, Scientific & Educational

A ‘did you know’ approach. Do you remember seeing those men and women in big white coats in a laboratory talking about a shampoo or a new tooth paste? The purpose of these adverts is to show the viewing audience the science behind the new product and why it is so unique and worthy of your money!

Humorous TV Adverts

This is solely to make the viewing audience laugh. It can be tongue in cheek or purposely timed to make the audience laugh and want to share. Two examples of humorous TV adverts are from WIX and Heineken.

Dramatised TV Adverts

Guinness has a great way of producing its adverts. Actually, their horses surfing advert won the Clio award and D&DA awards with a budget of £6million. It put you in the shoes of the surfer, chasing your passion and overcoming obstacles.

Style and Tone

In these adverts a brand will associate their product or service with a style, tone or a meaning. For example, people associate Coke with Christmas, the red trucks, Santa and the festive season. In fact, all branded in the company’s colours let you know ‘the holidays are coming’.  The advert is distinguishable where, when seen on television, the viewer knows the season (Christmas) is upon us.

Here’s a Coke Cola advert, filmed 11yrs ago, that is still being used –

Nostalgic TV Adverts

Some brands adopt the nostalgic approach. Concretely, they advertise their brands by referencing films gone. To do so, brands spend hundreds of thousands and even millions securing copyright to enable them to produce the adverts.

Comparative – washing up liquids

Simple put – this brand message entails – ‘our brand is better than the competitions and here’s why’. To clarify, the company compares its product with the competitor’s one and shows the result.

Character led

Character led adverts tend to be memorable and even merchandisable. The advert campaigns focus on the product or service through the use of distinctive characters that have been thought up by a creative agency in relation to the product or service. For instance, we can find some examples from Tetley, Meerkat and Go compare. These adverts also adopt a serial approach. Characters are used though-out the campaign life cycle of the product. Currently has successful associated a walking, talking Meerkat with their service.

Emotional TV Adverts

These adverts are used to pull the viewer’s heartstrings. They tend to be done so by relatable issues that are either societal, social or generational. Charities often use this approach with a celebrity and then showing 3rd world countries in dire situations with a call to action at the end of donating money. For example, Duracell used the emotional approach with a ‘solider at war theme’ and the connect with his daughter through a teddy bear, the reliable company Duracell and their reliable product batteries ensured his message (love) reached his daughter. Another example below:


Problem Solving

Many companies just want to show their products work, by showing an overview of how they solve your problems using voice over, music or simply actors. For instance, Grammarly has done very well in producing adverts that fix problems. They know the issues people have in this ‘text driven’ world, and the importance of writing clearly and correct. Thus, they have communicated  in a series of adverts their offerings using everyday scenarios as their brands message.


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