Is Local Television Advertising Dead?

It depends on who you ask. This is certainly a controversial subject and a topic that will fuel debate among marketers. If you ask me, I would say that traditional advertising isn’t dead… at least not yet. We’re still seeing success in strategically investing in TV advertising and I’d say we’re still using it because it still works. Here’s how.

To help illustrate the point, I’m going to use an example of a local plastic surgeon, Dr. Tom McClellan. Here’s his most recent commercials so you can see the final result.

Dr. McClellan is one of the only surgeons in the area specifically trained in plastic surgery and reconstruction and he noticed that many patients were having bad experiences with untrained/unqualified surgeons. He runs a great business, but knows he can do better, be more competitive, and ultimately help patients have a positive experience. He made the decision to move forward with traditional advertising to compliment his existing social media, and content marketing efforts.

Dr. McClellan will be the first to tell you that he feels strongly that the quality of his visual marketing materials (e.g., television commercials) are crucial to the success of his efforts.


The quality of the product you’re using in your communication is more critical now that it’s ever been. Most people have been desensitized to advertising, they like to skip the commercials, and it’s difficult to get their attention. The human mind is very good at quickly deciding what’s important and what isn’t… and our minds get better and better at it because we’re constantly bombarded with ads. Therefore, you have to carefully consider what you want to say and deliver messages that get right to point in a way that resonates with the people you’re trying to reach. The quality also says something about you. In this case, we wanted carefully selected the right message and visuals that would well represent the type of business Dr. McClellan is running. We also wanted to speak to his audience (mostly women) and touch upon what they are feeling, their concerns, and how Dr. McClellan can help them.


The success of a television commercial also has a lot to do with the other channels you have at your disposal. By that I mean things like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, your blog/website, etc. You must target the advertising as much as possible and think big picture. It’s not enough to run an ad on television and sit back and wait for the phone the ring. The commercial can help you, but you have to diversify and think about all the different ways you can use your video advertisement.

With Dr. McClellan we carefully produced commercials for him, helped purchase the television time, and then immediately started thinking about how the video can be used in the other places. Based on his targeted audience, a Facebook campaign was used to compliment the television advertising.

We also prepared the McClellan Plastic Surgery website to handle new visitors that would be coming from the Facebook and Television campaign. We purchased a new domain name for him ( so that folks would better remember how to get to the site, and included new visuals and content.

The Facebook Boost

A report from eMarketer reveals that “Facebook has seen success with video ad placements, and recent research indicates that TV advertisers are leveraging the social network to stretch the reach of their campaigns. – Read more…


Within just two weeks of starting the TV commercials, Dr. McClellan started to notice an impact. July is typically a slow month for Dr. McClellan, but this year he not only had a record July but it became his busiest month of the year. He noticed almost immediate results from his investment.

We have many success story like this from using a combination of traditional (radio, television, print) and social media/Internet marketing campaigns. Even though one would think the more traditional forms of advertising are dead or dying, we’re still seeing an impact and using these channels. However, success comes from quality and diversifying your efforts.