According to reports from Nielsen Media Research, members of the typical American household spend an average of eight hours out of each day watching television. After more than a half-century since the dawn of the medium, TV commercials are still the most powerful and enticing form of advertising. A TV ad campaign usually follows several principles to achieve success.

Developing a Clear Concept

The concept of a TV spot needs to be clear enough that it won’t needlessly depend on special effects or celebrities for its message to be effective. A TV ad campaign without a clear concept quickly becomes a string of unrelated sounds and images. A chaotic and unorganized commercial will cause the viewers to tune out and cost the advertiser time and money. Commercials with a clear message will attract customers where bells and whistles won't.

Determining a Target Audience

Before a company can develop a TV ad, it must know its target audience. The target audience will play a large part in determining when and where the company will choose to run the ad. For instance, a company that sells children's toys will choose to run its spots on kid-friendly shows, while a firm that sells men's products will often purchase ad time on shows featuring action stars or sports programming.

Making an Impression

The best commercials are those that make a memorable impression on the viewer. The Reebok "Office Linebacker" spots from 2003 used surprise, action and humor to show how a pro football player would function in an office environment. The Oreo commercial from Super Bowl XLVII showed people in a library in a vicious fight over which part of the cookie was better (cookie vs. cream), without anyone raising their voice over a whisper. These types of story lines are out of the ordinary, so they are memorable.

Scheduling the Spot

The most important aspect of any advertising effort is to have potential customers see it. Marketers should not only know who their target audience is, but when they watch TV. If a TV spot airs at a time when the target audience is not watching, the message echoes in the empty air without anyone to see it. A children's toy ad that airs at 2 a.m. does a disservice to both the audience and the advertiser.