What kind of TV ads work the best?

This question could have a few answers depending on whether your goal is to improve branding, sell more products and services or simply get your name out there into the public psyche.

If your budget is limited and you simply want to increase sales then DRTV is the way to go with a simple, straight forward message and a call to action at the end. From there it is all about targeting your customers by aiming at the right TV programmes at the right time of day.

In terms of memorability a quirky, comedic concept would be our first port pf call, allowing that your product can sustain a comedy approach of course. Funeral services for example could be dodgy ground! If you try to recall your favourite TV ads from the past they are invariably funny or quirky ones. Any middle aged people will remember Joan Collins and Leonard Rossiter in the Cinzano commercials when he always ends up spilling the drink over her no matter how she tries to avoid it.

Tango is etched into our memories as a rotund orange man slaps people in the face. For me one of my biggest laughs watching a TV ad was for Super Noodles when 2 students, enjoyed their noodles so much they licked their plates clean and then put them straight back into the cupboard. We love making funny ads that will be remembered as they are the best form of branding and fun to make.

Outside of quirkiness and comedy we have hard hitting, perhaps something that tugs on the heart strings and is effective in a different way. But there is nothing like describing a problem or issue and following up with a clear solution. Head and shoulders – clears dandruff fast! Teeth whiteners, stop gums bleeding now etc etc.

Of course an amazing tag line or catchphrase can work wonders. “It does exactly what it says on the tin” – this line is now used in everyday conversation and started life in a Ronseal TV ad, an incredible result.

So which way to go? How about starting by developing 3 or 4 concepts of varying mood that all get your message across and then working on the best route from there. Even better if an idea can be forged that has long legs an can run and run with subtle changes. This approach can work over time to really sink a brand name into the public psyche.

These days a lot of companies are scared to try something different and listen to closely to polls and customer research instead of just going for a great ad. It all boils down to creativity which any ad agency worth its salt should have in bundles.

What are your all time favourite TV ads?