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April 9, 2020

Different Types of Commercials and How To Use Them In Your Marketing

Most Effective types of TV Commercials

There is not a simple one size fits all standard when creating a TV commercial for your business. There are various styles with different approaches to consider when choosing the type of TV commercial you would like to produce. It is essential that whichever style of TV commercial you choose fits your company’s overall vision, brand, and style.

Commercials are a type of advertising that’s intentionally created to elicit conversions or sales. When you put this in the context of digital marketing media, there are a myriad of ways to deploy your campaign.

Social media, for instance, is a powerful audience connection and awareness tool that millions of brands use to service their messaging and their products. However, on its own, it's not enough.

It works well as a cog in the greater machine of your marketing strategy but just “posting on social media” in and of itself isn’t as effective as direct, commercial advertising. Depending on your target market, they may respond differently to one type of commercial vs. another.

Know who your ideal customer is and create what they want or need. Are they more likely to connect with audio ads on the radio or podcast episodes? Or are internet videos and banner ads more their style?

The core of marketing, particularly persuasive advertising, in all forms is to get in front of enough of the right kind of buyers. Use the platforms and channels where your target audience can be found.

In today’s market, video advertising is by far the most effective and accounts for more than 86% of all internet marketing. It is 23% higher than the numbers reported just six years ago![1] But with so many powerful commercial advertising channels at your disposal, it’s important to leverage those that are the best fit for your brand.

In this article, we will explore the most effective types of commercials.

Different Types of Advertisements and Commercials

As with every advertisement, you’re borrowing another creator’s or platform’s already established viewership. Magazines have subscribers, podcasts have listeners, and TV channels have home viewers.


Radio ads are snippets of spoken promotional content at pre-scheduled breaks on a musical or talk radio program. They could also be product plugs from the host or take the form of a contest.

Advertising on radio shows is an affordable channel to cast a broad audience net with low targeting. Unlike video or print ads, listeners can’t skip radio ads, so viewers are more likely to catch and remember the content.


Though similar to radio, podcasts don’t have required scheduled breaks. Podcasts are long-form content released in episodes and feature product or service sponsorships and promo links.

The hosts will share who their supporters are and give personal stories related to products they use and why they love them. These commercials offer a more personal touch and work best with affiliate and influencer strategies to reach a highly targeted audience.

Internet Commercials

Internet advertising comes in many forms, including banner ads, pop-ups, and search engine ads. Banners appear at the top or side of any monetized website or blog. Pop-ups interrupt the viewer’s online activity to promote a product offer.

Search engine ads appear at the top and side of search engine results pages for related or competing products when searching products and topics. While most folks think of Google, don’t forget Yahoo, YouTube, DuckDuckGo, and Bing as less saturated contenders.


TV ads can require a chunk of your advertising budget and will not be a good fit for most brands. Smaller streaming platforms like Hulu are offering affordable and local TV advertising that may be worth the investment.

YouTube is a mixed bag that’s one part search engine, one part entertainment, and one part educational. Advertising on that platform would look and feel similar to TV ads. However, it can accommodate much longer-form content, rather than just 15 to 60 seconds like most TV commercials.  

Print Media

This would include anything from direct-response mailers and magazine ads to newspapers, flyers, and business cards. This channel puts promotional content and service offers directly in the mailboxes and physical hands of potential buyers.

Of these formats, magazines and newspapers would be the most targeted approach. Advertising in Architectural Digest will reach a completely different audience than in Seventeen Magazine. The same is true with a newspaper in Miami that isn’t likely to reach someone in Dallas.

Types Of Commercial Videos For Your Business

Video content racks up an online usage rate of over 90%[2] and it has also been revealed that pre-produced video content for B2B marketing takes the lead for content strategies.[3] Here are some top-tier ideas for how to infuse video content into your next campaign.

Unfocused Message

In the online information overload age, “subtle is the new clever.” Blasting “here’s what I do, buy my stuff” hasn’t worked for years. The next evolution of advertising is clever subtlety. Talk about a mission, a purpose, or tell a compelling story that ties to your brand but doesn’t directly promote it.

Demonstration Commercial

In these TV commercial production process, the product is the star by showing the product in action and how it works. Think about laundry detergent and paper towel commercials; these commercials demonstrate and focus on the product at work, by showing how it will get your clothes and countertops clean.

Customer Testimonials

Happy customers love to share! Get them in front of the camera to extract their story in their own words. This is proof of concept bundled with a relatable goal to inspire prospective customers.

These productions feature “real people” that relate to the consumer and share their experience with a product or service. The individuals selected for the commercials can be real customers or actors hired to represent a real customer. These types of commercials build trust by creating an authentic and relatable feeling for the consumer. A great example of this type of commercial is those for insurance companies such as the USAA.

Company Marketing Videos

These videos are content that educates and inspires your audience to build trust and credibility. They could take the form of FAQs, how-tos or tutorials, explainer videos, and other practical, value-driven content.

Advertising and Promotion

In these videos, share what you do best and how you solve your customer's problems. Position your brand as the expert with case studies and results-driven content. Promote new offers and highlight the benefits of working with your company.

Public and Community Relations

How does your brand connect with the community? What causes do you support? Weave this into your video strategy and connect with prospects on social media deeper level.

Customer Support

Give your target audience a quick win with practical customer support information. This gives a peek behind the curtain of how your team operates and focuses on the prospect’s needs, rather than just your products.

Problem Solving Production

With this type of TV commercial, the production focuses on a particular problem and how the company’s product or service will solve that problem effectively. The commercials will draw attention from the audience’s feelings of pain or concern to then present the solution offered by the product or service. Some commercials that follow this structure are those promoting carpet cleaning services and how-to videos for products or animated explainer videos.


These types of productions are very meta in that the companies will poke fun at themselves by spoofing current trends or the style of a competitor’s commercial. This is often seen in the example of Samsung’s commercial which imitates Apple commercials in a funny manner.

Symbolic or Analogy Commercial

Sometimes it may be necessary to exaggerate certain elements of a problem or solution to effectively communicate the value of your product or service. In these productions using an analogy or symbolism can bring those elements to life making it more appealing and easier to understand for consumers. This technique is used by Mucinex in their personification of feeling stuffy with their character.  

PSA or Fear-Based Production

These video productions are created with the goal of educating viewers and presenting difficult realities that will influence the consumer to desire your product or service. These commercials are common when promoting a vehicle’s safety features or in anti-drug campaigns.


This type of commercial is generally longer than typical commercial spots and involves a series of demonstrations presented by a lively host. The purpose and goal of these ads are to drive consumers to take immediate action by calling and ordering a product online during a limited time. You may have seen an example of these productions for products such as the Shamwow or FlexSeal.

Key Takeaways

Create commercials infused with content your ideal customer cares about. Share it in a format that is easy to digest, like video. Spread the word on a platform where the right people can be found.

Sparkhouse Commercial Video Production

Our strategic approach to video marketing expertly blends original content, real-life video footage, and top talent to communicate your message with high-quality video fit for your preferred advertising channel. Contact our commercial video production team, and let’s talk about your video marketing strategy!