Television is not frequently used in B2B because of its cost in absolute value; it is usually reserved for very large companies that target sizable market segments of consumers. Besides its coverage of an enormous target market at a reasonable cost per thousand contacts, television's other advantage is its ability to create a high rate of awareness very quickly. For instance, Accen-ture used a big slice of its $175 million largest-ever advertising budget on television in 2000 just to differentiate from its former corporate sibling Arthur Andersen and to pull itself quickly up to the level of its competitors in terms of awareness. For similar reasons, in 2001, IBM spent $100 million alone on television out of a $210 million advertising budget for its middleware campaign; the rest of the budget went for events, direct marketing, Internet advertising, and promotions.
For high-tech consumer goods, television is the most cost-effective way to reach mass audience, besides the Internet. TV appeals to senses and can grab high attention from viewers, especially from teenagers. The main downsides are its high absolute costs, its absence of selectivity (at least for the biggest networks) and some short-lived exposure.
In 2002, Microsoft spent $198 million, one-fourth of its total advertising budget, on network television. Companies that are targeting both businesses and consumers, such as IBM, HP, Nokia, and Vodafone, have found, however, that the messages they were sending on mass media like television also had a very positive impact on their professional customers, notably in brand recognition.
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