When it comes to making an advertising splash, television still rules. In surveys by Deloitte and BBM Analytics, Canadians call TV the most persuasive advertising medium—and Canadians see TV ads as the most influential and authoritative.

What it is

Typically a 15-, 30- or 60-second commercial.

Why you need it

“[TV] has sight, sound, motion,” which together can convey emotion, says Bruce Hamlin, VP of sales and administration for Western Canada, Citytv and OMNI.

That helps TV messages to burrow into the subconscious. A U.K. study using brain measurement techniques (including functional MRIs) found TV ads trigger high levels of emotional intensity, engagement and long-term memory encoding. The ads stimulate the parts of the brain responsible for decision-making and empathy, which are major predictors of future purchases.

How it helps

Letting clients see and hear your message can add to your credibility. So can being associated with the show your ad is running alongside, as well as those of your fellow advertisers (especially if they’re popular and respected brands).

Good to know

Time periods on TV are generally divided into prime time (6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m) and what’s called off-prime or fringe time (everything else). Prime time ads are generally two-and-a-half times more expensive as other slots, says Hamlin.

Advertisers will look at the cost per rating point: how much they have to pay to reach a certain percentage of the audience.

Who can help

Unlike radio, where advertisers buy time on a station to appeal to its particular demographic, TV advertisers buy a specific program. The sales team at a TV channel can help you pinpoint the programming that captures the audience you want to reach.

How much

Costs vary by geographic market, audience size, time period and length of the spot. For example, running a 30-second ad twice a week on the 6:00 p.m. news might cost about $850 a week on Global in Winnipeg and $3,000 to $4,000 a week on the top news property in the Maritimes. To save money, consider running your ads during the times of the year when advertising rates tend to dip, like summer.

Some advertising opportunities can be integrated with editorial content—you could become the resident investment expert on a news show. For instance, an exclusive segment on Global Winnipeg’s morning show (one or two appearances in a three-hour period, Monday through Friday) might cost about $1,150/week for 26 weeks.

Stuart Foxman is a Toronto-based financial writer.