How to Turn Your TV Ads Into Social Media Content

Aug 4, 2023 / Industry Insights / FOTW

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Turning prime-time commercials into viral social media content – sounds impossible, doesn’t it? Yet, in the ever-evolving digital landscape, such transformations are not just possible but highly beneficial. Welcome to the future of advertising, where the line between TV and social media blur, giving rise to an effective, cost-saving strategy: repurposing TV ads for social media.

In this comprehensive guide, we unlock the potential of this strategy. We highlight the myriad benefits, from cost-efficiency to enhanced audience engagement and beyond. We also present a step-by-step guide to assist you in transforming your television commercials into compelling content for social media platforms.

Of course, any journey has its bumps and twists. We discuss the challenges you might encounter and offer proven strategies to overcome them.

So whether you’re an advertising professional, a brand eager to stretch the potential of your content or simply intrigued by this innovative approach, there’s plenty in store for you. Join us as we dive into the nuances of converting your TV ads into robust social media content, making it an ace up your marketing sleeve.

The Changing Face of Advertising

Consider the progression of advertising and its timeline marked by constant adaptation and reinvention. From print to radio, radio to television and now television to digital – the lifeblood of advertising has always been its ability to evolve. In the latest chapter of this evolution, we are witnessing a tectonic shift, with the focus moving from traditional TV ads to the vibrant world of social media.

While TV advertising continues to command considerable influence, there’s no ignoring the powerful surge of social media. In this digital age, social media platforms are not just a part of our everyday life, they’re changing the very fabric of communication, interaction and indeed, advertising. With billions of users globally, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter (Or X as its now called) and LinkedIn offer an unprecedented level of audience reach and engagement.

In light of these changes, brands are challenged to rethink their advertising strategies. The emphasis is on meeting consumers where they are – and today, that place is online. More specifically, it’s on social media, where users are not just observers but active participants in brand stories.

However, one might wonder: Does this mean the era of TV ads is over? Far from it. In this changing landscape, the focus isn’t on discarding old mediums, but rather integrating them into new ones. This is where the concept of repurposing comes into play. By turning TV ads into social media content, brands can leverage the best of both worlds.

The path forward in advertising is clear: Harness the storytelling power of TV commercials and marry it with the dynamic, interactive and far-reaching potential of social media.

What Does “Repurposing Content” Mean In Advertising?

Before we dive deeper into the benefits and practical steps of turning TV ads into social media content, it’s essential to clarify what we mean by “repurposing content” in the world of advertising. The term may sound technical, but its concept is straightforward and ingenious.

Repurposing content is essentially the practice of using a single piece of content in multiple ways and across different platforms. In the context of advertising, it involves taking an ad created for one medium — like television — and altering it to fit another, such as social media. The aim is to maximise the reach and lifespan of the content without needing to create entirely new material from scratch.

However, it’s not as simple as merely copying and pasting. Repurposing requires thoughtful consideration of each platform’s unique characteristics and audience. For instance, a 30-second TV ad might be repurposed into a series of quick, attention-grabbing snippets for Instagram Stories or an interactive post for Facebook. It could also take the form of a behind-the-scenes reel for LinkedIn or a GIF for Twitter (X). The possibilities are as endless as they are exciting.

Ultimately, repurposing content isn’t just about maximising your advertising assets — it’s about meeting your audience where they are. It’s about speaking their language, capturing their attention and engaging them in ways that resonate.

Benefits of Repurposing TV Ads for Social Media

As we’ve said, repurposing TV ads for social media represents an ingenious approach. But what makes this approach so attractive for brands navigating the fast-paced digital landscape? As it turns out, the benefits are many and significantly influential. 

Let’s take a moment to delve into the key advantages that come with transforming your TV commercials into impactful social media content:

1. Cost efficiency

It’s no secret that creating quality TV ads involves a significant investment. However, repurposing these for social media maximises your return on investment by extending the life and reach of these ads. Instead of investing additional resources into creating new content for social media, you breathe new life into existing assets, resulting in notable cost savings.

2. Greater audience reach

Social media platforms boast billions of users worldwide, making them an ideal channel to expand your brand’s visibility. By repurposing TV ads into social media videos, your content reaches a more diverse and potentially larger audience than traditional TV advertising alone could achieve.

Read more: Social Video Advertising Guides

3. Increased engagement

The interactive nature of social media allows for a two-way conversation between brands and consumers. Repurposing TV ads for social media means you can incorporate elements such as call-to-action buttons, comments, likes, shares and even direct messaging. This boosts audience engagement, fostering a deeper connection between your brand and your consumers.

4. Improved audience targeting

Although TV ad targeting has gotten better over the years, social media platforms offer advanced targeting tools that enable you to reach the people most likely to be interested in your products or services. By repurposing your TV ads for social media, you can leverage these tools to target your content based on user demographics, interests, behaviours and more, ensuring your ads are seen by the right people.

5. Enhanced flexibility

Finally, social media platforms offer a level of flexibility that TV advertising cannot match. You can easily test, modify and optimise your repurposed ads based on real-time feedback and analytics. This ability to adapt swiftly can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

How to Repurpose Your TV Ads for Social Media — Step-By-Step

Bringing TV ads into the realm of social media requires more than just resizing and adapting existing content. The most efficient and effective approach is one of pre-planning, encompassing an ‘all-screen’ strategy that considers all possible platforms at the shooting stage. This method ensures you squeeze the maximum value out of your marketing budget and shoot more than just a single-purpose TV ad.

With that said, let’s break down the process into manageable steps:

Step 1: Envision an all-screen strategy

The first step towards successful repurposing is to envision an all-screen strategy. This involves considering how your ad can be adapted for all forms of viewing right from the outset – from a large TV screen to a compact smartphone display. This broader approach can inform every stage of the ad creation process, from conception to execution. With an all-screen strategy, you build in the flexibility and foresight required to make your content thrive on any platform.

At this stage, it’s crucial to bear in mind that the ad’s core message remains consistent across all platforms. While the way the message is presented may vary from TV to Instagram to LinkedIn, the essential brand story should remain the same. This consistency ensures that regardless of where your audience encounters your ad, they are receiving the same overarching narrative.

Step 2: Plan for multiple formats

As you develop your ad campaign, keep in mind the different formats required for various platforms. This involves considering both landscape (for TV) and portrait (for digital/social content) orientations. By doing this, you ensure that your content is primed for adaptation across different channels right from the outset.

It’s also worth noting that each platform has its own unique characteristics and best practices. For instance, while TV ads might run for 30 seconds to a minute, social media content is often best kept short and snappy. Planning your ad to cater to these differences from the outset can save time and resources in the post-production stage.

Step 3: Consider CGI elements

If your ad involves CGI, these elements should also be planned with an ALL-SCREEN strategy in mind. While CGI can be updated as needed, having a clear plan in place for how these elements will translate across different formats can ensure a smoother process and a more polished end product.

This planning stage is a chance to get creative with how your TV ad’s CGI elements can be adapted and repurposed. For instance, you might create a captivating 3D model for your TV ad, which could then be used to create interactive social media posts where users can view the model from different angles.

Step 4: Maximise your shoot

On the day of filming, it’s essential to maximise your shoot by capturing your scenes in both orientations. This might mean setting up two cameras: one capturing in landscape mode for TV and the other in portrait mode for social media content. This strategy ensures that you’re covering all your bases and gives you a wealth of content to work with during post-production. 

There will also be cost savings for VO artists and sound effects (SFX) as you can do all this in one hit! Rather than going back in and out of the studio. You may even strike up a better deal for usage rights. 

The benefits of this approach go beyond saving time and resources. By filming in both orientations, you also ensure that your ad will look its best on every platform. No more awkward cropping or compromising on composition; your ad will be designed to shine wherever it’s viewed.

Step 5: Post-production adaptation

After the shoot, it’s time for the post-production stage, where you’ll have a wealth of content ready for adaptation across TV, digital and social media platforms. This stage involves breaking down your footage and selecting appropriate portions for each platform, keeping in mind the unique characteristics and user behaviour on each platform.

The key here is flexibility. It might be tempting to stick rigidly to your initial plan, but listening to feedback and being willing to adapt is crucial. Perhaps certain elements of your ad are receiving more engagement on social media than others; in that case, it might be worth creating more content that emphasises those elements.

Step 6: Analyse and Adjust

Finally, after your repurposed ads have been released into the world, the work doesn’t end. Consistently track your ad performance across different platforms, using the built-in analytic tools to monitor engagement and viewer response. These insights allow you to make necessary adjustments and refine your approach for future campaigns.

Remember, the digital landscape is ever-changing and successful marketers are those who can adapt and evolve with it. The data gathered from your campaigns can provide invaluable insights, shaping your understanding of your audience and informing your approach for future ALL-SCREEN strategies.

The Challenges of Repurposing Content

While the benefits of repurposing content are clear, it is equally important to acknowledge the challenges that can arise during this process. From maintaining consistency across platforms to adapting to different user behaviours, let’s delve into some of these obstacles and how marketers can navigate them effectively.

1. Maintaining consistency

One of the main challenges when repurposing content is ensuring consistency across all platforms. As discussed earlier, the core message of your ad must remain the same regardless of where it’s viewed. This means you need to effectively translate the essence of your TV ad into formats suitable for different platforms without losing its heart. 

Striking this balance can be a delicate task, but with careful planning and a deep understanding of your brand’s story, it’s certainly achievable.

2. Adapting to different user behaviours

Another significant challenge is the difference in user behaviour and engagement across various platforms. Social media users tend to prefer shorter, more dynamic content, while TV viewers are more accustomed to longer, more detailed ads. 

Moreover, social media platforms encourage direct engagement, such as liking, commenting and sharing, which isn’t a feature of TV. Crafting content that not only fits these different formats but also resonates with the distinct audience on each platform can be complex.

3. Resource management

Repurposing content, while cost-effective in the long run, can initially be resource-intensive. Shooting in multiple formats, considering multiple platforms during planning and post-production and continually monitoring and adjusting your ads across these platforms all require significant time and effort. 

It’s important to ensure that you have the resources available to execute an all-screen strategy effectively.

Case Study — The Multidimensional World of Sky Vegas

Sky Vegas built a recognisable, multidimensional world for its popular online gaming brand‘s persona — the King, using innovative and strategic advertisement planning. This case study explores how Sky Vegas’ multi-channel strategy led to consistent brand recognition and substantial brand growth over 15 years.

The branding strategy for Sky Vegas began with the objective of maintaining consistency across all marketing channels. With an emphasis on creating a “real sense of existence” for the brand, assets for TV advertisements underwent a rigorous vetting process by all teams during the developmental stage. This “pressure check” ensured that all marketing assets worked seamlessly across various platforms — TV and social media — fortifying the brand’s identity in the customer’s mind.

Over the last 15 years, Sky Vegas has seen incredible brand growth, proving the effectiveness of their meticulous, multi-channel strategy. The consistency and quality delivered across all channels cemented Sky Vegas’s brand image in consumers’ minds, contributing to its long-standing success in the digital entertainment industry.

The Sky Vegas case study highlights the importance of cross-channel consistency in brand recognition and growth. It also demonstrates how creative innovation, meticulous planning, and strategic execution can lead to a strong, recognisable, and successful brand image. With a multi-channel approach, an engaging brand character, and a commitment to quality, Sky Vegas achieved significant brand growth and set a strong example for cross-channel marketing strategy.

Challenges of using TV ads

Despite its numerous advantages, TV advertising comes with its own set of challenges. The most evident among these is cost. Producing a high-quality TV ad often involves significant investment in scriptwriting, hiring actors, shooting and post-production. Moreover, securing a prime-time slot for your ad on popular channels can be an expensive endeavour.

Another challenge measuring the direct impact of TV ads can be tricky. While techniques exist to gauge the overall effectiveness of a campaign, capturing detailed, real-time metrics like click-through rates or conversions – commonplace in digital advertising – is challenging with TV. This relative lack of actionable data can make optimising and iterating on your TV campaign more difficult compared to digital campaigns.

However, these challenges do not diminish the value that TV advertising can bring to a comprehensive marketing strategy. In fact, for many brands and campaigns, the advantages of wide reach, emotional impact, and enhanced credibility may far outweigh these potential hurdles.

Conclusion

Embracing an ALL-SCREEN strategy for your TV advertisements can seem daunting, with numerous factors to consider and challenges to navigate. However, as we’ve explored in this article, the benefits of this approach far outweigh the obstacles. With careful planning, a clear understanding of your audience across platforms and a dedication to maintaining the essence of your brand story, you can successfully repurpose your TV ads into engaging social media content that drives results.

Adapting your content to the changing media landscape is not just a smart move — it’s a necessity in our increasingly digital world. By repurposing your TV ads for social media, you’re not only making the most of your marketing budget but also connecting with your audience in a more dynamic, engaging way.

So, are you ready to let your TV ads shine across ALL-SCREENS? Our team at Fall Off The Wall is brimming with expertise and poised to assist you in creating an ALL-SCREEN strategy that wins. We’re not just here to create ads – we’re here to deliver success stories.

Let’s make the most of your compelling TV ads by giving them a new life on social media. Give us a ring and together, let’s start crafting your brand’s multi-platform success story. Your journey towards digital advertising greatness starts now.