The power for TV advertising for small businesses

An interview with Jo Halliday, CEO of Talking Medicines, about how the STV Growth Fund helps Jo grow her business

Television is rocket fuel for small businesses. It’s trusted, it’s memorable and it makes brands famous. SME’s can benefit from TV’s supercharging power and can trust that TV will deliver for them like nothing else.

TV advertising is great at cost-effectively reaching your audience at scale and growing your potential customer base and its mass reach allows for a huge untapped market of non-buyers to be converted to your consumers.

At STV, we are dedicated to providing Scottish businesses with opportunities to grow and thrive. That’s why our STV Growth Fund offers businesses across Scotland access to STV’s innovative marketing solutions earlier in their business journey to build their brand, engage with Scottish consumers and increase sales.

I’m delighted to share that this has been the case for STV Growth Fund member, Talking Medicines.

Talking Medicines are a Scottish healthcare data tech company that formed to serve the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. The team at Talking Medicines created the free app, Medsmart, designed to keep users on track when they or family members need to take medicines.

I recently caught up with Founder of Talking Medicines, Jo Halliday, to chat through her campaign and it was fantastic to hear such positive feedback on how the Growth Fund has helped grow her business. Read on to see what Jo had to say about the effects of TV advertising in her own words.

Jo, what excites you most about TV advertising?

“We were excited by the opportunity to try out a TV campaign for the first time – it felt like a big step to even consider it. We knew that the standard of creative would be high so we were also excited to be able to challenge ourselves on creating the best advert that we could with the Creative team at STV.”

A question that a lot of businesses think about when venturing onto TV for the first time is the cost of creating an advert. Would you say that building an advert from scratch is affordable to small businesses? 

“Yes. The % allocated to creative is low – low thousands, as it was handled by STV in house. I think that the creative fees are very low which allowed us to use the rest of our budget on getting as much as possible from the airtime to drive maximum return on investment.”

How did you find the process of creating your ad? 

“It was a straightforward process. We provided our brand guidelines and examples of how we have brought our brand Medsmart to life in our other creative. This was used as background for STV Creative to create a brief for our TV advert.

Early creative concepts were presented back, we agreed a creative route from those storyboards and then STV went into production. The whole process was completed within weeks. We came to the STV studios for part of the production such as the voice-over and for final approval.”

How has your campaign performed? 

“The results were impressive. We ran 3 campaigns and overall we doubled all of our metrics. Since our campaign, we have seen a 229% increase in website traffic and we have experienced a 133% uplift in app downloads.

We found goodwill around our brand grew during this period through people talking about it to each other. We also have a legacy in the creative that was produced as we have been able to use it in our social media and other marketing activities.”

Did the results from your campaign meet your expectations? 

“Yes, the overall results have exceeded expectations. It’s not easy to get people to change their behaviour and download an app. Advertising on STV is definitely an effective channel.”

What advice would you give to a business considering TV advertising for the first time?

“Be open-minded and go for it. Find out what options and support are available. Don’t worry about what stage you are at – worry about your objectives and how TV could possibly help you achieve them. Think big, TV is a mass channel but can also be targeted very locally.”

I’m delighted to work with local businesses such as Talking Medicines to support them to build their brand, engage locally and ultimately increase sales. 81% of Scots are reached by STV every month – that’s a lot of potential customers to put your brand in front of.

If you would like to find out how to maximise your marketing with the STV Growth Fund, drop me an email at


Source: BARB, Jan-Jun 2021, adults, 09:30-29:59, Thinkbox 2019: As Seen on TV: supercharging your small business.


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