Strength in Numbers

Jeff Heiniger

Last year, at Christmas, I had the number 2 for the white elephant, gift exchange. I decided to choose the biggest gift. The gift inside was not what a white elephant enthusiast would refer to as “steal worthy” and I sat there with that gift the entire game, as I watched 12 other gifts opened and stolen time and time again. But, bigger is better, right? It’s quantity not quality, right?   

This is a common misconception local business owners have, when assessing and determining a potential television or radio campaign. They get caught up in how many spots are on one proposal vs. another, and are convinced that more spots is better.   

I’ve seen TV stations or ad agencies add overnights (spots running between 12a-5a) or shorter version commercials (bonus :10 when your cash schedule is :30) to every schedule to reduce the AUR (average unit rate). Radio station reps are trained to add overnights into every schedule for $1 per spot. They do this to make the average cost per spot appear lower.

I’m a huge believer in frequency. But, it has to be the right frequency, delivered to the right audience. That’s why Ad Lab invests in media buying and ratings software. Having access to this software allows us to build the best possible reach and frequency for each individual client.  

When I started in advertising, a strong schedule would reach 50% of your target audience, an average of 3 times. In today’s world, I would not feel confident with those optics. When we build a campaign, our goal is to reach 100% of your target audience, as many times as possible, dependent on budget. We build TV and radio schedules to run in the programming where your target demographic is strongest, providing the client the benefit of knowing exactly who they are going to reach…and how many times.   

Perhaps the biggest benefit to TV and radio advertising is what I refer to as media overflow.   Media overflow is a term I created when I worked in the TV business. The strategy is to, of course, build a schedule that targets your core demographic. However, your core audience are not the only people watching or listening. For instance, if your target audience is Adults 35-54, and you place a commercial in This Is Us, you are going to reach thousands of adults in your target age range. But, you are also going to reach thousands of adults younger than 35 and older than 54, who potentially may be in the market for your product, or growing into the funnel.   That’s the beauty of electronic media. We choose programs not only strong in your target demo, but also strong in overall viewership, to help ensure that a schedule and campaign can be successful.

You can have a successful campaign, with any budget. The goal is to build the smartest schedule possible, and different budgets allow for different strategies. Strategies like staggering flight weeks and a 26/52 strategy are a couple that may be better saved for another blog entry, or a 1 on 1 strategy meeting, but the bottom line is that you can achieve reach and frequency, at any budget.     

Please reach out to me if you’d like to discuss your on air strategy in greater detail. As always, you can reference previous Ad Lab blog entries in the link below.