In the world of advertising, the process of buying airtime for your TV is known as ‘media buying.’ This is the stage where you can get your ad out on the airwaves and seen by the masses.
Now you can go about this in one of two ways. You can either get an advertising agency to do the media buying on your behalf, which is our preferred way (download our FREE EBOOK to find out why) or you can buy it directly from the TV station.
If you are thinking about going down the latter route, we recommend that you consider some of the following things in regards to buying media.
When you buy media space to broadcast your TV commercial, you buy according to TARPs (Target Audience Rating Points). A TARP is represented by a number, which refers to the percentage of the target market that views the program.
Let’s say that your business has a target market of men aged 35-44. When you begin looking for potential programs to play your ad on, you discover that ‘The Footy Show’ has a tarp of 31. This means that 31% of men aged 35-44 watches The Footy Show.
Logically, more TARPs cost more money, but not all TARPs are created equal. For example, a show with a tarp of 50 is not the same as 10 shows with a tarp of 5 each. This is because 10 shows with a tarp of 5 each may have ‘crossover’ viewers, which watch many of the same shows. So if you are trying to reach many people, you might be hitting the same viewers again and again, which is a waste of your efforts. However, a show with a TARP of 50 will consist of all unique viewers, giving you a wider reach.
The Intentions of TV Reps
Now, before we get into this section we want to put in a small disclaimer. We aren’t trying to bash TV reps or accuse them of being underhanded in any way. We just want to ensure that you’re fully aware of their role.
When you go to buy media from a TV station, it is important to remember one simple thing. The person who is trying to sell you airtime has a primary goal, which is to sell you airtime to their particular station. What is best for their station isn’t always what is best for your advertisement. This doesn’t mean that their airtime is any less effective than another station, but it is something to keep in mind.
Your Advertising Goals
Before you get in there and start signing off on media schedules, take a step back and consider what your true goals are in regards to your advertisement. Be simple and honest when asking whom it is you want your ad to communicate to.
For example, if you want your ad to talk to teenage girls aged 13-17, ensure that the media that you are buying is going to be talking to this demographic. This sounds redundant and obvious, but you would be surprised how easily clients can get swept up in the spirit of advertising to “more.” Being targeted is always better, and you should strive to be as direct as possible to your target audience. TV advertising is expensive, so try to waste less.
Do your research when it comes to targeting. Shop around by visiting a variety of stations and seeing what kinds of numbers they can offer.
As we said earlier, there are a multitude of reasons why we recommend getting an Advertising Agency to buy media on your behalf. However if you do decide to buy directly, do so wisely and with these tips in mind.
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