How Do I Buy TV Advertising?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 May 2020
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The decision to buy TV advertising is a little more involved than simply buying some air time and hoping for the best results. In order for the advertisements to reach the right consumers, companies must take the time to decide when and where the commercials should be aired, how frequently the ads will appear, and if the cost of television advertising is justified by the potential to reach the right audience. Only by considering these factors can the advertiser decide which television outlets to approach and negotiate solid pricing for specific time slots.

Placement is a key factor when choosing to buy TV advertising. Ideally, the contract will call for airing the commercials a certain number of times each 24-hour period, with those airings occurring during specific programs. Here, the goal is to identify specific times slots during which the company’s targeted audience is most likely to be watching the programming. For example, advertising geared toward children under the age of eight is often aired during popular television programs on Saturday morning, when a high concentration of children within that age range are likely to be watching.

The frequency of the ads is also important if a company wants to buy TV advertising. Depending on the pricing obtained for the advertising, choosing to have the commercial run three or four times during the early evening hours may be a good idea. Alternatively, if the ads may also reach a desirable demographic during the late afternoon, additional airings may be in order. Deciding on the frequency is often a combination of the cost and the potential to reach the right audience.

Cost is usually a factor in choosing to buy TV advertising. Placement of commercials during the time slots occupied by popular television shows will cost more, but also means the ability to reach larger audiences and boost sales. Assuming the viewer demographics are a good match for the product, spending this extra money will often mean generating new sales and capturing new customers that stay with the product for years.

When deciding to buy TV advertising, negotiation is a key element in the process. The goal is to buy airtime for the commercials in the most desirable slots while still paying the lowest price possible. By determining what is desirable based on who will be watching at a given time, spacing the airing of the commercials out so they do reach the right audience, and projecting returns that will offset the cost of the advertising, it is possible to negotiate equitable deals that benefit both the stations airing the commercials and the company doing the advertising.


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