Types of Advertising Media
When it comes to selecting media for advertising, one has the choice of one or more of the following:
1 Newspapers. The amount of money spent on newspaper advertising still remains very much in excess of that spent on television commercials in Britain. Apart from the national daily and Sunday newspapers, there are regional dailies and Sunday papers that possess very considerable pulling power. In addition, there is a very considerable readership of local weekly newspapers throughout the country. Of these, a significant number are what are colloquially known as ‘freebies’, delivered free of charge to all households in local areas.
2 Periodicals. General interest magazines, read by all the family, have largely disappeared from the bookstalls in Britain. Their place has been taken by a wide range of journals targeted at specialist segments of the market, such as motoring, gardening, yachting, sports of all kinds, do-it-yourself and hobby interests that include photography, audio-visual recording, antique collecting, together with a whole spectrum of other leisure pursuits. Magazines for women are also widely read by men because their editorial content covers not only fashion and beauty but also home subjects, such as furnishings and interior design.
Television and radio advertising
1 The Independent Broadcasting Authority controls commercial radio and television in Britain by issuing licenses to regionally based companies.
2 Satellite broadcasting. A comparative newcomer in Britain and likely to have a very considerable influence upon the shape of British broadcasting and the scope for consumer advertising during the next decade.
One of the oldest and still a very effective means of advertising consumer goods and services.
The use of the postal services for the distribution of advertising matter by means of letters and circulars has increased enormously in recent years, with encouragement from the General Post Office which has introduced special schemes to attract advertisers’ business.
One of the simplest methods of dissemination of the advertiser’s message is to print handbills and have them put through letterboxes.
Despite the decline in cinema audiences, cinema advertising still attracts a not insignificant volume of advertising expenditure, targeted towards the younger age groups.
Miscellaneous advertising media
Telephone and other directories, postal franking machines, labels, special gifts and novelties.
From this welter of advertising opportunity it is no simple task to select media most likely to be suitable, in terms of the relation of cost to pulling power, for a particular product or service. It is here that advertising research comes to our aid.
Advertising research is a highly specialized function. There are research organizations solely engaged in a study of all the various advertising media to measure their relative effectiveness. Most advertising agencies rely upon the services of research consultants to advise them on the choice of suitable media and guide them in the preparation of advertising copy to achieve the best results from any specific medium.
Newspapers and periodicals publish their circulation figures, but it is not the total number of readers of any particular journal that interests the potential advertiser so much as how that readership is made up. He wants to know the breakdown according to age, to social class, where the majority of these readers are to be found – in the country or in large cities – whether the readership is predominantly men or women, how many of the women are housewives or are working, the average number of children per reader and the children’s ages. He wants to know the kind of occupations of the majority of readers – artisans, office and factory workers, executives – and their likely income bracket. In addition, he is anxious to discover what their special interests may be: how many of them are likely to be keen gardeners, for example, how many do their own home decorating, how many own their own car.
It is information of this kind, presented in the form of statistical tables, which the advertising researcher makes available to agencies or directly to intending advertisers.
Television audience research
One of the problems of assessing the size of one’s audience when advertising on television is that there are no ‘circulation figures’ to provide conclusive evidence of the actual numbers of people who watch television programmes at specific times. The BARB organization does provide advertisers with the number of television sets which it is estimated are tuned in to the programmes of the British Broadcasting Corporation and the commercial television companies. This assessment of the number of homes in which one’s advertisement will be screened gives a fair indication of the total audience being reached. What cannot be assessed by this means is the actual number of people who are consciously absorbing the advertising message. In many homes the TV set is switched on for several hours per day, but whether or not anyone is actually viewing – whether or not anyone is actually in the room – throughout this period of time is problematical.
Although readership and TV audience research can go a long way towards establishing the identity and numbers of consumers reached by advertising, one is still confronted with the question of the effectiveness of the advertising message one is trying to put across. Here again researchers have devised various methods to aid the advertiser.
In one of these a small sample of readers of the particular newspaper or magazine in which a specific advertisement appears is invited to answer certain questions and undertake some simple tests. The researcher asks them which advertisements they have seen and whether they can describe them. Subsequently, the reader is shown the particular advertisement in which the researcher is interested and is asked whether he, or she, has read it all, or in part. From the responses obtained, it is possible to assess the effectiveness both of the various positions of advertisements in a paper in relation to one another and also the pulling power of different types of advertisement layout and copy.
Copy-testing is also influenced by semantics, which is a branch of linguistic research concerned with studying changes in the meaning of words. Philological studies of this kind have established the words in the language which are most frequently used, and are therefore most likely to be understood by the majority of people.
Related Web Search : Types of Advertising Media | Press advertising | Television and radio advertising | Direct-mail advertising | Handbill advertising | Miscellaneous advertising media | Advertising research | Readership research | Television audience research | Copy-testing