Television Scheduling

Like radio the real power of television, is long-term memory, or “top of mind awareness. 

In television, you generally get what you pay for. However, there are a couple of mistakes you definitely don’t want to make.

1. Never buy run of station.

TV stations will offer dramatically reduced rates in return for the freedom to place your ads within broad windows in their daily schedules. Though the rates may look attractive, such schedules make it virtually impossible to reach viewers with enough repetition to be effective. The greatest likelihood is that you will reach an enormous number of different people approximately one time each. Although it’s possible to see results using run of station, it’s never the highest or best use of your money.

2. Don’t assume the viewer is loyal to a particular station.

Although television viewers may have loyalty to a particular TV show, they rarely have loyalty to the station. Even when viewers are loyal to a particular news show, it’s the show to which they are responding, not the station. It’s a tragic mistake to believe that a particular station’s audience is intrinsically different from the audience of another. The show is what attracts birds of a feather, not the station.

There are three things to remember when placing a television schedule:

1. Always schedule horizontally.

The best way to ensure that you’ll reach the same person with a second and third repetition of your ad is to buy advertising in the same television show over and over again.

When booking long-term, look for programs like the news, the soaps, programs that run 5 times a week, 52 weeks a year. Book at least 1 ad per day, 5 days per week, 52 weeks a year.

2. “Roadblock” when your ads have a high impact quotient.

When your ad is irresistible and you need to make sure that you’re reaching the largest number of people that you possibly can, try roadblocking at a particular time each day – buy fixed position ads to air simultaneously on every station in town. (A viewer might run from your roadblock, but he can’t hide.)

3.  Find a sales rep who will keep your best interests in mind.

Things change quickly in television, and a sales rep who’s watching out for you is worth her weight in gold.

“So which kind of advertising will you do? Short-term or long-term? Will you have a little piece of cake right now, or a series of larger pieces later on? This is the choice every advertiser makes, either consciously or unconsciously. I want you to make it consciously.” - The Wizard 

Back to index.

Read next chapter Making Ads Work