Media Buying 101: Your Guide to TV Buys

Appleton Creative Media Buying 101

“I want to sell more of my product.” We hear you. And you are not alone.

When clients come to Appleton, we sit with them and work through what this seemingly straightforward selling goal really means for their individual product. Only then can we determine how to best make the selling happen. Often, the process will include gaining exposure through paid media to quickly appeal to the correct buyers with demographic laser-focus. Since paid media comes with a lot of industry slang, we thought we’d give you a quick media buying 101 lesson starting with television.

Daypart: Dayparting is the division of the broadcast day into various parts, which is reflective of the demographic and target audience viewership during that segmented time. Examples of TV dayparts include early morning, primetime and late news.

Spot: A “spot” is the industry catch-all term for advertisements and commercials. Regular spots typically run from 30 to 90 seconds. A long-form spot has the ability to run between 5 and 30 minutes. These long-form spots are typically more content rich and associated with pitches and infomercials.

Crawl: Crawls are simple lines of text scrolling along the bottom of the screen. They’re similar in style to secondary headlines or weather information at the bottom of newscasts.

Flowchart: A flowchart is a summary of information on medium, placement, budget and run time, which is equivalent to a road map for your spots television lifetime. For our clients, everything gets laid out in this handy media flowchart,

Reach: Reach is the total number of different people or households exposed, at least once, to your spot during its run. It simply measures how far your spot makes it in terms of distance and medium.

Frequency: Frequency is the measure of how many times viewers see your spot after initial contact. The amazing thing about television is that there are dozens of ways to reach your audience. Research reveals who is watching what, when and where.

Zoned Cable Television: Using zoned cable television allows networks the ability to air different commercials by specific geographic areas. Spots can be run on specific channels, shows and devices. You can even run spots during certain on-demand programming. Zoned cable helps adjust for behavior known as appointment television. Your audience is busy, so they won’t always be sitting in front of the screen. Making these “appointments” involves setting aside a specific time to watch what they want.

Bookend Approach: The bookend approach has a set of two matching or related commercials, one played at the beginning of a commercial break period and one played at the end. This approach is great for companies using repetition to have viewers remember its message.

Competitive Separation: A competitive separation is a length of time between commercials for the same product or service from a competitor. Known as commercial protection in broadcast, the separation is usually 10 minutes between commercials.

Fixed Position Spots: Fixed position spots are guaranteed positions for a TV advertisement that cannot be moved by the provider. These are important to look out for when initially scheduling your spot as they may give you some headaches.

Makegoods: Makegoods are rerun credits given to an advertiser by the medium (television or radio station, publication, etc.) to compensate for an error in the composition, timing or placement of the advertisement.

Now that you’ve read our media buying guide to television, is TV advertising best for your product? The best way to know is to work with your agency to set goals, research your audience and provide matching television opportunities. Are you ready to sell more of your product?

Running a successful commercial requires media buying expertise. Appleton Creative is an award-winning, full-service Orlando marketing agency that specializes in media buying for local, national and international clients. Appleton leverages relationships with the media to craft a media strategy and plan that is constantly monitored, optimized and analyzed. Appleton delivers multimedia and multi-market campaigns for companies through meticulously placed billboards, advertisements, print publications, radio, TV and online pay-per-click services. Your media planning and buying goals are worth a conversation. Contact us at 407-246-0092 or

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