A highly creative ad copy may not be able to deliver results if there is an improper selection of media or a poor media plan and strategy .In evolving a media plan, decisions have to be taken in respect to the following media factors
- Media class
This refers to the type of medium which is most appropriate to the product and ad copy. This includes newspaper, magazines ,television ,radio, billboards and direct mail.
- Media vehicles
They provide the immediate environment for the advertisement .For example ,within the newspaper, the Times of India is a media vehicle; in television Zee TV Antakshari is the vehicle.
- Media Option
This refers to the size(full or half page),length (30seconds or 60 seconds)color or location(like front page bottom right or prime time 9.00 p.m.) of the ad in the media vehicle.
- Scheduling and timing
This refers to how media options are scheduled over a period of time. the strategic options here are
(i) Flighting: i.e periods of total inactivity.
(ii) Continuous: i.e even distribution of advertising during a time period.
(iii) Pulsing: a continuous base augmented by intermittent bursts of heavy advertising.
Flighting is useful in products whose demand is seasonal. After the season ,the demand for these products ceases to exist .A typical example is that of desert coolers in North Indian States like Uttar Pradesh ,Madhya Pradesh ,Rajasthan ,Haryana ,Punjab, Bihar and Delhi. The demand for such coolers emerge during the summer months April to July and declines soon after the monsoon sets in .Hence it pays to advertise desert coolers or its components like exhaust fans and pumps etc. during the summer months only and then discontinue until the subsequent year .So for products whose demand is seasonal, the flighting strategy works well.
(ii) Continuous advertising
It is a good strategy for products like textile .toiletries, etc .whose demand is not limited to specific seasons .Here the objectives of the firm is to retain its brand/s at the top of the customers mind and hence continuous visibility through reminder ads and other such tactics.
It works in products like soft drinks and ice creams whose demand is high during summer months and after that the demand does decline but not to zero sales level .The demand goes down to the minimum level which is between no demand to the peak demand. The objective advertising is to ensure higher sales volume and market share.
In the evolution of a media plan ,both quantitative (like circulation or view ship statistics, costs etc)and qualitative (like the profile of target audience ,mood created by media vehicles and the like )factors have to be considered. While data on circulation or viewer ship ,etc is available from sources like Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) ,National Readership Survey (NRS)and even different publishing houses ,cost of an ad insertion is available from the publisher or DD etc. The qualitative factors for each media is to be collected through a market research. One of the quantitative criteria used in selecting the media is cost per thousand i.e cost per thousands people reached by a particular vehicle. This is calculated by dividing reach of the vehicles by the cost of an ad in it. Suppose the reach(readership)of newspaper A is 1,20,00,000 persons and the cost of a full page ad in it is Rs 10,000;then cost per thousand of advertising in this paper is Rs.0.83 p only .But another newspaper whose readership may be only 70,00,000 persons ,the cost of the same ad maybe just rs.7,000.Considering cost per thousand(which is re.1.00), we find that advertising in newspaper A is a better alternatives.
While cost per thousand is an important consideration ,one has to also examine the quality of readership and view ship and whether the audience goes through the entire newspaper or magazine or waits and watches the entire programs .In other words ,though cost per thousand in a newspaper like the Times of India may be the lowest, if the research shows that most readers just glance through the headlines or through the newspaper ,then actually the cost is much higher .As the effective readership may be lower. The same holds good for TV or video advertising.
Hence, in selecting the media one has to determine the desired number of exposures to the target audience in the appropriate vehicle. The number of exposures is based on the advertisements objective. It could be trial which is based on increased awareness. Assume the rate of trial increases at a diminishing rate with the level of audience awareness as shown