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Suggested Case Studies
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SUMMARY: Mass media channels are key communication media used by advertisers to get their message across to customers. There are four prominent mass media channels – newspapers, magazines, radio and television. In this chapter, we examined the characteristics of each medium and the media buying process for each of them. The medium of newspaper provides various benefits like flexibility and timeliness, high credibility, better reach and good local market coverage. However, newspapers have some limitations like their shorter life, poor reproduction quality and clutter. There are three types of advertising options that a marketer can use while considering the newspaper medium – classifieds, display advertisements and special inserts. The cost of advertising space is calculated in terms of either rupees per col. cm or rupees per sq cm.
Another important mass medium that attracts a significant share of advertising spending is magazines. The key advantages of magazines are longer life span, high credibility, good geographical and demographical selectivity, high reproduction quality, and multiple readership. Some of the disadvantages that reduce the effectiveness of the medium are the longer lead time, high advertising rates, and low reach. Usually advertising space in magazines is bought in terms of pages and ad sizes include full page, half page, 2/3 page and 1/3 page. Advertising rates also vary according to the position of the ad in the magazine. Front and back covers command a premium over inside pages. The cost of the ad also depends on the color of the ad. Usually magazines offer three color options, black & white, black and one color, and four colors.
Radio is another mass medium, but one that lost favor with many advertisers. But with entry of private players and the renewed efforts of the public broadcaster All India Radio, radio has come into the spotlight once again. Radio has many advantages over other media. These include cost effectiveness, flexibility, imagery transfer, mobility and captive audience. However, some of the negative aspects of radio caused it to lose its prominence. The negative features include creative constraints, being a fleeting medium, lack of proper audience measurement systems and limited reach. Advertising space in radio is bought in three ways: network advertising, spot advertising and local advertising. A network ad is aired across radio stations that are either managed by a single broadcaster or the stations that are affiliated to the broadcaster. Large advertisers whose market is spread across various regions use network buying. Spot buying refers to purchase of advertisement space on individual stations. This is used by smaller or regional players who want to reach customers of specific regions. Another option is local advertising where the ads are aired in local radio stations coverings specific cities. This is used by local companies and retailers. The cost of the ad space also depends upon the timing of the ads. The radio channel divides the broadcast into various time-bands and fixes prices for each time-band. Finally we examined the television medium which is the most preferred mass medium by the advertisers. The popularity of television as an advertising medium is attributed to various factors. These include wide reach, more creative options, and higher impact. The disadvantages of this medium include being a fleeting medium, high costs, clutter, and fragmentation. The buying process for television advertising space involves making key decisions relating to advertising buying strategy, timing of the ad and the sponsorship issue.