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Must-See TV Media Buys

Updated: Mar 22

The Super Bowl. Must-see movie of the year. Award show season.

How do you know if it’s worth the extra cash to run within high profile programming? Is it worth coughing up the extra dollars or should you pass on the opportunity? Sometimes it’s not all about how these “must see” events perform…what it truly comes down to is affordability. Will having that coveted spot during half time boost sales? Maybe…but do you have the budget for it? One of the most important factors of justifying cost is how much will it affect the current media buy. Will you have to cut stations? Will you have to start later in the month? Will you have to cut back on frequency? There are several things a media buyer will look at to make a decision that’s best for their client:

  1. Your buyer will look at past ratings to ensure they are consistent and at a level that justifies the cost. They will also take into consideration what the station estimates the program will pull this year.

  2. They will determine if the target audience for the event is the right demo for your product.

  3. They will also ensure that the medium makes sense for the specific program. For example, if a radio rep is trying to sell you a spot during a baseball game when you know the most dedicated fans will be watching it on TV.

  4. Buyers will also factor in frequency. Will you have one spot running during a 6 hour NASCAR race or one spot running during 1st quarter of a basketball game? Or could your spot possibly fall during the pre or post game?

  5. Also when does the event take place? Is it at night or during the day? When will the most people be watching?

Remember that the best buy is a strong and consistent one.

And that adding in premium programming is like the cherry on top. This is why I usually recommend special events be incorporated over and above the current budget. First and foremost, you need a solid buy because one made with just whipped cream and cherries won’t stand on its own. That being said there are definitely times when these special events can be the perfect fit:

  1. If a national or regional car brand of the same product line is also sponsoring the event, your client can get double the exposure without having to pay for it.

  2. It also could be a great tie-in when you know a sports event is going to be followed closely by the local community.

  3. Or, if in return for purchasing a spot in a high-profile event, the station will give you some added value perks such as bonus spots or web exposure.

All in all, it really comes down to these three things: Budget, Cost and Viewership. If you have the budget, the cost makes sense, and the event pulls enough viewers, premium programming is worth the additional spend. But you need to have done your homework. Know where and when your spot will fall, know your audience, and know what ratings the show has and will pull. If you follow these tips you won’t be sacrificing those added dollars with no or unknown hope for return.

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