Broadcast Television Advertising

You’ll find plenty of opportunities on network television.

In the Missoula area costs to air a :30 commercial one time is from $20 for a daytime rotator to $2,000 plus during the Super Bowl. Rates vary greatly, so before setting a budget, contact your local rep for rates. Almost everyone would like to advertise on television. And really, it’s not so hard to buy TV schedules. Why? Because no matter what demographic your audience falls into, you can find appropriate programming on any one of the four major networks. ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX reaches an audience daily, with schedules that include celebrity, talk, sports, soaps, news, movies, reality and prime time programs.

Like all forms of advertising, there are different price ranges within the TV medium. Locally, you can pick up a 30-second commercial slot in a highly rated daytime talk show for an average of $45 (but check your local affiliate because prices fluctuate), or get into a noon to 4 p.m. rotation with the same commercial for $10-$30, again depending on your location and also the time of the year. You’ll pay anywhere from $75 to $350 per 30-second commercial for local news at noon, 5 to 6 p.m., 6 to 7 p.m., sometimes 10 p.m. The best thing to do is check with your sales reps for a list of programs that fit your needs at the time you want to advertise.

Prime-time commercials are going to be the most expensive, but audiences can be large for popular shows. And here’s an insider’s tip: it’s not true that no one watches TV in the summer. Programming like Good Morning America, Today Show, local and national news, and soaps never have reruns and are always a good bet because the audience stays true all year long.

This is the one form of advertising that can include actual bidding when push comes to shove. When someone wants the time slot you’ve already purchased, they’ll offer more and bump you out. You always have the opportunity to up the price you’re willing to pay, of course, but many businesses can’t afford to get into that kind of bidding war. When is that most likely to happen? The fourth quarter of the year is when lots of inventory is snatched up by holiday ads. And anytime a hot political race, either local or national, is going on, you can be sure the competition for time slots will increase. Unfortunately, these are also the times when small and mid-sized businesses really need coverage but get shut out.

While some large businesses are starting to use more 60-second commercials to try and cut through the clutter, the length of choice for most commercials is still 30 seconds. In most markets, you have the ability to run a combination of ads. That is, you can mix 10-second or 15-second ads in with your 30-second spots, which allows you to increase the number of times your ad is seen without the cost of paying for all 30-second ads. The reason it’s important to increase your frequency this way is because the number of times your current and potential customers see your ad is directly related to whether they react to it. But don’t think you can really increase your frequency if you run all your commercials in the shorter lengths, because they’re only meant to be reminders. They’re not long enough to provide the critical information a 30-second ad can hold. Their best use is to bolster your regular commercials and increase retention of your longer message. Also, they will most likely cost 60% – 70% of a :30, not 50%.

One good way to capture a lot of people watching at a particular time is to run an ad during the morning, early and late news on all your local news stations on the same day. That delivers your message to just about everyone watching the news at that time.

What’s the best time to buy TV time? The first and second quarters of the year, with the first quarter being the best for negotiating discounts. Sales reps are scrambling to make their budgets when advertisers are trying to recover from their holiday expenditures. Don’t hesitate to compare prices from station to station or among comparable programs. As long as you’re choosing programming that suits your audience, it doesn’t matter if your commercials are scattered over different networks. Negotiate your little heart out, and if you know you have the budget, go ahead and settle into an annual contract. This can mean running a certain amount of commercials every week or just agreeing to run a certain dollar amount during a 12-month period without having to know exactly when you’ll run your schedules at the time you sign the contract.

Channel 8 KPAX  (CBS)

City: Missoula, MT
Web Site: www.kpax.com
Station Info: Full-Power – 275 kW Subchannels: 8.1 KPAX/CBS, 8.2 CW

 

Channel 11 KUFM  ID: “Montana PBS”

City: Missoula, MT
Web Site: www.montanapbs.org
Station Info: Educational Full-Power – 9.06 kW

Channel 13 KECI  ID: “NBC 13”
City: Missoula, MT
Web Site: www.keci.com
Station Info: Full-Power – 229 kW

Channel 23.2 KTMF  (FOX)
City: Missoula, MT
Station Info: Full-Power – 589 kW

Channel 23.1 KTMF  ID: “ABC 23”
City: Missoula, MT
Web Site: www.abcfoxmontana.com
Station Info: Full-Power – 1820 kW