What’s it: above-the-line promotion refers to promotion through traditional media to easily reach a broad audience. This includes newspapers, magazines, radio, and television.
The main advantage of the above-the-line promotion is a wide audience reach, local and national, and international. Also, companies can develop attractive messages through visual and audio effects.
Types of above-the-line promotion
Newspaper. Newspapers reach large audiences in specific geographies. Its coverage may be national or local. Consumers can use it as a reference at a later date because it can be printed. However, newspaper promotions are short-lived as the audience usually only reads them once.
Magazine. Promotion through magazines reaches specific audiences, for example, by profession, sector, or hobby. For example, business magazines will usually discuss the economic environment, companies, and economic sectors.
The advantage of magazines is their relatively long shelf life compared to newspapers. Also, the audience will usually reread it at a later date.
Radio. This media reaches certain target groups, for example, teenagers. The radio also offers convenience because audiences can do work while listening to the radio. However, it may be less attractive and effective because there is no visual effect.
Television. Promotion through television produces a high emotional connection. Sound and visual effects can attract the attention of audiences. Plus, audiences can see the same ad over and over again, making it perfect for reminding them. Companies can also choose the right broadcast time for their targeted audience.
Online. Online channels can take the web, blog, or social media. Their reach is the broadest among other media types. It exposes not only national but also international audiences. Audiences can also access online channels more flexibly as long as they are connected to an internet network and a smartphone.
Selecting above-the-line media
The above-the-line promotion aims to reach as many broad audiences as possible. That way, the company can inform and persuade more people to buy the product.
If successful in attracting more audiences, the company can sell products at a high volume. It supports higher economies of scale and lowers unit costs. In the end, it can lead to high returns.
Media selection is an integral part of achieving this goal. Each media has advantages and disadvantages. The following aspects are the primary considerations in selecting media:
- Target audience profile – The characteristics of the target audience are essential for developing an effective promotional message. For example, if targeting professionals, the company might use LinkedIn’s magazine or social media channels.
- Audience reach – Companies may target a local, national, or international audience. For a local market, for example, they might consider a local newspaper.
- Costs – each media owner charges a different fee. Apart from costs, companies usually also consider the effectiveness of each medium and budget. Ideally, they spend within their budget for the most effective media.
- Advertising time – advertising time is positively correlated with exposure to the audience, especially for television media. Companies must choose the right time to reach the target audience, so the advertising goals are achieved.
- Product types – Mass products and differentiated products usually use different media and promotional messages. For example, for mass products, companies can choose mass media such as television and national newspapers. Meanwhile, for differentiated products, magazines are the right channel.