“Giveaways” — the pencils, pens, buttons, calendars and refrigerator magnets you see everyday — are called “Specialty Advertising” in the advertising business.

Chances are, you have some specialty advertising items right at your desk. Businesses imprint their name on items and give them away (or sometimes sell them at very low cost) in order that:

You notice their name enough times on the item to build “top-of-the-mind” awareness. So when you need a restaurant, for instance, you think of their name first.

You appreciate the goodwill of the company giving you the item and eventually return the favor by giving them some business.

These are both long-term advertising investments that can take months or years to turn into actual sales.

First, select the best item that would tell your story most effectively. While an accountant can give away an inexpensive calculator, the same item may not be ideal for a hairdresser. A comb or brush might be more appropriate in that case.

Second, decide what you are going to say on the item. A company slogan? Address directions? Since you have a relatively small area, you must be very concise and direct.

Third, figure out your method of distribution. Are you going to send them to each customer through the mail? If so, how much will that cost? Will you have them in a big bowl that says “take one”? Distribution is just as important to consider as buying the item.

Just as there are many reputable specialty advertising professionals in your area, the industry is notorious with a lot of high-pressure telephone and mail solicitors who often give specialty advertising a bad name. Don’t buy specialty advertising through the mail without checking the quality and prices with trusted local representatives first. And, buying specialty advertising over the telephone is not recommended at all.

Specialty advertising is a unique way to generate goodwill and put your name on items that people remember. But don’t do it unless you have an item and distribution plan that will benefit your business.





When people think of Outdoor Advertising, they usually think of the colorful billboards along our streets and highways. Included in the “outdoor advertising” classification, however, are benches, posters, signs and transit advertising (the advertising on buses, subways, taxicabs and trains).  They are all share similar advertising rules and methods.




Outdoor advertising reaches its audience as an element of the environment.  Unlike newspaper, radio or TV, it doesn’t have to be invited into the home.  And it doesn’t provide entertainment to sustain its audience.




Some Outdoor Advantages


Since it is in the public domain, Outdoor Advertising assuredly reaches its audience.  People can’t “switch it off” or “throw it out.”  People are exposed to it whether they like it or not.  In this sense, outdoor advertising truly has a “captured audience.”




It’s messages work on the advertising principle of “frequency.”  Since most messages stay in the same place for a period of a month or more, people who drive by or walk past see the same message a number of times.




Particular locations can be acquired for certain purposes.  A billboard located a block in front of your business can direct people to your showroom.  Or you can reach rural areas efficiently by placing a billboard in each small town.




Outdoor advertising is an excellent adjunct to other types of advertising you are doing.  In fact, it is most effective when coupled with other media.




Some Outdoor Disadvantages


Outdoor advertising is a glance medium.  At best, it only draws 2-3 seconds of a reader’s time.




Messages must be brief to fit in that 2-3 second time frame.  Ninety-five percent of the time, either the message or the audience is in motion.




The nature of the way you have to buy outdoor advertising (usually a three month commitment) is not conducive to a very short, weeklong campaign.




When you buy outdoor advertising, remember that location is everything.  High traffic areas are ideal.  A billboard in an undesirable area will do you little good.  Keep your message concise (use only five to seven words) and make it creatively appealing to attract readership.  Few words, large illustrations (or photos), bold colors and simple backgrounds will create the most effective outdoor advertising messages.




Television is often called “king” of the advertising media, since a majority of people spends more hours watching TV per day than any other medium. It combines the use of sight, color, sound and motion…and it works.  TV has proven its persuasive power in influencing human behavior time and time again. But it’s also the “king” of advertising costs.


Advantages in Television Advertising

Television reaches very large audiences-audiences that are usually larger than the audience your city’s newspaper reaches. The area that a television station’s broadcast signal covers is called A.D.I., which stands for “Area of Dominant Influence.”


Some advantages of television advertising include the following:


1. Advertising on television can give a product or service instant validity and prominence.


2. You can easily reach the audiences you have targeted by advertising on TV. Children can be reached during cartoon programming, farmers during the morning agricultural reports and housewives during the afternoon soap operas. A special documentary on energy sources for heating homes and business will also attract viewers interested in heating alternatives.


3. TV offers the greatest possibility for creative advertising. With a camera, you can take your audience anywhere and show them almost anything.


4. Since there are fewer television stations than radio stations in a given area, each TV audience is divided into much larger segments, which enables you to reach a larger, yet, more diverse audience.


Disadvantages in Television Advertising

Because TV has such a larger A.D.I., the stations can charge more for commercials based on the larger number of viewers reached.


The cost of television commercial time is based on two variables:


1. The number of viewers who watch the program.

2. The time during the day the program airs.


One 30 second television commercial during prime time viewing (8 p.m. to 11 p.m.) can cost 10 to 30 times more than one radio spot during drive time (which is considered prime listening time).


While the newspaper may cover the city’s general metropolitan area, TV may cover a good portion of the state where you live. If such a coverage blankets most of your sales territory, TV advertising may be the best advertising alternative for your business.


Producing a commercial is also an important variable to consider. On the whole, television audiences have become more sophisticated and have come to expect quality commercials. A poorly produced commercial could severely limit the effectiveness of your message, and may even create a bad image in your customer’s mind.


Advertising agencies or TV commercial production facilities are the best organizations for creating a commercial that will be effective for the goods or service you are offering. But the cost of a well-produced commercial is often more expensive than people think. Some TV stations will claim they can put together commercials for “almost nothing.” Before agreeing to this, find out what “almost nothing” means. Then, determine if the commercial quality and content they are proposing will represent your firm’s image.


Many companies use the station’s commercial production facilities for creating “tag lines” on pre-produced commercials. Often, the station will help you personalize the spot for little or no cost…if you advertise with them. Remember, more than anything else, when it comes to making a TV commercial, you get what you pay for. And when you’re buying commercial time, it makes sense to have the best sales presentation possible.


Remember, like radio, the message comes and goes…and that’s it. The viewer doesn’t see your commercial again unless you buy more placements.


Creativity: A Vital Element

When you advertise on TV, your commercial is not only competing with other commercials, it’s also competing with the other elements in the viewer’s environment as well.


The viewer may choose to get a snack during the commercial break, go to the bathroom or have a conversation about what they just saw on the show they were viewing. Even if your commercial is being aired, viewers may never see it unless it is creative enough to capture their attention. That’s why it’s so important to consider the kind of commercial you are going to create…and how you want your audience to be affected. Spending money on a good commercial in the beginning will pay dividends in the end.


Don’t Use TV Unless Your Budget Allows

Attempting to use TV advertising by using a poorly-produced commercial; buying inexpensive late night commercial time that few people watch; or just placing your commercial a couple times on the air will guarantee disappointing results. To obtain positive results from TV advertising you must have enough money in your budget to:


1. Pay for the cost of producing a good TV commercial.

2. Pay for effective commercial time that will reach your viewer at least 5-7 times.


Properly done, television advertising is the most effective medium there is. But it is big league advertising…and you shouldn’t attempt it unless you have enough money in your budget to do it right.


If you’re still attracted to TV, it’s a good idea to call in an advertising agency for production and media buying estimates. Then, figure out what sales results you can expect. With such data, you should be able to reach a logical advertising decision.



Since its inception, radio and radio advertising has become an integral part of our culture. In some way, it touches the lives of almost everyone, every day. Radio, as a medium, offers a form of entertainment that attracts listeners while they are working, traveling, relaxing or doing almost anything.  A farmer, for example, may listen to the radio while he is having breakfast or plowing his field.  People driving to work often listen to the radio.  Radio offers information such as: news, weather reports, traffic conditions, advertising and music for your listening pleasure.


What Are Some of the Good Things About Radio?


Radio is a relatively inexpensive way of reaching people.  It has often been called the “theater of the mind” because voices or sounds can be used to create moods or images that if crested by visual effects would be impossible to afford.


You can also negotiate rates for your commercials, or even barter. Stations are often looking for prizes they can give away to listeners, so it’s possible to get full commercial credit for the product or service you offer.


Advantages to radio advertising include:


The ability to easily change and update scripts are paramount to radio broadcasting, since news stories can and often do happen live.


Radio is a personal advertising medium. Station personalities have a good rapport with their listeners. If a radio personality announces your commercial, it’s almost an implied endorsement.


Radio is also a way to support your printed advertising. You can say in your commercial, “See our ad in the Sunday Times,” which makes your message twice as effective.


What are Some Limitations to Radio Advertising?


Radio advertising is not without its disadvantages too, such as:


You can’t review a radio commercial. Once it plays, its gone. If you didn’t catch all the message, you can’t go back and hear it again.


Since there are a lot of radio stations, the total listening audience for any one station is just a piece of a much larger whole. That’s why it’s important to know what stations your customers and prospects probably listen to. Therefore, most of the time, you’ll have to buy time on several radio stations to reach the market you are after.


People don’t listen to the radio all the time…only during certain times of day. So, it’s important to know when your customers or prospects are listening. For example, if you want to reach a large portion of your audience by advertising during the morning farm report, you’ll have to specify that time period to the radio station when you buy the time.


One of the most popular times to reach people is during Drive Times (from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.)  It’s called that because most people are going to or from work during this period, and because most people listen to their radio when they drive.  Unfortunately, radio stations know that this is a favorite time to advertise, so commercial costs are much higher during this time.


Radio as a broadcasting medium, can effectively sell an image…or one or two ideas at the most.  It is not, however, a detailed medium…and is a poor place for prices and telephone numbers.


Radio listeners increase in the spring and summer, contrary to television audiences that increase in the fall and winter and decrease in the summer. This is an important aspect to consider when you are choosing advertising media.



Many of the same “print” type principles, which apply to newspaper advertising also, apply to magazine advertising. The biggest differences are:

 Advertising messages are more image-oriented and less price-oriented.

The quality of the pictures and paper are superior to newsprint.

Advertisements involve color more often.

 The general rule that you can run the same ad 3-5 times within a campaign period before its appeal lessens applies to magazine advertising as well, even with a monthly publication. So it makes sense to spend extra time and money to prepare a worthwhile ad that can be successfully repeated. Over long terms such as these, however, be aware that the client (you) often tire of the ad before the audience does.

 Because ads in magazines are not immediate, they take more planning. Often, an ad for a monthly magazine must be prepared at least a month in advance of publication, so ads detailing prices and items have to be carefully crafted to insure accuracy.

 Since the quality of the magazines is superior, the advertising that you generate must be superior as well. Consider getting assistance from a graphic artist or an advertising agency.

 There are two categories of magazines: trade magazines and consumer magazines. Trade magazines are publications that go to certain types of businesses, services and industries. Consumer magazines are generally the kind you find on the average newsstand. Investigate which type would do your business the most good.

 An agency can also purchase the magazine space for you, often at no charge, because the magazine pays the agency a commission directly. If you wish to purchase the advertising yourself, contact the magazine directly and ask for an “Ad Kit” or “Media Package.” They will send you a folder that includes demographic information, reach information, a current rate card and a sample of the publication.

 Although most magazines are national in nature, many have regional advertising sections that allow your business to look like it purchased a national ad when it only went to a certain geographical area. 


This can be especially useful if your product or service is regional in nature as well and could not benefit from the magazines complete readership.  Each magazine does this differently, so contact the one(s) you are interested in and ask them about their geographic editions.  Some sophisticated magazines even have demographic editions available, which might also be advantageous.

Newspapers may still be a strong advertising vehicle


Every advertising medium has characteristics that give it natural advantages and limitations. As you look through your newspaper(s), you’ll notice some businesses that advertise regularly. Observe who they are and how they advertise their products and services. More than likely, their advertising investment is working if it’s selling!


Some Advantages in Newspaper Advertising

Many homes still receive a newspaper, either by newsstand or home delivery. Reading the newspaper is a habit for most families. And, there is something for everybody: sports, comics, crosswords, news, classifieds, etc. You can reach certain types of people by placing your ad in different sections of the paper. People expect advertising in the newspaper. In fact, many people buy the paper just to read the ads from the supermarket, movies or department stores. Certain days of the week (you know the “insert” days for large retailers) are still strong for newspapers. Depending on your product, newspapers may still be a strong advertising vehicle.


Unlike advertising on TV and radio, advertising in the newspaper can be examined at your leisure. A newspaper ad can contain details, such as prices and telephone numbers or coupons.


There are many advantages to advertising in the newspaper. From the advertiser’s point-of-view, newspaper advertising can be convenient because production changes can be made quickly, if necessary, and you can often insert a new advertisement on short notice. Another advantage is the large variety of ad sizes newspaper advertising offers. Even though you may not have a lot of money in your budget, you can still place a series of small ads, without making a sacrifice.


Some Disadvantages with Newspaper Advertising

Advertising in the newspaper offers many advantages, but it is not without its inherent disadvantages, such as:


1. Newspapers usually are read once and stay in the house for just a day.

2. The print quality of newspapers isn’t always the best, especially for photographs. So use simple artwork and line drawings for best results.

3. The page size of a newspaper is fairly large and small ads can look minuscule.

4. Your ad has to compete with other ads for the reader’s attention.

5. You’re not assured that every person who gets the newspaper will read your ad. They may not read the section you advertised in, or they may simply have skipped the page because there wasn’t any interesting news on it.

6. Circulation is dropping for most papers.


Here are some other things to remember:


1. Newspaper circulation has dropped in almost every city. Sunday is the day a newspaper is read most thoroughly.


2. Position is important, so specify in what section you want your ad to appear. Sometimes there’s a surcharge for exact position…but don’t be afraid to pay for it if you need it.


3. Request an outside position for ads that have coupons. That makes them easier to cut out.



Ad Management

Ad Management

 Repeat an ad

If response to an ad is good, run it – without change – two or three times and check the responses of each appearance or broadcast against previous ones. Ad management is the only way to make sure that your ads are effective.


Keep repeating the process. Much advertising loses effectiveness because the advertiser doesn’t keep reminding people. Repetition helps increase knowledge of and interest in, the product. You can soon estimate how often you should repeat each ad – exactly or with minor changes.


Analyze all ads in relation to response

Divide ads into at least two classes: high-response ads and low-response ads. Then look for differences between the two classes.


The time the ad was broadcast or run may be responsible for a particular response level. Other factors, however, may be just as influential as time or even more so, though in radio time is often crucial.


Consider the message and how well it was expressed. Did the copy stick to the theme or did it wander? If you used slogans, did they help make the point? For print, consider the effects of illustrations, type, size, color, and ad location. In broadcast, consider whether or not the voice of the person doing the ad or music used may have had an effect.


Emphasis on brand names should also be checked. Price figures should be analyzed. If price lines are involved either in the ad or in the merchandise line of which the advertised product is a part, you should consider them also.


Check the effect of the length of broadcast ads. Did you get the best results with 10-second, 30-second, or 60-second announcements?


Check the size of print ads. Size often has a bearing on response. As a general rule, the larger the ad, the larger the response.


Try to see a pattern of dominance

Your analysis of high-and-low response ads may show that certain details make the difference between a high or low response. Try to find the combinations that work best for your firm and merchandise.


Note changes occurring over time

You should never take a winning combination for granted. There is no single formula that will insure high response ads every time. Advertising changes. Therefore, you should watch the ads of others to see what changes are occurring. Continue to analyze your own ads, make small changes occasionally, and note any variations in response.


Listen to what people say about your ads

In doing so, try to discover your mental framework within which any comment about your ad was made. Then try to find points that reinforce believability and a feeling that your product fulfills some wish or need.


However, you should not be misled by what people say. An ad can cause a great deal of comment and bring in practically no sales. An ad may be so beautiful or clever that as far as the customer is concerned the sales message is lost.