Your Station as a Brand, Not a Commodity

I spotted a billboard this past week for a cable company that claims you can run a TV campaign for as low as $250.

For less than half the price of a Toro lawn mower, you too can run a TV campaign!

Would you rather have a Kenmore Elite vacuum cleaner?

Or a TV campaign for your business??

Because they’re both the same price!!!

You can buy a TV campaign for $250, but it won’t pick up pet hair like this baby

I’m comparing the $250 TV campaign to household items because claiming you can have a television campaign for 250 bucks on a billboard immediately turns television advertising into a commodity.

Is that really a good idea?

The campaign may get the desired results for the cable company. If sales volume is the goal, then on paper, attracting a bunch of new clients that wouldn’t have otherwise spent money seems like a good idea.

Plus, it’s on a DIY platform of sorts, where clients can build their own schedules and even create the spot online. Great!

Anyone out there think a business can run a successful TV campaign for $250? Click below for the answer.

OK, fine. For the sake of argument, let’s just pretend a business can run a branding or tactical campaign the client will consider a success for $250.

Is that really how we should be selling the value of television advertising?

Every form of media advertising has the potential to be wildly effective, with the right message and delivery.

But it should never be treated as a commodity.

At Coleman Insights, we help media properties build strong, long-lasting brands that listeners keep coming back to because the brand means something important to them.

They’re not thought of as commodities.

It’s natural in the face of increased competition to want to find a way to win at any cost—but selling TV campaigns for $250 can only devalue the product.

Not to mention that it puts the focus on the price, not the results.

As I wrote back in December’s “Direct Marketing Is Easy. Brand Marketing is Hard,” brand marketing takes patience and discipline. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Just as programmers carefully craft the positioning of their radio stations based on strategic research to give them the greatest chance of success, sales teams carefully craft campaigns and schedules designed to yield the greatest returns over time for their clients.

Our work is all about increasing the perceived value of media brands. We encourage the sales departments of those brands to engage in the same mission.

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