In addition to the broadcast and print media discussed in the two previous chapters, marketers have a
variety of alternative media from which to choose. In fact, the number of support media continues to
increase almost daily, with advertisements appearing almost everywhere. In addition to the familiar
outdoor ads and transit ads, a number of new media have recently appeared. Parking meters, trash cans,
restroom walls, videotapes, sidewalks, and shopping carts are just a few of the many places now carrying
ads. These media, often referred to as support media are assuming an increasing role in the media mix.
The purpose of this chapter is to familiarize the student with some of these media, and to discuss the
advantages and disadvantages of each.
1. To recognize the various support media available to the marketer in developing a promotional
2. To develop an understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of support media.
3. To know how audiences for support media are measured.
Chapter and Lecture Outline
I. THE SCOPE OF THE SUPPORT MEDIA INDUSTRY
Support media are referred to by several titles, among them alternative media, non-measured media and
nontraditional media. Many advertisers, as the top 10 advertising agencies, have increased their use of
nontraditional support media, and as new alternatives are developed, this use will continue to grow.
II. OUT-OF-HOME MEDIA
A variety of out-of-home advertising are available to the marketer. Outdoor billboards and signs, transit
ads, station posters, and skywriting are just a few of the alternatives that can be used.
A. Outdoor Advertising—while one of the oldest advertising mediums, outdoor advertising has
recently come under attack by environmentalists, city governments, and the public as a whole.
The net result has been a decline in the number of billboards across the nation.
At the same time, the outdoor advertising industry continues to grow and be successful as the
amount of dollars billed in this medium has increased continuously since 1982. Much of the
reason for this success can be attributed to the ability of the industry to become more creative and
innovative through the design of billboards as well as new media such as inflatables, rolling
boards and point-of-purchase materials.
1. Advantages of outdoor advertising:
wide coverage of local markets
ability to create awareness
2. Disadvantages include:
high waste circulation
limited message capabilities
B. Additional Outdoor Media—as noted, the outdoor advertising industry has been able to remain
successful through the development of new outdoor media, as well as innovations in existing
ones. Some additional outdoor media of note are aerial advertising, rolling boards, point-of-
purchase media and a variety of others such as parking meters, ski-lift poles, etc.
C. In-Store Media—Advertisers spend an estimated $17 billion to promote their products in
supermarkets and other stores with untypical media like displays, banners, and shelf signs. These
point of purchase materials include video displays on shopping carts, kiosks that provide recipes
and coupons at counters and cash registers, LED boards, and ads that broadcast over in-house
D. Audience Measurement—several sources of audience measurement are available to purchasers of
outdoor advertising. Pages 436-439 list a number of them.
E. Transit Advertising—another form of out-of-home advertising is transit advertising. While
similar to outdoor in the sense that signs and electronic billboards are often employed, transit
differs in that these ads are oriented around transportation. Buses, taxis, commuter trains,
airplanes, and subways are some of the transit forms employed.
1. Types of transit advertising—three types of transit advertising are most commonly employed:
a. inside cards are found on the insides of buses, taxis or commuter trains.
b. terminal posters are those found on the backs and tops of taxis, and/or on the backs,
sides and fronts of buses.
c. outside posters are found in bus and train stations, airport terminals, and on train
platforms. (Exhibit 13-9)
2. Advantages of transit advertising:
3. Disadvantages of transit advertising:
4. Audience measurement in transit—the cost basis for transit is similar to that used in outdoor.
A major problem with purchasing advertising in this medium is a lack of objective audience
measures and means by which to measure the effectiveness of ad placements.
III. PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS MARKETING
The Promotional Products Association International defines promotional products marketing as:
“The advertising or promotional medium or method that uses promotional products such as ad
specialties, premiums, business gifts, awards, prizes or commemoratives”
This definition succeeds the older definition of specialty advertising:
“...an advertising, sales promotion and motivational communications medium which employs useful
articles of merchandise imprinted with an advertiser’s name, message, or logo.”
Over 15,000 advertising specialties such as ball-point pens, matchbook covers, mugs, or expensive gift
items have been used to account for over $16.5 billion per year in expenditures in this medium.
A. Advantages and Disadvantages of Promotional Products Marketing—because of the wide variety
of forms that this form of advertising might assume this medium offers advertisers a variety of
advantages. As stated in the book, selectivity, flexibility, frequency, low cost, goodwill and the
ability to supplement other media are just a few of these. At the same time, image problems
brought on by the perception that many of these specialty ad forms are little more than junk, and
the fact that there are so many different companies employing this medium (leading to saturation)
often offset some of the advantages.
B. Audience Measurement—the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) is the
trade organization of the industry. While no formal audience measurement organizations or
effectiveness measures currently exist, this organization continues to originate and support
research in these areas. Some of the findings of these studies are presented on page 446.
C. Yellow Pages Advertising—one of the more commonly utilized—and overlooked—forms of
advertising is the Yellow Pages. Over 200 publishers produce more than 6,500 Yellow Pages
throughout the U.S. A variety of Yellow Pages exists including specialized directories, audiotex,
interactive and other services.
1. Advantages of Yellow Pages Advertising
high frequency of exposure
2. Disadvantages include:
highly fragmented markets
lack of creativity
long lead times for ad placements
IV. OTHER MEDIA
Almost everyday a new advertising medium seems to emerge. (The instructor might stimulate a lively
discussion at this point by asking students where they have seen ads recently. All of those present for this
discussion will be surprised!) Ads are appearing on restroom walls, in elevators, on movies and
videotapes, and seemingly everywhere a message can be fit. Some of the more common and more
pervasive ones are discussed here.
A. Advertising in Movie Theaters and on Videotapes—two of the fastest growing advertising media
are ads at the movies and on rental movie videotapes/DVD’s. While the former has come under
fire from movie makers and consumers, the latter are being used more and more for the
advertising of new movies and videotapes as well as products and/or services.
1. Advantages and disadvantages of movie and videotape/DVD advertising—the text notes that
the advantages associated with these forms of advertising include: high exposure, ability to
create mood, low costs, high recall, and the avoidance of clutter. Disadvantages may also
include cost (relative to some other media) and irritation. It is noted that the latter of these is
particularly critical, as strong opposition has been voiced in this regard.
B. Product Placements in Movies—whether one considers product placements an advertising form
or a form of promotion, no one can argue the fact that this means of getting exposure to a product
is on the increase. Ever since the incredible success of Reese’s Pieces (in the movie ET) more and
more products are appearing in movie theaters and on television. (Again, an interesting discussion
can be stimulated by asking students to name products that have appeared in movies or on TV.)
1. Advantages and disadvantages of product placements—the text lists a variety of advantages
and disadvantages associated with this product placements (pages 450-452). These include
the advantages of: high exposure, high frequency, ability to support other media, high source
association, low relative cost, and high recall. Disadvantages include: high absolute cost, low
exposure time, limited message appeals, lack of control, and negative public reaction.
2. Audience measurement—no formal audience measurement organizations exist, nor is there
specific effectiveness criteria established. The limited amount of data that is available in these
areas is a result of specific primary studies that have been conducted.
C. In-flight Advertising- In-flight television commercials are one of the more rapidly growing
mediums in use. Approximately $18 million are spent each year in in-flight commercials --mostly
on international flights ($12 million).
1. Advantages and Disadvantages of In-flight Advertising—advantages of in-flight advertising
include a desirable audience (high income), a captive audience, and low cost and good
segmentation capabilities. Disadvantages include: irritation, limited availability of media
time, lack of attention, and wearout.
As the instructor is no doubt aware, there is a lot of information that can be (and needs to be) conveyed
regarding support media. When students think about advertising, they usually think about broadcast and
print media. In fact, there is a great deal of moneys spent to advertise in these alternative support media.
Some of these media will also readily come to mind—for example, outdoor—while others are less likely
to do so. Coverage of the characteristics of some of the media presented in this chapter can lead to
interesting discussions. As indicated, discussions of product placements, advertising in the movies, and
new places where ads are appearing generally get students involved, and may lead to heated discussions.
Students may be encouraged to engage in a debate over the merits and/or ethics of some of these
Our lectures generally follow the outline set forth in the text. We discuss the characteristics of the various
media, the advantages and disadvantages, and some of the sources of information that are available. We
then tie these materials back to the media strategy chapter and the communications models chapter to
demonstrate how and when such media might be employed.It is also possible to integrate films, videos
and guest speakers into this coverage. The Yellow Pages Advertising Association, the SAA and many
outdoor advertising agencies offer guest speaker programs and/or a variety of videotapes that can be
Finally, outside sources such as Ad Age, and Adweek write extensively about these media, and are a great
place to acquire information.The YPPA and PPA also offer print media directed to the trade and
professors who teach these topics in their classes to keep them up to date.
Answers to Discussion Questions
1. Transit advertising takes a variety of forms, and many advertisers may be reluctant to use these
media. Discuss some of the various forms of transit advertising and their relative advantages and
disadvantages. Give examples of which products and/or services might effectively utilize this
As noted in the text on page 440, there are a variety of types of transit advertising including (1).
inside cards(ads inside of busses, subways, etc); (2) outside posters (those that appear on the
sides of busses, trains, trolleys, etc., and on the tops of taxis; and (3). Station, platform and
terminal posters (those appearing in the terminals of trains, subways, etc.
The advantages of transit advertising include:
long length of exposure. The average rider time on transit is 30 to 44 minutes.
potential for numerous exposures. Over 9 million persons ride transit each day, offering
the possibility for numerous exposures
high frequency. Because riders ride as a routine, the opportunity for repeat exposures is
timeliness. As demonstrated in the discussion of GPS used in Boston and New York
provided in the text, transit ads can be timely and geographically specific
geographic selectivity. Again, as shown in the GPS example, transit ads can be
low cost. Transit ads are low in both absolute and relative cost
The disadvantages of transit advertising include:
poor image. Transit advertising suffers from poor image with some advertisers.
poor reach. Transit ads sometimes don’t reach sought areas—for example, suburbs and
the rural areas.
waste coverage. Transit ads provide significant waste coverage
copy and creative limitations. Creativity is limited in transit advertising, and the amount
of copy that can be comprehended is minimal for some forms (taxis, busses, etc.)
audience mood. The mood of the audience may not always be what the advertiser is
hoping for. This mood may carry over to the perception of the ad.
A variety of companies find transit advertising useful, ranging from national and international
brands to local businesses. Those most likely to be concerned with it use are those who might be
affected negatively by its image (for example, a doctor or lawyer advertising on a bus bench).
2. Describe what is meant by “stealth marketing.” Give examples of products and/or services that
you know have employed this strategy. Then describe some of the characteristics of companies
that might most benefit fro stealth marketing.
A variety of terms including stealth marketing, guerilla marketing and ambush marketing all have
been used to describe a strategy of attaining free or very low cost exposure to one’s products
and/or services. Akin to guerilla warfare, in which the warrior is not large enough or strong
enough to compete in traditional combat, these forms of marketing attempt to market the brand
through less conventional and/or traditional techniques. Rather than mass advertising, these
companies may get their products exposed in a variety of methods including product placements,
on-campus opinion leaders, through appearances at events, etc. The book discusses a variety of
companies that have explored these methods, including the lead-in story about Samsung. Others
like Calvin Klein, Revlon, Sony and P&G have also employed these methods. In the heyday of
the dotcoms, guerilla marketing was even more rampant as these start-up companies employed a
variety of methods to get their names noticed.
Initially, stealth marketing tactics were the domain of small companies with limited budgets and
marketing capabilities who were being creative in getting their name out. (One particularly
interesting example was a dot.com that paid drivers’ tolls at the Lincoln Tunnel if they would
accept a bumper sticker with the company’s name on it). Due in-part to some of these early
success stories, and the cost efficiencies involved, larger companies have employed these
methods as well. As noted in the lead-in, and later in the chapter, many very large companies now
employ these methods as well.
3. There seems to be a growing interest among marketers to engage in the use of product
placements. These marketers are attracted by the success experienced by prior product
placements. Give examples of product placements that you have seen. Then discuss what factors
impact the success or lack of success of product placements.
Ever since the success of Reese’s Pieces in the movie E.T more and more companies have taken
interest in the use of product placements as a form for promoting their products. James Bond
movies are full of placements for companies such as BMW and Heineken Beer among others.
FedEx was prominently placed in the movie Castaway, and the Austin Powers movies seem to be
almost built around the placements themselves. A number of reasons account for this increase,
including the relatively low cost, and the potential for success like that experienced by Reeses,
Ray Ban and Oakley Sunglasses and BMW in their placements. In addition, there is potential for
high exposure given the high attendance at movies and subsequent viewings on videotapes and
DVD’s. Association with a popular actor has also been a motivation for product placements, as
has the ego involvement of managers who like to see their brands on TV and in the movies.
There is no formula for success in product placements. While the success stories noted above
certainly attract new entries, more often than not, the placement has no noticeable impact on the
brand sales (Coors Beer also appeared in E.T. but experienced no noticeable sales gains). Adding
to this problem is the fact that no sound methodology for measuring the impact of product
placements has been forthcoming. For many marketers, it is the search for the Holy Grail, hoping
for the “big hit” experienced by successful placements. Those in the product placement industry
and the companies that participate in this strategy do believe that there are factors that impact
success, however. The more time the product is seen, the more visible the exposure, and –perhaps
most important of all—the association of the brand with the star of the movie, they feel contribute
to the successful product placement.
4. Advertising in movie theaters is on the increase. A variety of reasons as to why this medium may
be effective are offered in the chapter. Discuss the reasons why movie theater advertising may be
advantageous. Then discuss some of the reasons why it might not be as successful as planned.
The primary reason for the attractiveness of movie theater advertising is the exposure. As noted in
the text almost 1.5 billion persons attend movies each year. An advertisement placed in this venue
has the capability of significant exposure. A second reason for movie theater advertising’s
attractiveness is the mood of the audience. As noted in the text, the mood one is in when exposed
to an ad may impact perceptions of that ad. For the most part, attendees at movies are on an
enjoyable experience and in a good mood for viewing an ad.
Low cost in both relative and absolute terms is an advantage of this medium, as is the lack of
clutter. Movie theater ads also enjoy high recall with as many as 83% stating they recall an ad
they saw in a theater—four times as many as might on TV. Because of the ratings of movies, the
marketer can segment the audience. G rated movies, for example will be attended primarily by
children and their parents. R rated movies (at least are supposed to) reach only those over the age
of 17, etc. Thus, depending on the movie playing and the rating, the advertiser can get a good
indication of its audience. Finally, the proximity of many theaters to shopping malls, eateries, etc.
may serve as an advantage. It is thought that the movie ad might serve as a cue to the viewer to
get something to eat or drink, or even use their ticket stub to get a discount on products after the
Of course, the major negative impact of the movie ad is the fact that many viewers find them
irritating—particularly the commercial variety (versus slides of local advertisers). Many feel that
they have paid to come to the theater, and should not have to be subject to commercials as they
might on TV. In some instances, movie goers have booed when commercials have appeared, and
at least one study indicates a potential negative attitude may result. Thus the advertiser must be
careful when using this medium.
5. As advertisers engage in stealth marketing tactics, many companies are taking action t prohibiting
such activities. Ethical issues are raised on both sides—one side claiming free speech, while the
other argues that such activities are unfair to paying advertisers sponsors, etc. Discuss the
positions of each side. Which do you favor?
As the lead-in to the chapter notes, companies and organizations have begun to take action
against those engaging in stealth marketing tactics. Their argument is that they are paying
thousands or even millions of dollars to advertise on or sponsor an event, and that for a very small
part of that amount, stealth marketers are impinging on their territory. They feel that they are
being cheated, and have threatened to withhold these monies in the future unless some actions are
taken. The problem may only be in its infancy given new technologies like virtual advertising, the
increased use of product placements, etc. These companies claim—rightfully so—that they are
paying for exclusive rights, and then competitors are gaining exposure for almost nothing. The
World Cup example highlights this argument.
Those engaging in stealth marketing claim that it is a free market, and they should not be
penalized for effective marketing strategies. Giving away caps, tee shirts, etc., is an age-old
marketing strategy, they claim. Besides, they say, where does it stop? If the World Cup can
prohibit caps, then what happens if Coke sponsors the games and someone is seen drinking a
Pepsi—do they get their product confiscated? What happens if the person just happens to be
wearing something with competitor’s names and/or logos on it—with no encouragement from the
competitor. Are they denied access to the game? Stealth marketers feel that this strategy helps
“level the playing field”, permitting smaller companies to be seen, and keeping it from becoming
a case where only the very largest companies can afford to promote their products in specific
venues. They also argue the right of free speech. There is no real correct answer to this question.
It will provide for vigorous debate.
6. Some advertisers claim that virtual ads are bad for the advertising industry in general. Explain
some of the reasons why they feel this way. Are these reasons valid?
Virtual ads, those ads that appear only on the TV screen and not where they appear to be shown,
have been criticized by advertisers for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons may appear
more valid than others. One reason for the criticism is based on the fact that virtual ads can be
placed almost anywhere. For example, the text talks about virtual product placements, in which
an actress could appear to be carrying a name brand purse or drinking a name brand soda when
she is not really doing so. Some advertisers feel that this may be deceptive, and that there is the
potential for extensive clutter, as too many placements may occur.
A second concern is that of fairness to the sponsor or other advertisers on the program. For
example, if Ford sponsors a program, and competitor’s virtual ads are shown, is this fair to Ford?
Defenders of virtual ads claim that competitor’s products often appear on programs sponsored by
another company, but this is usually not the case. By selling virtual ads in select markets, the
sponsor may not even know that the ads are being sold (unless they are in that region). Yet
another reason has to do with the value of the ads. Virtual ads now cost about the same as a
regular commercial—that is 30 seconds of exposure is billed at the rate of a 30 second
commercial. Yet virtual ads do not have audio, only video, and many advertisers feel that this is
not a reasonable fee to pay.
While many feel that virtual ads are not good for the industry overall, others contend that there is
nothing wrong with this advertising form. They back this contention with the fact that they are
able to as many ads as they have available. They also contend that by following the same rules as
with other ads—that is not being deceptive, avoiding clutter, etc.—they are merely providing
advertisers with another media option.
7. What are promotional products? List some of the advantages and disadvantages of this medium.
Provide examples of where this medium would be appropriate.
Promotional products and advertising specialties consist of products and gifts that are given to
clients and/or prospective customers for a variety of reasons. These products may range from
something as simple and inexpensive as matchbooks or ballpoint pens to much more expensive
items such as leather cases, plaques, etc. Promotional products are used to accomplish a variety of
objectives, including creating awareness, building relationships, and increasing the likelihood of
The products offer a number of advantages including the ability to be creative, thus increasing
awareness and attention to the message, attractive, leading to retention and goodwill and
inexpensive. Due to these reasons, many employ this advertising medium to achieve reach and to
remind customers of their offerings.
Potential disadvantages of promotional products include the potential for waste (the items are lost
or thrown away), potentially harmful effects to the company’s image (cheap products) and they
can be expensive. Some companies will not permit their employees to accept promotional
products that exceed a certain cost, expressing concerns that the employee may favor the giver in
future deals, to the detriment of those not providing specialties.
Promotional products are appropriate in a number of situations. For a company making a sales
presentation and attempting to be creative and/or break through the clutter the medium holds
strong potential. In addition, when awareness and or retention are the objectives, specialties serve
as an inexpensive means of achieving reach and reminders respectively. (Every time you use your
pen, it may remind you of the provider.) Other specialties—for example, desktop items or
calendars—serve as an easy way to keep one’s name and phone number in front of the potential
customer. It is a lot easier to glance across one’s desk than it is to look up the number in the
8. Discuss some of the merits of in-flight advertising. What types of products might most effectively
use this medium?
Perhaps the major advantage of in-flight advertising is the captured audience. For many,
particularly those on long flights, in-flight ads in airline magazines and/or commercials will be
attended to just to break up the monotony of the flight. The fact that the audience has no where to
go may increase the likelihood of attention. Another benefit is reach. As noted in the text, in-
flight magazines have a very high reach, given the millions of flyers potentially exposed to the
media. A third benefit is the characteristics of the audience. Travelers are typically more upscale
socio-economically, and for some products, this advertising medium offers a cost effective means
of reaching this segment. In addition, the audience may be segmented by business versus pleasure
travelers, and products offered to both segments might effectively be promoted.
A variety of companies have found in-flight media to be effective for them (just look in any in-
flight magazine). Long distance phone card companies such as MCI, AT&T and IDT; hotels,
rental cars, and restaurants have found the medium effective for reaching both business and
pleasure travelers. Pagers, luggage companies, and those promoting seminars have effectively
reached business travelers. Those offering upscale products such as Cognac have found the First
Class and Business class travelers a prime audience for their ads.
9. Support media have also been called alternative media, non-measured media and nontraditional
media. Why has the medium been assigned these titles?
When we think of advertising we typically think of TV commercials, print advertisements in
magazines and newspapers and even radio spots. We are less likely to think of promotional
products, product placements, bus shelters or transit ads. Thus, while frequently employed, many
consumers still think of these ads as nontraditional forms of advertising. Likewise, many
advertisers still focus on the major and more traditional media first when considering their
communication options. The use of support media, are just that—for support, or an alternative
way of delivering the message. Few advertisers would build an extensive communications
program around these alternative media, without considering the more traditional media first.
In many ways, the name given to these media forms are inaccurate. The amount of monies spent
in these media certainly indicates that they are widely accepted and are used by both large and
small advertisers alike. Outdoor ads, for example, may often constitute the primary medium used
by certain types of advertisers, and in-flight, product placements and each of the other media have
also been proven to be effective means of communicating. Nevertheless, the more traditional
media like TV and magazines will probably always relegate these other forms to the titles now
10. Explain how various support media might be used as part of an IMC program. Take any three of
the media discussed in the chapter, and explain how they might be used in an IMC program for
automobiles, cellular telephones and Internet services.
As noted in the chapter, support media can be used to achieve a number of communications
objectives. Creating awareness, garnering attention, and maintaining retention are goals for which
support media may be particularly useful. Consider the following examples:
Automobiles- the text notes how BMW used product placements effectively in James Bond
movies. Ford used product placements in Jurassic Park. Both companies also effectively
employed other support media. Outdoor billboards have been used by both BMW and Ford, and
probably most other automobile companies. Of course, all automobiles are advertised in the
Yellow Pages, and many upscale brands have used in-flight media as well.
Cellular telephones- Promotional products have been used by a number of cell phone companies.
Key chains shaped like cell phones have been used to create awareness and retention. Note pads
for desktops have also been commonly employed. Outdoor is a favorite of many cell phone
companies, primarily to create awareness. In an example of product placements, Ericsson had
their cell phone placed in a James Bond movie, with tie-ins to the movie website. Cell phone ads
have also appeared on transit ads, blimps and bus shelters.
Internet services- If you have ever driven through Silicon Valley in California, you don’t have to
be told about the use of billboards by Internet services companies. These companies are also
frequent users of specialties, in-flight advertising and transit advertising. Most of these messages
focused on creating awareness of the service. Some have employed promotional products to
attempt to break through the clutter of Internet service advertisements, and to achieve retention by
having the potential customer hold on to the specialty.
As you can see in each of these examples, support media can be used by a variety of companies to
achieve a number of communications goals. Due to their flexibility these media can be creatively
used to effectively promote companies and their service offerings.
Additional Discussion Questions (Not in Text)
11. A prevalent strategy among advertisers is to get themselves into television shows and movies.
Discuss the possible advantages and disadvantages that might result form such exposures.
Pages 450-453 discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of product placements. As
noted in the discussion of product placements, this is a growing industry—just look next time you
watch a movie. The advantages of this form of promotion include excellent exposure, the
potential for high levels of frequency, relatively low cost per thousand, and recall. One of the
major advantages, is however, source association and image creating abilities. The exposure of
the new BMW Z-3 in the James Bond movie was a tremendous boon for the auto. Other examples
cited in the text demonstrate the potential for image creating possibilities.
At the same time, all product placements are not successful. Due to a variety of reasons, the
product may fail to be seen or heard. When it is seen or heard, the time of exposure may be
minimal—it costs more to have a long exposure. The advertiser also does not have total control
over the placement. For example, if a scene is cut, the product placement may be cut as well. If
the script calls for a change, the product placement may suffer in the process. Product placements
are not inexpensive in an absolute cost sense. As noted in the text, as more and more advertisers
employ this form, the law of supply and demand will dictate cost increases.
Finally, two factors may even lead to negative consequences of product placements. One is the
negative placement described in the book. In chapter 10 we discussed the concept of mood (also
in this chapter under transit advertising). The mood created by the movie or television show may
negatively impact the impression of the product, and/or the product may be depicted in a less than
positive fashion. Secondly, as the number of product placements continues to increase, the
inclusion of these placements will leave the domain of a natural setting and become intrusive. As
more and more placements become blatantly placements, the viewer will become more irritated
and the effectiveness of this strategy will decline.
12. The YPPA has recently gone to the diary method for collecting information regarding Yellow
Pages usage. Discuss some of the problems that might be associated with this methodology.
The diary methodology is not new to media. Nielsen has used this data gathering technique for
years. Some of the problems associated with the use of diaries to record program viewing
behaviors may also be true for the yellow pages. These include:
the lack of a representative sample—caution must be taken to insure that the sample chosen is
representative of the total population.
participation—one problem with diaries is the continuous participation required. Initially, the
novelty of keeping a diary may be appealing and lead to completed diaries. Unfortunately,
this novelty may soon decline, and with it will the number of completed diaries .
false reporting—sometimes participants may feel that they must make entries to remain part
of the diary panel. Fearing elimination, they fabricate usage behavior to remain as a
recruiting—for diaries to be effective, a significant portion of the panel must be replaced each
year. This requires recruiting a new sample, and one that is representative of the population
completion—what type of incentive will be required to incent one to fill out the diary every
time the yellow pages are used? What happens if they forget?
Overall, the diary method is a step in the right direction for the Yellow Pages. At the same time,
however, the YPPA needs to recognize and consider the problems faced with the diary
methodology, and take steps to guard against these.
13. The Yellow Pages has proven to be an extremely effective advertising medium for some firms.
Explain why the Yellow Pages are so effective. Are there any limitations associated with this
medium? If so, what are they?
A number of factors make the Yellow Pages an effective medium. Included in these are the
potential for a high number of exposures, and the ability to provide awareness as well as specific
information such as positioning, location, phone number, etc. In addition, the costs (both absolute
and per exposure) are very affordable, there is a strong potential for report exposures (frequency),
and the Yellow Pages are widely available. Perhaps the greatest potential lies in the fact that the
Yellow Pages are a directional medium. That is, many buyers have a felt need, are looking for
specific information and/or are ready to make a purchase. The Yellow Pages ad—perhaps more
than that of any other medium—is likely to stimulate action.
Of course, there are disadvantages associated with Yellow Pages advertising. These include
creative limitations, market fragmentation and long lead times, which may ultimately result in
lack of timeliness.
The Yellow Pages truly are a different type of advertising medium. The directories can be tailored
to local markets, they are un-intrusive, but at the same time, we all use them—whether at home or
away—when we have specific needs.
14. What are place-based media? Explain what type of advertisers would most benefit from their use.
Place-based media are those that are taken to the place where consumers may congregate.
Doctors offices, airports, shopping malls, even classrooms have been sites for this form of media.
While initially unsuccessful, place-based media have mad a comeback under the ownership of K-
III Communications. Many marketers believe that these media have significant reach and
appealing CPM’s. The CNN Airport News Network has excellent following in various airports.
The logic behind this medium is that a number of people can be reached at once, usually in a
captured audience, and often with time to kill (doctors offices and airports for example). The
likelihood that these consumers would pick up a magazine, watch the news, etc. is greatly
increased if for no other reason but that the medium is present. Channel One has been used in
classrooms in various parts of the country, albeit with controversy, to reach a very select target
Placed-based media can be attractive to wide varieties of market segments, and can also be
targeted. CNN Airport News would reach virtually anyone who travels, including businessmen
and women, families, teenagers, etc. The same holds true for media placed in doctor’s offices.
Targeting to secondary schools is possible through Channel One. It is a well documented fact that
teens are avid spenders, and a wide variety of products targeted to teens might consider this
15. Discuss some of the reasons why in-flight advertising is becoming a more attractive medium to
In-flight advertising is becoming more attractive for a number of reasons:
the audience is desirable. The average traveler is upscale, and professional. They are often
involved in the purchase decision for a variety of products.
the audience is captive. The programming and ads are relatively free from distraction and
quite often there is little more to do than watch the ads—particularly on long flights.
relative cost. The cost of advertising in-flight is low on a relative basis than many other media
reaching this target audience.
target marketing. In-flight allows the advertiser to segment and to target specific demographic
Expensive products including perfumes, liquors, jewelry, etc. are products with a strong potential
market in in-flight. In addition, products targeted to travelers (both business and pleasure),
products with international appeal, and hotels, restaurants, and auto rentals can all reach their
target markets with this medium. Generally, all products targeted to an up-scale market may have
potential. Business product such as luggage and computers may also be marketed effectively on
in-flight television. The percentage of travelers that are on business trips accounts for a
substantial target market.
The reason these product have the best potential is the demographics of the airline passenger.
Given an average age of 45 years with a household income of $83,700, the traveler has money to
spend, and can afford more luxurious items. Given the high percentage of business travelers, the
market for business products and services may also be attractive. As air travel increases,
advertisers on in-flight are able to reach more and more potential customers. A variety of products
have found this medium to be effective in reaching their target markets.
Have students find examples of what they feel are stealth marketing efforts being used by
marketers. They should explain the objectives they believe are being sought through the use of
these techniques, who they are targeting, and whether they feel they will be effective. They
should also be asked to discuss the ethics of the stealth technique being used by the marketer.