Blue Plate Media Tips for Navigating Television Ad
May 3, 2011 | When considering buying broadcast
media inventory there are two primary options – purchasing
“upfront,” meaning broadcast and cable contracts are
negotiated early to secure inventory for the following year, or
“scatter buying” by playing the market and buying inventory
relevant to your company’s needs and budget throughout the
Currently, upfront negotiations are taking place for the third and
fourth quarters of 2011 and the first and second quarters of 2012.
Cable upfront presentations by Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Disney and
The Hub have begun, with announcements of new projects, programming and
cross-platform marketing opportunities to entice sales, according to
David Becker, president of Blue Plate Media Services, an affinity
partner of the Toy Industry Association (TIA).
“Upfront negotiations enable advertisers to pool collective
dollars across a full year and negotiate media placements at very
aggressive rates. They can be a wonderful opportunity to leverage media
money for maximum value,” explained Becker.
However, when buying media inventory from upfront buyers or agencies,
“be sure you are securing premium inventory that is truly in your
best interest – meaning it covers programming that aligns with
your brand,” warned Becker. “Also beware of investing
in any media that is in the best interest of the agency selling off
inventory. The wrong inventory, even at a great rate, is still the wrong
And just as there are advantages to upfront negotiations, there are
pros to scatter buying, added Becker. “This option allows
companies to pick and choose their broadcast media spots throughout the
year based on unique needs and budget.”
Another tip for leveraging media dollars: to maximize “share of
voice” (SOV) by pooling budgets with fellow industry members and
building cumulative buys across relevant media – TV, online,
in-theatre, print and radio.
“The power of a group, fueled by a common goal, helps to take
what might be considered a ‘smaller’ spend and convert it
into a media spend ‘with muscle,’” said Becker.
This year, the childrens’ television networks are anticipating
resurgences in spending from the toy and food categories, as well as
robust investments from the studios. According to the Cable
Television Advertising Bureau, the 2010/2011 upfront marked the first
time that cable drew even with the broadcast networks, booking $8
billion in advance sales.
Early projections for the 2011/2012 upfront show networks like
Nickelodeon up 8%-10% from 2010/2011 on dollar volume; projections also
estimate that major networks CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and CW will secure $9.5
billion in 2011/2012 upfront commitments.
Blue Plate Media Services is a full-service media planning and
buying agency specializing in connecting with kids and moms. As an
affinity partner of the Toy Industry Association, BPM offers free
consultations on media research and smart, efficient, integrated media
solutions. For more information, contact Blue Plate Media Services