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TV advertising – factors of influence

Except the audience performances of the television channels and the known advantages of this communication mean, the transmission of the advertisement spots thought television is done in a different manner, also depending on the reception method, the number of the TV channels from a television network and depending on the coverage area of the respective television network. Thus we distinguish: the advertisement realized by the network television, the advertisement realized through the local television and the advertisement realized by cable television. The choice of one of these methods by the announcers is made depending of the advantages or/and the limits that each of these are present it.

The television as promotional communication mean appeared in the middle of XX century having as a result a real revolution in the field. Now the television attracts the majority of the investments from advertisement, due to the advantages that they present. It is able to use in an optimum manner various means: image, movement, sound, light and text.

The television is not anymore an unitary communication mean; rather, it

consists from a series of related entities – classic channels and cable

channels – that presents elements that are very contrasting, from the first

rush hours, present in the classical televisions programs, to the

„personalities” often unknown that appear in the local programs by cable. Once

with the developing of a new technology and of the interactive possibilities,

the dividing process of the television programming does not present any sign

of stopping.

The television ensures a wide audience to the advertising message, the statistics demonstrating that in many countries the medium watching time exceeded 6.5 hours per day, and the advertisement occupies the level of the commercial televisions between 10 and 15 minutes per hour.

Except the audience performances of the television channels and the known advantages of this communication mean, the transmission of the advertisement spots thought television is done in a different manner, also depending on the reception method, the number of the TV channels from a television network and depending on the coverage area of the respective television network. Thus we distinguish: the advertisement realized by the network television, the advertisement realized through the local television and the advertisement realized by cable television. The choice of one of these methods by the announcers is made depending of the advantages or/and the limits that each of these are present it.

The Advertisement Realized By Network Television

The clients and their advertisement agents use a variety of criteria for determining if and in what measure they will appeal to the network television, their decisions of buying being determined by 3 factors:

  • The demographic characteristics. If in the past the buying units were the house-holds, today the majority of the companies take into consideration the demographic characteristics of the individual viewer. This changing of the criteria changed both the method in that the networks choose the programs and the price structures of the companies that are making for themselves publicity. For many companies, the structure of the audience consisted of potential buyers became much more important than its dimension. Of course, the companies, as the television networks, demand from a certain program a minimum audience level, but the price for buying the advertisement space within some shows that presents demographical characteristics of the public exceeds, usually, the level of the price that would have been asked exclusively depending on the individual audience rate;
  • The cost per thousands involved. Although the majority of the companies are looking for an audience with favorable demographic characteristics and are willing to pay a bonus for acquiring it, some companies are taking decisions based on, mainly, on cost reasons. Exists also a number of companies that take into consideration the efficiency from price’s point of view, no matter of the audience nature. The companies that are producing all kinds of goods are the ones disposed to have this approach;
  • The demand. The third criteria that determines the relation between the television networks and the announcing companies regarding the buying of the advertisement space represents the demand for some television programs. Of course, the demand is both a function of the demographic characteristics and of the prices, but exists, also, qualitative factors, such as the association with a special event like the transmission of the final of the Champions League at football or with a star that has popularity to a certain category of target-audience, like Teo, that creates a structure of the prices of the advertisement space beyond the objective numbers.

The Advertisement Realized Through The Local Television

When the companies do not want like their advertisement message to be transmitted at national level, they buy advertisement time from the local networks, this practice being known under the name of spot television or spot buying [2]. The term comes from the fact that the firms broadcast advertisement spots on certain markets, opposite to the complete coverage offered by the network television programs. The important disadvantages of these televisions are:

  • It needs much more planning than the network television, because each market must be analyzed individually;
  • It involves higher costs than the broadcasting of the spots by the network television;

The spot advertisement is an extremely competitive market, taking into consideration the multitude of the local channels that are in competition to attract the investments of the companies that are making publicity to themselves.

The majority of the spot advertisement is placed through the channels representatives. The representative is paid on commission basis by the television channel, depending on the time sold. A good representative is both selling agent and marketing specialist for advertisement. The representatives address to the advertisement agents or to the companies, trying to convince them that the markets on that these channels emit have possible important consumers for their brand or for the brand they represent. For the acquisition process of the advertisement space to be more efficient, a representative will allow to the interested companies to buy advertisement time from all the channels they represent, or from a certain number of them. The television channels of which advertisement time is sold through only one representative have no connections between them except that they are clients to the same representative. These channels groups are called unconnected networks. This concept defines actually a method by which the acquisition process of the companies becomes more efficient.

The advertisement agencies can conclude buyout agreements of the advertisement space and direct with the television networks, considering that otherwise these agreements are more advantageous from financial point of view.

No matter of the buyout procedure of the spot television, the market keeps growing, due to more reasons of which:

  • the unequal distribution of the product or inadequate budgets for the transmission of the message by other television types. It exist companies that do not have the necessary funds for buying adequate time at the televisions with national audience;
  • geographical orientation. Some brands, even those that have a powerful distribution at national level, have consequent selling models on each market. The spot advertisement represents a method for the developing of a relation on local plan, on those markets with the biggest potential;
  • local identity. A company that is making advertisement at national level, by using the spot advertisement can identify better the local market and its distributors. The spot advertisement offers opportunities for the promotional activities realized in cooperation with the distributors;
  • flexibility. Unlike the advertisement through the network television, where the agreements are concluded with few weeks or few months before, the spot advertisement allows to a company to react immediately to the changing of the market conditions. Assuming that the promotional spots are ready, a company can broadcast them in at the most 48 hours.

The growth of the invested sums in transmitting the advertisement messages through the local networks is an indicator of three factors:

  • the marketing efficient promotional activities of the local networks and television industry show the method in that the television can be efficiently used by the local distribution channels;
  • the number of the local channels is keep growing, fact that creates a competitive environment that maintained a low level of the prices;
  • the tendency of the national market factors to go towards the local strategies that, in many cases, was reflected in the bigger allowances for advertisement and the budgetary control of the companies that are making themselves advertisement at local or national level.

The advertisement realized by local television is an important source of incomes for the television networks, and the buying of the advertisement space is usually made depending on the day period and not depending on the specific programs.

The Advertisement Realized Through Cable Television

The first cable television systems were established at the end of 1940, to transmit the television signals in the rural areas. These first systems, known as community antenna television (CATV, community antenna television) marked the beginning of this industry.

Unlike the television networks with programs transmitted by antenna, of which the total income is represented by advertisement, the majority of the encashment of the cable television networks are coming from the subscription rate for cable, while the advertisement contributes with less than 25% from the total incomes.

The companies that are making publicity for them are attracted by the cable television due to the variety of the channels and to the approach possibilities of the expected audience categories that these one presents them. As an advertisement director of an agency was observing, „the good thing in what concerns the cable is that it exist networks that are focusing the entire content to some specific audience categories. For a company with exigent demographic characteristics, you can identify those persons in bigger concentrations in those networks” . From many points of view, the cable television presents many of the marketing characteristics of the specialized magazines.

Due to the nature of the transmitting method by cable, the companies are more interested of the life styles and the preferences of the cable television audience. For example, Discovery channel point out the fact that many of its viewers are intellectuals that wish to find out new information for them, being very active and well informed.

As the cable television develops, the companies are using a combination of the cable and network television, to reach both to the wide audience categories and at some narrow niches. For example Procter & Gamble, General Motors and AT&T are important companies that are making for them publicity both by cable television and by the one by antenna. The two forms are, yet, used for different scopes by the companies. By a marketing perspective, the cable television compares to the radio and to the magazines, as a communication mean that addresses to some well defined audience categories, but that needs many spots on more networks, for reaching proper levels of penetration and frequency. Actually, many companies purchase frequently combinations of advertisement time at radio or at the cable television, as a method of increasing the degree of penetration. The cable television consolidates the effect of synergy of mass-media that becomes a significant part of the media selling process.

The cable television is frequently used for obtaining a certain degree of penetration within the audience. Alone, or more in combination with other communication means, the cable television can obtain big levels of audience. This television has the ability to reach to defined audience categories on demographical bases, geographical or depending on the life style.

The factors that are making from the cable television an attractive communication mean for the firms that want to make publicity to themselves are:

  • the ability to address to certain audience categories;
  • low cost;
  • a strong summer season, meaning that they present during summer time some of the most important programs, in comparison with the revival programs transmitted by the television networks;
  • opportunities for the spot publicity by cable television.

The importance of the advertisement by cable television grew due to two innovations such as:

  • the use of spots in completion on the programs of the cable networks, these ones giving in spots to the local operators, to be sold to the local companies that want to make publicity to themselves;
  • the realization of the interconnections that appear when two or more cable television systems from the same market are focusing for simultaneous broadcast an advertisement program.

Another important moment registered in the evolution of this communication mean is the passing from the television in analogical system to the digital one, in the majority of the developed countries, due to the advantages that the last one presents them:

  • 4 – 6 television programs in one digital channel of transmission (frequency);
  • the multi plexation technique allows the insertion also of some associated data such as those for sub titration, linguistic versions, electronic guide of programming, interactive services, etc.
  • the flexibility of the offer – the package of the television programs the broadcasting on a terrestrial infrastructure of some programs without payment, together with packages that include programs pay-tv (with payment), video-on-demand, interactive services;
  • the image and the sound have a quality that can be compared with the one offered by a DVD;
  • lower costs for broadcasting (a reduction of 5-8 times of the transmission costs);
  • the portable reception in the interior of the houses (indoor antenna);
  • the release of the frequencies at this time allocated to the transmission of the television programs in analogical system.

The passing of the televisions from analogical transmission to digital platform is imposed by the European Committee, up to 2012 and it will be realized step by step, because both are functioning in the same frequency tapes and, consequently, they can’t coexist at parameters of optimum quality.


1. Dincă, P. – Perspectivele dezvoltării DVB – T în Europa, Serviciul Juridic şi Reglementări, MIE, Bucureşti, 2005;

2. Russel, J.T., Lane, W.R. – Manual de publicitate. Cele mai moderne tehnici, teorii şi metode din domeniul publicităţii, Ed. Teora, Bucureşti, 2003;

3. ***Mil-a-Minute TV Not All Bad, Advertising Age, 23 septembrie 1996.

4. ***Niche/Drive or Mass Appeal, Cable Readies a Powerful Programming Mix, Advertising Age 1996.

5. ***New Markets for Cable TV, American Demographics, iunie 1995.

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