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Creating the Right TV Schedule for Success

We often hear clients' requests - I want to advertise on The Block (for example). How much will it cost? If this sounds familiar, this article is for you as it answers the age-old question of do I buy show specific or do I buy reach, frequency and target audience in media schedules. 

Let's set the scene.

You know your audience, and they watch The Block, so you want to capture them when they are most engaged. There's no point in spending money on programs your audience isn't watching as often! Sound right?

The Block 2021

The answer is not so simple. TV, like most media, can be a little more complex and often requires the experience of media planning and buying specialists to ensure you get the best return on your media dollar. So, working on The Block example, what would it cost to reach your target based on last season's prices? Could you afford it? Would it be the best possible schedule to grow visitors and sales? The answer will come down to program popularity (ratings), reach, frequency and BUDGET!

In the example of The Block, the show performed excellently across all people 25-54 years, including VOD media, where audiences could catch up on episodes they had missed. Overall numbers were impressive, with the program achieving #1 program nationally across Free-to-air regularly and consistent, substantial viewers across VOD for the season. 

In our example, ratings would get a tick, and if the budget allowed, frequency would also likely get a tick as the viewing audience watched regularly. 

Last season, a single placement saw prices around $45,000 for a 1 x 30-second ad for a five capital city buy in terms of cost. When you consider the need for frequency to get people to view the ad more than once, the budget becomes eye-watering even for medium-sized businesses. Adding VOD to the mix is highly desirable as it reduces the spot cost across the schedule and extends the likelihood that your target will see your advert - those costs coming in at around $65 CPM (cost per 1000 completed views). The budget-saving is significant!

While program sponsorships and take-overs allow businesses to capitalise on visibility, the prices have five and six zeros after them and are in demand. So what are your options when your budget doesn't stretch that far?

This is where a combined reach and frequency schedules come into their own. 

By understanding where your viewers are likely to consume programs across a range of topics, media specialists such as at MPA can spread the cost of the programing schedule by introducing a variety of programs and their associated costs. The mix of programming means your audience sees your ad the desired number of times, but it also provides a broader reach to an audience who may not view your prefered program. Generally, this will occur across a single station buy to maximise possible discounts and bonus offers. In our example, this would be across the 9 Network using both Free-to-Air and VOD services. Extending the reach of your campaign opens up viewing audience numbers at a lower cost per view and can create new markets. It also maximises the potential for engagement.

The outcome of a reach and frequency schedule is a balance of audience reach, CPM, peak to off-peak rations and rate negotiation to maximise ROI.

While you may feel your schedule is missing a spot in The Block, the combination of programs creates a reach 'sweet spot' needed for success. You'll actually reach more audience at a significantly lower CPM and cost.

A note on programmatic tv buying.

Programmatic television buying offers a range of benefits, including highly targeted options such as buying against your competitors' ads from live to VOD services or targeting your audience profile and viewing behaviours across all networks rather than one. The added advantage of having a fully integrated, holistic campaign is vast. Ask us for more details if you'd like information regarding this service and other innovative TV buying tools.


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