Advertising has come a long way since its roots in the 1800’s. It first came in the form of flyers which were placed in newspapers and magazines. By paying for a large portion of the printing costs, advertisers made newspapers affordable to everyone. Today, commercial media still look to advertisers to pick up the slack of operating costs. Supporting all the major television networks, newspapers, radio stations, magazines and almost every other imaginable form of media are advertisers.
The most common formula for deciding which media are best is called CPM, short for cost per thousand. For example, if airtime for a radio advertisement costs 7.2 cents per thousand listeners, and if space for a magazine costs 7.3 cents per thousand readers, and both will reach the targeted audience, the lower CPM will be the medium of choice. Media buyers have the difficult task of deciding which medium to place their ads for the best results.
The four most popular media sources are:
Newspapers: This is a hot commodity because it is theorized that newspaper readers are predisposed to consider information in advertising seriously.
Magazines: As another print medium, magazines have many of the advantages of newspapers, plus a longer shelf life, which is an advertising term for the amount of time that an advertisement remains available for readers.
Radio: Radio stations with narrow formats offer easily identified targeted audiences. Time can be bought on short notice, with changes possible almost until airtime.
Television: As a moving and visual medium, television can offer unmatched impact, and the rapid growth of both network and local television advertising, far outpacing other media, indicates its effectiveness in reaching a diverse mass audience.