You’re Doing It Wrong: Ad Placement
By Rosalind Robertson, Nixey.ca contributor
When you’re placing your ad, it’s helpful to think of it like real estate. Essentially, only three things matter: location, location, location. But just like houses, people are quick to just think of the physical location of the ad (“Technically, it’s in Rosedale…” or “Yaletown-adjacent”) and not the other important things.
Who is living next door, for example, is important.
The more media platforms, the more places there are for your organization to be seen. However, with this increase, it’s also more likely that your friendly ad-salesperson has been replaced by a computer – a computer that works off of code and keywords, and is devoid of what we would call “common sense”.
The issue of computers placing ads is compounded by an increasingly changeable media environment. Traditional media is fighting for its life right now, and headlines – especially online – are flipping at lightning speed. A computer can’t tell that your organ donation charity video ad shouldn’t run prior to a story about Hillary Clinton because the computer doesn’t know that the Secretary of State is in the hospital.
The last line of defence against bad ad placement is still the lowly human – something not run by keywords – with a pulse and a capacity for some situational awareness. Ideally, this is your salesperson, but they’re so busy trying to drum up new accounts that they can’t pay constant attention to what’s going to print/online/ to air. Hopefully, someone in the newsroom is not so completely overworked or angry at being hollered at by a strung-out editor fearing the next round of layoffs that it gets caught at the 11th hour.
Ultimately, it’s your real estate. Your money = your responsibility. And it’s up to you to make sure that the cute Victorian isn’t inadvertently and electronically turned into a roach infested crack den.
More simply: Monitor your ad buys. If you aren’t happy, use your iPhone, take a photo, and send it to your sales rep with the subject line URGENT: NOT HAPPY. It will get fixed immediately, with an apology and a “how can we make this better” – I guarantee it.
In this economy, media needs every ad dollar it can get.
Rosalind Robertson has spent over fifteen years working in radio and television newsrooms, and has been a communications advisor and press secretary to several Ontario politicians. She now works as a full-time public policy analyst and a part-time accessories designer.