My diploma is in Advertising – Integrated Marketing Communications. Most people know what Advertising is, but not as many have heard of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and aren’t sure what it means. IMC involves using many different forms of media to create an advertising campaign that is consistent in its design, message and. target audience. In this era of new media, there are many ways of reaching your target audience – and many ways of missing them by making the wrong decisions. Media is the means of delivering your message, such as television, radio, print, outdoor, Internet, etc.
Traditional Media 101
Television advertising usually consists of commercials that run during breaks in television programs, although they can also air during a program, such as when the weatherman says “tonight’s weather is sponsored by (insert business here)” or a business logo being shown on the screen while the program is running. Television advertising can be very effective in reaching your market and can easily show the viewer exactly what your product or service offers to them. Unfortunately the big drawback to television advertising is – and always has been – cost. Not only do you have to purchase the advertising time months in advance, you have produce the commercial yourself which requires a camera crew, video editor, actor(s) and the proper equipment.
Radio advertising on the other hand is known for being extremely inexpensive. Unlike television, radio spots (advertising term for commercial) can be easily produced – a microphone and sound editing program is all that is required. You can choose to use people within your company, ie: “Hi, I’m John Doe from Acme Trinkets Inc.”, a celebrity spokesperson, or even a personality from your chosen radio station(s). Although radio technology has been around seemingly forever, it is still an extremely useful form of media because people still listen to the radio in their cars and as background music at work.
Newspaper advertising can be very flexible in terms of cost because you’re paying for the size of the ad, colours and location in the paper (front page, Sports, Business, etc.) Improved graphic design software, more powerful computers and improved printers have also made creating ads much easier. Most newspapers have an in-house graphic design team that can create an ad to your specs and budget if you wish. Due to its options, newspaper ads can become a balancing act between cost vs. effectiveness. Larger, more colourful ads cost more, but usually grab the reader’s attention better than smaller, black-and-white ads.
Outdoor advertising is experiencing a surge in popularity due to newer options that are available. Traditional outdoor advertising consists of billboards, buses, bus shelters and stadium/arena advertising. Since these ads require a graphic designer and printer, they benefit from the same advances in technology as newspaper advertising. Billboards can make a big impact due to their massive size and ease of visibility, but since the average person glances at billboard for only a few seconds, your message has to be concise and to the point. Bus ads can be panels on the sides, on the rear, or on the whole bus, called a wrap. Additionally, ads can be placed inside bus shelters or on bus stop benches. Outdoor advertising requires a significant commitment however, as most companies require space to be purchased for months at a time.