Selecting Media: Creative Options and Costs

Creative Options

An advertisement has the potential to appeal to four senses – sight, sound, smell, and touch. (It should be noted that promotion can also appeal to the sense of taste but generally these efforts generally fall under the category of sales promotion which we will discuss in a later tutorial.) However, not all advertising media have the ability to deliver multi-sensory messages. Traditional radio, for example, is limited to delivering audio messages while roadside billboards offer only visual appeal. Additionally, some media may place limits on when particular options can be used. For instance, some websites may only accept certain types of graphical-style ads if these conform to specified minimum size and limit smaller size advertising to text-only ads.

Creative Costs

The media type chosen to deliver a marketer’s message also impacts the cost of creating the message. For media outlets that deliver a multi-sensory experience (e.g., television, internet and mobile for sight and sound; print publications for sight, touch and smell), creative cost can be significantly higher than for media targeting a single sensory experience. But cost for creative advertisements are also affected by the expectation of quality for the media that delivers the message. In fact, media outlets may set minimal production standards for advertisements and reject ads that do not meet these standards. Television networks, for example, may set high production quality levels for advertisements they deliver. Achieving these standards requires expensive equipment and high cost labor, which may not be feasible for small organizations. Conversely, creating a simple text-only internet advertisement is inexpensive and easy to create.