College Student – Advertising & Marketing Examples

If you are a student doing research for an advertising or marketing class you are not alone! We have had so many requests for help that we have posted this page on our website just for you. We are often asked vague questions like “Please give me a ball park figure on the cost to advertise on TV, the radio, in magazines and on billboard signs”. The problem is that this is a question that can’t be answered any better than asking what does a car or a house cost. I would be correct in stating that a house will cost $300,000.00 and I’d also be correct if I stated that it would cost $3,000,000.00 and $30,000,000.00 may seem extreme but it is also a correct answer. The correct answer to What does it cost to advertise and what does it cost to buy a house and what does it cost to buy a car is a question. The question is; what is your budget? Tell me your budget and I can find you the right car, the right house and the right advertising plan.

As an example radio advertising is often more expensive during the times that we drive our cars and often less expensive during the middle of the day. Of course if you have a talk show with a loyal fan base then that show even in the middle of the day could cost more than a morning or evening drive time show.

TV advertising is also very complex. There once was a time when you could advertise on just three broadcast networks, ABC, NBC and CBS. If you wanted to reach one third of the American public you had only to pick one of the three. Today we literally have hundreds of networks which each have dozens of show. Every show in every city has a rating and that rating along with supply and demand as well as the number of households covered will determine the cost to advertise on that particular show in a given city.

Of course the same is true of newspaper and magazine advertising. Each newspaper and magazine in the country sets their own prices based upon market conditions. You could buy an ad in a magazine or newspaper in a wide range of sizes which would alter the costs. Also, magazines and newspapers will offer substantial discounts based upon the contract you will sign with them. If you agree to buy a large number of ads during the year the rate reduction compared with a one-time ad will be huge.

This is all interesting to know but you’ve got a school project due and still need to know what will it cost to advertise!

I’ll give you some real examples of costs. As long as you understand that these are just examples then you can make some guesses about your project. If this was for a real client rather than a school project then we would be asking a lot of questions. Who you are trying to reach is important for us to know as well as the monthly budget. For example you may be trying to reach women age 20-35 and in that case there are TV shows we would suggest while there are other shows we’d never recommend. Maybe your budget won’t allow us to get the exposure we need on this show so we may go after a less expensive show (reaching fewer people) or we may advertise in fewer market areas. Always remember that every show sells for a different price so our prices are only to give you an idea of what something cost a particular client of ours. These prices have nothing to do with what it may cost to reach a real client of yours when you graduate and become a marketing director for a company

Here are the examples you’ve been waiting to see which will show you what it cost different clients of ours to advertise.

A client in Tampa Florida sells and installs satellite TV systems. His clients are typically 50 years old and older and they are happy to switch from cable to satellite if they can save $15.00 per month. He wanted to advertise this on TV but the cable companies will never agree to allow you to advertise satellite TV so we recommended broadcast TV. The client wanted to spend $10,000.00 per month on his advertising. Click to view the pdf file showing a broadcast TV advertising schedule.

This schedule is for a client who wanted to spend only $1,500.00 per month to advertise a product which would only be purchased by people who like to snow ski. Click to see a pdf file showing a schedulesky for cable TV advertising in Denver.

Now you may ask how is one client spending $10,000.00 per month to be in one city and another client spends only $1,500.00 in another city. The answer is that with broadcast TV the signal is broadcast into the air (yes it is on cable too) so everyone all over the city can see that show. For less money using cable TV advertising we can buy just a neighborhood within a big city. So the answer is that when you reach fewer people you pay less. Compare a restaurant chain with locations all over town and a single mom pop restaurant. The mom pop could spend $1,500.00 on cable TV advertising and reach just the people in their own neighborhood. The chain could spend $10,000.00 per month and reach the entire city. If the restaurant chain has 20 locations within the city then they are paying only $500.00 per location. So it is more economical for the big chain to spend $10,000.00 to cover the advertising needs of 20 locations than it is for the mom pop restaurant to spend $1,500.00 (three times as much) to cover a single restaurant location.

For a better understanding of how it is perfectly reasonable for us to ask one client to spend $10,000.00 on TV while another spends only $1,500.00 please take another look at the pdf files of the two examples above and check out the reach and frequency. Here is an explanation of these media terms.

GRPs, TRPs, Reach and Frequency

The aggregate total (the sum) of the ratings is called Gross Rating Points or GRPs. The sum of the ratings of a specific demographic segment may be called Target Audience GRPs or more simply TRPs. The term GRPs is generic and may refer to household GRPs or to specific target segment GRPs.

Reach is the number or percent of different homes or persons exposed at least once to an advertising schedule over a specific period of time. Reach, then, excludes duplication.

Frequency is the number of times that the average household or person is exposed to the schedule among those persons reached in the specific period of time. Because it is an average frequency, dispersion of frequency of exposure will differ between specific schedules and daypart mixes.

GRPs, reach, and frequency are mathematically related in the following ways:

GRPs = Reach X Frequency Reach = GRPs / Frequency

Frequency = GRPs / Reach

Here is an example of how a large car dealership spent their advertising dollars. Click to see a car dealership

advertising budget.

It is my sincere hope this these examples help you with your class project. When you graduate and find yourself involved in a career as a marketing director please contact us and we will be happy to assist you with planning how to use a real advertising budget to get results for your employer.


Rick Goldman