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Advertising Strategy / Media Buying Research

Effective advertising is an amalgam of various factors. The audience has to connect with the advert, and it will only happen when the advert conveys a personal message through impersonal medium. There are three message strategies that are adopted in advertising. However, the cognitive message strategy is the most effective. Cognitive strategy aims at influencing the beliefs through rational arguments. In cognitive adverts, the main message is to inform consumers about the benefits of using the product in a way that engages them.

Depending on whatever message that needs to be sent across, the cognitive message strategy offers many options. Today's consumers pay attention to adverts. Adverts need to make sense to the audience if they have to act on it. Cognitive message strategy is an approach that presents consumers with rational information about a product so that consumers can process the information and develop a positive attitude towards the product. An example of an advert that uses cognitive message strategy from the article is Campbell's Soups, their main message is "soup is good food", without asserting that it is superior.

Researching Advertising

Cognitive message strategy is effective for small business. It allows the company to focus on more than one demographic group by adopting a generalized marketing campaign in particular generic message strategy. When a company needs to appeal to budget conscious group, cognitive message strategy is the way to go. Rational appeal is also effective when a company is dealing with common products such as kitchen appliances and vacuum cleaners.

Emotional advertising is a common strategy as it invokes positive emotions towards a particular company/ product. P&G's "Best Job" advert is an emotional advert which was aired during P&G's Olympic sponsorship. The advert main message was to thank the athletes' mothers because they are always there for athletes when they win or lose. The ad felt real, sentimental and it appeals to mothers. It is a deeply emotional advert that portrayed P&G as the provider of comforting and wellness products.

Media buying is a hard process as various factors have to be considered. Choosing the media to buy is tricky, because all media have their pros and cons. Pertinent issues before media buying concerns the duration of the advert, rate, timing and space.

The first rule for media buying is fostering effective media planning. Media planning involves market and advert analysis. Market analysis involves knowing about the target market, competition, product analysis among other factor. Advert analysis deals with advertising strategies, budget, and pricing among other factors. Effective planning will dictate the kind of media that should be bought.

The second rule in media buying is securing a reasonable rate. Advertising is quite expensive, and media buyers should always look for the best deal. Price is not determined by the size of the ad, rather the time when the ad will be aired. Media buyers are negotiators, and they should negotiate about all aspects of the advert so as to secure a good deal.

The third rule is the fact that media buyers should be able to forecast the reach and come up with the right frequency before buying. Reach refers to the number of people an advert reaches. All adverts aim at having a big reach both geographically and demographically. Frequency refers to the number of times that the target audience reads, hears or watches the advert. In planning, media buyers should predict reach and frequency before settling for a particular media, as different media reaches different populations.


Clow, K. & Donald, B. Integrated Advertising, Promotion and Marketing Communications. Pearson Prentice Hall.

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Surmanek, J. Advertising media A to Z: the definitive resource for media planning, buying, and research. McGraw-Hill.

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