What’s the difference between below the line and above the line? Above the line is a type of advertising such as TV ads, radio ads and billboards (or anything outdoor). Below the line advertising on the other hand consists of other methods such as direct mail, sampling and events. These days many smaller companies focus most of their budget in below the line advertising for three reasons:
- TV is dying. Most people do not watch TV anymore and they rather watch their favorite shows online. Showing ads on TV might not be as effective as before. Most people are exposed to ads on social media or at least online.
- Budget. Below the line advertising is way cheaper than billboard, and definitely cheaper than TV or radio ads. Budget on advertising can make or break a company. That is why newer and smaller businesses would rather use below the line as they are not just cheaper, but also less risky than above the line.
- More target market focused. Direct mail, sampling and events can be more focused on the product/service target market than TV & radio ads and billboards. Below the line communicates directly to their target audience. Yes, above the line method can reach a lot more people and wider audience, but it is more on targeting the masses instead of really zeroing on the main target market. They might be able to choose the time slots they would like to air their ads on TV or radio ads when it is most likely their audience is watching or listening (or live/travel/pass for billboards), but it is still less targeted than direct mail or sampling.
But even though most companies are now focused more on below the line methods, larger companies are still putting a huge budget on their above the line advertising. Why? TV, radio and billboards can still reach a higher chance of exposure than any direct mail, sampling or events could. People will most likely recall a brand they have seen on TV more than a brand they saw in their email (which might even be in the spam folder).
Other reasons why some large companies would prefer above the line advertising are trustworthiness and image. By using above the line, it shows that the company has a lot of money, thus it must be trustworthy. A lot of people still trust in bands that have TV ads more than other smaller brands who only advertise on social media.
With Facebook and Instagram, many small businesses are able to promote their brand, products and services for a fraction of the cost of TV, radio and billboards.
Different brands have different visions on their advertising strategy. Some brands prefer doing both below and above (if their budget allows it). By doing both methods, the brand will be able to reach far, wide and deep. No method is wrong, it basically depends on the brand, target market and budget. It is best to tailor the advertising methods to a brand’s needs with a quality focused company like King Signs, an Australia based signwriter team that is located in Gold Coast and caters to a few of both types of advertising.