TV Media Buying

Buying a TV advertising campaign

From planning to TV media buying

A TV media buyer works closely with a TV media planner. The buyer’s objective is to purchase ad slots in the channels, audience and programming to meet your media plan. The buying of your TV advertising campaign starts once you have approved your media plan

At a glance

The TV media buying process

Once the TV plan is created, we need to buy the campaign. TV channels have sales teams (known as sales houses) which represent the channels; some sales houses represent multiple channels. We send the agreed plan with budgets to the stations and then we wait for the TV sales houses to send us the initial TV ad spots to deliver the campaign as approved. 

The TV stations use large automated systems to book up all the approved campaigns. This means that we first schedule that is sent to us is not the one you see. There is an ongoing process of buying and finessing the plan – TV is planned off estimated viewing, but one thing we all do not know is how many people are going to watch TV tomorrow. There are lots of factors affecting TV audiences sizes like the weather and new shows launching so the delivery of the campaign is always changing. This means we need to keep track of all these changes on specialist audience tracking systems to make sure we get the value that we have approved in the best programmes and days that suit our requirements

TV Channels UK | TV

Your TV advertising schedule

We are sent a ‘TV advertising schedule’, which comprises all the TV ad spots that make up your TV campaign from the broadcasters. We receive the estimated audiences and we collate these and send you a full list of all the spots on the schedule. This can have thousands of TV ad spots in some cases. The schedule will show the name of the show and position in a show either a centre break or an end break and the audience size. We do not buy a specific number of spots from a channel but a volume of audience. This means spots can be added or taken off depending on the audience size delivered by spots that have already gone out. The spots schedule is made up from three types of audience:

  • Estimated audiences are given to all spots that have not yet gone out, this is based on previous audiences delivered at that time for that programme
  • Live audience or overnight audience ratings these are based on the viewing that happened on spots that went out the previous day. They stay as live for 7 days as in this period the amount of recorded viewing of the show is added to this live rating
  • Consolidated audience – this is the final viewing that will be associated with a spot and this is created 8 days after the spot has gone out to include the live audience and the recorded viewing

Managing and optimizing your TV campaign

Our TV media buyers ensure that the planned campaign is delivered. TV viewing levels are always changing so we monitor the value and delivery of the campaign on a daily basis, and communicate to the client with regular updates of the spots due for transmission. If key learning’s are made early in the campaign we will try and actively make live amendments to take advantage of them.

Once the last spot airs, there is a 10 day lag until all data is final, and the buyer can then start producing post campaign analysis where they can report back to the client the delivery against the plan and KPI’s. This will include confirming the schedule bought with exact time spot list, audience volumes by spot, the value delivered and a bespoke analysis focusing on the agreed KPIs.

Contact us or call us now on 0800 1337104 to learn more.

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