Traditional Broadcast Advertising; Weighing the Pros and Cons

Advertising these days is just one click away. With the help of the internet, one can just simply promote a product or service using the online platform. Online platform of advertising may cause hesitation for businesspersons; however, they can always simply go old-school.

TV and radio are two most used traditional medium of advertising. By paying TV stations and producing series of television programming, a business expresses and promotes its product or service. This is often referred to TV advertisement, advert or commercial. On the other hand, radio advertising works by paying the airtime of a radio station.

So, which is a better traditional advertising medium, TV or radio? Let’s discuss the pros and cons of each medium.

TV Advertising


  • Most of households own and have access to TV. With the existence of cable networks, 24/7 programs, and satellite channels, there is a significant increase in the audience rating; hence, making TV an essential medium of advertising.
  • TV advertising does not only cover the local and national scene. International viewers can also be reached within a short span of time; thus, allowing you to get a large and varied audience.
  • Since TV advertising uses both audio and visual effects, one can clearly convey their message regarding the product or service. With the elements such as color, sound, storyline, and additional props, the advert becomes outstanding; making the product or service prominent and valid.


  • TV commercials can be annoying at times. People find ways to avoid watching advertisements by diverting their time to do other things such as surfing other channels, checking emails, or getting a snack. Because of an individual’s innovation and advancement of technology, there are tools readily available in the market to remove or block advertisements on TV.
  • Compared to other traditional medium of advertising, TV advertising is the most expensive. Making a high quality ad and buying an airtime slot may cost about $400,000 to $1,400,000. Because of this, commercials are often brief and the completeness and clarity of message is sacrificed.

Radio Advertising


  • Small businesses and local organizations consider radio as a strong local medium of advertising. For those business entities that target the local audience, radio advertising could be a good choice.
  • Depending on the targeted geographical audience of a business, radios are capable of finding the right match for advert campaigns. Small establishments may advertise using local and regional stations. While businesses targeting the national market can advertise on national radio stations.
  • The same targeted audience can be reached by radio advertisement in a lower cost compared to TV and print advertisement. However, rates may vary especially those in areas that are densely populated.
  • Radio ads build a connection to audiences who are reliant to the medium for news, weather, and sports reports.


  • Limited attention may be given to radio advertisements since radios are often used as a background sound for people who are busy. In addition, listeners may ignore the message and content.
  • By using only voice and music, the impact of the radio advertisement may be compromised. Also, not all products or services can be advertised using the radio. Products that require a visual representation do not fit for radio advertising.
  • Radio adverts need to be played several times in order for listeners to catch and retain the message of the ads.

When trying out any medium of advertising, one has to plan first. Here’s how to setup a radio and TV ads.

  • Know your target market. An obvious oversight of advertisers is that they do not have the idea who they’re selling the product to.
  • Project a budget for advertising. Overspending on advertising can be eradicated if you set a specific budget.
  • Contact TV and radio station managers. You can always seek help to the managers, often represented by salesperson. Asking for spots that would reach your targeted audience is very important.

Deciding which medium of advertising that is profitable for your product or service is a hard task. A better idea is to integrate traditional advertising medium with the online platform.  Researches show that those traditional media of advertising boost the website’s traffic. It is important to direct your audience or potential customers to your web properties. Make a specific URL with a sole purpose for campaign and media.  The URL must be short and easy to familiarize. Landing pages or social media accounts can be your redirecting pages for your campaign URL.

Print Media Advertising —- thriving or dying?

Another medium of advertising and considered as the second most popular is print advertising. Newspapers, magazines, brochures, and pamphlets fall under this medium. They are used to reach and attract potential customers and target audience. Sadly, print media advertising has been declining rapidly because of the digital advancement.


Newspapers are available on local, regional, or national scenes which is beneficial for advertising in promoting their product as well as reaching wide-range audience. Advertisers can get to choose the period of their ad to appear on the paper (e.g. daily, weekly, or on special editions). The newspaper’s content combination, which is evidently shown by its different sections, allows advertisers to reach various audience and/or potential consumers. Newspaper ads can be of different sizes and can be composed by text-only or inclusions of illustrations, graphic images, and photographs. When it comes to the cost of newspaper advertising, factors like the newspaper’s popularity and ad size are taken into consideration.


Similar to newspapers, magazine advertisements can be published on regional and national. Magazine offers varying interests, allowing advertisers to choose from a wide-range of distribution and frequency. Magazine advertising offers an efficient way to trademark a business. On this form of advertising, the ads need to be visually engaging. Though on the business side, ad appearance is unimportant. However, the businesses visibility and public image can be achieved by the advertisement’s appearance. Advertisers can choose to print their adverts on classified ads or full-page ads whether gray-scaled or colored. Distribution of magazines can be weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

Billboards and Posters

Billboard and poster advertising is specifically designed for consumers who are very active and do have hectic schedules. This advert does not only reach a large group of consumers, but it allows consumers to be on the point of purchase. The advertisers can always change the message on billboard and posters at their chosen time.

Directory Advertising

Advertisements printed on Yellow pages and other directory is a form of directory advertising. Business information is being published on directories, allowing the business to establish a client base considering its target market. Consumers often base the authenticity and legitimacy of a business by appearing on Yellow pages. Size is always a factor when creating a directory advertisement. Apart from being noticeable, consumer thinks that business with larger ads is better. Placing larger ads on Yellow pages might be too costly; an alternative is to make your ad in bold letters.

Additional Print Advertising Methods

Brochures and flyers fall under this category. They are easily found particularly on public places (brochures displayed on racks of convenience stores; flyers placed on windshields or newspapers). Postcard advertising is also a form of print media ads. Basically, the postcard includes two parts, the print ad and mailing address. These forms of print media advertising allow advertisers to reach a targeted audience since they are distributing these papers to particular persons and establishments.

Print media advertising still plays a vital role in establishing a business name or branding of a product. It delivers first hand information; in return, consumers or audience trusts and supports the publication which can be perceived that businesses and establishments featured are as well trusted. The various forms of print media advertising allow businesspersons or advertisers to choose what form would best reach their target market. Unlike the internet marketing, ad blockers are not applicable in print ads.

In my point of view, print advertising and internet marketing can be integrated. Each platform has its strengths that would generally boost and create greater impact on a service or product. I consider less the cost-effectiveness of each product depends if you have successfully reached your target market.