Marketing for me has always been about never putting your eggs in one marketing basket, the mix is what it’s all about and finding multiple channels to drive engagement have always proved successful. A strategy where you can monitor results is safer and can justify a marketing spend but is that the only way? I am going to explore Above The Line and Below The Line advertising, the history, meaning, advantages and disadvantages.
What is ATL & BTL
ATL & BTL Agencies refer to two different styles of marketing agencies, especially in promotion marketing and communication. ATL stands for Above The Line, meaning that the advertising is going to be deployed around a wider target audience, e.g. television, radio, or billboards.
Above-the-Line vs. Below-the-Line Advertising
Above-the-line advertising is designed to reach a mass audience, typically through mediums that reach large numbers of people at various levels of engagement. Perhaps the epitome of above-the-line marketing is a Super Bowl television ad, which costs millions of dollars for mere seconds of airtime. While this type of advertising reaches a lot of people, it is not focused, and many of the ad’s recipients are likely not target customers.
Advantages of Above the line marketing
1) Reach – Implementing a strong ATL advertising plan can help the brand reach far and wide. Most of the banks as well as retail showrooms regularly advertise their reach via ATL media to entice customers to visit their showrooms.
2) Attention – With a combination of Audio and visual, the penetration levels of ATL media is higher than any other type of advertising. Television and radio literally demand attention through their creatives. Whereas newspapers have high involvement so that the customer does read through the ads also. Finally, out of home too, when placed properly has a huge impact on decision making and creating excitement.
3) Brand building – Any brand which wants a name for itself has to invest in brand building via ATL channels. Most of these brands start with Out of home advertising, then progress to Radio and print. And finally some of them might progress to TVC or will continue with the other media. Nonetheless, a brand cannot be built just by below the line marketing.
Implementing ATL activities:
Television: Advertising campaigns directed at the regional or national level
Print media: Promotional messages in newspapers, online articles, and advertisements
Radio: Pan-country or pan-city radio broadcasts