Running a successful ad campaign is like preparing for a major sporting event. You want to time your conditioning so that you are peaking at just the right time. In advertising, you want to ripen your market so that it is ready for your event when the event is happening. This means that you want your ads to run in such a way that when public awareness is highest is just prior to the event.
How you time your campaign is based on the type of event and its duration. An event that lasts several days or a week or two will need a different style than one that is a one day or one night affair. Obviously, with a longer event, you may actually want your ads running right up to the final day of the event or sale. With a longer event, saturating the market with advertising during the final days or hours of the event is often desirable to make people think that they need to get in now or miss out.
Regardless of the duration of the event, advertising should begin enough in advance of it to give people adequate time to see or hear the ads well ahead of the event. It can take between 3 and 10 times encountering the ad before it really sticks. For example, if you are using radio, you will want to put advertising on the air about a week to ten days prior to the event.
The ads should be scattered across a wide range of times each day. This will give people who just leave that station on the air all day plenty of chances to hit by the ad. A lot of people only tune in for a certain period each day. To reach this type of listener, you need the ad running over several days. This same idea can be extrapolated for print media.
With a large event, you will want to run a newspaper ad about 5 times to guarantee results. A multiple attack is best. Combining newspaper , radio, mail, and handing out fliers can make a powerful campaign. All ads should be out no later than 3 days before the event. For a one day event, end advertising at about the time the event begins. For longer events, end the advertising the day the event ends. By the day or final day of the event, ads will no longer have time to make an impact on a much higher percent than is already reached.
You will need to jostle advertising types to fit your ad budget. Handing out fliers is cheap but slow compared to radio or newspaper . You have to decide if you want to reach a few hundred by fliers, 15,000 to 50,000 by newspaper, or perhaps hundreds of thousands by radio or TV. In any event, if you don’t start early enough, you might as well just burn the money you spend.