Untangling the confusion of TV scheduling theories

Date of publication: October 20, 1998


Complex theories of how advertising works in terms of response, repetition and decay have been merged and confused with the audience- delivery-based media planning concepts of reach and frequency. This paper discusses distinctions that should be made in media scheduling between the strategic theories of how advertising works (response functions, decay rates) to deliver aggregate sales effects and the tactics of media buying to determine repetition and cover criteria. While the paper explodes both the myths of “effective frequency” and “once is enough”, it also suggests a practical, multi-dimensional framework to deal with both ideas, better linking overall brand communication strategies to media buying tactics.

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