Every business owner wants their brand to take off. If you’re looking for ways to achieve outstanding sales results, the answer may be spot advertising.

Before you look at the specifics of spot advertising, you first have to know what it is exactly. This important marketing strategy involves the practice of purchasing 15, 30 or 60-second ad placements on radio and tv stations. Before a brand gets a spot, it must have at least one commercial ready to air. Only then can the company proceed on buying spot packages through a network or station.

Technology has allowed businesses to advertise in various ways to stimulate direct and indirect responses from customers. Whether your spot uses audio in radio, or both audio and video for television, it has the potential to target a specific demographic, and grab the attention of millions of viewers.

Knowing what spot advertising is can make or break your marketing efforts. If you want to get ahead of your competitors or stay at the top of your industry, keep on reading.

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What Is Spot Advertising?

Advertising on tv, radio, and other channels are usually purchased as a part of a mix of media within an ad campaign. This combination may include magazines, tv, newspapers, and online media.

For video campaigns, airing usually follows a standard length of one month, three months, or six months. The brand usually decides how much they are willing to allocate to different mediums. Then, they can start working with a representative for each medium. The goal of the company and representative is to come up with a package of spots that air in between particular shows so it can be seen by the target audience.

The rotations of 15, 30 and 60-second spots are bought for a specific time of day whether it may be morning, afternoon, late-night, or prime time. Advertisers also decide whether to include their spots at a certain time or spread them around throughout the day and week.

Limits to Spot Advertising

The advantages of spot advertising are undeniable. However, not all companies take advantage because of a number of limitations.


To make an advertisement, a company needs a large scale production. Even if it only airs for a short while such as 10 or 15 seconds, it still requires a lot of effort. There is a need for a writer, actors, models, directors, rehearsing, renting locations, retakes, and a lot more. Even if you outsource a production company to finish the project, it can still present a lot of problems. Because of this, it can be very time-consuming and stressful.

Cost and frequency

Other than the hassle of the production process, not many companies can afford to air spot advertisements. It is not practical for a small business to put all their budget in a single ad. This reason is why all the ads you see on the television are mostly by national chains. Advertising is very expensive and buying spots on television and radio is a sure budget buster. If you are not sure which corners to cut to accommodate this big expense, it’s better to forego it.

Even if you make the best ad, it still needs to run a few times a day before people can remember it. Unfortunately, buying multiple spots is costly for most mediums. So if you are not willing to spend for multiple spots, it’s better not to run your ad at all. The more people see your ad, the more they can develop recognition and trust.

Lastly, making even the slightest variation or change in your ad will cost a lot and it’s not as easy as doing revisions for print ads. A television ad needs to be totally or partially shot again. This issue presents a major problem since it is not easy to pick up the action in the initial shoot and maintain the same feel.

Mediums that Use Spot Advertising

Here are the different mediums that accommodate spot advertising.

spot advertising for radio ads


Perhaps the most popular medium for spot advertising is television. Television ads run at specific times and programs. The cost depends on the size of the audience watching it. For example, an ad that runs in prime time, usually from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., is more expensive than at other times. If a company decides to run its ad during live sports events, they are bound to spend more. This fact is why ads that run during the Superbowl cost a lot. Companies that want to save usually pick the late-night television time slots since they are more affordable. Television ads are also more expensive to produce compared to radio ads.


Radio ads function similarly to television ads but are significantly cheaper. Spot advertising on radio is purchased with multiple air times. And some spots are more expensive than others. Advertisers can also select how many ads they will play through the course of the day and during which shows. Most programs charge more for an ad spot depending on its listenership. A company is expected to pay more if they want to play their ad during driving hours, which are usually from 5 p.m. to 7.p.m. Just like television, ads played late at night are the cheapest.


Aside from television and radio, there are also spots in other forms of media such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. The ads play on video-sharing sites before a video loads, and they cannot be skipped by the viewers. The ads on this medium are more fairly priced compared to radio and tv ads. However, companies still have to allocate a huge part of their budget to the production of ads.


Another type of effective spot advertising is cable. Because of its low price, it is a top choice among small brands that do not have the same budget as national companies. These ads run on a network or satellite television and can only be seen in a local area. This type of spot advertising is recommended for local companies since its reach to the community is high.

Why Choose Spot Advertising?

If you’re still not sold on trying spot advertising, maybe the reasons below will make you reconsider.

Launching products

It is a bad idea for companies to introduce a product without giving it a chance to attract attention first. Think of it as calling an unattended phone. If no one answers the call of your launch, you can expect your sales to remain low. To remedy this, brands usually feature spot advertising on different mediums. It plays a huge role in introducing new products since it can stimulate the audience to make purchase decisions.

Your product would not thrive successfully in the saturated market if you do not publicize what you offer. But before it can become successful, remember to do an in-depth study of the target market and the selection of media they use. This way, you can accurately place your ads where customers will see it.

Increasing brand awareness

Whether you choose spot advertising on television, social media, or radio, it will immensely help increase the visibility of your brand and products. These spot advertising opportunities help you engage with your customers who will gravitate towards your company and improve your referral and selling opportunities. All spot advertising mediums help you grow an audience for your business in addition to improving your sales.

Attracting customers

Spot advertising is the ultimate way to interact with your potential and existing customers and convince them to try your services or products. This allows people to know how their lives can improve if they purchase your products.

Depending on your offer, your selling point can appeal to customers in local or national markets with the help of spot advertising. While you need to invest in your ads over time to establish authority as a merchant, it will be worth it in the end.

Combining sound and sight

When you choose print advertising, you are only using headlines, graphics, and words to educate people about your services or products. You are not sure if your ad will be fully read by your audience. You’re not even certain if they will look at the picture or artwork your ads feature. With spot advertising, particularly online and television, you are using the advantage of visual and audio communication. This way, your customers can see the product exactly the way you want them to. Spot advertising that uses audio and visuals is also capable of grabbing the attention of the audience and shifting their focus from whatever they were doing to see your pitch.

Increasing emotional attachment

Effective spot advertising does more than educate your audience about products or services. When you plan your ads carefully, you can easily determine how your target audience will react. Do you want them to tear up a little, make them feel empowered, or laugh until they cry? While you may still be able to do that with other media, spot advertising grants you the unique power to make the audience remember how they felt when watching the ad.

spot advertising for audio ads

Remember that people don’t only buy for logical reasons, but also emotional factors. Think about it: Why do people still buy Cola products even if they know it’s nutritional content is questionable? It’s because the ads of Coca-Cola and Pepsi usually focus on good times or youth. Another clear example of ads forming an emotional connection is chocolate. When you see a bar of dark chocolate, you immediately associate it with sensuality and indulgence.

If you purchase multiple spots, the audience will eventually look forward to your ad and think of your brand in a positive light. Soon, your audience will not only be your customers, but also brand ambassadors.

Reaching audience

If your goal is to expand your market, try spot advertising. This strategy greatly retains your existing market and explores other audience demographics. This type of advertising plays an important role in widening the market of any company, especially those who live in remote areas.

It’s surprising how the mediums for spot advertising can allow you to reach a massive audience simultaneously. The best part is, you can target a specific group of people easily. For example, if you want to attract stay at home parents, getting daytime spots is recommended. If you want to have more Spanish customers, try purchasing spots in a Spanish-speaking network. For companies that want to target those who have a nine-to-five job, go with evening spots.

Spot Advertising Is the Way to Go

All forms of advertising require companies to consider the cost-to-benefit ratio. With spot advertising, the money you spend to reach your target customer will provide you an excellent return on your investment. If you want a better deal, you may choose to negotiate the cost of the spot advertising medium with a media buyer and validate its success promise before you take the leap. After all, conscious effort and research are keys to any great campaign ad.