Kunta (Our African Gray) and me having a discussion about the cost of advertising.
It happens all the time but it is worth reminding clients and potential clients about judging the real cost of advertising. See if you can relate to this story:
Last month a client called and told me they were considering a TV show sponsorship for $3,100 and wanted to know what I thought about it. (Yes, sometimes clients get pitched BEFORE the agency. Some will suggest this is saving the client money...right.)
My first question back to the client, "Are you saying $3,100 for each TV ad or for each show?" Our client answered, "No, $3,100 for the entire year sponsorship! We get 364 thirty-second ads. Pretty good huh?" At this point I was smacking the phone and asking the client if they heard my question or if my hearing was impaired. "Three thousand one-hundred dollars for a full year sponsorship of a TV show!?", I asked. I was told that was correct. I chuckled and said something about drinking but they were dead serious. "I'll get back to you", I offered.
Three hours later I found myself explaining to the client real costs in the form of "Cost Per Potential Household". I had found what I suspected from the beginning: Yes, this was a real TV show and yes, it actually was on the air...in some very small markets. (Total potential households of maybe 500,000.) The math was simple I had checked the DMA's for each market and made a call to a cable company to get their numbers.
From there the math was easy: Divide the cost of $3,100 by the number of POTENTIAL households (in thousands) and I came up with a cost per thousand households of $6.20.
At one time I had pitched another TV show to the client for an annual cost of $45,000 but the client said it was too much money. However this show had a potential household number of 12,000,000. Doing the math that cost per thousand households came to $3.75. I pointed that out and asked, "OK, which one is now more expensive?"
This stuff happens all the time to unsuspecting advertisers. The old saying, "You get what you pay for" should have been the first clue. The other one, "If it sounds too good to be true...it most likely isn't".
The bottom line is to make sure you understand exactly what is being pitched.
Some folks make things for consumers. We make those things known to consumers. When we do our job our clients can do their job. If you have an agency...ask. If you don't call us.