Advertising is omnipresent. Every day, we encounter it in the most varied forms and even if we try to avoid the influence through paid advertising measures, we will hardly succeed. Of course, we can change channels as soon as advertising starts and skip print ads, but classic advertising measures like these are only a part of the advertising landscape. And some ads are so skillfully hidden that they are barely perceived as such.
Imagine a line that separates classic, obvious mass advertising from target-group oriented, often expertly disguised measures. Above this line, i.e. Above-The-Line (ATL), are television spots, radio commercials, print advertisements and other common, obvious advertising strategies that are designed for the masses. With the growing awareness of the influence of advertising and the resulting aversion of many consumers against that, the need arose for more subtle, sometimes unorthodox methods to win new customers and to draw the attention of specific target groups to products or companies.
All of these measures, which include influencer marketing, product placement or guerrilla campaigns, are defined as Below-The-Line (BTL) marketing. The possibilities that result from it are almost endless. From flash mobs in the city centre to moving catwalks to crazy give-aways, anything goes – as long as there is no damage to property or image and, in case of doubt, the company refers to the promotion as a paid advertising campaign.
BTL measures don’t have to be extravagant or expensive to be successful. If created skillfully, charming BTL campaigns gain a certain momentum of their own, grow independently and, in the absolutely best case, make it into the media by themselves.
We all remember when a few years ago tens of thousands of people voluntarily took an icy shower in the course of the so-called Ice Bucket Challenge to draw attention to the disease ALS. What started as a video challenge among friends on social networks spread rapidly around the world and ultimately became a topic of conversation in all media.
Whoever manages to deliver a masterpiece like this, then has to deal with the question of how this achievement can be expressed in numbers and which contributions were published where. Media monitoring tools can be of great use here, as they search automatically for the terms defined by the user – for example, the name of the video challenge you promoted to give visibility to your product.
Available media include classic broadcast media such as TV and radio, press, podcast, web text and also web TV sources such as YouTube. In addition, depending on the media monitoring provider you can add a sentiment to the analysis of your BTL campaign, which allows you to discover how it is perceived by the audience.
Above all, the basis for a successful BTL campaign is the precise definition of a target group and response to their needs – in a way that surprises. So be creative and strike a new path that will inspire your target group – who knows? Maybe your next campaign will hit a nerve and your company will soon be a topic of conversation in the media!
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