Above the line (also shortly known as ATL), is one of the segments of marketing activities, next to below the line (BTL) and through the line (TTL) advertising. Essentially, the term ‘line’ has long been used in the business world to help marketers gain a clearer understanding of the borders for audience sizes. For example, while ATL focuses on advertising to mass recipients, BTL focuses on advertising to a specific consumer group. 

Above the line advertising basically consists of untargeted mass marketing strategies, all of which have a wide reach. The focus of ATL advertising lies in building and gaining awareness for a brand by informing customers about its products or services. The chosen mediums convey the brand messages to everyone who has access to them. It does not send any customized, directed messages to a specific group of consumers.  

That being said, an ATL marketers’ role in brand building, therefore, is to reach as many prospective customers as possible, as a brand’s growth depends on the amount of customers it has.

The ATL form of promotion is crucial for businesses that can afford it. It not only allows the brand to creatively communicate and express its strengths and values to the public on a large scale, but it also helps companies connect with both their local and international audiences through mass audio-visual channels like TV, radio, and the press.

More importantly, media advertising has become necessary for defining and strengthening a brand’s identity. Considering that an average American watches 4.3 hours of TV a day and that audiences prefer moving images as opposed to still images and audio alone, marketing specialists agree that this is one of the best channels to advertise.

Radio, on the other hand, is extremely affordable compared to the other advertising mediums. As psychologists tend to underline, an average consumer needs to be exposed to an advertising message at least three times before the message begins to make an impact. The relation of cost to the potential frequency of broadcasting ads on the radio enables many advertisers to achieve this goal.

Radio, like TV, can have a local, national, and international reach. Similarly, the press also has an international reach as they tend to make use of ad-slots for marketing.

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in General Marketing Definitions
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