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When Print Advertising Isn't Enough

Expand your advertising portfolio by including TV ads.
November 20, 2000

Q: My father and I purchased a 40-year-old kitchen and dining furniture store from someone who only used newspaper advertising. We'd like to start using TV ads, but we don't know how risky it would be to redistribute our ad budget. We're also concerned about uncontrolled growth that may occur from using this form of mass media.

A: The use of newspaper as a company's primary form of advertising was, and in some cases still is, a mindset passed down from generation to generation from the time when print was the only kind of advertising around. It's a built-in perk for newspaper reps. People like print ads because they provide tangible proof of where the ad budget went. You can touch them, reread them, cut them out, hang them on a wall, and show them to your grandchildren 30 years after they run, while radio and TV ads vanish into thin air in just 30 or 60 seconds. Paying for advertising you can't touch makes some people nervous, but it shouldn't. These intangible mediums are all very powerful when used correctly.

You said you were leaning toward television, but you don't want a stampede. Bite your tongue! Stampedes are what people pray for. Put more salespeople on the floor if you're really concerned, but don't hope for a mediocre response. Test the new medium by running a campaign using TV programs that target the upscale customers you're looking for (your reps can give you that information). Spotlight popular items in your ads rather than featuring products you're looking to unload. And don't skimp on frequency. Give your audience an opportunity to see the commercial. If you're going to test television, give it a chance to show you what it can do. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Keep your newspaper advertising, but make slight changes to free up money:

Play your TV and print ads off one another to make them both work harder. For example, end your TV ads by saying, "See tomorrow's paper for details." If you show five separate specialty items in your TV commercial, run five print ads and feature one of those specialty items in each ad.

A few years ago, I did a joint promotion with a company like yours and a neighboring seafood restaurant, and the two businesses shared the advertising costs. Everyone who purchased a dining set received a gift certificate for a takeout dinner for two from the seafood restaurant to enjoy on their new table.

By following these tips, you'll be able to find out what's best for you and your business. Good luck!

Kathy Kobliski is the founder and president of Silent Partner Advertising, where she oversees multimedia advertising budgets for retail and service clients. Her book,Advertising Without an Agency, was written for businesses owners who are working with small advertising budgets and can't afford professional help. You can reach Kathy via her website at

The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, not of All answers are intended to be general in nature, without regard to specific geographical areas or circumstances, and should only be relied upon after consulting an appropriate expert, such as an attorney or accountant.