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5 Steps to Starting a Cable Ad Campaign

No need to spend millions to get on the big networks--reach your best customers with these 5 simple steps for launching a cable ad campaign.

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This story appears in the January 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

For years, TV advertising was the bastion of big-business marketers. We learned not to "squeeze the Charmin" and that "things go better with Coca-Cola" from ad campaigns on the three big TV networks that reached us without cable hookups or satellite dishes.

But all that has changed since cable networks have lured audiences away with specialized programming. Let Anheuser-Busch and Ford spend close to $2.5 million to reach the masses by running a single Super Bowl ad. Savvy entrepreneurs are pinpointing their target audiences and reaching them locally, regionally or even nationally for a tiny fraction of the cost. Now, local commercials are the mainstay of cable systems--in some regions accounting for as much as 70 percent of their ads--and major cable companies even provide low-cost ways to produce commercials.

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