Heavy-Up in Marketing: Advertising & Cost

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Want to concentrate your marketing efforts? Heavy-up in advertising may be just the thing! In this lesson, you'll learn more about what this marketing concept is and the impact it can have on your business.

Vote For Me!

Imagine it's election season (I know, sorry...) and you're ready to just veg out and watch an evening of your favorite TV programming. As you settle in, it starts: campaign commercials. Local races, state officials and national politicians flood your TV screen, pushing regular commercials for toothpaste and fast cars out of the way.

Luckily, election season commercials are just that - for a season. In marketing and advertising, this on-again, off-again promotion falls under a concept known as heavy-up.

A Look at Heavy-Up

Heavy-up in marketing involves purchasing lots of ads in a short window of time. As a consumer, you're likely to experience this during election season (we just discussed this), in the run-up before a major holiday (for things like fireworks for the Fourth of July or Christmas presents), and even from businesses that engage in seasonal work (think about pool supply companies and the summer season). When companies participate in heavy-up advertising, they focus the majority of their advertising efforts in one period of time, virtually ignoring the remainder of the year.

Heavy-up figures into what is known in the advertising world as a media schedule. A media schedule helps outlets like television and radio stations build a pattern of advertising for individual companies. For example, Ned's Fireworks may show a schedule that is heavy in the months of May, June and July, with no other advertisements scheduled from August to April.

In many ways, heavy-up is similar in concept to another marketing term known as flighting. Flighting is scheduling your advertising irregularly, or at intervals without purchasing ads in between. When you engage in heavy-up, you are essentially ''flighting'' your advertising. The period where the advertising is running is known as a flight. Heavy-up allows you to grab top-of-mind awareness, being the first thing customers think of, at just the right time.

Think about a family dining restaurant that is offering a complete Thanksgiving meal for $49. Would it make sense for them to advertise the special year-round? Most people aren't thinking about purchasing a Thanksgiving dinner package in January, April or July. Instead, the family dining restaurant would concentrate the bulk of its advertising from mid-October to mid-November and then cease advertising after the Thanksgiving holiday has passed.

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