Advertisers, both big and small, like to know all the facts before choosing one media form over another or combining them to create the most effective mix. The information below will help advertisers to make well-informed decisions regarding the best marketing mix for their businesses. Compare cable television advertising with other media advertising options to see why cable TV has the most options for an effective advertising media mix.



One of the oldest forms of mass media, newspapers can reach a loyal audience, nationally or locally.


  • Advantages:
    • Immediate reach
    • Allows for in-depth product explanation 
    • Variety of creative commercial sizes and coloration
    • Ads can be targeted to certain demographic groups through placement in specific sections
    • Tangible
    • Good for co-op advertising for local/national promotion
  • Disadvantages: 
    • Declining circulations
    • High out-of-pocket pricing for large units
    • Readers rarely look at all sections
    • Difficult to reach younger audiences
    • Visual only, non-intrusive
    • Questionable measurement
    • Clutter



Radio is a "portable" medium that reaches its peak audience during the morning and evening rush hours.


  • Advantages: 
    • Targeted
    • Copy change flexibility
    • Low out-of-pocket pricing
    • Mobility (i.e. in the car listening)
    • Low production costs 
    • Promotions, tie-ins
  • Disadvantages: 
    • Lack of visual
    • Poor measurement
    • Difficult to build audience reach
    • High commercial clutter
    • Audience is not actively engaged
    • Time spent listening declines each year
Local Broadcast Television

Local broadcast television provides mass-market coverage and the opportunity for advertisers to run commercials during the local news and popular network and syndicated programs.


  • Advantages:
    • Broad reach
    • Buzz-worthy programs
    • Full DMA coverage
    • Intrusive/immediate impact
    • Sight, sound and motion
    • Strong branding capabilities
  • Disadvantages:
    • Declining ratings
    • High out-of-pocket cost
    • Weak summer ratings/programming
    • High production costs
    • No ability to target specific areas within a DMA (i.e. wasted reach)
National Cable Networks

With groundbreaking original series, respected news networks and 24-hour sports programming, national cable networks draw in diverse and passionate viewers, making cable [or national cable networks] a highly targetable and impactful medium for advertisers.


  • Advantages:
    • Deeper consumer connections
    • Viewer migration from broadcast to cable
    • Original, water-cooler programming
    • Sight, sound and motion
    • Intrusive/immediate impact
    • Strong brand capabilities
    • Affluent audience with higher disposable income
  • Disadvantages:
    • National in scope
    • No full DMA coverage
    • Lower-rated programs



The Internet, the fastest-growing medium to date, can precisely target engaged customers who are a click away from accessing information about a company or purchasing a product.


  • Advantages:
    • Accountability/ROI
    • Drive directly to advertiser website
    • Engaged audience
    • Unique creative units
    • Strong targeting capabilities
    • Ability to interact with ad 
  • Disadvantages:
    • Some advertising seen as too intrusive
    • Must have a website to link to
    • Declining click-through rates
    • Advertising clutter
Direct Mail

Direct mail places tangible advertising directly in the hands of the consumer, delivering the advertisement at the time when he or she is likely to read it along with the other mail.


  • Advantages:
    • Targeting by location, personal interest, buying habits
    • Unlimited message length
    • Coupon offerings
    • Relatively easy to track response
    • Low cost per thousand
  • Disadvantages:
    • Non-intrusive (i.e. could be thrown away unlooked or unopened)
    • Only as good as an advertiser's mailing list
    • Can be impersonal (e.g. addressed to "resident" or "occupant")
    • Production costs can be high depending on size of piece


Out of Home

Out of home offers broad or targeted reach and efficient frequency by targeting consumers while in transit.


  • Advantages:
    • Broad reach
    • Ability to target specific locations
    • Large units can make strong impact
    • All-day, all-week exposure
    • Low cost per thousand
  • Disadvantages:
    • Short exposure time (6-8 seconds)
    • Limited message capability
    • Questionable measurement
    • Creative can be vandalized or easily damaged
    • High out-of-pocket cost for large units
    • Audience is disengaged

Especially effective at brand imaging and demographic targeting, magazines allow advertisers to utilize high-quality images with detailed layouts in a wide variety of publications — with genres from general news to special interest.


  • Advantages:
    • Psychographic and demographic targeting capabilities
    • Engaged audience
    • Ads can be reviewed/studied at readers leisure
    • Portable/Tangible
    • Variety of creative sizes/units
    • Online companion website opportunities
  • Disadvantages:
    • Non-intrusive (i.e. reader can ignore ad )
    • Long audience cume takes time to build reach
    • Most publications are not mass reach
    • Long shelf life makes it difficult to promote a time-sensitive message
    • Clutter

Source: Media Pros & Cons, Video Advertising Bureau.