Online Radio and Advertising

The popularity that the Internet radio enjoys today is not just limited to teenagers, as even the elderly also enjoy listening to it. The Internet has been widely instrumental in connecting the world in more than one way. It allows people to communicate, shop online, learn many different subjects online and do many more things.

It is not too long ago that people were dependent on the local radio for news and other information. Thankfully, those days are over now, and the Internet has facilitated an instant communication that we never imagined earlier.

It was during the mid 90s that the Internet radio started growing, and it had a phenomenal growth, as small and big commercial radio stations started appearing worldwide. It is difficult to ignore today’s radio as a powerful medium for advertising, since the Internet connects millions of people worldwide. Many businesses having realized its potential are already exploiting this novel medium for advertising their product and services.

An ever-increasing number of companies are introducing new channels, giving to their listeners an opportunity to convey their feelings with these radio stations playing music through varied programs, as per the interest of listeners. Now, one can enjoy listening to the latest and even the unreleased albums of their favorite singers from any corner of the world, as long as it has the facility of the net. You can also find the details concerning any particular singer or the writer of the song.

Those people who love sports can listen to live commentary of any ongoing cricket or football match. It is quite usual for radio stations to employ online radio jockeys, who easily connect with the audience while allowing the listeners to convey their opinion or post their comments on the Internet.

Advantages of Internet radio advertising for business owners

  • It enables you to target your audience for advertising the services and products you may be offering.
  • You can get a variety of radio stations to choose from, offering various formats, from oldies to rock, and from talks to news, as required by your business.
  • Advertising through radio is far more economical than advertising through TV, and radio ads are easier and quicker to fabricate. Your audience need not wait for the forthcoming issues, as in case of magazine ads.
  • You can get a wider reach, irrespective of your geographical location, as long as your audience has an Internet connection.

Limitations of the Internet radio advertising

  • Anybody can simply modify your ad and use the same for their purpose. Since these ads are of very short duration, you need to condense your ad without sacrificing its content.
  • Radio ads may have noises appearing in the background, prompting you to run your ad more frequently to make it effective for your prospective clients.
  • As most businesses are interested to advertise during morning and / or evening hours, you may be required to pay more for advertising your business during those hours.
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Top Mistakes In Advertising & How To Avoid Them: Part 3 of 10 Part Series Identify Your Target Group

Welcome along once again, I’m thrilled you’re able to join me for a few minutes and what is article number three of our series of ten, on the Top Ten Mistakes in Advertising and How to Fix Them.

As we witnessed in articles 1 & 2, we talked about testing and about the critical importance of identifying each and every ad you prepare. Those should be the foundation for everything that goes out to the marketplace.

One challenge that I’ve run into on a number of times is that my clients have considered themselves to be the target group. And while that may or may not be the case, in the majority you are selling a product or service to fix someone else’s problem, and your tastes as the product or service solution are probably really different from the recipient who needs your expertise, your product your service.

I had one client who was infamously attached to a particular media, and it’s a very fine media, but it was the only one he would use because it was the only one that he felt delivered the message that he would see.

My challenge to him was quite simply, Ian, please remember you are not the target audience for what we are trying to sell, and I applaud you for being so attached to this particular media but it should not be the only vehicle that we utilize.

Now ultimately he relented and we did use a mix including his favorite but used the mix of media to reach a broader platform and still stay within budget.

I think that’s a critical component for too many advertisers. They unfortunately and unwittingly sometimes have blinders on so that they only want to use the media that they see, and recognize, and understand and appreciate and are familiar with, and that’s excellent.

It’s always a good comfort zone to be using something that you know and like and trust, and importantly if you have tested and if it’s working for you keep using it. I have no quarrel with that, however I want you to make sure you don’t discount or dismiss other opportunities… because I never read that magazine, I don’t listen to that radio station, I never get home in time to watch TV.

You’re right! You don’t! But you are not selling to you, you were selling to the hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands who are interested in your product,

in your service and they don’t really care what would you watch. What you want to do is put your message in front of them on the platforms and the times that resonate for them.

If you have a chance to see it that’s great, and you will see the commercial before it goes to air and we can give you scheduling as to when it will be on air if you want to take the time to record it and watch it later.

We can give you a list of the websites that we’ll be appearing on if you want to personally go in and look at it, that’s excellent. But don’t dismiss other media options just because they are not familiar to you. They are familiar to your audience. Your media professionals should be able to put in front of you empirical data showing this is why you need to utilize radio in addition to magazine.

Why online platforms are going to be a powerful assist to the magazine and out of home campaign. Whatever it is, firstly it should be measurable, empirical to justify it, but importantly it has to be reaching your preferred target group.

So as I mentioned at the outset, the chances are pretty good you’re not your products’ target group so don’t just rely on your gut or your instinct or your own taste in media for where to place the ad.

Goodness sake I’ve placed hundreds maybe thousands of ads in media that I know from a buyer’s standpoint and not necessarily a users standpoint. And that’s fine because like it or not, I’m not always a target group for such-and-such a product.

But I do know the right media to get your message in front of the proper target.

So when you’re developing who your audience is, please take the time to be as specific as possible. You don’t want to get so finite that you end up with a universe of twelve people and I’ve seen that happen.

But don’t pick the wrong place or the wrong target group or both and then wonder gee, why this is such a lackluster response. Man, nobody is buying my new space-age shovel, my post hole diggers, my whatever, they need to know that you’re providing a solution and the solution it provides has to be what they need, and has to be in the media that they are going to respond to and act on.

One client in particular was a real sports fan and yours truly as well. Absolutely pick, a sport and I’m there. But they put the ad on the sports radio network because that’s what they listen to. However their primary audience was for younger females who had little, if any interest in most of these sporting programs. It’s disappointing because it was such a powerful campaign if it had been properly directed to the right audience. So here’s what I want you to do.

To fix mistake number three, do the proper research find out who is really buying your product or service and maybe that’s a survey, a store intercept survey, an online survey, a mail out, something that genuinely tells you who is buying your product or who you think your candidates are.

You can get as specific as possible by gender and age, by income and lifestyle, and a host of other demographic details that will help you zero in on them. As much as you’re able. Please do not rely on the universe of one sampling. Well my mom liked that. Oh perfect. Love your mom. You should always love Mom, but Mom’s not necessarily buying the new car ramps or the trampoline for the kids.

That’s not to say they’re not influencers, but understand importantly who is going to be making those decisions. If it is Mom that’s great.

If it’s Dad or a Dad and Mom or if it’s the boss or if it’s the treasurer, or your financial officer in the company you really truly need to know who you’re going after to make ads work harder, be more impactful and importantly cost you less, yes, cost you less.

You will get a better return on investment and give you more to spend for future marketing if you take the time to identify who it is you want to go after. What message you want to put in front of them, and which media to best reach them. Believe me, after three decades, I can tell you it is well worth the research to know your audience.

Okay, so what you’re looking for are some characteristics which consistently define your audience then you can create the message using the right radio station or website, outdoor media, newspapers that efficiently and effectively reaches them.

Equally as I mentioned at the outset take the time to test the ad. Or multiple ads on a small scale to see what works. You’ll have a lot of coding in place and a lot of planning to do but it will pay dividends when you hit the sweet spot of the ad, or the ad in the right media or media mix that bring in the customers.

By the way, many of the local media sales reps should be able to give you detailed profiles from all of their resources to give you a clear handle on who you’re after.

Let them do some leg work. Tell them who you want to reach and in many cases it’s a very specific age and income bracket that you’re after and you want to see how well their media, whatever radio station, magazine, newspaper, it happens to be, you want to see how well their media gets in front of those audience members and eyeballs on a regular basis and can you track how well they’re performing.

Respectfully I don’t mean just ‘Likes’ that’s a certain, KPI that seems to be quite a hot button and that’s great. But that’s not really a true measurement of how well the product is doing. You want a measurable return on investment. You want to be able to say that we spent $1,000 for this ad and it brought in $2,000 dollars worth of new business. Perfect.

If all you’re getting is 500 likes or 35 shares etc.,… that’s nice. That’s not what your marketing should be about. It should be bringing you back at least a dollar for every dollar you put out there. So when you are testing your ads take the time to do it on a small scale. Here’s the best analogy that I will leave you with, you don’t need to eat a whole bowl of soup to find out if it’s salty usually one or two spoonfuls will tell you

Then you’ll decide whether or not you want to eat the rest of it or move on to something else. With that I bid you adieu for number three. I look forward to seeing you in Article # 4- Learn To Be Consistent.

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Marketing and Advertising – Similarities and Differences

Small business owners tend to confuse marketing and advertising as the same thing. Advertising is a very important component of marketing but not the same. Marketing is the process of creating customer interest in products and services. Marketing generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication and business development. Marketing is the whole package and advertising is a component.

Advertising is an important element of the marketing strategy and probably the most expensive. Advertising is about sending messages about a company, its products and services. Advertising also includes putting together a series of methods to target viewers and interest them in becoming customers. Advertising includes placing ads, deciding what media to use, the frequency and the time the ad will run. Different types of media are used to distribute the ads. TV, direct mail, newspaper, Internet, emails, radio, magazines, text messages, flyers, billboards, etc. are among the different media used to distribute ads. Different media for different businesses, not all media is for everyone.

Advertising is simply a part of the marketing mix. The other parts include product research, product design, media planning, public relations, product pricing, customer satisfaction, customer support, and the list goes on and on. All these elements work independently but they all work towards achieving the goals and objectives set by the company, sell products or services and build market reputation. Advertising alone will not produce results and copying what others are doing will certainly fail. What works for some does not necessarily mean that it will work for others.

Advertising is not effective if proper research was not followed. Research is the understanding of needs and expectations of the clients. Designing of the product comes next and can be time consuming. Followed by advertising and sales. Marketing puts everything together as it creates strategies to succeed.

Advertising can become very expensive and worthless if not done properly and if important steps are not followed. Branding is important, but a logo does not guarantee sales, a logo represents the values and the reputation of a company and it takes time to build and to be recognized. Small business owners have to first invest time and money in knowing their clients, finding out their expectations and educating them. After getting to know their clients and building aggressively a database then they should engage in advertising and promoting their products and services. A complete marketing campaign will in this way be successful and generate sales.

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Color Appeal in Advertising

The colors you use for an advertisement are more important than the actual wording of the ad. The reason for this is the colors (and graphics) capture the consumers attention then causes them to read your ad. According to psychology.about.com, “Psychologists have suggested that color impression can account for 60% of the acceptance or rejection of that product or service.”

Each color has different meanings to different cultures. For advertising purposes, it is extremely important to design your ads in a way that appeals to your target market. Try to choose colors that will compliment the message you are sending to your consumers.

Red

Red is a color that symbolizes action, warmth, power, aggression, excitement, drama, fire, blood, passion, love, danger, anger, and heat. It is a highly visible color that will always attract attention. Red will also stimulate several emotions.

Stop signs have trained us to stop and look when we see red. So it is only natural to want to stop and look at a red billboard.

Studies show that people in casinos gamble more in red rooms than room with any other colors. Red is also a good color for automobiles sales, pet shops, pasta shops, pizzerias, and restaurants.

However, the color red is not recommended for medical companies because it signals bad health, blood, and emergencies. Red is also the color accountants use to show that they have a negative cash flow.

Orange

Orange is a vibrant and fun color. It improves mental clarity, promotes warmth and happiness. Orange also increases the oxygen’s flow to the brain. Contentment, fruitfulness, and wholesomeness are qualities that are also associated with orange.

The color orange can help an expensive product seem more reasonably priced. It is the perfect color for products that appeal to a wide variety of people.

Orange is an appetite stimulant. It is a good color choice for vitamin shops, Mexican restaurants, dance clubs, and products that target Latin and French people.

Yellow

Yellow is a perfect color for sunny, happy, bright, cheerful, playful, easygoing, and optimistic advertisements. Ideal for florists, candy shops, toy stores, amusement parks, and discount stores.

Yellow is the first color the eye processes. It is also the most visible color to the human eye. This is why it grabs attention faster than any other color.

Yellow is also a color of caution. Most yellow road signs are warning drivers of a problem in the road or with the on-coming traffic. This is just another reason why yellow grabs our attention quickly.

Green

Green symbolizes life, nature, environment, youth, money, renewal, hope, and power. It is a color that soothes people, reduces pain, and makes us feel safe.

Since green traffic lights have conditioned us to go forward or to enter places, it makes us feel welcomed. This is a great quality for any product or service.

Yellow-green is not a wise color for food advertisements because it is an appetite depressant.

Light green calms people. That is why most walls in jails, schools, waiting rooms, and hospitals are light green.

Green is a great color for financial advisors, banks, and accountants because it signals money. It is also good for outdoor products because it gives consumers a natural outdoor feeling. The color green can be used for green houses, vegetable stands, landscaping, and farmers because it signals life.

Blue

Blue makes people feel calm, relaxed, tranquil, peaceful, wise, loyal, and trustworthy. It helps people accept themselves and resolve their problems.

The color blue also helps increase productivity.

On the other hand, the color blue can also symbolize sadness, and depression. Since most foods are not blue, the color blue is an appetite suppressant that can help people lose weight!

Blue is definitely the most popular color of both men and women. Several well-known corporations use blue in their logos. It is a great color choice for travel agencies, pool companies, masseurs, doctors offices, pharmacies, medical suppliers, motels, psychologists, and weight loss centers.

Purple

Purple is a sophisticated, creative, luxurious, and wealthy color. It is also associated with royalty. A bluish shade of purple tends to create mystery, while a reddish shade of purple is sensual, and creative. Purple with a red tint will get more attention.

Purple is hard for some people (mainly men) to see. However, it is a great color for artists, elaborate restaurants, clothing stores, book stores, art galleries, night clubs, magicians, photographers, country clubs, golf courses, jewelry stores, beauticians, and fortune tellers.

Brown

Brown symbolizes coffee, lumber, and earth-tone products. It is a reliable, solid, strong, mature, and comfortable color. Brown is now considered a rich and robust color.

The color brown is an excellent color for hardware stores, coffee houses, craft shops, herbal shops, health food stores, male haberdasheries, cabinet shops, western stores, contractors, clock shops, and carpenters.

Black

Black symbolizes power, prestige, elegance, style, reliability, simplicity, and sophistication. The color black is more about attitude than anything else. It is a trendy color that keeps consumers up to date with technology. It is also a very informative color.

Black used to be viewed as the color of death, witches, demons, and evil. However, this perception is declining.

Black is a great color choice for music shops, accountants, lawyers, electronic stores, and tire stores.

White

White symbolizes purity, cleanliness, virtue, innocence, and freshness.

The color white is a great choice for bridal shops, weddings, religious groups, daycare centers, medical facilities, wineries, dentists, catering companies, bakeries, museums, historical sites, bed and bath shops, dry cleaners, and cleaning services.

Please be careful, because white is a color of death and mourning is China, Japan, and other Middle East countries.

Once you have selected the right color(s) for your business, be sure to find out what colors effectively compliment your color choice.

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PR Vs Advertising

When you need to create some media impression for your newly launched business, you can consider some basic methods such as television advertising, radio, online marketing, and you can also hire professional PR firms to generate press releases for your business or company. But public relation and advertising are not the same things, and you have to understand the difference between public relation and other advertising methods. For example, when you employ a competitive sales team for your product promotion and for outdoor sales, they generally try to make an effective engagement with a new audience, and they help you to find the possible customers for your products. This is also considered as a public relation technique. But your press releases must not be conducted or held by your own employees, and that could be posted by such reputed anonymous PR agency. Through the second way, people can not only increase their sales volume, but they can also build their brand value in the global market.

What is the difference between press release and advertising?

You can control your advertising and you can create, edit, circulate and restrict your advertisements anytime. Moreover, you need to pay for different advertising modes such as print media, online advertising, radio and television advertising. Remember your last billboard advertisement, which you made by your creative team and you paid the rent for the billboard. But when you go for a market-oriented PR, then you cannot control them with your own team and no cost will be charged for the press releases. Any reputed PR firm can circulate positive and negative PR for your company, and you must ensure that your company is able to have a positive imprint upon the global market.

· Control panel: you have the control panel for your advertising and you can include some impressive images, illustrations and content for your business in your advertisements. Even after a certain time, you can also change your flyer and promote different products with separate flyers. But for the PR, once you release your post, you cannot change it afterward. Afterward, the journalists will decide what to do, and they can nullify your post without informing you. Press releases are more authentic, and clients can customers can consider these press releases as a genuine media impression.

· No deadline: Do you want to publish a print ad in a daily newspaper? Then you should create the flyer and send it to the editor of the news paper before the deadline. Even after the deadline set up by the news paper agency, you have many choices to publish the same advertisement on billboard, other news papers and in online advertisement portals. But if you publish the press release once, you cannot remove it. Different companies as well as online news forums will read your post from the main source, and give their feedback afterward.

· Spinning news: you may think that if you create some positive and impressive advertisements, then reporters will write some positive new stories. But this is a misconception because reporters will not write anything on the basis on your advertisements; they will find the scoops from their genuine source. So PR or press release cannot be modified, spun or controlled by the company. But paid advertisements are the pet of the company.

Don’t try to make a fool of your customer:

If you think that consumers are ignorant about market trends, and you can easily impress them by showing some positive advertisements, then you are living in a fool’s paradise. Customers can test your products once, but if they find it bad then they will start messaging others to avoid your products. So paid ads can provide you limited and initial sales, so if you want to make your company stable then PR is the only genuine public impression policy.

You can hire a reporter or a public relation company to write your press release, but don’t think that they will write their story to impress you. They will test your products, or they will gather some information from your previous customers, and then they will write the press release on the basis of these reviews. So think twice why customers rely on press releases, not on the advertisements.

Your PR cannot be published at this moment:

You want to make some commercial press releases for your company? PRs cannot be commercialized because they need to generate authentic information only. So no PR company, or reporter will convert your commercial motive into their press release, because they are not your employee and they are recruited for using genuine information only. So next time when you plan to generate a commercial PR, you must be ready to get the answer as “NO”.

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Business And Advertising Are Connected In Many Ways

We all as business owners want to have more and more customers in our contacts for encountering a huge profit in exchange of the services and products offered by us. But not all customers come to the business just by wandering around, they have to be called and attracted by the products. This is when advertising plays its role by making sure that the product reaches the hands of the person who needs it.

Advertising is the marketing communication that is used for the promotion and selling of a product or service that is offered by a business. Many people access Fresno advertising to accomplish varied goals and companies use these ads in diverse media for their benefit through many means. In case of a new product launch, it can serve as the pathway towards a larger market, making more and more people aware of the product. The advertisement should be focused on a common problem encountered by people and how your product or service serves as a solution to that particular problem.

One can use this effective means to inform the market about the product and illustrate how the product looks like. Commercial ads seek to generate increased consumption of their product or service by showing the pros inherited with it. Fresno advertising is frequently used for the purpose to show the dramatic product breakthroughs by aggressively highlighting their products. Virtually any medium can be used for the purpose of advertisement and the choice of medium is based basically on the type of product, target audience, popularity of the medium and etc.

The market is analyzed by the advertising agency to understand whether the product or service offered is fit and has all the credentials that will help it to stand in the competition. Customers will never get to know about the product if there is no promotion and advertisement, he/she will not include the product in the decision making process due to this advertising can be both powerful and magical, selling the dreams to the people of the society. The economy also prospers with advertising and allows the people to be aware of the several choices present as well as available to them.

In present market scenario, advertising is crucial and is needed to invite more and more people to use the product in order to quench their thirst. It works as a guide book telling what to buy and what not.

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History of Print Advertising

Advertisements can be found in several forms and in several places. One of such form is print advertising. Ads in this encompass those which are in print on some kind of paper that is handled by potential audience. Offers that are sent via mail or posted in newsletters are well explained in history of print advertising. Let us go through this article to know more about the history of print advertising.

Print media indeed is the oldest kind of advertising which has a long-long history. This advertising strategy started way back in 1468 during the days of William Caxton when he promoted a book that had his 1st printed advertisement.

After which in 1704, Joseph Campbell moved on to include ads in Boston Newsletter. This in fact was a great idea since people started becoming well informed regarding certain people and products. In 1833 period, Benjamin Day got his ‘New York Sun’ book printed which was a combination of advertising vehicle and news. After this, the ‘Edward Book of Ladies Home Journal’ created a magazine ad code during 1910. Since this period, print advertising started evolving with more attention seeking designs and glamour’s. Advertising considered in general has had several significant events in the past but the history of print advertising has surpassed it.

Print ads stand effective only if people view them. When people look through several publications, they get a tendency to receive new details and become more observant about the things that interest them.

This form of advertising aims to attract more and more people towards their services and products, as and when they read or scan publications. Such ads are commonly seen in magazines, newsletters and newspapers. This type of advertising requires lots of planning which is done often by a group of individuals.

Some people get employed in this field to create best ideologies to drag the attention for inspiring more and more people to shell out money.

When we glance through the history of print media advertising, we get these concepts:

A group of individuals are required for creating ideas which further develops into a concept.

Several others are involved in placing these concepts appropriately, since this factor earns them more cash.

Finally, print media advertising becomes a major part of earning revenue for any publication. Mailers are also a kind of print-advertising which range from postcards to note sized white-paper. So, now you would have understood the history of print advertising.

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A Brief History of Television Advertising

It All Began With Radio

Broadcasting was originally developed as a means for companies to sell radios. But once commercial entities realized that many households were listening to their radios a significant amount of time every day, they started to explore this medium as a way to get their message across to the masses. If one has to choose a single event that began the era of radio broadcasting, it would probably be the radio program broadcast by station WEAF in New York City on August 28, 1922 This was a ten-minute advertisement for suburban apartment housing. By Christmas of that year, several major New York department stores joined the fray and were running advertisements for their stores.

By the late 20’s radio advertising had advanced in a dramatic way. It was now dominated by advertising agencies who took control of the schedules by buying the available air time and selling it to their customers. They also handled the creative aspects of the commercials and programs and in fact even created entire series that were designed to sell one product or another. These efforts paved the way for the genesis of television advertising that would begin in a few more decades.

The Era of the Single Sponsor

Full time telecasting didn’t really take hold until 1948 as it took that long for the United States to recover from the Depression and World War II. At that time, the number of television sets reached the critical mass necessary to be considered a medium that could reach the masses. As television was a totally new phenomenon – i.e. offering both sound and moving pictures, the advertising industry moved into this arena cautiously as they were not sure what methods would work best to promote their clients products on television. In other words, should it still be treated as radio advertising but with pictures thrown in or would an entirely new approach need to be taken to reach the television audiences in a meaningful and effective manner?

After study and many surveys, the advertising agencies determined that the most effective way to reach consumers with a strong message would be by creating shows that featured a single product or a line of products from a single company. From this concept arose the typical television shows of the 1950’s including such titles as Kraft Television Theater, Colgate Comedy Hour, and Coke Time. As with radio, these television programs were produced by advertising agencies for their clients rather than the studios as is common practice currently.

This practice worked really well for the clients for a while. But as the television gained more popularity and there were more people watching it, the television networks were raising the costs of doing business (i.e. more eyeballs = more total dollars spent to reach them all) and this upward pressure on the cost of delivering a production over the television (plus the ever increasing costs of creating new content) forced a massive change in the relationship of all the parties: the advertising agencies, the clients/sponsors and the television networks. A solution had to be found if this very powerful advertising medium was to continue to be cost effective for the sponsors.

Enter the Era of Magazine Concept Advertising

NBC executive Sylvester L. “Pat” Weaver came up a with a solution that would work and would also be very favorable to the networks. He introduced the “magazine concept” of television advertising. In this arrangement, the sponsors would purchase blocks of time (typically one to two minutes) in a show rather than be a sponsor for an entire show. This idea would allow a variety of sponsors – up to four was the number imagined – for a show. Like a magazine, the networks would now control the content as no one advertiser would “own” a particular show.

Like all new ideas, this one was originally resisted by Masison Avenue but after a bit of experimentation, they found that this method would work very well for a variety of packaged-goods companies manufacturing a cornucopia of brand names, such as Procter and Gamble with such disparate products as Tide (laundry detergent), Crest (toothpaste), and Jif (peanut butter).

By 1960, the magazine concept dominated television advertising, as it has ever since. Instead of relying on audience identification with a specific show, sponsors now spread their messages across the schedule in an effort to reach as many consumers as possible. The ability to spread their advertising dollars out to reach a broader segment of the population proved to be very effective for the sponsors. Where once they were locked into a specific time block every day or every week on a particular network, they could now choose the times and the networks where they wanted their message to be seen.

This evolution of magazine concept advertising is truly the birth of most modern television advertising. The one exception is the infomercial which is really a throwback to the sponsored show model used in the early days of television advertising.

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Online Banner Advertising

Online banner advertisements are rectangular advertisements which appear on websites and vary a lot in the way they look and what they are about. But they all share the same common objective to encourage a viewer to click on the ad and then be taken to the advertisers website or squeeze page.

Banner ads are available in many different sizes and are measured in ‘pixels’. A pixel is the smallest unit of colour that makes up images on a computer screen. Popular sizes are long banners that run horizontally across the page (full banner at 486 x 60 pixels), large square box banners normally located at the side of the page (250 x 250 pixels) and button banners, normally with several grouped together (125 x 125 pixels).

The size of ad banner you choose fro your work from home online business is dependent on your budget, the position of the banner in the website, the amount of traffic to the website and how long the banner will be online.

What Makes a Banner Ad Effective?

As with all advertising, an effective banner ad is the product of a number of different elements.

Firstly, your banner ad must be congruent with the website. In other words, if your work from home online business is about helping people to make money online it is doubtful that you will have much response if you place your banner on a website about dog training.

The objective of the banner ad is to ‘sell the click’. Make sure that your message is about a want, desire or concern about your product or service, so that viewers are encouraged to click on the ad to find out more. Ideally, you want to aim at receiving one to five leads per day from a banner advertisement.

Do not use loads of busy graphics and, although this sounds odd, do not try to sell – use your message as a solution to a problem. For example, if your work from home online business is about weight loss you could say something like “If you want to loose weight but can’t – click here for the proven method that has helped thousands of people”.

Link the ad to a squeeze page with an opt-in form that provides a little more information and encourages the viewer to submit their name and email so that they can get even more information about your product or services. Ideally this information should be provided free of charge. Then, when they enter their details, they will be on your list and your auto responder emails will do the rest.

You need to establish a relationship with your customer before they will buy from you.

A few other tips include, putting your banner ads at the top of the page, rather than farther down and ensuring that the website that you are adverting on receives sufficient traffic. If your home online business is aimed at a competitive market, such as the make money online market, then I would recommend that you consider websites that receive more than 10,000 visitors per month.

You can check the traffic on websites at a number of different online sources.

How to create an online banner ad

Once you have chose a website on which to advertise for your work from home online business, you will have to supply the artwork for the banner. This is normally supplied via an upload to a link that that website owner will provide you. Often, your affiliate partner or merchant for your home online business will have ready made banner artwork for you to upload to your chosen website. All you have to do is supply the link to where the viewer will go when they click on your ad.

There are also several free online banner creators where you can create your own ad. You can also outsource the creation of your banner graphics. There are many online resources available.

How to book an online banner ad

Most websites will have an area where it will provide details of the costs to advertise on their website. If not, you can contact the website owner direct and ask for details.

To save contacting loads of different websites to find out their rates and statistics, there are several ‘broker websites’ who provide all the information for you. It can save time as these websites provide all the info on costs for a huge variety of different websites.

The cost of banner ads is calculated in two ways. One is for a set period of time (normally 30 days) and the other is for the number if impressions (ie, how often the ad is shown). If you are just starting out with your home online business, I would recommend that you opt for a set period of time. This way you know exactly how much you are spending over what period of time.

Does online banner advertising work?

Some web ‘experts’ say that banner advertising is not effective and some say that it is a very successful way to drive traffic to your website.

As mentioned before, online banner advertising is like any other type of advertising. You must ensure that your banner gets the attention of your target audience and creates interest in your product or service. The ad must encourage the viewer to want to find out more and thus take action by clicking on your ad.

If your banner ad has got somebody to click on it, then it has done its job. It is then the job of your squeeze page or the website page to where you have sent the viewer to do its job. And that is a whole other story.

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Shakespeare on Addiction: Sonnet 129

Something interesting happens every time I teach Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129. I’m reasonably certain the term “sex addiction” didn’t exist in his day – and neither did 12 step groups for it, with Elizabethans turning up in their flamboyant garb – but that doesn’t mean that the problem, and its attendant degradations, didn’t exist. Just ask Shakespeare about his Dark Lady.***

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,

Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

All this the world well knows; yet none knows well

To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

Why am I thinking about sonnet 129? Shakespeare’s sonnets beg for interpretation, and it’s not just because they are formal masterpieces that we should, as intelligent folk, feel compelled to dissect for dissection’s sake. No, there’s more to them than that. His sonnets are relevant today and I’m going to show you why.

A few years ago, I came across an hour long documentary made about Vancouver’s notorious downtown eastside. The area has been ravaged by an influx of drugs and its victims, earning it a reputation for being something of an elephants’ graveyard: it’s where addicts go to die. The film was called Through a Blue Lens and was shot, mostly, by two beat cops who wanted to portray the lives of the addicts living there. It’s not a warm and fuzzy film about drug addiction, but it’s not condemnatory either. Here’s an excerpt:

The plight of those living in that part of Vancouver became a minor cause célèbre in 1999, in part because The Globe and Mail published a photo essay of its denizens that left a lot of Canadians gasping. It made us aware, in a none-too-gentle way, that we had inner city problems just as bad as some cities south of the border. Vancouver’s port is a gateway for the drug trade and it seems at least some of these drugs don’t travel far: they form the lifeblood of those immiserated souls living in the downtown area.

So why look at Canada’s Skid Row when we’re talking about Shakespeare? It’s because his definition of addiction is one of the best I’ve ever read. It’s relevant today and that’s because when addicts talk about their suffering, they report (albeit less eloquently) many of the same things. And when I say things, I mean they report having many of the same feelings and experiences described by Shakespeare. Those haunting sounds of agony — the addict’s anguish — are distilled, painfully and thoroughly, in this poem.

It begins:

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Shakespeare believes we forfeit our spirit – our soul – when we engage in addictive behaviour. The expense, or the price of the addiction, is paid with it. Waste here is used literally (implying that lives are wasted by addiction) and also symbolically to denote a place. This double meaning is made obvious by the use of the preposition in, as “in” a waste of shame. Waste as a place bookends neatly with that other inferno, hell, mentioned in the closing couplet.

Lust is Shakespeare’s drug of choice and the belief is that it was aimed at the infamous Dark Lady, that promiscuous creature that had Shakespeare, and others, utterly intoxicated.

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust

What are the signs of Shakespeare’s enslavement? The form of a sonnet is strictly prescribed: it is made up of three quatrains — three groups of four lines — and a closing couplet. The rhyme scheme tends to alternate lines, meaning the first line rhymes with the third, the second with the fourth, etc. The lines are usually made up of phrases that go towards forming sentences. However, in this quatrain, the last half is simply a list of adjectives or adjective phrases, enumerating Shakespeare’s agonies. And these agonies are stated strongly, with words like murderous, bloody, savage and extreme.

This is a man in the throes of an obsession, an obsession that won’t even allow him to form coherent thoughts; instead he spits out a list of adjectives to convey his feelings. Shakespeare the wordsmith created this list for a reason. It’s there to denote a burst of feeling that can’t be contained.

But does this fury of Shakespeare’s capture the state of those sad and emaciated souls wandering the downtown eastside? I would argue it does and the key word here is shame. Ask any active addict how they feel about their life and you are bound to discover, underneath the anger and street braggadocio, a deep and murky well of it. That shame is what keeps them using; it’s what keeps them from wanting to feel.

After Shakespeare establishes his narrative voice, he turns to the cyclical nature of his malady. In the second quatrain, he states:

Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Here we see the structural and thematic rendering of the cycle of addiction. Let me translate: the addict no sooner enjoys (uses) her drug when she starts to despise its consequences straight (right away). However, beyond all reason she continues to hunt for it, and again, as soon as she consumes it, she hates it beyond all reason because she can’t stop. Then Shakespeare expands the subtle animal imagery and lays blame on suppliers and enablers. Her drug is like a trap laid on purpose and it makes her, the taker, mad. Mad here is being used in the British sense of the word, meaning insane.

It’s usually at this point in my class that I stop and ask students to think of an activity, any activity, they do to excess. Do they spend too much time online? Eat too much of the wrong kind of food? Text incessantly? And it’s also here that I tell them my own little story of addiction, the one that had me frequently rushing to the neighbourhood corner store, in Toronto, when I was a student.

I had an addiction and it was to Swedish Berries, those soft red candies that taste heavenly but are of no nutritional value whatever. These darlings came in handy at midnight when I had an essay to finish and needed a sugar boost. However, the problem was that I didn’t know when to stop. The store sold them in bulk and I didn’t have the discipline to buy only a few. My reasoning, as I stood in front of that bin and ladled in scoop after scoop, was that I would save some for later.

Right.

So I would eat them until I felt sick and this process, over the last two years of my undergrad degree, repeated itself more times than I care to remember. But it was the sequence of events in this process that was important. I would come to the realization it was late. I knew I had to keep working but didn’t want coffee. Then I would think: Hey! Swedish Berries! Great idea! And I would haul myself off to the store, come back and eat way too many of them. Only afterwards would I say to myself: “Did I really have to scarf down that whole bag?” Or: “Good idea? What was I thinking?”

So too goes the cycle of addiction: there is the chase, the consummation and the aftermath. In other words, the anticipation, the imbibing and the remorse. This cycle will be expanded upon in the next quatrain.

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

The first quatrain establishes, through the use of enumeration, Shakespeare’s loss of control. The second establishes the cyclical nature of his addiction. This last is significant because it does not provide new information. However, it does repeat the three part cycle and repetition in Shakespeare is always significant: he uses it to let us know we need to pay attention. Here we are told, again and with more emphasis, that an addict is mad while chasing the drug and mad while consuming it. And of course it is that madness — that inability to reason — that starts the cycle all over again.

But take a look at the second line. Shakespeare reverses the order of the cycle: he starts with the aftermath: had, moves to the consummation: having, and then moves to the first stage of the cycle, the chase: in quest to have. He does this to create the impression of a back-and-forth motion: the addict moves forward and backward, forward and backward, ad infinitum. Why? Because that’s what happens when one becomes addicted: life stalls.

At the start of this article, I said something interesting happens every time I teach this sonnet. Here it is: after I read it out loud, I tell my students to look closely at the panhandlers, especially the young ones, when they pass through the Atwater metro, the metro that services Dawson. I almost always get the same reaction: the class goes silent, the flow of air in the room stops, and these young people, with their futures ahead of them, pay closer attention. This suffering, rendered so poetically by Shakespeare, is only steps away.

And it happens elsewhere. When I drive home, I stop at a busy intersection leading onto the highway. That’s where I often see a young woman, her blonde hair in dreadlocks, holding up a sign asking for spare change. I always give her some and now she knows to come to me. If the traffic light permits, we may even exchange a few words.

I’ve been criticized for doing this — “she’ll just spend the money on drugs” is what I hear — but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how we can stop people from “committing suicide on the installment plan,” as a good friend of mine puts it.

Shakespeare didn’t know either, but luckily for us, that didn’t stop him from looking deeply into that darkness and writing about it anyway.

***I will be, for the sake of brevity and compression, be referring to the narrator as Shakespeare.

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