From the Department of Redundancy Department – part 2 of 3

Anyone who has been the parent of a third, fourth, or fifth grader already knows the truth: it takes a lot of repetition for long-term memory to be affected.

In most school districts students start learning the multiplication tables in the 3rd grade. How much is three times four? Right, twelve. And three times four? Good. How much is three times four? And three times four is…..?

In the fourth grade? Again, how much is three times four?

And in the fifth grade? Yep. Multiplication tables again.

Why? Because it takes a lot of repetition to affect long-term memory.

Of course, marketers know this too. Winning marketers know that it costs the same amount to reach 100% of the people 10% of the time, as it does to reach 10% of the people 100% of the time. The first strategy will fail. The second will succeed, provided, of course, that the message is salient.

McKay’s advice: when forced to choose between reach (total circulation) and frequency, always choose frequency. Frequency sells.

Why? Because it takes a lot of repetition . . .

My favorite frequency media include outdoor, radio, and direct mail.

It’s tough to get frequency in television. Or at least it has been.

People listen to radio stations, but they watch tv programs. Viewers have no loyalty to a particular television station. In the minds of viewers, television stations are similar to their electric service or their telephones. They’re only aware of the provider when the service is interrupted. When this show is over, the viewers will choose another show. Maybe on this station. Maybe not.

Historically, in television the only way to insure that a particular audience is exposed to an ad an average of three times is to buy three ads within the same program.

But My Network TV is about to change the rules. Their first season will exclusively be made up of two telenovelas – drama which is scheduled daily.

So, you don’t like much of what’s on tv these days? Too much reality programming? You like a solid tv drama but the networks have taken away The West Wing, there’s only one episode left of Commander In Chief, and they’ve killed off your favorite characters on ER?

Hummm. Maybe you’ll be curious about My Network TV’s Desire or Secret Obsessions. And if you like either, you’ll be tuning in night after night after night… Monday through Friday, with a weekly summary show on Saturday (in case you missed an episode this week).

I’m thinking that three or four weeks into either show, we’ll all know who’s watching. We can also predict that they’ll be around until the end of the show’s 13-week run. And, I see this as an opportunity to build frequency on television.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m not endorsing My Network TV. It’s too new a concept, and way too many great ideas were stillborn in the marketplace. Plus, we have no idea yet how many people will be watching either program.

But I will be watching closely September 5 when the new network launches.

Will you?


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