Scheduling Strategies for Advertising Campaigns

Burst Campaigns:

Often associated with the awareness objective, the burst campaign compacts media activities into a series of relatively short time frames, with relatively long periods of absence from media activity in between. This pattern may be used when a new product is being introduced.


Wave method or the flighting method is another kind of scheduling. In flighting, advertisements are bunched with the intention of providing a concentrated impact is another method of creating an advertising schedule. The phrase advertising flight describes the time when commercials are aired. When flighting is used in relation to a scheduling technique, it refers to a method that has advertising going on and off the air. The advantage of the flighting technique is that it allows a campaign that does not have funds for running spots continuously to conserve money and maximize the impact of the commercials by airing them at key strategic times during the campaign.
Frequently when flighting is employed, radio or cable TV will be used to supplement the advertising campaign during the times when television commercials are off the air. This method of media planning allows the messages and themes of the campaign to reach the voter through radio or cable TV, less costly alternatives to broadcast TV.


Henko Stain Champion Powder (HSCP) was launched in July 1994 in South India. It was clearly positioned as a brand in the premium segment of detergents among HLL’s Surf Wash Booster (today’s Surf Multi-Action).

Battling consumer inertia to try out this new brand was its toughest challenge and carving out pride of association was the other issue.

Continuous Campaign:

Another approach mostly associated with reminder campaigns, is to extend the time frame of the advertising message over a long period. The campaign provides continuity of the message, although at the cost of the impact. These continuous patterns are often used for mature products, where reminder advertising is appropriate.Over a long term .this strategy is more appropriate for products and services where the demand is constant or there is a long purchase cycle.There can be perfect continuous advertising, rising continuity or falling continuity.

Rising continuity:

This pattern is used when the advertising circles around a particular event. E.g. the advertisement for Paints generally increases during the festive seasons like divali.

Falling continuity:

This pattern may follow an initial burst to launch a new product or to inform a product modification.

Pulsing Campaign:

A compromise between the burst and the continuous strategy is the development of the pulsing campaign. Here a comparatively low level of media activity is maintained over long period of time, with periodic increases in the expenditure patterns. It is often associated with seasonal or other influences on buyer activities.

Normally, scheduling is done for a 4-week period. The six types of schedules available are:

  • Steady pulse: it is the easiest. For instance, one ad/week for 52 weeks or one ad/month for 12 months.
  • Seasonal pulse: ads are scheduled to meet seasonal peaks by appearing in concentrated doses ahead of buying season. Products like Vicks Balm, Glycodin Terp-Vasaka Syrup, and Ponds cold cream follow this approach.
  • Period pulse: Scheduling follows a regular pattern, e.g., media scheduling of consumer durables, non-durables, etc.
  • Erratic pulse: The ads are spaced irregularly. Perhaps, we want to change the typical purchase cycles.
  • Start-up pulse: It is concentrated media scheduling. It launches a new product or a new campaign.
  • Promotional pulse: A one-shot affair it suits only particular promotional theme. Heavy concentration during a period is the characteristic of this scheduling. For instance, financial advertising of company’s issue.

Blitz schedule:

The insertion of double-page advertisements in three consecutive issues of a magazine is an example of the blitz schedule. There are many more methods of bunching advertisements. However, the purpose of bunching is to provide concentrated impact with a single issue of the publication.


Marathon filler ad:

Heard of repeat advertising, but this is incredible. On 8 April, an ad for an obscure oil brand appeared 22 times consecutively back to back on a channel creating some sort of a freak history (TAM ADex has reported).

A 30-second commercial for Himgagan Tel ran consecutively 22 times virtually like an 11-minute filler on Reminiscent Television’s Punjabi regional language channel Lashkara between 9:26 am and 9:37 am.

The “marathon filler ad” aired on “Nachda Punjab Gaunda Punjab” on Tuesday, 8 April.

The ADex team reported that at first they couldn’t believe their eyes… so they checked the recording again and again but every time the same result came.

The impact the extended ad run had on Himgagan Tel sales was disastrous. A drop in purchases of the product among those who saw the ad was observed.

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