Media Vehicles and Their Types

Deciding to include advertising in the communication mix process is a relatively easy decision compared to deciding which media and media vehicle (for example which magazine or which cancel on TV, etc.)

Most of the advertising budget gets spent on the media (and not the creative or production side).This is why a careful planning, negotiating and knowledge skills are very important. Expert media planners and buyers got the best out of the advertising by finding the right spaces or places for an ad campaign at the lowest cost.

There are a wide variety of media available today for the advertisers to choose from. The decision is depended on a lot of factors at the same time it is a very crucial decision since the success of the campaign is highly depended on the media selection aspect.



Broadcast media are quite young in comparison to the printed word. Fundamentally there are two main forms of broadcast: television and radio. Advertisers use these classes of media in order to reach mass audiences with their messages at a relatively low cost per target reached.

The media allows the advertisers to add audio and /or visuals to their messages. The media gives life and energy to the advertising message which is not really possible through other media.

However people are normally unable and unwilling to become actively involved in the broadcast advertising message. They cant consume the pace at which the message  is seen and understood as the time is very short due to the cost aspect. The advertisers are also unable to provide excessive details and information.

As a result the medium becomes more suitable for low involvement products.

Advertising messages through the broadcast media use a small time period, normally 15 or 30 or 60 seconds depending on their budget and the availability.


The word “narrowcasting” is particularly unique to the industry of media specifically that of broadcast media. It is, according to the dictionary, the ability to “aim a radio or TV program or programming at a specific, limited audience or consumer market.”

The practice came to the forefront with the advent of cable television. As this specialty media has matured, narrowcasting has become a fine art.

In the earlier days of Indian television, the two major networks (doordarshans) dominated programming and sought to obtain the widest audience possible. They avoided programming content that might appeal only to a small segment of the mass population and succeeded in their goal by reaching nearly 90% (combined) of the television viewing audience on a regular basis.

The networks maintained their stronghold until competition emerged through the addition of many independent stations, the proliferation of cable channels and the popularity of videocassettes. These competitors provided television audiences with many more viewing options. Consequently, the large numbers previously achieved through mass-oriented programming dwindled and “narrowcasting” took hold.

With narrowcasting the programmer or producer assumes that only a limited number of people or a specific demographic group will be interested in the subject matter of a program. In many ways, this is the essence of cable television’s programming strategy.

Following the format or characteristics of specialized magazines, a cable television program or channel may emphasize one subject or a few closely related subjects.

For example, music television is presented on MTV (Music Television), or Channel V, CMM.ETC, CNN (Cable News Network) offers 24-hour news coverage; ESPN (Entertainment Sports Network) boasts an all sports format; and Star TV, Zee etc, covers the family entertainment segment. Other cable channels feature programming such as shopping, comedy, science-fiction, or programs aimed at specific ethnic or gender groups highly prized by specific advertisers


Recent technological advances have increased the range of new media available to the advertisers to communicate with their prospects and the consumers. New media allows for far greater level of interactions between the advertiser and the receiver.

The new media would include internet and short message service (SMS).

New media is different from traditional media on a number of fronts, bu the most important being the time that elapses between message receipt and response.

With new media the advertisers can target tightly clustered audiences with well defined messages.


The World Wide Web is a hybrid medium, which shares characteristics with mass communication as well as interpersonal communication. The medium combines the ability of the mass media to disperse a message to a wider audience with some of interpersonal communication’s possibilities of feed-back and interaction.

From a marketing view point, one of the implications of this is that exposure and action advertising and transactions can be integrated. Since the medium is interactive, users of the World Wide Web play a much more active role in the communication process than users of traditional mass media.

Where traditional mass media are characterized by an information push, the communication processes on the Web are driven by a basic information pull, meaning that the control balance of the communication process has shifted in favor of the user. The immense body of information available to the individual user further pushes the control of the communication process towards the user, and has lead to a highly fragmented content structure that allows the individual user to pursue his specific interests.

Internet advertising has gained significant momentum across the world and has become a part of the media mix that is being considered by advertisers worldwide.


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