Above the Line

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Above the line (ATL), below the line (BTL), and through the Line (TTL), in organizational business and marketing communications, are advertising techniques. In a nutshell, while ATL promotions are tailored for a mass audience, BTL promotions are targeted at individuals according to their needs or preferences. While ATL promotions can establish brand identity, BTL can actually lead to a sale. ATL promotions are also difficult to measure well, while BTL promotions are highly measurable, giving marketers valuable insights into their return-on-investment. Promotional activities carried out through mass media, such as television, radio and newspaper, are classed as "above the line" promotion. "Below the line" promotion refers to forms of non-media communication or advertising, and has become increasingly important in the communications mix of many companies, not only those involved in fast moving consumer goods, but also for industrial goods. "Through the line" refers to an advertising strategy involving both above and below the line communications in which one form of advertising points the target to another form of advertising thereby crossing the "line".

Above the line sales promotion

ATL is a type of advertising through media such as television, cinema, radio, print, web banners and web search engines to promote brands. This type of communication is conventional in nature and is considered impersonal to customers. It differs from BTL advertising, which uses unconventional brand-building strategies, such as direct mail and printed media (and usually involves no motion graphics). It is much more effective when the target group is very large and difficult to define. The term comes from top business managers[citation needed] and involves the way in which Procter & Gamble, one of the world’s biggest advertising clients, was charged for its media in the 1950s and 1960s. Advertising agencies made so much commission from booking media for clients that the creative generation and actual production costs of making TV ads was free[citation needed] – hence above the line. Everything else they paid for and was therefore below the line.[clarification needed] Since then, models have changed and clients are no longer charged for their media in that way.[citation needed] Used loosely, ATL still means mass media. However the media landscape has shifted so dramatically that advertisers have reconsidered the definitions of mass media. For some marketers the "line" divides the realm of "Awareness or Attention focused marketing" and that of "Interest + Desire focused marketing". Since audience numbers in the Interest and Desire phase of the AIDA sales model narrow down to a fraction of the Awareness audience, the line could be drawn right below the awareness set of activities. Loosely put, everything done prior to a customer's actual entry into a retail outlet is ATL for these retailers, as they define shop-floor activities as the true BTL set of activities which decide on which brand sells eventually.

Below the line sales promotion

BTL sales promotion is an immediate or delayed incentive to purchase, expressed in cash or in kind, and having short duration. It is efficient and cost-effective for targeting a limited and specific group. It uses less conventional methods than the usual ATL channels of advertising, typically focusing on direct means of communication, most commonly direct mail and e-mail, often using highly targeted lists of names to maximize response rates. BTL services may include those for which a fee is agreed upon and charged up front. BTL is a common technique used for "touch and feel" products (consumer items where the customer will rely on immediate information rather than previously researched items). BTL techniques ensures recall of the brand while at the same time highlighting the features of the product. Another BTL technique involves sales personnel deployed at retail stores near targeted products. This...
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