Home Page The Advertising Media Internet Center

Telmar Home Page


Media Guru

Guru Search Results: 574 matches were found

Wednesday, April 04, 2012 #8613
Re: your response to my question #8610 on April 3. Thanks for the clarification. We are fortunate that we are talking about Florida, so with the exception of the Northern border, the DMAs don't cross state lines! We’re working on accounting for those places where there is crossover though, and appreciate the point. My last point was not clear, though I promise I don't believe that grp=reach, or that reach=awareness :-) . Just that grp=reach x frequency, and reach=the number of people exposed to the schedule, expressed as a percentage of the population. Thanks again.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 04, 2012 ):
Even though reach X frequency = grp, you can't assume the same grp produces the same Reach in each market unless schedules are closely matched.

Very different media vehicle / daypart / programming / mixes of 300 grp might produce 75 reach at 4.0 freqency or 60 rech at 5.0 frequency.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012 #8610
Dear Media Guru, My colleagues and I have talked ourselves in circles over the question of weighting grps. We are in agreement (hopefully correct agreement) that we should weight grps by DMA population to create a statewide "average" (this is for a social marketing campaign). However, we also are looking the influence of grps on ad awareness (a survey measure) and comparing the results by DMA. In that case, should the grps for each DMA be weighted (e.g., an index created), or is it not necessary because grp includes reach as a % of the population? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 03, 2012 ):
  • Yes, you would weight grp by DMA population to get an average across a larger piece of geography. Unfortunately DMAs have no respect for state borders, so this will not be a clean process. The New York DMA, for example, touches 4 states.
  • If you are comparing DMAs, no weighting would be involved; each DMA has its own grp total
  • Your final point is bewildering; either you are assuming Reach = awareness or that grp = reach. Neither is true.

Thursday, March 29, 2012 #8606
media guru, i'm trying to work out the frequency for outdoor advertising (specifically London Underground). I have the footfall for my target audience, the footfall is 3137464 for one of the stations i want to advertise in, and the reach for that station is 34%. thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 29, 2012 ):
The information seems to be incomplete. The Guru is also uncertain about the meaning of "footfalls," not a term in use in US outdoor advertising. Let the Guru assume this means what the US refers to as "traffic" or impressions.

Reach must relate to some population universe. So the reach is 34% of what? And if the footfalls is impressions, then it can be turned into a percentage of this universe, which would be the grps. Then grp ÷ reach = frequency.

Thursday, March 29, 2012 #8599
Hi , My client ( i work in GCC ) would like to see the grpS of TV sponsorship , i tried to explain to him , you can't measure sponsorship grps like the spots buys but any how i calculated it based on weighted duration , i just want really good answer to his question saying that what i am sharing with is not accurate

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 29, 2012 ):
Duration is not an element of grp calculation. grp is a measure of audience exposure. Depending on the nature of the sponsorship, such as signage at an arena or a booth at a festival, you might be able to estimate number of exposures based on attendance figures. If so, comparing this estimate to universe gives grp. There are potential complications, but you would need to be more specific about the nature of the sponsorship to explore that.

There is much more to evaluate in sponsorships than grp, of course.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 #8597
If I have a TV buy with 4 stations and have each station buy's reach, frequency and effective reach id there any way to get the total buy's reach, frequency and effective reach from these numbers?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 27, 2012 ):
Ideally, you would use software like our own eTelmar's.

A very crude Reach and frequency estimate can be made by

  • summing the grps
  • combining the 4 stations' reaches by random probability , and
  • dividing the grp by the this reach to find average frequency.
    • .

      Effective reach definitely calls for software, due to the complexity.

Monday, March 26, 2012 #8593
do you need to have a universe for a direct mail campaign or do you just buy the direct mailing database and does that give you all of the people who could potentially see your advert?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 27, 2012 ):
DM is not a grp buy. List brokers sell you X number of "qualified" addresses, typically based on factors like having made some specific purchase, living in a certain kind of neighborhood, or other consumer behavior. Sometimes the potential total of prospects can be known, sometimes not.

Sunday, March 25, 2012 #8590
Dear guru. How to measure impact in print ...say for example i use a full page color adwith 3inserts instead of 100cc ad with 5insets...for same will u evaluate this situation since t grp with increase bcos of t additional inserts....also i wanted to know is impact factored in calculating grp..and how...what abt innovations like talking ad done by vw in many countries....or edit wrapes currently goin in newspaper

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 25, 2012 ):
To be clear, this is how the Guru interprets your query, accounting for the non-US abbreviations, text message-style language and unspecified page size:

'What is the "impact" of a full page ad versus fractional ads in the same print vehicle at the same total budget, and how is the grp calculation affected?'

  • First, actual grps is a simple calculation, only involving audience size and number of exposures. So 5 ads have 5 times the grps of the one ad.
  • If the 5 ads are all in one issue then there is really no added reach. If they are in different issues there will be added reach, so if your definition of impact considers reach, that's one major advantage.
  • Other definitions of impact might be noting or recall and you could develop an impact index based on one of those, for example.The wraps and talking ads would affect these factors, primarily.
By way of illustration, the Guru knows of one test where a comparison was made between one full page bleed ad in one issue and three consecutive one-third page ads in another single issue of the same publication. The three ads cost roughly the same, but had far better recall.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 #8589
I've been told it takes about 300 grp to drive home a message. Does that mean its is 300 grp for a single market, single station, or single radio show? Can it be applied to all three categories? What would determine the spread of the 300 grp if any?... if done for a single radio show, can 300 grp be bought in a single week?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 22, 2012 ):
"300 grp to drive home a message" is nonsense without context.

If it is assumed to be radio, then you still have to think about reach and frequency which can have a range. "Drive home a message" isn't much of a goal, but it sounds like it's emphasizing frequency.

It should be related to a particular geography (market).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 #8585
Hi Guru We are looking to calculate Reach, Frequency and grp points. Ok for example, for our Radio Calculation: We have a grp points of 40 points(20 x 2 - because ads was play twice) as statistic show that the particular FM had 20% of the total radio audience. The Reach is 60 as we assume that each time the radio ads was played, a new batch of 30% of our target market listen to the 2nd advertisement of our radio. Therefore, we will have a frequency of 0.67 (grp/Reach = 54/60). However, for magazine we have a total target audience of 1138540. But the readers of the particular magazine that we chosen only had 28,000 readers which is only 2.5% of our target group. How are we supposed to calculate our reach, frequency and grp points? Please Advise

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 20, 2012 ):
The only valid number you appear to have is the 2.5% rating for your magazine.

  • grp is Rating X # ads, the 20% you describe is share, not rating. The reach is definitely not 60. A very crude estimate of reach could be made by random duplication (see past Guru comment here) on the ratings of the ads. Your rating is probably more like 2 - 5%. Even with your figures, if you did have a rating of 20, which would be 20% of the target market for each ad, how could 30% listen to the second ad?
  • Reach can never be greater than grp, nor greater than 100%
  • Frequency can never be less than 1.0

Print reach calculation is simple for a single ad like such as you describe. Reach = rating (2.5%). grp = rating (2.5%). Frequency = 1.0. For a schedule of multip[le ads you need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar or online through eTelmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables

Saturday, March 17, 2012 #8576
Hi Guru, in your previous answer we mentioned, Reach X frequency = grp. Ratings X # of units = grp, etc. Which reach is this , is it reach(1+) or net reach(3+,or 4+).Thanks Guru

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 17, 2012 ):
The reach being referred to here is 1+, or simple, net reach. The Guru would not use the modifier "net" when refering to reach at 3+ or 4+.

Net reach or reach 1+) always has an associated average frequency, which works in this arithmetic. Reach at specific greater exposure levels is not usually reported alongside an average frequncy.

In the typical chain of events, for a planner, the grp is the first known value, then reach is detemined and finally frequency is calculated.

In reality, the algorithm of simpler models within some software may be based on calculating frequency to calculate reach, but that is just mathematics.

Monday, March 12, 2012 #8544
How to determine the no. of grps at the time of FMCG brand launch.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 12, 2012 ):
Set a communications goal in response to marketing strategy and then see what levels will deliver it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012 #8527
guru..i learnt that to find grp...reach....tvr....there are softwares to calculate that case a mkt manager hw can a client asscertain the believability of these....and if so is thr a thumbrule to ratify this .....thks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 11, 2012 ):
These software systems generally publish their methodologies and describe modeling processes. There are some basic arithmetic relationships that must be observable:
Reach X frequency = grp.
Ratings X # of units = grp, etc.

Sunday, March 11, 2012 #8526
in case of tv..tam is an agency thru which u get tvr ratings...then thru this u find t is this in case of ptint media.thanks adavance

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 11, 2012 ):
Apparently, you are in an unknown country outside the US. The Guru can not discuss tam without at least a country reference.

Sunday, March 11, 2012 #8525
hi guru...whats come first ...freezing reach..or freezing frequency...or grp....can u explian in a sequential manner abt t basics...thks a lot

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 11, 2012 ):
One does not "freeze" any of these. The communications objectives focuses on one or two of these and then determines which best meets objectives, leading to the third.

Sunday, March 11, 2012 #8523
guru..i am a brand mgr....what are t key questions needs to be asked from media planner....2)who decides reach..and @what freqyency...then who decides hw much grp required for a campaign if budget is already given to planner...

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 11, 2012 ):
Given marketing objectives and strategies from the brand manager, the media planner responds with media objectives and strategies and tactics which lead to plan options showing various approaches to meeting the objectives.

Sunday, March 11, 2012 #8522
hi guru.from ur previous answers abt grp...i understood that grp for brand manager is %tg exposed to ad (reach@1) and for media planner its trpxno of i right..pls exlaborate on this..bcos its very imp topic....

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 11, 2012 ):
% of target exposd to one ad is rating. Average rating x # of spots is grp (or TRP) total. grp is gross rating points. "TRP" is the same as grp, simply using the "T" to mean Target, with the "Gross" implied.

Reach is reach. a net unduplicated audience generated by the grp.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012 #8515
brand awareness grp

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 06, 2012 ):
Generally, more grp produces higher awareness. But perhaps you have a more specific question.

Thursday, February 23, 2012 #8486
Dear Media Guru, I'm a little confused. I know that reach x frequency=grp's . If for example I have given a target of Reach+3 60%. Then grp equal to 180? 180grp for how long? A Day? a Week? From what I understand , Effective television campaign needs about 1000 grp . How do I get from the number in a formula to the number 1000? Thanks in advance!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 23, 2012 ):
You are confusing arithmetic with measurement.

When you have reach, frequency and grp, the relationships will always be:

  • R X F = grp
  • grp / R = F
But this does not mean you can just pick any reach and frequncy numbers and assume that the resulting grp from multiplication of these two can actually be achieved. Sometimes a given number of grp will only produce a limited level of Reach.

Further, within any given R&F estimate we are usually refering to total (1+) reach and average frequency.

So if for example, you had a reach of 60 and average frequency of 3, the plan total would have been 180 grp. But within this plan, within the 60% reach, there might be 20% who have been reached with 3 or more frequency,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 #8483
If you are buying 200 grp's in each of 5 markets across the state, can you say you bought 1000 grp's statewide?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 21, 2012 ):
No you may not. grp are always based on a specific population universe.

If your 5 markets encompass the entire state, then you have bought 200 grp statewide. If your markets don't add up to the total state, then you would have to weight in the non-covered geographies.

Thursday, February 09, 2012 #8459
What is the difference of SOV and grps ? and REACH ?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 09, 2012 ):
  • SOV is Share of Voice. This referes to the portion of advertisng in a category contributed by an advertiser. Usially expressed in percent of grp percent of spending
  • grp is gross rating points. This is a ratio of the total of impressions delivered to the target population. 100 grp reflects impressions equal to the population.
  • Reeach is the portion of the target population which has been exposed to a schedule. Usually expressed as a percentage of the target population.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012 #8457
Is there a source that would provide an average CPP for each media channel (Print, TV, ect) across all the DMA's in the US? I have media spend data by DMA, and I'm looking to see "how far a dollar goes" in the different markets.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 08, 2012 ):
No there isn't a single source for this data. SQAD can do this for radio and tv. Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS) has pricing but not grp for most local media. Some, like out-of-home or geo-targeted digital are more complex. SQAD has radio and TV efficiencies but just unit costs for some other media, in "Media Market Guide Local."

Wednesday, February 08, 2012 #8456
how many grps are needed in Greenville

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 08, 2012 ):
A media strategy, e.g. "how many grp" can only be set in relation to a media objective or goal.

In other words: Needed to accomplish what?

Monday, February 06, 2012 #8452
Hi Guru, Is there any ange for grps of TV Ad campaigns , like if a certain campaign delvers 2000 grps or 3000 grps on its desired Target Group.... what actually is the significance of of these numbers(grps).

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 06, 2012 ):
grp express the exposures of an ad campaign as a percentage of the target group. So, 2000 target grp indicate that the ad impressions of the campaign are equal to 2000% of ( or 20X) the target population.

Thursday, February 02, 2012 #8444
I am preparing (or trying to prepare)something to present my client on network TV. Network TV is new to my client and is new to me too. I have bought local TV for over 30 years, but have never had the chance to buy network, so I am starting from scratch. I am trying to decide how to present this to the client. I am getting any my avails and they have ratins and impressions. I don't feeling comfortable presenting ratings, because that does not tell the whole story. Do I need to present number of impressions and CPM's? Do you have any suggestions or samples that I could following. This client is use to seeing grp's and CPP's and etc. by market. How should I approach this? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 02, 2012 ):
In network you show grp and CPP by market, but in this case your market is the entire US. What is missing from your "whole story?" If, perhaps, you mean the avails have ratings by program, then you just need to sum up the ratings of the announcments you will buy to have grp.

Thursday, February 02, 2012 #8440
I am learning to buy network TV for the first time. The first set of avails reflects ratings and impressions. Why impressions? I thought is network was bought off of thousands. Can you help clear this up for me?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 02, 2012 ):
Impressions are thousands. Some buyers look at cost per point (CPP) which calls for grp. Some look at cost per THOUSAND impressions (CPM)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012 #8437
a program delivered a rating of 10% and reach of 8%. is it possible or not?? further to my question and your answer. please tell me if by one announcement you are referring to one program say " friends" and by multiple announcement you meant different programs i.e. "friends" and "lost". correct me if i am going wrong?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 01, 2012 ):
When we discuss reach, we are generally thinking about a schedule of spots in programs. So when you ask about a program rating versus reach, the Guru thinks about a single spot in a program. A commercial in Friends is treated as having the same rating as the program, unless you are looking into issues of data stream, as in Live, Live + Same Day, Live + 7, etc.

Or, if you are specifically asking about an episode of a program, when one episode of the program has a 10 rating, it has a 10 reach. Or if you are thinking about a program episode with an average quarter hour rating of 10, then the reach of the combination of all the commercial minutes in that episode could be greater than 10. But in this case you would add the ratings of all thiose commercial; minutes to get a larger ratings sum or grp.

Now, perhaps you are talking of a lower rated program. In this case if the program rating is 2.0 and you have 5 announcements in it over a period of time, then you have a ratings sum or grp of 10, and the reach of all 5 could certainly be 8. But the terminology must be specific.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 #8430
If I am running a geo-targeted internet campaign, is there a way to calculate grp's?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 31, 2012 ):
grps are based on impressions divided by universe. Presumably, you are getting reports of your geographic impressions delivery. So all you need is the universe for your geographic target

Monday, January 16, 2012 #8401
can we find out the Avg Fre and Reach if have grps per say 500 Given Universe = 50000 Gross impression = 250000 Reach = ? Avg Fre = ?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 16, 2012 ):
No, your data are not sufficent. Firstly, the media types used and the vehiclee within them can yield enormous variation for a given number of grp.

Secondl,y You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar or online through eTelmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables

Saturday, January 14, 2012 #8400
Can you define N-Tiles?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 14, 2012 ):
The "N" in n-tiles is "number." It refers to dividing audiences or other demographic groups into equal sized sets according to a specified characteristic.

Probably the most common you will find in media anaysis is the quintile (5-part) analysis of audience reached according to average frequency.

Suppose your plan had a reach of 60% of the target, and an average frequency of 3.0 with a total of 180 grp.

To examine quintiles, you divide the 60% of the target reached into 5 equal sized groups of 12% of the target, according to average frequency. So the least reached 12% might have an average frequency of 1.0 (frequency is never below 1). The next least might have an average frequency of 1.6, and so forth, with the heviest group at an average og 10+. Some planners look for the top 3 quintiles to have at least a 3 frequncy. Some evaluate wearout by looking for a frequency of perhaps 20 in the second highest.

In other applicstions, such as product usage, tertiles (3) might be used. Ninetiles sometimes are used for other special analyses.

Friday, January 13, 2012 #8398

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 13, 2012 ):
gross rating points:

Sum of all the ratings in a schedule. or

Total of the impressions in the schedule divided by the target population. The decimal is moved so that if the impressions are 1.30 times the population, that becones 130 grp.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 #8395
Have talked with a media agency and they gave me this figures for a certain campaign: - You will achieve around 1300 grpS - 8-10 OTS - 30" spot How is that possible? won't that mean a reach of 130%? I am confused. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 13, 2012 ):
Yes, there are various ways different people and countries use OTS, but one is for average frequency, (the other being a gross measure, so that can't be it, here).

You are correct, these numbers imply a reach of at least 130, which is of course, impossible.

Friday, January 06, 2012 #8390
Hi Media Guru. I am working on a Network Television plan where I need to provide an optimum mix of :30s and :15s spots. My question is, when the mix changes from :30s to :15s, do the grps in the plan double? For example, if I use to have 25 weekly :30s grps and I convert them to :15s spots do they increase to 50 weekly grps?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 07, 2012 ):
Assuming the budget is constant, switching to :15's will double the grp in the plan.

Thursday, January 05, 2012 #8389
I'm working on a plan to reach Hispanics nationally. As a cohesive platform, I'm trying to figure out how to "layer" digital grp's on top of the broadcast grp's we are buying. So for example, if we're buying X grp's on traditional broadcast TV, and X impressions on spanish language websites, how can I convert both numbers for an apples to apples additive grp? Is this even possible? If both universes were the same, it would be easy, but approximately 63% (according to emarketer) of Hispanics are online.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 05, 2012 ):
See adjacent query #8388.

Thursday, January 05, 2012 #8388
digital grp

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 05, 2012 ):
For a given demographic in any medium, grp = impressions ÷ population.

In some media, such as cable TV or on-line, you must decide whether the population denominator will be the coverage of the medium or the totla US population.

I.e. digital grp can be based on internet population or total population just as ESPN cable ratings may be based on ESPN's subscriber universe or on total US TV homes. In either case, it is important to label the grp appropriately when reporting.

Saturday, December 31, 2011 #8381
is it possible to Calculate average of cpp for a country during one year? how? can we calculate it by Media monitoring ?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 31, 2011 ):
If the country has a source measuring spending and grp, as we have here with CMR (Competitive Media Reports) and Nielsen Monitor+ or a CPP projecting / reviewing system like SQAD, then one can readily estimate annual average CPP.

Media monitoring, on the other hand, is a system the Guru understands as a reporting of advertising occasions, so even if grp are included, you won't get to CPP.

Sunday, December 25, 2011 #8377
Impressions calculate reach

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 25, 2011 ):
Reach is more usually calculated from grp

Impressions ÷ population (for the same demographic) = grp

but you really need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar or online through eTelmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 #8372
How do you calculate how many national TV grp's convert to any market? Is there a formula?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 21, 2011 ):
If you mean on average, the average market will have the same grp as the national schedule, If you mean how to determing the specific grps seen in each market for a given schedule, you would use resources like Nielsen's "Network Programs by DMA". Over many schedules, you could calculate DMA indices for the schedules or dayparts you typically run.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 #8369
Dear Guru - I have a question about calculating the average rating per spot of a TV campaign which includes spots of different lengths (I work for an International media owner based in London). I have always been told that reach and frequency are always calculated using the un-weighted numbers. However, is this also the case when calculating the average rating per spot? Ie. is the calculation "unweighted grps / no. of spots" or "weighted grps / no. of spots". Thanks a lot!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 20, 2011 ):
Reach and rating are calculated using unweighted numbers.Weighting for unit length is a technique for comparing values, but not an actual audience measure.

Saturday, December 17, 2011 #8368
Dear Guru As a broadcaster we not have software for computing pre or post evaluation for spots. We only have access to time slot wise rating & reach. I like to know how can we calculate grps? If we are focusing that two spots of 40 sec are to be aired on every AQH. grp are calculated using either Rating or Reach, which is to be used while predicting grps for spots? Can we multiply no. of spot with AQH reach and then add up all to come up with grp of a day or week?.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 18, 2011 ):
grp will equal AQH rating x number of spots.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 #8361
how do i calculate print grps?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 15, 2011 ):
As in all media, (impressions ÷ relevant population) X 100 = grp.
The 100 multiplier is to convert from a simple percentage to "grp"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 #8358
How could we normalise 15sec grp to 30sec grp? or Could we compare the 15sec grp with 30sec grp? if so, how?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 13, 2011 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about the topic.

Monday, December 05, 2011 #8321
Is it possible to claculñate/ convert awareness based on grp's or media spend information?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, December 05, 2011 ):
Aside from a theory that about 10% of established ad awareness is lost in every non-advertising week, the Guru thinks not.

Awarenss depends on so many exernal factors: competitve pressure, coppy quality, target relevance, category interst, media environment, etc., etc.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 #8304
Hi Guru again, question 8303 Client have communication in TV, radio, print, internet, event, outdoor etc. In every media I can have grp, but not all grp are equal in terms of quality. For example 1 TV grp is better than 1 radio grp while 1 event grp (calculating from contacts) is maybe better than TV grp. How to evaluate communication impact in terms of grp, but also to evaluate quality of grp? Maybe to have coeffiecient? Thank you for the answer!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 23, 2011 ):
You must determine the bases of relative value for yourself. There are no established general standards. Many large, multibrand advertisers have developed their own indices besed on measurements or sales / recall / awareness / change in purchase intent / viral effects, etc.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 #8303
Hi Guru, Is there any simple method to evaluate grp quality? For example it is clear that grp on TV is more impactful than grp on radio or other media? Thank you for the answer!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 22, 2011 ):
Each target and product category could have different comparisons. Your tracking of sales results, recall tests, pre/post awareness measures, etc, could give you a way to create relative value scores.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 #8298
Hi Guru What would be the lifespan for a piece of 20 sec DRTV copy? How many ratings would need to be delivered before you felt it was expired. What other guidance can you give about copy life ? The ad in this case would be for car insurance. Thank you Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 15, 2011 ):
The Guru has no rule of thumb for this query. DR is usually bought by units, rather than rating points.

Since response is contantly measured, watch for a response fall-off. If the Guru were guessing, he would guess around 2000 grp. It will vary greatly depending on the size of unit ratings. Many DR spots run in unrated time periods.

Also, 20 sec is an oddly short piece of copy for DR, so normal standards may well not apply.

Thursday, November 03, 2011 #8277
what is the best way to approach a wearout analysis for local market TV. Assuming the same spot runs at different grp's for different marketshow would you compare in which markets the spot may be worn out?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 04, 2011 ):
[none] A spot is worn out when it becomes less able to stimulate consumers.

To simplify this, most advertisers will set a media measure which they have learned, from experience, reflects this point. Naturally, the creative quality will cause this to vary. Also, the size of the commerial pool may mean different levels per creative. Some advertisers will set a wear-out level based on achieving a target group average frequency at the middle quintile. 20 might be about right, or more or less. More practically, this could be translated to a grp level, given assumptions of media mix.

Thursday, November 03, 2011 #8275
say we have a 50 grps for a :30 ad (national)... remind me what happens to the grps if we run a :15 v :60

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 03, 2011 ):
Assuming you invest the same dollars, you would probably get roughly twice as many grp in :15 or hlaf as many in :60.

Buyers sometimes "equivalize," which artificially treats a :60 as being worth double the grp of a :30 and a :15 as half, just to account for pricing.

In reality, a given spot in the same minute has the same rating, regardless of length.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 #8253
Dear Guru, When planning an advertising TV campaign, is there any benefit to running 9-10 daily spots for just three days per week (alternating the days every week, ex: Mon-Wed-Fri, then Tue-Thu-Fri, etc) as opposed to 5-6 spots/day all five week days? The goal is to reach as many contacts within my client's target audience as possible and achieve a high enough frequency. The client for whom I am planning this is pretty well-established worldwide, but is less known/just entering the market in the particular region where this TV campaign would run. Also, is the average of 14 grps/month (based on 30-second ads) too minuscule to even make it a worthwhile campaign given the above goals?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 21, 2011 ):
Even at worthwhile levels, the schedules you are comparing would not be likely to produce significantly different results. However, at a mere 14 grp per month, there is probably a much more effective use of the money than this plan.

Thursday, September 15, 2011 #8213
What the diference between tgrp and grp?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 16, 2011 ):
When these terms are used together, grp is used for household rating points and the "T" indicates Target, demographic rating points of some kind.

Monday, August 29, 2011 #8202
I need to provide my client with grp's for digital. How do you convert the impressions into grp's?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 30, 2011 ):
grps are ALWAYS calculated as: impressions ÷ population.

The issue with digital is to set your population basis. If your impressions are not identified as to age/gender/geography, etc you can only compare the mass of them to the total population.

You may consider the overall population or the digital population as your denominator, as long as you label the grps specifically. Remeber that grp calculations are decimals and should be presented as if percentages. That is, impressions equalling 100% of population equal 100 grp.

Sunday, August 21, 2011 #8189
I have requested and received post-buy analysis' from TV and radio stations contracted with on a recent ad campaign. The reports all look different and are not necessarily apples to apples and I'm not sure what to be looking at as I attempt to summarize the data for the client. I'd like to show gross impressions, but most of the stations have provided the reach as a percentage and I don't know how to calculate GRIMP's w/o an actual number. Should I be considering grp's or CPP instead? What is the best criteria to use to evaluate the data for the client? I'm desperate...Thank you Guru!!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 22, 2011 ):
  • First off, if you are investing money with stations, you should be able to dictate the data you receive in reports.
  • Secondly, reach is not useful for post analysis purposes, you need gross impressions or grps
  • Since market definitions, which form grp yniverses can differ between radio and TV measurements, you are best off using gross impressions.

Thursday, August 18, 2011 #8178
how do you nationalize grps?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 18, 2011 ):
Multiply by the percent coverage of the U.S. where your grps are.

I.e., if you ghave 100 grp in 25% of the U.S., you have 25 national grp.

Thursday, August 11, 2011 #8171
which plan option usually need more grps or is more expensive? a 4wk plan optimised on 1+ or optimised on 3+?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 11, 2011 ):
The Guru imagines one could manipulate media mix to go either way on this.

The question in optimization is usually what is the best plan (media mix) to achieve the reach goal within a set budget. So if your question is "at a given budget does optimizing at 1+ or at 3+ call for more grp?", again the issue falls to the freedom of media mix. It could become quite a circular process.

Friday, August 05, 2011 #8167
When running a TV campaign for a very infrequently purchased Service (bathroom remodeling), is a consistent schedule make more sense than flighting? trying to understand how purchase cycles affect scheduling. Also, the objective of campaign is to generate phone calls for in home estimates. Are there minimum grp levels needed? In a very expensive Tv market and am beginning to wonder if budget is simply inadequate.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 07, 2011 ):
When there are clear purchase cycles, then scheduling can be attuned to those cycles.

You seem to be talking about a category without such cycles.

In branding, current thinking is that the impression closest to the purchase decision is the most effective one.

But you are talking about a direct response campaign. Whatever you budget, you will be tracking calls and adjusting your schedule. SAny budget will have some result. Success will generate added budget.

Monday, August 01, 2011 #8161
Media Guru, How can I take local TRPs & spend and plan for a national buy. For example, we have a local test in two markets with say 80 TRPS/wk for 8 weeks at $XXX budget. How can I determine what that level will translate to nationally?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 01, 2011 ):
This is backwards. If you have a test, you would be testing a national plan you already had created.

A test of a national plan is typically built in one of two basic ways:

  1. "Little U.S.," where each test market runs the same plan as national, or
  2. "As-it-falls," where one determines what "X"' level of national grps would deliver in the test markets and runs that level.
In the first case, to back into national levels, cost out the same plan in national media. In the second case, use Nielsen tools to find which national buys would have generated the local plan you have "tested," and cost out that plan.

Saturday, July 30, 2011 #8157
Dear Media Guru, I came accross research that states, that advertising on smaller tv stations with specific programming generate better advertising and brand recall. The research has been conducted on TV channels in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, by Gfk, using qualitative and quantitative method. It is assumed that the better recall is caused by the fact that people pay more attention to the program they actively selected and while in this model they also remember better the advertising that comes with it. If this is true, we could also say that grp can have lower and higher quality. I remember also from the past that there is research that reveals that prime time spots or certain programs can score better for some target audiences. And here is the question: 1. Does Guru believe the grp can be of different quality, and is there more industry research that shows this? 2. What would be the successful way of taking the quality of grp into account when selecting channels/ constructing buying schedule. Thank you. Hana

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 30, 2011 ):
As the Guru said in Query # 8153, this is a reasonable finding, consistent with his experience. Other research has shown the same. For similar studies, consult The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230. ARF materials will also be available through American Association of Advertising Agencies and Association of National Advertisers.

A grp should always be a grp; a percentage of the target population. Developing weighted or adjusted grps, based on research findings is quite appropriate and commonly done, using an index of results of the "better" programming versus average programming.

Thursday, July 28, 2011 #8154

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 28, 2011 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about "grp"

Sunday, July 24, 2011 #8148
Hi Guru, as a brand manager in a leading packaged goods company, am a bit let down that so many media decisions are based on thumbrules than on validated quanitiative data. Are there any quantitative tools as definitive as LINK is for ad quality testing, that can help answer critical media planning questions below to maximise media dollars? 1/ Effective Frequency: Ostrow tool is not validated, application is highly judgemental, doesnt account for fact that exposure

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 24, 2011 ):
First off, let's consider your own creative-oriented bias here, no offense meant.

Within ad quality measurement there are some measures that are quantitative and within media planning there are some measures that are solidly quantitative. The problem is how the quantitative measures can "accurately" guide marketing action.

Just because you can use proven methods to reliably measure ad quality in terms of recall or intent to purchase and use that to select the better piece of copy, does not mean there is a better way to plan a copy pool, or forecast advertising results except with your own application of judgement to use of these tools.

Similiarly, media planners have identified solidly measurable, quantitative metrics like grp, frequency and reach that, at least directionally, have known impact on plan success. Highly experienced media professionals like Joe Ostrow have built logical ( and, importantly, repeatable ) approaches to integrating these metrics with other marketing factors, such as competitve pressure, brand awareness, market share, category interest, etc.

Each Brands' unique combinations of market factors, ad quality, and goals, make it virtually impossible for a single organization to collect enough sets of media plans / marketing backgrounds / sales results to build a simple, proven model to guide all media decisions reliably. For a given set of results in the quantitative tools and a specific set of advertsing goals, the tools should reliably distinguish better choices. Advertinsg goals handed over to the media planners should guide many of these decisions. Budget vs reach goals versus marketing timing issues; branding vs retail promotion, etc. are key controlling factors in setting :30/:15 mix as well as timing of introduction of different copy. Experience, guided by logic and available quantitative tools are the best we are likely to do, in the Guru's opinion.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 #8146
what is grp

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 21, 2011 ):
grp = gross rating points. Calculations:

  • Sum of all ratings, or
  • (Total impressions ÷ population universe) X 100

Friday, July 08, 2011 #8135
Why do we normalise the grp's?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 09, 2011 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about normalising or "equivalizing" as we call it in the US

Monday, July 04, 2011 #8132
what is the implication of normalized grps in TV weight setting?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 04, 2011 ):
The Guru believes "Normalizing" is the term used in India with the same meaning as the U.S. term "equivalizing."

Equivalizing is used in comparing or combining schedules of different brands / seasons / years, etc. when different copy lengths are involved.

Click here to see past Guru discussion of eqivalizing.

Monday, June 27, 2011 #8124
Is there a way to calculate market grp thresholds?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 27, 2011 ):
You first must define "Market grp Threshold." Threshold of what? Awareness, sales increase, etc?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 #8112

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 21, 2011 ):
CPRP = Cost ÷ grp

Monday, June 20, 2011 #8110
Dear guru ,please let me know what can i do with the following data. Execution cut trough(ECT), Brand cut trough (BCT), In market recognisation (IMR)and TVR grp . please send me some deatils with examples

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 20, 2011 ):
The Guru will start with the assumption that the unfamiliar terms in this query are mostly typos. Therefore, he will treat "trough" as if it were "through."

"Recognisation" will be treated as "recognition."

"TVR grp" will be treated simply as "grp."

Having done all this, the Guru is still left with a group of unfamiliar terms, which are, at least, not standard U.S. media terms. ECT and BCT and IMR might be references to ad awareness and brand awareness.

Even given all this, the question seems to amount to something like, "I have a box of Legos with squares, rectangles, corners and railroad track; what can I make?"

Are these terms from a country other than the U.S.? Are they from a specific vendor's software?

Let's start with a problem or opportunity and see how any of your data helps to resolve it, after you clarify all terms.

Saturday, May 28, 2011 #7971
formula for impressions?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 28, 2011 ):
Rating is a percentage of a universe. Rating X universe = impressions. grp is a sum of ratings and may be used in the same way.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 #7929
re: #7926 Sorry about the lack of information: •Each of the four TV stations is within the same DMA; The cable schedule is based on a number of networks. •Using the report the client gave me, I plugged in the corresponding numbers for another month’s buy where I actually have the combined TV totals. TV’s reach/Freq/grps was 99.4 / 7.1 / 702. Cable’s was 61.2 / 2.1 / 129. •Using the client’s ‘formula’ the average reach would be 69.4 , average freq would be 2.4 and total grps would be 831. •It sounds to me in the above example, I should be weighting it per your suggestion. How do I do that?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 26, 2011 ):
Do you want the R&F of the market where the TV schedule ran or the national R&F combining cable and the one TV market?

  • If you want the schedule of the one TV market, and if the cable schedule is expressed in US R/F/grp, assume the cable R/F/grp is the same in your market as in the whole country.
  • With 99+ reach locally, this almost doesn't matter in this case (the Guru never reports reaches above 98%, as a matter of principle)
  • So the local market reach stays at 99, since there is no room for cable to increase it. The grps are additive, or 831 in total, and the frequency is 831 ÷ 99 or 8.4.
  • If you want the US reach, and again if the cable is expressed as US reach, then use the weight of the market size agains the local reach.
  • Suppose your market is 4% of the US. Then, nationally, you would be adding 4% of 702, or 28 grp to the cable 129, for a total of 157.
  • Now is the trickier part: your local TV reach adds a maximum of 4% of the local 99 reach points to cable's 61, or a max of 65 reach.
  • To properly combine the local and the cable you could run the combined cable and spot though an R&F program with the 4% of grp figure. Realistically, of the 4 added reach points potential, you would probably gain 2 or 3. Of course this 2 or 3 or 4 depends on the market size. But assuming a very generous 4%, your R/F/grp is somewhere between 63 / 2.5 / 157 and 64 / 2.5 / 157, so why fuss?
69% Reach is out of the question, even if your market is New York, with 6% of the US.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 #7926
Hi there. Thank you for your guidance on the used car infomercials vs. used car spot schedule. They went with the latter :) Next question: I had a client average the reach % of 4 TV station schedules and 1 cable station schedule. They did the same for frequency. Then they added all the grps for all 5 schedules, and listed that on the report as well. They came up with 73.74% average reach, 3.54 average frequency and 1838 total grps. That HAS to be inaccurate because the reach x freq formula should still hold true, right? and they are dealing with two different universes as well? Is there a way to come up with average reach/freq for the TV+Cable schedules?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 25, 2011 ):
Congratulations on doing the right thing with the used cars.

Certainly what you describe is wrong, but there is not enough information to correct it.

  • If each station is in a different market, then it is proper to average the reaches, but they must be weighted by market size, and in this case, the grps would be averaged the same way.
  • Frequency would be grp ÷ reach.
  • If these stations are in the same market then their reaches must be combined with a method that considers their duplication. In this case the grps are added. Again, grp ÷ R = F.
  • The cable "station" is a puzzle here. Cable is usually a network, unless either a) you are talking about a local cable origination, such as New York's NY1 or News12 or b) a DMA interconnect or single system buy. If a such a local buy, then it's treated like the TV stations above. If it's a network buy, it's different markets and the weighting approach applies.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 #7920
How do I convert a Demo grp to HH grp? Specifically looking at TV.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 25, 2011 ):
The trick is "conversion factors." This means you have to have some background information and some specific information. There is no conversion method without reference to external factors. Obviously, the women 18-49 conversion to HH will be very different for soap operas than for sports.

As background information, you should have on hand a set of persons-per-hh (PPH) factors. In other words, if the US TV HH population is 115,900,000 and the women 18-49 population in TV HH is 65,970,000, then there are 0.569 w18-49 per HH (demo pop ÷ HH pop).

As specifics, each program or daypart has a viewers-per-viewing hh (VPVH) for each demographic. If a prime time program has 400 w18-49 in each 1000 viewing HH its vpvh is 0.400.

VPVH ÷ PPH yields a coversion factor. 0.400 ÷ 0.569 = 0.70. So, if you have HH grp for this program, multiply by 0.7 to find w18-49 grp. If you have w18-49 grp, divide by 0.70 to find HH grp. You can keep conversion factors on hand for all the programming you commonly work with. Otherwise, you will have to multiply the demo rating by the demo pop to get impressions, divide by VPVH and divide by HH pop.

Friday, May 20, 2011 #7897
Thank you. The infomercial is that is currently running is an Automotive Used Cars infomercial. I want to convince the client to use that money in a :30 sec spot schedule. The comparison is for 49 infomercials and 17.8 HH grps (1252126HH) vs. 1568 cable :30's and 880.8 HH grps (763122 HH). In my opinion, running the same tired automotive used car infomercial in the same areas with low ratings does not compare to running over 1500 spots across 26 networks. You're reaching a much larger audience, and you have more chances to reach them - I don't see the infomercial having the same impact. Who would watch it more than once, let alone watch the whole infomercial? I was just wondering if there was a mathematical formula to compare the two schedules. used car infomercial to used car :30's. I really appreciate your guidance.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 20, 2011 ):
A used car infommercial?? Just being 30 minutes long does not an infomercial make.

The Guru supports your position. On any sort of communication measure, a spot schedule will win. But is the infomercial generating any sales at all?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 #7886
Multi Week Reach & Frequency I'm having trouble totaling R & F across a 4 week period when ratigns are different across the weeks. We tie back to individual program for a single week but not the total 4 weeks. Everything totals fine when ratings are the same across all weeks. I have a 4 week schedule with 1 program Fri 10-11p Daypart Prime Telmar DPT # 6 Demo M1849 July 2010 Book cume data Avg rating Sign on to sign off Cume rtg avg: 391 Primetime Cume Rtg avg: 204 week 1 2 spots 0.9 rtg Reach 1.8 Freq 1.0 week 2 1 spot 1.6 rtg Reach 1.6 Freq 1.0 week 3 1 spot 1.6 rating Reach 1.6 Freq 1.0 week 4 3 spot 0.5 rating Reach 1.5 Freq 1.0 Trying to tie numbers to another company using the same Telmar model they have a 4 week total 4.5 Reach and a 1.4 Frequency. We get a 3.8 Reach and 2.1 Frequency using both an avg rating and a weighted average ratings. What else could we try to tie back to them we have an array for spots by weeks but only one rating for all the weeks???? Thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 17, 2011 ):
In the data you present, each week shows some inherently incorrect data, which makes the Guru suspect your input. But before the Guru points out these problems, it should be mentioned that trying to fine tune reach at such extremly low levels seems pointless. A reach difference of 0.7% is unlikely to be real within statistical tolerances, anyway.
  • In week 1, two spots having no duplication and exactly 1.0 frequency is unlikely
  • Regarding weeks 2 & 3, a single spot cannot have any duplication, so reach will exactly equal rating for any single spot, anywhere. Further, reach can never be greater than grp. And, Frequency can never be less than 1.0; (i.e. anyone reached is reached at least once) your 1.8 reach and 1.6 grp would yield and impossible 0.888 frequency
  • In week 4,similarly, you have an impossible 1.5 grp and 1.8 reach.
The Guru does not understand how "Cume rating" has any place in this discussion, nor "weighted average ratings"

Monday, May 16, 2011 #7880
we buy TV at a national level (so I have grp's by week). I want a report to get actual grps (delivered) at grp level by week. I am told by my media agency that one way to get to that is use PAL reports from Nielsen and extrapolate my National grps to get DMA level grps. However the challenge is that PAL report (which gives market level grp delivery) is available only quarterly, which is not ideal as it will show delivery constant across a DMA , across 12 weeks in a quarter. Is there a more accurate method (or source) to get actual grps by DMA level?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 16, 2011 ):
grp by week is easy to get at the national level. Nielsen tools such as Galaxy Explorer can access grp delivery by program or time period by telecast, by day, week, month, etc.

The core of your question seems to be how to get this data by DMA.

You need to keep in mind that most DMAs only have quarterly ratings reports available, so that hoping for weekly data in all DMAs except by some form of extrapolation isn't reasonable. Only the 56 metered markets out of the 210 total can offer actual weekly data.

A Nielsen report like Network Programs by DMA would allow you to develop quarterly indices of DMA by DMA delivery to apply to each national spot in your weekly report. Not perfect, but possible.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 #7873
Definition: Diary TRPs

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 10, 2011 ):
Diary: A booklet placed with a member of a survey household (i.e. a "respondent") in which the respondent records all viewing for a week.

TRP: "Target Rating Points." Comparable to grp. Some media professionals use grp (gross rating points) to refer only to household audiences, reserving TRP for persons' demographic audiences.

Rating points is the result of impressions ÷ target population universe expressed as a percentage. That is, Target impressions equal to 200% of the Target population = 200 TRP.

Impressions = number of single exposures of an ad in a campaign to a target member; one member exposed twice is two impressions, two members exposed once each is two impressions, etc.

So, the Guru would use "Diary TRP" to mean TRP measured by a diary-based survey.

Friday, April 29, 2011 #7868
converting impressions to grps

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 29, 2011 ):
Target impressions ÷ target population = grp. If the division's result is 1.0, that's 100 grp. 1.50 is 150 grp, etc

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 #7867
How do I calculate TV & Radio reach/frequency, if I only have the grps and total target population? I have media software, but had to manually enter ratings for my demos because I don't haven't subscribed to the market yet.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 29, 2011 ):
Find a subscribed market in your system with similar ratings and use it as a model. Percent reach of similar grp and dispersion plans should be close enough.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 #7866
How do I calculate TV & Radio reach/frequency, if I only have the grps and total target population?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 29, 2011 ):
The input for typical R&F models is much more than just grps. Rating size, dispersion across stations, dayparts, programs, demographics, etc, all come into it. This is why computer models have become the standard approach.

In the old days, planners would have assembled tables that compared reach results to typical reaches, taken one or two of these variables into consideration. see our own eTelmar for possible help.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 #7865
If you know the estimated grps for a TV or Radio campaign in a particular market is there a way to calculate the reach and frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 29, 2011 ):
The input for typical R&F models is much more than just grps. Rating size, dispersion across stations, dayparts, programs, demographics, etc, all come into it. This is why computer models have become the standard approach.

In the old days, planners would have assembled tables that compared reach results to typical reaches, taken one or two of these variables into consideration. see our own eTelmar for possible help.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 #7862
Is there a standard value you'd give to a radio remote?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 26, 2011 ):
No. There are spots to assign grp values. There are promotional announcements to value. There are sponsor mentions. These must be assessed for each remote.

Monday, April 25, 2011 #7860
Is it better to buy to a R/F goal or a grp goal? What is the preferred buying strategy among media buyers?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 25, 2011 ):
Please review the Guru's responsde to Query #7855, just below.

It cannot be deemed "better" to do either without context.

In an ideal or at least professional media world, there are Media Planners and there are Media Buyers. In some cases these are one person, "wearing two hats," so-to-speak.

It is never within the Media Buyer's role to prefer an R/F goal or grp; this decision is part of media planning and based on communicvatiosn goals, as detailed in Query #7855.

Although the planner typically gives the buyer goals expressed prmarily in grp terms. a proper buying platform should be included, describing such details as R/F goals, daypart goals, rating minima, dispersion, etc.

Oftern enough a media buyer is dealing with a single media vehicle, such as spot TV and does not know this element part of the plan. In a plan with an overall Reach-oriented goal, the role of spot tv might be tonnage to build frequency, at the lowest CPP. Or it mighty be a reach-extender. Strategies must fit goals. When one is both planner a\nd buyer, the thought processes for each role need to separate.

Monday, April 25, 2011 #7859
Dear guru: we want to kick off a 4 week TV campaign and alrealdy set the grp target. Assumed that every week have the same condition,i mean the same program ,same drama,same audience scale etc,.if we put a weight like 4,3,2,1 on each week of the campaign named Choice A,put a weight 1,2,3,4 on each week of the campaign named Choice B ,which choice we can ger a high 1+reach & 3+reach.Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 25, 2011 ):
In your scenarios, niether should make an overall difference in 1+ or 3+ reach.

However, in Choice A, you will get more of both in the first week of the campaign, allowing each additional week to build reinforcement on a higher initial reach base. This should lead to quicker results, which could be crucial in a time-sensitive promotion.

Unless you are building a roll-out or deliberately moving slowly at first, as in leading up to a movie or TV program premier, or a short time retail event, the Guru would usually prefer Choice A.

Monday, April 11, 2011 #7846
Hi, I would like to find out the value of grp on our TV channel compared to other TV channels? Concretely, how much more expensive should it be compared to grps' of other TV channels. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 11, 2011 ):
It is common for a channel to charge a premium for higher ratings. And more for higher rated dayparts even within the channel's rates.

Given the same type of channel and distribution and same type of audience, a premium CPP might be 5 or 10% higher or a bit more, if it's the highest rating available, which you have not claimed.

But it's a matter of what the market will pay. Does your prospect see a benefit in a higher rating or are they looking for a more selective audience composition?

This is a complex calculation calling for a careful assessment of your competitive set and sales prospect.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 #7841
Dear Guru, my question is about 30sec grps, how can we convert grps into 30 sec grps. Let suppose i have aired 20 spots of 20 sec each and got 25 grps how can i convert these grps into 30 secs. is there any formula regarding this? is it fine if i divide each spot;s grps by its duration and than multiply the result by 30 to find 30 sec grps (spot duration is 20 sec, its grps are 2, 2/20x30)?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 05, 2011 ):
You need to establish a standard; what is the reason for your analysis?.

Most simple is the linear conversion you propose, where a :20 is worth two-thirds of a :30, but in what context? If you are concerned with pricing or "equivalization" issues, this is appropriate.

However, in absolute measurement, or for reach estimation purposes, a grp is a grp. It is simply reflective of a number of pairs of eyeballs exposed (impressions) divided by a population universe.

By the way, in the early days of :15s, recall measurement showed :15s were "worth" 77% of :30's and some people used that factor in some analyses.

Sunday, March 27, 2011 #7840
In regards to this question yesterday...would grps stay the same or would I halve the :15? Saturday, March 26, 2011 #7839 I am working on a national cable buy and I have to split 20% of impressions into UNequivalized :15 spots from :30. How do I calculate the conversions? The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 26, 2011 ): If you mean split 20% of the impressions you would have had if you had bought all :30s, then Assuming all spots deliver equal impressions look at the number of spots you would have bought deduct 20% of the spots and buy double that number of :15s

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 27, 2011 ):
The context of your query was explicitly UNequivlized. In this context, :15's and :30's have the same grp. Thus the :30's you have spilt would then turn into doubled grp.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011 #7834
Hi, I would like to find out the value of grp on our TV channel compared to other TV channels? Concretely, how much more expensive should it be compared to grps' of other TV channels. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 02, 2011 ):
There are many variables considered in such pricing models. The most common is simple rating size.

Friday, February 25, 2011 #7833
How do i calculate reach, if I only have the grps and total target population?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 02, 2011 ):
Reach is complex calculation. It considers dupication between each advertising occasion on the same vehicle and between occasions on different vehicles.

Realistically, you need software designed for this purpose, or tables prepared from the results of such software comparing grp to reach results and considering key variables. See You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables

Or tables prepared from the results of such software comparing grp to reach results and considering key variables.

Very crudely, you could estimate by combining the ratings of all your spots, according to Random probabilty. Click here to see past Guru resposes about this.. This would be an overstimate

Monday, February 14, 2011 #7832
Adding all time slots ratings% of a day is equal to grp’s of a complete day for a TV channel? Example: 20:00 20:30 rating% has 0.728 & 20:00-21:00 rating% has 0.708 In this case grp would be 1.456 Is this the right way to calculate grp’s for TV channels?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 14, 2011 ):
TV channels do not have grp; schedules have grp

One could look at the available Inventory of a channel in the way you suggest. First you must define the spot length, say :30. Then you may multiply each :30 available for sale by the rating of its time slot, and add this up to get the grp inventory.

Again, the phrasing of the question indicates you are not in the U.S., so the Guru is not totally assured that the systems he is most used to apply in your case.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 #7826
Hi Guru. I am wondering how (or if) you can calculate average frequency without using grps. I am evaluating a range of marketing strategies some of which i don't think the client would have grps for (eg Posters, billboards). So if i can calculate the total number of gross impressions including duplications (which for posters and billboards im still struggling with but i guess thats another question) and the total audience how do i then sort out which impressions are new audience and which are duplications? Is it even possible to get Reach and average frequency from this amount of data?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 13, 2011 ):
If you have gross impressions, you have grps.

Gross impressions ÷ population = grp.

Reach is gross less duplication. And of course, grp ÷ reach = average freqquency.

There are various formulae, rules of thumb and software for calculating reach from grp.

Ask your vendor for their formulae or rules of thumb.

Our own eTelmar has an out-of-home R&F model.

Friday, December 31, 2010 #7822
Q1- What is the difference between media planning audience & media buying audience & how do we measure these if we are working on one brand then how can one brand has two audiences ( buying & planning audience )? Q2- Is media Planning audience & media planning TG is different?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 31, 2010 ):
The Guru sees two ways to answer your question:
  • Sometimes a brand's true target is something of an oddball;. Nielsen measures age cells in 3 or 4 year blocks, e.g 18-20 / 21-24 / 25-29 / 20-34, etc. Yet media is typically sold in broader demographic segments like 18-24 or 24-49.. So, your brand may be really aiming at 21-29, but buying 18-34 which is more readily available.
  • OR, Planners use simple grps, based on impressions ÷ population. Commercial length is irrelevant to this calculation which might be used to develop Reach and Frequency, etc. However, buyers typically "equivalize" to account for the relative value of :15s vs :30s vs :60s. So a :15 is treated as if it had half the impressions of a :30 when buying. Thus a half-the-:30- price :15 has half the :30 impressions and the same "equivalized" cpm.grps are usually not equivalized in this connection.

Sunday, December 05, 2010 #7819
CPRP vs CPM - Follow Up. Thanks a lot for previous reply - I have a follow up. I am evaluating my post campaign TV results across a portfolio of grocery brands. Each brand has a different target audience but there are overlaps (e.g. Hwvs, Women 25-44, ABC1 women etc). The 30 sec $ CPRP for each brand is actually very similar - not identical but within a fairly narrow $ range, but my CPM's are quite different. I get why my CPM's would be different as the universe sizes for each brand/target are very different but does it sound right that my CPRP's should be similar? My theory is that each target watches TV (individual campaigns)pretty much in equal proportions so if I buy 300 Hwv grp's I will get pretty much +/- 300 ABC1 women grp's too giving a similar CPRP. Does this sound plausable? Thanks again.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, December 06, 2010 ):
That's a reasonable analysis.

Thursday, November 18, 2010 #7817
30 sec equivalent CPRP and prime time %. For a given campaign, I have calculated my 30 sec eqiuvalent CPRP's but now need to know my prime time % i.e. the % of my total grp's that appeared in a defined prime time segement. Can I use gross grp's to calculate this or should I use 30 sec equivalent CPRP's - does it make any difference. As the 30 sec equivalents are theoretical I am not sure how they can be ascribed back to an actual rating? Many thanks I love the site.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 18, 2010 ):
Typically ":30 equivalent" grp are arithmetically simple: if a spot is a :15 it's worth half, if a spot is a :60 it's worth double.

Daypart is not a factor at all. Nothing in equivalizing should give any indication of daypart mix.

Perhaps you have an ideosyncratic system? Prime will be the same percent as it was un-equivalized, unless the unit mix varies by daypart, e.g. Prime is all :15 and Day is all :60. If so, you simply have to know these facts.

Monday, November 15, 2010 #7815
I have a client that wants me to run a TV R&F analysis on different grp levels...65, 100, 125, 150 and 200. The reason they want me to do this is, we have just completed a 5 week TV campaign that ended the 1st wk in Oct..1st time client has advertised in 3 years. Client hired a research company and their findings reflected that there was a low recall the last couple of weeks of the campaign. We started with 200 points 1st wk, 250 pts 2nd wk (based on historical info, spike in sales that wk) 150 third, hiatus for 2 wks and then back on air for 2 final wks @ 200/wk.The research company has recommended for 1st quarter that we use low grp levels, 50-65 pts/wk over a long period of time. I recommeded that we run heavy grp's in 1st quarter for all the obvious reasons plus the most important...impact into the markets. We will have been black for 11 wks prior to our 1st quarter placement. We are selling sausage not trying to brand their name. Please give me your thoughts.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 15, 2010 ):
AMIC has lots of material on this topic of Recency vs Continuity vs peaks. Click here to see past Guru responses Briefly, in a situation where consumer goods has little to no seasonality and regular purchase, Recency theory holds that the impression closest to the purchase decision is the most effective one. And that since there are purchase decisions constantly being made, continuity at low but sufficent levels (say, a threshhold of 30 reach per week) is best.

The other side of the coin, for which you seem to be groping, is that you need a certain level of awareness, before constant reminder messages are effective.

A further, important factor arguing against hiatuses, is that whatever level of awareness you establish decays by about 10% of the previous week's level for every week of hiatus.

So the Guru would quickly build to an effective reach level at least equal to your awareness goal and then sustain at whatever level of continuity is affordable. 50 - 65 grp/week should work at that point.

The Guru cringes at metrics like "impact" in such discussions. Goals need to be defined in all the other terms of this discussion:

  1. reach
  2. effective reach
  3. awareness
  4. recall
  5. Etc.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010 #7813
also, how do i convert print circulation into grps and impressions? thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 09, 2010 ):
Once you know the basic formula, it's easy to calculate for any medium.
Impressions = grp X Population Universe.
grp is treated as a percentage in this case, so 100 grp is equivalent to 100% of the population.
Conversely, impressions ÷ population = grp.

Print circulation is treated as if it were household impressions. To get target impressions for these calculations, multiply circulation by readers-per-copy.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010 #7812
how do i convert tv grps to impressions? Can you convert web impressions into grps?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 09, 2010 ):
Once you know the basic formula, it's easy to calculate either way for any medium.
Impressions = grp X Population Universe.
grp is treated as a percentage in this case, so 100 grp is equivalent to 100% of the population.
Conversely, impressions ÷ population = grp.

The only particular trick with the web is that you must decide the parameters of your universe; is it all of the target demographic group in the relevant geography or only the online (web-using) portion of it?

Monday, November 08, 2010 #7811
Thank you for your recent answer on how to calculate the number of trucks required for an OOH advertising campaign. Given that we know the audience,all adults and the size of population by region,we also know the traffic volumes by region and we are trying to assess the number of trucks travelling 500 miles per day required to obtain maximum reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 09, 2010 ):
The missing factor is duplication. So far you are working with raw impressions, a traffic count. In the OOH arena, this is typically referred to as "D.E.C." (Daily Effective Circulation). It would be based on how many times a pair of eyeballs are able to see the truck driving around.

Duplication considers whether the truck is seen by the same eyeballs more than once, for example on the way out in the morning and on the way back in the evening.

Then you must consider whether the same people are exposed to a truck on multiple days of your schedule, let's say one month.

Then you need to consider whether one truck is being seen by some of the same people who saw otheer trucks.

In OOH a schedule of 3000 grp might be needed to generate 90%+ reach, where a few hundred TV grp would do it. Industry groups like Outdoor Advertising Association of America should have some DEC versus reach calculations.

Also consider the OOH applications of our own eTelmar.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 #7807
Is there a formular for calculating grp's for internet?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 26, 2010 ):
grp's are always impressions ÷ universe.

On the internet, the question is how to define each term. Is "impressions" ad page loads, visitor exposures, visit exposures or other?

Is your universe the demographic set's total, only the on-line portion thereof?

Thursday, October 14, 2010 #7806
Hi..Greetings from Egypt. I went through your archive and searched all over the internet to desperately find an answer for this question, so please help. The diary gives equal ratings to the spot regardless of its length. Simply assuming that a :5 grp is the same as a :30 is unrealistic. Also assuming that the :5 is 1/6 of the :30 grp does not seem right and will ruin the CPP. Is there any formula out there to used by a credible source to convert the grps based on duration?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 14, 2010 ):
grp, like impressions, is simply an audience size measure, so duration is not a part of it.

Many buyers use "equivalized" grp, which do allow for weighting by length. This is based on using :30 as a standard, and as you surmise, taking a simple ratio based on relative length.

Even in this scenario, it is common to leave the grp untouched and just manipulate the impressions / cpm.

When :15s were new and various metrics showed they were about 70%+ of the recall value of a :30, that was used as a factor.

If grp are being used in projecting reach, then the idea of holding grp equal makes perfect sense; 100 grp of :05 reaches the same number of persons as 100 grp of :30, albeit much less effectively. You need to make a judgement call as to relative effectiveness and apply it logically. The Guru is not aware of an established standard for :05s.

Friday, October 08, 2010 #7805
how do you combine local market grps?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 08, 2010 ):
To combine local market grps, you need a weighted average using market populations for weights.

Suppose market A has a population of 100,000 and 50 grp
Market B has a population of 200,000 and 20 grps
100,000 x 50 = 5,000,000
200,000 x 20 = 4,000,000

5,000,000 + 4,000,000 = 9,000,000
100,000 + 200,000 = 300,000
9,000,000 ÷ 300,000 = 30 grp average for the two markets. This process can be used for any number of markets.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 #7797
Dear guru: we have launched one burst newpaper campaign which using more than 15 local newspaper to cover different market,and now,we want to know the effect of this campaign. please tell me how to canculate? appreciate!!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 29, 2010 ):
You can add total circulation to look at total impressions of the campaign. Or you can combine the populations of all the amrkets to build a univrse against which to turn these impressions into grp. Depending on the size of the schedule, turning this into reach will be more or less complex.

Sunday, August 01, 2010 #7792
I am putting together a media plan with only print media vehicles. I am looking for a guideline as to the minimum media weight that I should be keeping in mind as I work this plan out. Maybe a minimum number of grpS per month or maybe another measure more suited to print advertising. Another way of saying this is a minimum media weight where my investment makes an impact and is not wasted. A threshhold media weight.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 01, 2010 ):
In print, better to think of what percent of the target do you need to reach and how often in a month. For example, if you want to reach the majority of your target at least three time per month ("50% reach at 3+"), you would build a plan that achieves that. grpS are less used to establish print levels; the number for a plan that delivers a reach / frequency goal can vary widely, depending on whether you are using broad reach, general coverage vehicle or highly targeted, focused vehicles. Different target groups also build reach in different patterns.

Thursday, June 03, 2010 #7788
How would one go about assigning grp's to trade publication advertising to generate a reach and frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 06, 2010 ):
grps are always impressions ÷ population.

For trade media, we generally use one reader-per-copy to calculate impressions, unless you have better information. You will have to know the population of your trade segment.

Monday, May 10, 2010 #7779
why is my local TV reach 1-2% lower when I am running in the prime only daypart compared to running in multiple dayparts? Shouldn't it be the opposite?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 11, 2010 ):
Assuming you mean the same grp level, multiple dayparts expand the opportunity to expose the schedule to different people, even though the average rating of the mix may be lower. Broader exposure is the essence of reach.

Further, let's not ignore the probability that your money buys more grp in other dayparts.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 #7775
What is a formula that can be used to calculate reach and frequency in just one newspaper?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 14, 2010 ):
If you mean reach and frequency for one insertion in one newspaper, the reach is the daily coverage divided by the relevant population (Metro, DMA, Trading area, etc). The grp is equal to that and the frequency is 1.0.

If you mean multiple insertions in one newspaper, it is more complex to calculate.

You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables

Saturday, April 10, 2010 #7773
Which of these strategy helps when?; maximizing weeks on air in a year or doing high grp bursts in particular months, assuming money available in a year is same in both cases or grps that would be planned for are identical

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 11, 2010 ):
The primary difference is whether you have a product with regular, non-seasonal purchase patterns or a product with strong seasonality that benefits more from support at certain times.

Package goods like soad and toothpaste are in the first category, barbecue grills or retailers conducting sales are in the second.

Friday, March 05, 2010 #7768
hi, What are equvilent grps, and how can they be used?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 05, 2010 ):
Equivalent grps are usually :30 equivalent. These are used in evaluating competitive activity or comparing plans using different creative units.

One :60 is treated as "equivalent" to 2 :30s. Two :15s are equivalent to one :30.

Some anlayses may apply these factors to Reach and Frequency evaluation.

Monday, March 01, 2010 #7766
Hi, We compare a group of comeptitive brands and we have number of TV spots and grps for each for a given period of time. We have data as number of spots and their relative grps per brand. If one gets relatively less spots share and relatively high high grp share, can we say that this brand had more efficient plans? Or that also depends on the quality of the ad breaks? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 01, 2010 ):
Prime time, which is not as efficient as other dayparts, has high grp and low # of spots for a given amount of money.

"Efficiency" is specifically a ratio of dollars to audience (grp or impressions).

Friday, February 26, 2010 #7763
hello is it always correct that the smaller the target group the less grps being achieved provided that all other parameters are fixed?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 26, 2010 ):
If you mean less grp per dollar for a smaller group, that is a fair general rule. Sometimes, a given, smaller group is easier to reach than a somewhat larger group with more restricted media habits.

Thursday, February 25, 2010 #7761
Hi, I am working on the automotive segment and I want to compare share of voice for different brand names and models. Is it possible to just unify the target group on which we make the grp evaluation based on, or we use different target for different models? But then can we compare total grp figures from different brand names as total or as models? If it would be possible to compare all of them in case we can use one target group, what would that target group be? total population? or total adult population? or adults 25+? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 25, 2010 ):
There are two approaches:

Are you interested in examining the competition to your brand, in which case you should look at this on your own brand target's grp; or are you evaluating the strenghth and agressivenenss with which each brand markets itself? In that case, use each brand's own target grp.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 #7760
Dear Guru, I have run some data on advertising spending and related grps of a number of campaigns. How do I convert the grps into 30-second equivalent grps?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 24, 2010 ):
One :60 is two :30s. One :15 is half a :30

Monday, February 22, 2010 #7758
Hi again Guru. I would like to take a Poster junior (30 sheets)in a centric Mall in San Diego per $1500.00 monthly. Here are the numbers, (considering 1 panel per 90 days): *Market Pop: 700,000 *Adults 18+: 400,000 avg. *DEC: 874.8145 *grp's: 0.12483064285714286 *F: 2.1123475785714287 *R: 5.3186123207719795 % *CPM: $ 19.06941266209001 I don't know about those numbers so, my questions are: Are a good numbers? Is the Ad in good price? ($1,500.00 /m) I'll appreciate so much your help. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 22, 2010 ):
Something seems very wrong with your numbers.

  • $1500 is a reasonable price for a 30 sheet poster, but
  • a Daily Effective Circulation of 875 impressions, or 26,250 per month is tiny and yields a terrible cpm of $57, around 10 times the outdoor norm.
  • grpS are 12, not 0.12, if reach is 5.3 and Frequency is 2.1, but 12 grps would require many more impressions than you are reporting

Are you certain your DEC is correct? All the problems stem from this low number

Tuesday, February 02, 2010 #7755
About the grp's Media Math Formula. grp's= (# of Panels x per Panel average DEC)/total mkt.....bla,bla. Could you define please, PANEL? Thank's

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 02, 2010 ):
This is for out-of-home media only.

"Panel" equals one poster.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 #7738
Dear Guru, I'm a marketing assistant on an online company that is starting to do TV marketing. I have the following questions concerning smaller sized TV-campaigns; is there any recommended value one should optimally achieve or get when it comes to grp and OTS values? What is a good benchmark? What would be typical in Europe, for a bit smaller sized TV-campains (i.e. not always prime-time and in a limited number of nationwide reaching TV-channels)? Many thanks in advance!!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 18, 2009 ):
There are many minimum theories. A minimum reach level of more than 50% of the target reached at least 3 times is one the Guru finds generally acceptable.

In different media or different countries with different research systems and metrics, the grps / OTS behind this level can vary considerably

Monday, November 09, 2009 #7735
What runs on the network national feed during the time when local stations can run spot advertising? If it is more than just PSAs on the national feed, how are the grps on the national feed calculated, as to not overcount markets that are running their own spot ads instead?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 10, 2009 ):
Network time that is designated for local use can only be used as remnant time (or carry PSAs), since it is up to local staions to program it. Since it does not carry national commercials, it is not rated by NTI.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 #7732
I'm trying to make sure I'm on the right track. How do I determine the estimated percentage of youth (15-24)to be reached by a program shown on one channel (5 times a week) versus an ad on multiple channels (grp 130-140 wkly).

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 14, 2009 ):
The latter case is a simple r&f. The cume within one program s mre specific and must be pulled directly from Nielsen reports. Nielsen N-Power is one suitable tool.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 #7722
I need to convert 4 week reach into 6 week reach. I have the total grps and HH, but I'm not sure what the 6 week reach is or how to figure it out without media buying software and the Marketers Guide to Media only has a table for up to 4 weeks. Is there a formula I can use to figure it out? Please help! Thanks so much!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 27, 2009 ):
The software is the real solution. However, in general, in broad strokes, for mid-level media weights, the six week reach will not be very different than the reach of the equal grps total over 4 just weeks.

For easy access to real software, try our own eTelmar or call our Telmar ala carte service (Sales) @ 212-725-3000.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 #7719
Can we weight magazine grps by position? i.e a 4PC vs an outside back cover? which position is more visible an Inside front page color vs a front cover gate fold?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 13, 2009 ):
The tool you want is MRI Starch AdNorms

Wednesday, July 01, 2009 #7709
Guru, thank you for your insight. Is such a complicated formula needed to create a cover guide? Or is there a simpler equation to calculate this? I’d like to create a spread sheet in Excl to use as a guide when planning.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 02, 2009 ):
In the olden days (1960's - 70's) we made up tables of actual calculated reach and frequency results from measured schedules that Nielsen reported. The table might have rows of grp levels and columns reflecting schedule dispersion, i.e. number of announcements per program or network used. Or, if you have this much information, you can develop a crude "curve" formula.

But you must start with some actual reach and frequency results to build the table or curve. If the formula was as simple as A * B ÷ C3, the Guru would have told you in the first place. There are simply too many variables make it simple.

Different ratings sizes; duplication between one announcement and another; duplication between one station or network and another, different cume patterns of different demographic groups, different ways these all behave in different dayparts, in cable versus broadcast, etc.

Our own eTelmar is one reasonably priced solution.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009 #7708
Guru, Can you help me with the formula to predict reach for television. i.e. What figures/stats are used within the formula and what is that formula? Your guidance is much appreciated!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 01, 2009 ):
Ratings / grps are the usual input. Duplication data, at least in the form of "curve" formulas is also needed. You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables

Thursday, June 25, 2009 #7705
Dear Media Guru, I would greatly appreciate your assistence with the following. Normally we buy tv according to grps. However in some countries tv stations do not sell on a grp basis and we have to buy minutes but we plan on grps with the agencies. Now each agency pitches with a completely different number of grps for the same tv channel mix and time period, % Primetime and PIB. Is the correct way to calculate grps in this case to take the average grp level of the same time a year before or in the case of fluctuations the average grp level of the last 6 to 9 months and apply this to the minute rates to get CPPs. We have proposals which differ vastly from each other and we dpn't know who to believe. Or should we go to the telemetric institute of the country and get the average data over time from them to check the offers ourselves? Many thanks for your help as I am tearing my hear out here Elecgrl

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 25, 2009 ):
Frankly, your question is unclear to the Guru. If the Guru understands the question:
  1. Various vendors are estimating different grp levels for the same schedules
  2. You have a variety of ways to estimate grp yourself
  3. Or you can buy reliable estimates

You simply need to choose one approach, apply it to all vendor offers equally, and proceed to make your buys.

Thursday, May 21, 2009 #7695
please help me understand difference/ relation b/w reach & OTS

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 24, 2009 ):
As other Guru queries have explained, "OTS" can refer to either average frequency of message exposure or to gross numbers of exposures.

Gross exposures ÷ reach = average exposures.

Typical reach calculations use gross exposures (Gross ratings points / grps) as input variables) 0

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 #7688
The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 05, 2009 ): Bookend :15's are the first and last elements of a commerical break. For all practical, purposes, there is virtually no audience growth from the first to the last, usually just :90 apart. So for reach purposes, they are equivalent to a single commerical unit. This is an informed judgement. But by the definition of grp, they are two separate exposures of ads. Just like two separate ads in the same issue of a magazine. This is fact. Therefore, the grp contribution counts both units and reach calculation treats them as one. Dear Media Guru: We, as a buying group, support and understand as an industry standard both :15s in a bookend have the full TRP value of a :30 spot. However, we have been asked to provide documentation to support this fact. Are there any resources you can suggest we could utilize to support this?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 22, 2009 ):
This is a matter of standard definitions.

grp's are simply defined as impressions divided by populaiton universe. An impression is a single exposure of an ad. Length of exposure is NOT a part of the definition. "Documentation" of this fact could be found in any elementary media text or on several web pages with media definitions. Even the wikipedia entry for grp / TRP is clear on this, although it is written poorly otherwise.

It is entirely reasonable to use judgement to assign different values to TRPs based on their commercial length. It is common to create weighted grp measures based on length, awareness scores, recall scaores, etc,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 #7687
Dear MG, When you report deliveries to a client - for the result value how many decimals do you show for grp's, Reach @ 1+ and OTS?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 21, 2009 ):
As a rule, the Guru uses no decimals for grp nor reach and one decimal for average Frequency. e.g.

Reach / Avg Freq /  grp
   37    /     3.4      /    126

In a case where the numbers were very small, perhaps for internet, the Guru might use one decimal for Reach and grp.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 #7664
Dear Media Guru: I'm an MBA student, working on several marketing plans - wondering if you can provide rough guidelines (or ranges) of cost, grps and/or Reach/Frequency by the major media types?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 19, 2009 ):
Much too broad a question. What demographic? Reach / frequency for what level of budget or grp? Calls for too much information, in any case

Wednesday, February 04, 2009 #7662
I'm not sure I understand your answer to this question below. Perhaps you can explain better with an example? I agree with the person asking the question that it is not right to double the grps. Tuesday, November 28, 2006 #7236 Hello Guru my question is about spot TV units called "bookend 15s". I'm not too familiar with them, and not sure I'm asking the question right. I am told that in the process of buying bookends each :15 has to be counted, doubling one's points. Is it wise to halve the points to gauge a more realistic delivery of R&F? It just doesn't feel right to assume the delivery is really doubled, even thought it technically is two exposures. Your opinion is much appreciated, and thanks. The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 03, 2006 ): For reach calculation purposes, count the bookend :15s as one unit and use the double grps. Frequency then is correcltly more-or-less doubled.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 05, 2009 ):
Bookend :15's are the first and last elements of a commerical break. For all practical, purposes, there is virtually no audience growth from the first to the last, usually just :90 apart. So for reach purposes, they are equivalent to a single commerical unit. This is an informed judgement.

But by the definition of grp, they are two separate exposures of ads. Just like two separate ads in the same issue of a magazine. This is fact.

Therefore, the grp contribution counts both units and reach calculation treats them as one.

Monday, February 02, 2009 #7658
Hello - what is the simplist way to negotiate/prepare ratings projections for a TV buy that has points split between 2 ratings books? I have a TV buy that has points falling in 2Q and some in 3Q. Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 02, 2009 ):
The easiest way is to treat grps according to the quarter in which they fall.

Let second be second, let third be third.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 #7655
I´m looking for some generic numbers of average grps (monthly or in a year) required for reaching a national audience (80M pop.) for both a launch campaign and maintenance campaign of Diary products. Sorry for being so generic but this is for calculating number of insertions and budget in a business simulator, really just academic. The total grps are in a year and include both the product launch (e.g. 2 months) and maintenance. This is really an academic question, if you could be so kind to give an insight. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 20, 2009 ):
This is indeed a generic question, so generic that it need to be greatly refined to attempt an answer.

Your first grp "reaches a national audience" if it's in a national medium.

Begin by deciding what level of reach you want in an average four weeks in your introduction and maintentace periods.

Decide what media will be used. From these dat you can back inot numbers of grps.

Monday, December 15, 2008 #7651
Media Guru, We are writing a primer on the value of 10s, 15s, and 30s TV spots for a healthcare client. Although the grps gained for each of these length would be in essence, equal, we are trying to determine the features and drawbacks of each. After searching online, we were not able to come up with much. Can you steer us in a clear direction, or do you have a "formula" of when to use each length under different circumstances?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 20, 2008 ):
  • :30s are the standard and easiest to place
  • :15s are nominally half the price, although only half the message length. They are best used as reminders or to build frequency once a message has been well established. Availabilities in certain circumstances may be limited, so that the "half price" mark is not always readily achieved
  • :10s are shorter, cheaper and communicates still less well. Availabilies are very limited and prices often do not proportionally reflect the lesser length. Use as billboards is more common.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 #7639
what does TRP stand for?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 12, 2008 ):
Target Rating Point. When used, it is meant to distinguish from Household grp.

Monday, November 10, 2008 #7637
How do you convert impressions to grp's?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 10, 2008 ):
(Impressions ÷ population) X 100 = grp

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 #7634
how do you find online grps

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 07, 2008 ):
grp=impressions ÷ population

You will need to decide whether to use total population or online population as your base, and label accordingly.

. You must also consider whether an "impression" is any exposure or to count all exposures during a single site vistit as one impression.

Monday, October 20, 2008 #7622
Hi, Me again #7621. I need to back up. If my frequency is 57 total spots per week - how do I calcuate the average? this is direct response - so do I divide by total days or specific time periods? When I divide by days (7)I get 8.14 - which still makes my reach terrible (4.91%). What am I doing wrong? Over a 4 week period my total grp's are 40 and total spots airing are 57.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 20, 2008 ):
Although arithmetically, grp ÷ frequency = reach, it does not mean you can get there the way you are going.

Reach is a complex calculation of the net number of different people exposed to your campaign, taking into account the duplication of audience between one spot and another on one station and between the audiences of different stations. Once you have determined reach, typically with a computer model, you can devide grp by reach and get the average number of spots (frequency of exposure) seen by each of the people who were exposed at all. No manipulation of the numbers of spots you buy will get you to this average frequency that is a quotient of grp and Reach.

You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables

Friday, October 17, 2008 #7621
Hi MG, I have been asked to do a direct response media plan and include reach and Frequency. I have 40 grp's and Frequency of 57. When I calculate to get Reach I come up with .7017 - does this mean my reach is 70% or am I doing this wrong...?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 17, 2008 ):
If you are right about the 40 grps and 57 Frequency then the reach is actually 0.7017% (Reach can never be greater than grp). But the Guru doubts your frequency. How would you get to frequency without having calculated reach? Don't confuse the total number of messages (commercials / mailings / etc) in your plan with the average frequency of exposure of your schedule.,

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 #7618
Please explain the following on how are they calculated as I cant get it. I couldnt paste the Table so for your understanding the data has 6 Columns & 3 rows.

Markets| Pop ln 000s| Reach 1+%|AvgOTS| Reach 3+%|Avg OTS
MumbaiUA| 3703 | 64 | 9.29 | 53.4 | 11
BangloreUA|1139 | 61 | 7.36 | 43.8 | 10
Thnkx Anoop

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 15, 2008 ):
The calculations are not apparent from the data.

The populations of the markets are probably adjusted census data created by your media measurement resource.

Reach 1+ is the unduplicated number of persons exposed at least one or more times to the relevant media schedule, expressed as a % of the populaiton Complex algorithms are used to model actual, measured media consumption,

Average OTS (Opportunities To See) or "average frequency" in US terms is the average number of times each person reached one or mmore times has seen an ad in the schedule.

A missing datum is grp. Reach X OTS = gross rating points Reach 3+ is the % who have been exposed to the campaign at least 3 times and the next OTS column is the average number of exposures among this more heavily exposed set of persons reached. The same model algorithms will have been used.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008 #7614
Dear Guru! May be you can give me some informatoin about copy wear - out - I mean whо and how analyze level of grp or Reach, main theorys or somethin like that

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 08, 2008 ):

Click here to see compiled Guru comment on wear out.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008 #7612
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using ten-second commercial spots?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 01, 2008 ):
  • Cheap spot = more reach and grp
  • Short spot = less retention, less awareness, less favorable placement

Thursday, September 25, 2008 #7609
In our market, putting an ad in the beginning of an ad pod is roughly 50% more expensive. Given a fixed budget, would you recommend lowering the grp level in favor of first positions or not? (Background: the client was off air for 2 years)

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 25, 2008 ):
Ask your self, what metric will improve by an equal amount to justify spending the extra 50%? Reach? Certainly not. Attentivenss? Probably some. But look at minute-by-minute measures to see how 1st position compares in ratings.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 #7606
Dear Guru, I am planning on buying 3 broadcast networks and a handful of cable networks and need to determine the reach of my total buy. Is it appropriate to take the total grp's across all networks and divide it by my frequency to get my total estimated reach? (Using the reach X freq = grp equation.) If not, what is the better alternative? I do not currently subscribe to a R&F program for TV and need to do a hand calculation. Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 23, 2008 ):
If you knew your average frequency, this would work. But how would you know it without an R&F program?

This sounds like a fairly expensive buy; why wouldn't you have R&F software if you're spending this kind of money?

Try AMIC's eTelmar on a pay-per-use basis.

Monday, August 25, 2008 #7581
How would you buy both a national radio buy and a local radio buy, using the local radio buy to fill in the market? How do you figure grps and CPPs?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 29, 2008 ):
The concept you are looking at is "spot fill." Many advertisers have used this for years with TV plans, particularly package goods marketers. Process is, roughly:
  • Using local market data like Arbitron, calculate the delivery of each network's local affiliate in each market and compare to national goals. That is if your national goal level is 200 grp per week and you find that affiliates in a market are delivering only 150, you must buy 50 grp in that market.
  • Since some markets will overdeliver, the more sophisticated approach is to determine what national level to buy so that not too may markets overdeliver and your spend on local buys is correct. I.e. if buying at 175 grp a week delivers more than 200 grp a week in half your markets, you only buy spots in underdelivered markets, saving some of the national money. Oncve you determine the index of delivery in all markets, you set up a spreadsheet and model buy scenarios wiith national and local CPPs to see what balance of national and local buying gets you closest to an even 200 grps in all markets. You would probably not spot fill in markets that index 90 or 95% of national goal. It usually won't make sense to try to buy 10 grp a week locally.

Local CPPs can scome from SQAD

Thursday, July 17, 2008 #7568
Hello Media Guru - I am trying to figure out the best way to combine national magazine reach and national internet reach. I know that I can use the random probability formula to combine two reach numbers. However, the problem I keep running into is that my base for print reach is total US (based on MRI numbers) and my base for internet reach is total US that is online (based on comScore numbers). Any suggestions on how to combine these numbers? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 17, 2008 ):
  1. Determine what % of your target is in the online universe, say it's 70%
  2. Multiply this factor against your internet reach. That is, if your internet reach is 50%, you are reaching 70% of that number on a total US basis. 50% X 70% = 35%
  3. Now you can combine your 35% internet US reach with your print reach by random probability. Apply the same universe factor to grp. Internet frequency will not change

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 #7548
I need to buy TV, which I have never done before. I work for a very small agency in Pittsburgh, PA. My previous agency in NY had Telmar, but I doubt they will ever have that here, due to the size. With that said, I know nothing about grps, etc. and how it relates to cable & broadcast. How would I learn this, and also, it a client is doing a branding campaign for several months, how many grpS do you want to buy a week? Is there a book or something you could refer me to?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 20, 2008 ):
See AMIC Bookstore (i association with and/or browse go to the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use " levels" (or whatever) as your search term.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 #7536
Hi Guru, My client has asked my to provide the 3+ Reach on the Post Buy. My software (Smartplus) doesn't provide the number for posts, and the tv stations say you can't do it. Any ideas?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 23, 2008 ):
Sort the post results into appropriate categories, e.g. grp per daypart by station or whatever the software requires, and process through software that does give 3+ reach results, such as our own eTelmar

Wednesday, April 02, 2008 #7525
What does grps really mean in terms interpreting it to a client or anyone. for example if you have grps for TV as 537, Radio as 235 and print as 105. Again what does it even mean to rationalise grps for 10 selected radio stations. Infact what is a good grp?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 03, 2008 ):
Click here to browse through hundreds of past Guru responses about definition and application of "grp"

Monday, March 24, 2008 #7522
Ok...I'm grasping the meaning behind grps and TRPs. I've read several of your replies to other inquiries. Right now I'm looking at a post analysis summary from our media buyer. So for example, a particular spot delivered 7.6 TRPS. Does that mean the spot was viewed by 7.6% of P 35-64, our demographic used by the media buyer? And if that is correct, why are they added up, showing 264.8 TRPs for the month? If that final number refers more to impressions, please explain. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 24, 2008 ):
Assuming the TRPs are labeled "P35-64" the 7.6 does mean the spot was viewed by 7.6% of that demographic. It also seems that there are several spots in your schedule for that month, with the ratings of all the spots adding up to 264.8 TRPs. Each spot has its own impressions which equate to TRPs.

Monday, March 24, 2008 #7521
Dear Guru, I need a clear concept of grps. I understand the terminology that it is the sum of rating points but what actually refers to it and what is the rationale behind it. For suppose, I have achieved 235 grps over a period of 40 days and my audience is Male - Female, 18-35, SEC- A & B. What does 235 as a weight refers to. What is the minimum threshold level of grps. How does the calculation works. I am clear on reach and frequency. Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 24, 2008 ):
For any given audience considered, each time there is one exposure of an ad to one member of the audience, an "impression" is generated; there are 2 impressions whether the same person sees an ad twice or two different persons each see an ad once, and so on.

If the sum of all these impressions is divided by the population base (universe) of the target audience, the result is grp, which are expressed as a percent of the population. I.e. if the number of impressions is equal to the population size, the result of the calculation is "1" or 100%, expressed as 100 grp.

Similarly, the impressions of a single ad, divided by the population, is the ad's rating. Thus, the sum of all ratings is also the grps. There is no "rationale," these are simply media terms and definitions.

Different theories and approaches set various grp thresholds depending of marketing goals.

Sunday, March 23, 2008 #7520
How do I convert gross rating points into Impressions?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 24, 2008 ):
Base population of the target for the grp
multiplied by grp ÷ 100
= Impressions

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 #7504
what is mean by universe

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 04, 2008 ):
"Universe" is the total population of the type you are considering within the geography you are considering; it is the base for rating, grp and reach calculations. If your target is Women 18-54 in the US, the total number of W18-54 in the US is the universe.

The information is taken from whatever audience survey vendor is being used.

Thursday, February 28, 2008 #7503
I am new to media buying, especially buying radio and i was wondering what is a good grp to look for? One schedule that a sales rep laid out for me has 42.5 grp, 24.4% reach and 1.7 frequency for the 25-54 demographic. Is this a good schedule? Please advise.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 02, 2008 ):
Schedules are not "good" in the abstract.

Are you emphasizing reach, efficiency, frequency, content or what?

Some very generic rules of thumb:

  • It is standard to buy at least 12 spots per week on a station
  • Some buyers looking for best schedule reach buy each station up to 80% of its cume potential
  • Typical buys include more than one station, so overemphasizing the reach of a single station is not useful
  • grp-wise, 100 per week is a common minumum buy in a radio-only plan at the outset.

24.4% reach is rather low level in a market, so mulitple stations are even more likely to be needed. Unless you are supporting a short-term promotion, evaluating reach on a four week basis is standard; the schedule you show seems like it might be a one week schedule or on a low-rated station. Talk stations and music stations have different patterns of reach building, which is why this may or may not be a "good" buy on this station. Cultural market segment stations, e.g. Black or Hispanic, typically have much higher ratings within their segments and cume much higher reaches for the grps. In the top few urban markets, as many as two out of three of the top stations will be in these cultural segments; their audiences are focused within these segments. You may need to add other stations to expand coverage to a broader slice of of market if your target is spread across all cultural segments. So called "spectrum buys" address such issues, whether you want to spread coverage across all age segments of the broader target, all cultural segments, all income segments, all sub-geographies or whatever other marketing issues apply.

Monday, February 04, 2008 #7492
Hello - when requesting that a tv station provide makegood weight as a result of a post under 90%, how should those makegood points be applied? Can they be applied to a current campaign so the station gets credit for them? Or should they just "wash" against the original shortfall? Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 05, 2008 ):
They apply against the grp "debt" and don't count as part of the delivery of a subsequent campaign.

Friday, February 01, 2008 #7491
Hello Guru, Hope all is well. Is it acceptable to enter into a reach model "1" for an ad in both a newspaper and a magazine if they share the ride, or should it be counted as two separate insertions, one for the newspaper and one for the magazine? The geographical base is the same for both.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 02, 2008 ):
First, consider what you really want to know, and then what are the actual facts and their impact on measuring your media plan.

Ultimately, you really want to know how many different people see the ads and how often.

On the "actual facts" side, the Guru believes you are saying you are advertising in a Sunday newspaper and its magazine supplement, like the Sunday NY Times (ROP) and the NY Times Sunday Magazine.

At some levels, this is equivalent to advertising in two different sections of the the same day's newspaper edition. You would not add to the reach, but you would double the grp's.

In the ROP + magazine situation, the Guru expects that there is a somewhat better chance that the duplication is less than the 2 ROP ad scenario.

However, syndicated research resources do separately measure the newspaper and magazine, and the newspaper itself may have specifically researched your scenario. Get access to these resources and then apply your best judgment as to what use of the reach model best reflects reality.

If you are instead considering a newspaper and the local edition of a national supplement that may have some additional circulation, there may be a slight difference.

Thursday, January 31, 2008 #7489
Hi.Thanks for your answer on query no. 7484. Further, pls clarify if the grp guarantees is a primary responsibility of the Planning or Buying agency?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 31, 2008 ):
grp guarantees are a matter of negotiation. When planning and buying are separated, only the buyers can have any control.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 #7484
Hi. I work in a country where media is state-owned.TV stations do not subscribe to research data.Now, there is a client who would like to have an agency that provides grp guarantees.Since neither the Tv stations or syndicators are not willing to guarantee ratings, do you have any idea on how to go about it? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 22, 2008 ):
If you have confidence in your projecting abilities, it's just a matter of selling the client grps at a big enough margin and "guaranteeing" with enough tolerance to allow you to buy back any short fall and make up the guarantee. Stations can offer guarantees because they own the "merchandise" and have it on tap to use as make goods. For an agency, it's a cash issue. This is a business decision, not a media issue. Will you take the cash risk to get the business?

Friday, January 18, 2008 #7481
Dear Guru, are total weighted 30" grps the same as 30" eq. grps?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 18, 2008 ):
The Guru is not 100% certain what you mean by "eq."

Assuming it is an abbreviation for "equivalent," then it is probably not the same as "weighted."

Equivalent might be a buyers term, analyzing the total value of a buy, accounting for a mix of :15, :30 and longer form units. E.g. :15s are treated as if they had half the grp of a :30 spot with the same rating.

Weighted :30 grp is probably more likely to refer to averaging grp across different markets or population groups.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 #7477
what method can be used to combine frequency between billboards and transit

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 15, 2008 ):
The Guru is not clear as to your meaning when you say "combine frequency." Assuming you mean the combined average frequency of the total schedule;

in any media combination, the combined average frequency is determined in the same way;

  1. Calculate the combined reach, whether by using Sainsbury as in your two previous queries of yesterday and today, or any other method
  2. Sum the grps
  3. Divide the total grps by the combined reach to get average frequency

Monday, January 14, 2008 #7474
TRP levels change from one market to another and countries. With the globalization, US clients many times don't understand that what works in the US not necesarly works in other countries. My question? Do you have a comparison between effective TRP levels in the US vs other countries? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 14, 2008 ):
Even within the U.S., TRP levels' effectiveness vary across market segments like Hispanic vs Black consumer vs B2B vs general market. E.g. the reach/ frequency results of the same radio grp can be quite different in Black of Hispanic radio than general market radio.

Even other countries have significant ethnic submarkets, for example Boers in South Africa, English in China, etc. Media types is another kink.

Your question would have 1000+ answers if it even made senst to attempt it.

Friday, December 14, 2007 #7459
Hello - how can I determine a blended CPP using radio demos that I have data for, i.e., A18-49, A25-54, A35-64, but I ultimately need to report A18-64? Is there a formula to use? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 16, 2007 ):
In addition to the CPPs you have you will need the population universes for the demographics you will work with and the cost of the related spots or schedules.

We will need to find the impressions for A18-64.

You need to have data for other CPPs that can conceivably be manipulated to get to A18-64.

Obviously, if you had 18-34 and 35-64, you could get there. Or if you had 18+ and 65+, or if you had 25-49, 18-34, 25-34 and 50-64.

The first step is to get the "pieces" of the 18-64 audience together. For example, assume:

  • the cost of your entire schedule is $100,000, and
  • 18-34 CPP is $100, and
  • 25-34 CPP is $110, and
  • 25-49 CPP is $85, and
  • 50-64 CPP is $130

  • Assume 18-34 population = 80,000, and
  • 25-34 pop = 50,000, and
  • 25-49 pop= 150,000,and
  • 50-64 pop = 60,000, and
  • 18-64 pop is 240,000

    Divide your budget of $100,000 by each of the relevant costs per point to see how many grp in each demo you have:

$100,000 ÷ $100 gives you 1000 A18-34 grp
$100,000 ÷ $110 gives you 909 A25-34 grp
$100,000 ÷ $85 gives you 1176 A25-49 grp
$100,000 ÷ $130 gives you 769 A50-64 grp

Multiply each population by the grps to determine the impressions in each relevant group:

1000 grp X 80,000 population 18-34 gives you 800,000 A18-34 impressions
909 grp X 50,000 gives you 454,500 A25-34 impressions
1176 grp X 150,000 gives you 1,764,000 A25-49 impressions
769 grp X 60,000 you 461,400 A50-64 impressions

Now add and subtract to get A18-64 impressions:
800,000 A18-34 minus 454,500 A25-34 yields 345,500 A18-24 impressions
345,500 A 18-24 impressions + 1,764,000 A25-49 impressions + 461,400 A 50-64 impressions = 2,570,900 impressions A18-64.

Divide 2,570,900 impressions by the 18-64 population of 240,000 to determine that you have 1071 grp A18-64.

Your spending of $100,000 divided by the 1071 grp yields an A18-64 CPP of $93.37.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 #7447
I have a question about online reach and frequency. We are planning 1,500,000 targeted impressions over 4 weeks in a market where the A25-49 population is 1,300,000. Is there a way to hand calculate expected reach and frequency of the campaign? Is it more accurate to use the population as a whole, or to use only the online population?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 14, 2007 ):
So you have 115 grps, to begin with. The range of reach possible in online is enormous, depending on the sites and placements selected. If you use a third party ad serving system e.g. DoubleClick, you can determine reaches of schedules that have run, and build yourself a model to roughly estimate reach.

Even rougher, you might use a web measurement tool like comScore to get reaches site by site and calculate by "random probability".

Ultimately you want to know a number of target persons reached, soit really doesn't matter which universe you work with until you turn the results into reach percents. Then, be careful to label accordingly.

Monday, November 12, 2007 #7444
Do you know a way to calculate underdelivery of a broadcast TV schedule into cable homes (i.e. individual deliveries of a schedule into non-cable and cable homes)? And as a follow up, how can I estimate how much cable is needed to even out delivery in both non-cable and cable households?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 12, 2007 ):
This is a matter of measurement more than calculation. A post-analysis type computer run should be able to separate audience for the cable subscriber universe vs the entire market.

Once this has been done, the added cable grps required are readily calculated.

Note that there may not in fact be underdelivery. Cable homes may watch more tv of all types than do non-cable homes, and of course, cable homes receive all the broadcast channels.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007 #7441
I want to test high profile TV & Cable in 3 mid sized markets. What are good A35-54 grp levels just in Prime? What kind of R/F will that deliver?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 09, 2007 ):
"Good grp levels" is a nebulous term.

100 per week is a nice round number. That might deliver 78 reach in 4 weeks. Short term promotions call for higher levels, continuous maintenance needs lower levels.

What are you really testing? Something versus nothing? or TV / cable versus alternate media?

Monday, November 05, 2007 #7440
Is there an industry standard or formula I can use to estimate length of time it would take to brand a new company in small regional areas from a media standpoint. Is there a goal to set for grps or impressions? I understandn the short answer is probably "no" with so many variables to take into consideration but I am hoping for maybe some parameters and goals to shoot for. thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 05, 2007 ):
You are right that there are many elements here beyond duration of media exposure.

Your biggest issue in looking for formulas is quantifying your terms.

First off, how do you quantify "to brand?" What factors define a "branded" company?

  • There must be awareness, certainly (how much?)
  • The awareness must be positive and relate to the brand character desired.
The latter depends on creative as much if not more than media. The creative must say something positive about the company, it must say something that supports the branding message and it must be memorable.

From a media perspective, awareness correlates strongly with reach and frequency. Ad awareness will never be greater than the reach level achieved, and will not equal that level without sufficient frequency. This is why some planners look only at reach at 3+ frequency or some other frequency level judged effective.

Using the best media, whether described in terms of environment, "engagement" or other impact descriptors, is important.

Budget is also a controlling factor. Time-wise, "branding" would be likely to be achieved sooner if higher grp levels were used.

Thursday, October 25, 2007 #7434
Could you please, explain definetely what is grp Wieving in Outdoor advertising. Is it daily potential reach (%)or cumuilative audience (grp,s)calculated basing on estimated D.E.C.? It'll be so usefull in case you demonstrate some formulas and examples of grp Showing calculation. Thank you for the co-operation.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 26, 2007 ):
As in all media, grp's are impressions ÷ population base. DEC may be used as the daily impressions figure for outdoor.

grp's are neither reach nor reach potential. Outdoor schedules' grps are typically in the several hundred to 2000 - 3000 per month range while reach can only be up to (theoretically) 100%.

Typical outdoor buys are 25, 50 or 100 grp ( or "showing") referring to grp per day.

100 grp outdoor buys do approach 95% reach per month.

Thursday, October 11, 2007 #7430
For newspapers, is it better to evaluate based on grps or impressions knowing that grps will not be as indicative considering the position and size of the ad?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 11, 2007 ):
grp and impressions are equally unrelated to ad size and position. grp is simply impressions divided by population

Thursday, October 11, 2007 #7429
Can I add print to tv grps?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 11, 2007 ):

Monday, October 08, 2007 #7426
Media Guru, Why is 100 grps the standard or minimum for a weekly radio buy in a MSA? Is there a research article I can show our clients in order to explain?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 09, 2007 ):
100 grp is simply a nice, round number. Other relevant radio "standards" include buying a minumum of 12 spots a week on a station or buyung enough spots on a station to reach 75-80% of the cume (reach) potential.

More practically, 100 grp per week will deliver about 45 - 65 reach over 4 weeks, depending on number of stations, demographic target, average rating, etc.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 #7419
Dear Guru, Can you tell me what a "spot load" buy is within cable? And when would would you purchase cable utilizing this method instead of against your grp goals?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 28, 2007 ):
"Spot load buy" does not seem to be a standard cable buying term, at least among the Guru's major cable-player associates. The implication is that it refers to buying spots in high volume, most likely in cases where locally concentrated promotional frequency is mandated or where the cable outlets are too small or too localized to have ratings available.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 #7412
Dear guru : First , i d'like to say i love this website so has been 7 months since i first came here and almost every day i came here to find something, thank you for all your kindness. i want to ask some Pricing question on TV station. In our city, the rating measurement wil be change from Dairy to peoplemeter. it is said that the rating will decline. our company will offer some advice to one of our client, a Local TV station,to make some adjustment on its pricing sysytem. Because The TV station sighed the order with its client according to a projected grp,if the rating declined ,TV station will lose some bebefit,what do you think how to adjust the Price, to waht extent we should adjust? thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 12, 2007 ):
Thank you for your comments.

First of all, examine the specific terms of the deal. If the deal is based on a specific ratings system, it should be judged on that ratings system. Typically, ratings services keep an old system running in parallel to a new system for some months to allow subscribers to determine what differences are artifacts of the measurement.

Going forward, the station should change its cost per grp according to the new system so that cost per spot remains constant. Advertising value of a spot has not changed, merely its measurement. change

Tuesday, September 04, 2007 #7411
I have recently heard about "noticeability" value to compare media, in a paradigm shift from CPT (cost per thousand) to CPNP (cost per noticeability point) thereby creating a new currency for press planning and buying. Can you shed some light on this and are there "noticeability" values generally agreed upon by media buyers for specific media? For example, I kow a media buyer who uses 37% of traffic counts as her noticeability value for a given billboard. Thanks Guru!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 05, 2007 ):
The concept is not new. Under the name "noticeabilty," it seems to have some currency in India, promoted by Lodestar.

Overall it is a matter of developing factors to adjust grps based on measures of noting, or awareness.

That is, an ad in a given magazine has the same grp whether it's 4-color or black and white, whether it's a spread or a quarter page. grp is only an audience measure.

Obviously, the 4-color spread has a better chance of being noticed than the b/w quarter page. Measures like Starch AdNorms have historically been the primary scale for this concept in print, and can allow planners to build adjustment scales for noticeabilty points if they desire. Since judgement is involved, the Guru doubts this will become an actual currency for media negotiation, but it can be a useful planning tool. The media already sell 4-color spreads for a different price than b/w quarter pages, but the price difference may be far out of proportion to your noticability scale.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 #7409
Our client is a franchisee of a national company. He has asked us (in so many words) what is the local penetration of national cable into his markets (grps or reach/frequency). Can you let me know how to calculate this. thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 29, 2007 ):
grps or reach are results of buying a schedule, not factors of market penetration. What your client should ask is
  • What is the local cable coverage of his market (what % of markets' TV homes are cable subscribers?
  • or, less usefully, what is the reach potential of cable in these markets?

In either case, consult a spot cable vendor like SpotCable

Monday, August 13, 2007 #7403
Dear Guru: How would you calculate gross impressions for a 30 minute long form program? For example, if the program does a 1.0 rating would you estimate add'l weighting for the messaging being exposed for 30 minutes vs. the typical :30 second?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 19, 2007 ):
grps are simply a factor of audience count. They don't reflect duration. grps don't change for :10, :30, or :60 commercials. You may make any judgment you believe about the added added value for a 30 minute exposure. The value probably should reflect a sales or response difference.

Thursday, August 02, 2007 #7400
How do you express spot grps on a national basis? Or, how do you take spot grps and make them equivalent to national?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 02, 2007 ):
Spot grp x %US coverage in market = national grp.

Convert market by market and sum across markets.

Monday, July 23, 2007 #7394
Thanks for answering my previous question. In my previous question " forecast" means forecast. I would like to know if there is any way to find out future grp figures for channel on the basis of channel share or reach figure. i.e if we have 100 grp for 'x' channel in this schedule now when i am planning for the same brand and this month on the basis of channel share or reach figures can i calculate have actual grp figures. example if 100 grp are planned for 'X' channel then what will actual number of grp I will have in next month or next two month... Thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 29, 2007 ):
The usual process is to estimate ("project") rating for each program in the schedule, typically using latest program share and usage levels of the time period for the season, tweaked with judgement.

Reach will not come into it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007 #7393
Hi Guru, Can we forecast grp figures using any variable like reach, channel share or TVR. If yes, then could please let me know which formula i should used?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 21, 2007 ):
It is not clear what you mean by "forecast." grps are a sum of TV ratings in a schedule.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007 #7382
Question: figuring CPP and grps on radio media buy From: narinj

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 03, 2007 ):
grps are the total of the ratings of the announcements in the schedule. Ratings coem from an audience measurement service, such as Arbitron, in the US, for example.

CPP is simply cost ÷ rating.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 #7369
Adding onto a previous question: If you start from 0 awareness for a supermarket item, is there a formula for achieving a specified awareness level over a specified time? eg: 1000 grps yields 25% awareness in 6 months

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 21, 2007 ):
No specific formula, because awareness depends on much more than media weight, including media mix and creative. Click here to see past Guru responses about awareness.

Thursday, June 14, 2007 #7367
Again Guru, I have been asking questions out of much curiosity as im studying and need to get such answers to increase my knowledge base, So to ask you again, I know the calculation of grp's but I dont understand its relevance, A rating point is reaching one percent of the universe, grp is sum of all the rating points. My query considering this formula is, what would a 100 grp per week plan mean ? This obviously does not mean reaching 100% population as the duplication is not considered. But what does a certain level grp plan mean? How is the efficiency of a medium being recognised on the basis of grp ? Thanks again

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 17, 2007 ):
Let us agree that the definiton of a rating point is "a number of impressions equal to 1% of the population" and never use the word "reach" in defining rating point or grp, because this can carry misleading implications.

So a 100 grp per week plan would have a weekly gross number of impressions equal to 100% of the population.

grp only describes weight. The reach will vary depending on the media mix included.

"Efficiency" is defined as either cost of a grp ("CPP") or the cost of 1000 impressions ("CPM").

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 #7363
A metrics-obsessed client has asked what it would take to move the needle of consumer awareness (on a particular issue) about 2%. They want to know literally how many impressions it would take. I've been told for paid media the answer is roughly 1000 grps over 2 weeks. But I'm at a loss to find the answer for earned media. I know this is a bit far afield, but do you know of where I might go to find this? Anyplace that's done this type research?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 13, 2007 ):
Hey! The Guru loves metrics, and it's a good question. Whether it can be answered as a media issue is quite another thing.

Saying that 1000 grp will move consumer awareness 2% over 2 weeks is a ludicrous oversimplification. If current awareness is nil, 1000 grp in 2 weeks will get you much more than 2% in, all probability. If awareness is already 90%, 1000 grp might get you nothing in added awareness. Since you can't buy "earned" media, the question is pointless in the Guru's opinion. In any case, the Guru is not aware of any link between earned media and awareness impact. It's not an advertising question.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007 #7359
I am trying to determine grp levels for buying TV. I have a budget. Where do I go from there?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 10, 2007 ):
Find cost per grp (CPP) from a source like SQAD

Wednesday, June 06, 2007 #7357
Hi guru, What is the bench mark with respect to reach and frequency in a television plan for a grand opening of the retail store. What would be the ideal grp or Reach and Frequency we need to acheive for such a plan,It would be great if you can ans similarly for other mediums as well i.e outdoor, radio and internet Thanks Again

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 10, 2007 ):
For a retail opening, more is better. 90+ reach at 3+ frequency is great if you can afford it.

Simply aiming for those numbers, they will be cheaper in outdoor, depending on how you define your coverage area. Radio can reach those levels, and internet cannot (only 146 million U.S. active home users in April '07, according to Neilsen//Netratings). Reaching even 90% of those on line is unlikely and potentially ruinously expensive.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 #7354
Adding onto my previous question, if you buy only 10 sec ids, how many grps can you buy for $1 million?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 05, 2007 ):
You will probably pay 50% - 75% of the :30 cost for :10's, where available.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 #7353
I know "it depends", but is there a "back of the envelope" number of annual US hh grps that you can achieve for $1 million in today's market. Assume all national buys. What about a reasonable range?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 05, 2007 ):
In ballpark, round numbers, about 40 Prime Network points, or about 140 daytime. Other dayparts will genrally fall in between.

Friday, June 01, 2007 #7346
How do we calculate Outdoor reach? as per the formula that i have i.e reach = (target audience weight x daily grp's x no of days in the campaign)/frequency) .. This contradicts my answers if I go only one billboard, while I get a respectable no if I go for several billboards...Again If you can try it out yourself how do you calculate reach only for one billboard?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 02, 2007 ):
The Guru can't find "number of billboards" in your formula, so the question is confusing.

Otherwise, dividing the cume grps by frequency will always be correct math to derive reach. But where did you get the frequency?

Take a look at our own TOPS system for out-of-home planning

Thursday, May 31, 2007 #7345
Hi Guru, if national reach can be combined with local reach and vice versa, can reach numbers be combine across markets? For example, can you weight average the reach % numbers for SF and Austin, just as you would grps, in order to back into a blended 2-market R/F? Thanks in advance!!!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 01, 2007 ):
Yes, this is a correct procedure.

Monday, May 21, 2007 #7335
Is there a benchmark or thumbrule for buying Television media like there the universal belief about 100 grp's a week for Radio is sufficient ? This is for the Retail category (casual apparels). Please advice.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 22, 2007 ):
100 grp per week is just as valid (or invalid) for TV. Retail promotions typically operate at higher levels, than maintenance schedules for stores.

Friday, March 30, 2007 #7304
Media Guru, You recently answered a question in regards to 'As it Falls' and 'Little America'. Can you discuss the differences between the two and further address the reasons to use one over the other?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 02, 2007 ):
In Little America, a test market is treated as if it was the full country; if there would be 100 grp of prime time network TV in the national plan being tested, then 100 grp of Prime is bought in the test market. The same process may be applied to radio, online, etc. If spot media are part of the national plan, then the test market may be designated as one of those earning spot media or not and scheduled accordingly. This is probably the oldest test scenario.

In As-it-Falls, the tester has realized that when he eventually runs the national media, any given market may experience weight that varies substantially from the national averages (American Idol may generate 50 - 100% higher ratings in Birmingham or Little Rock than it does in NY or LA). Therefore, a market should be tested at the levels that the hypothetical national plan would put into the market to read the effects of such a plan in given market situations. Usually, there would be a group of test and control markets, to allow implementing a range of these local delivery scenarios.

As-it-Falls would be preferred if media more subject to variation, such as broadcast, were more important in the plan or if market reaction to product category were more variable, for instance. Little America is simpler to implement.

Sunday, March 11, 2007 #7299
Do you have any recent data regarding the Television frequency threshold for :30 commercial wearout. We typically purchase 1,200 Adult 18-49 TRPs for each four week product promotion. However, we recently extended a campaign to eight weeks and an additional 1,200 TRPs. There is client concern that the spots have lost effectiveness given the amount of time and number of exposures.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 12, 2007 ):
The Guru is not aware of any established threshold. So much depends on the quality of the commercial, size of commercial pool and category interest as well as competitive pressure.

One old rule of thumb was 2000 grp. More sophisticated analyses looked at frequency of exposure to the heaviest two quintiles.

The best guideline the Guru ever knew was "the commercial is worn out when sales decline."

Thursday, January 25, 2007 #7277
How do you calculate grp's for Outdoor hoardings for a specific audience?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 26, 2007 ):
As with all other media,

specific audience impressions ÷ specifc audience population = grp.

Keep in mind that grp is expressed in percentage and the calculation actually yields a decimal fraction result. So if your division results in 1.52, that's 152 grp

Monday, January 15, 2007 #7273
Dear Guru, Is there a minimum benchmark for grp-Reach-and Freq when buying spot TV or Cable in one DMA? For example, I have been using a goal of 150 grp with a 40% reach at least 3.0 times toward the target demo over a four week period when consulting clients on the miniumum amount they need to spend in a certain DMA. This means if the most recent avg CPP in that DMA is $35.00, I would recomend they spend a minimum of $5250 (150grp X 35CPP per month. Is this calculation correct or should I be using a different formula when reccomending a budget per DMA?? Thanks!!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 16, 2007 ):
The calculation is correct if you have validated your 150 grp / 40 reach for 4 weeks. 150 seems much too low to generate 40 reach at 3+ frequency in four weeks. A level closer to 250 is probably needed.

Friday, January 12, 2007 #7269
How do you calculate grp's for internet?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 14, 2007 ):
Impressions ÷ target population = grp.

Someetimes planners chose to use only the internet population (those with internt access) as the base of the calculation. Keep in mind that this calcuation is expressed as a decinal. i.e. if the calculation result is 1.25, that 125 grp.

Thursday, January 11, 2007 #7267
Guru - I am hoping you can confirm something for me. When planning a media buy, we pull ratings for targeted audiences (for example, W25-54). We report grps, Reach and Frequency. A client has asked that instead of reporting grps, we supply TRPs. Because we are pulling information for a specific demo, aren't the grps the same as the TRPs? As I understand it, if we were pulling total household information, then there may be a difference between grps (total household) and TRP (our targeted audience). But because we're pulling ratings for W25-54 to begin with, then grp = TRP. Correct?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 14, 2007 ):
You are correct.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 #7254
What is the standard time period to measure plan delivery. Is is better to use a 4 week average or total plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 05, 2007 ):
4 week is the standard for reach. Total plan might be best for impressions or grp.

Friday, December 15, 2006 #7247
Dear Guru, this is my first time asking something, and because from your answers you seem a man with lots of knowledge in media, I have 3 questions. a) My TV Plans have an average 5% difference from pre-buys to post-buys evaluations, grp's wise.Is there a procedure that can make me be more accurate in my grp's predictions (to be right on target with 2% difference let's say)? b) I started to get very interested in Economatrics. Are there any publications in Acrobat Reader or Powerpoint to teach me how can I have at least a standard knowledge of Econometrics (to calculate the product life cycle, sales forecast, and most important what impact a media campaign had on sales) ? c) Also, were can i find Ostrows model of Frequency Effectiveness (Marketing, Copy & Media Factors) ?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 17, 2006 ):
A) 5% range pre- to post- is excellent. 10% is considered tolerable. The Guru assumes you are equally likely to be 5% under as to be 5% over. If not you can simply correct your system to "center" the estimates.

B)A Google search. for "Econometrics" will return numerous citations

C) A Google search for "Ostrow's model of Frequency Effectiveness" will also return numerous citations, as will this link to past Guru responses on the subject.

Thursday, December 14, 2006 #7245
Our client was asking whether or not the current creative we are running for our trade effort has reached a point of wearout. Any advice on how to measure/address this very subjective question.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 14, 2006 ):
When it stops selling, it's worn out. If you have sales tracking showing a down-turn, that's the best guide. Otherwise old and current ad awareness data is good.

Simple rules of thumb, like "2000 grp" are too simple.

Friday, December 01, 2006 #7239
How do you increase frequency without necessarily increasing reach? Which media forms provide for the greatest frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 03, 2006 ):
In any given medium, frequency increases without reach increase by placing additional ad units in the same vehicle, such as multiple ads in a single print issue or single TV program episode.

The medium that is typically bought at the highest average frequncy level is out of home, where a standard "100 showing" four week schedule will have 95% reach, and 29.5 frequency (100 showing is equivalent to 100 grp per day).

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 #7236
Hello Guru my question is about spot TV units called "bookend 15s". I'm not too familiar with them, and not sure I'm asking the question right. I am told that in the process of buying bookends each :15 has to be counted, doubling one's points. Is it wise to halve the points to gauge a more realistic delivery of R&F? It just doesn't feel right to assume the delivery is really doubled, even thought it technically is two exposures. Your opinion is much appreciated, and thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 03, 2006 ):
For reach calculation purposes, count the bookend :15s as one unit and use the double grps. Frequency then is correcltly more-or-less doubled.

Friday, November 03, 2006 #7221
Hi GR- I am working on an annual TV buy for a client and I have a few questions for you? What are good levels of grps, Frequency and Reach % to go by as guidelines/benchmarks? The client's target is basically everyone (A 25-54) in this market. This year (2006) he had light spot TV schedules on every major network in the market as well as some infomercial spots-all year, with no hiatus weeks. I feel like he can't be on every station with the given budget and make a impact. Please help me if you can--I just need some guidelines to consider. I have bought much more radio than TV and the TV I have bought has been very limited (small % of spot and majority cable). So this is somewhat new to me and I am beginning to panic because I am not sure I can make my budget work if I use the levels I think I need to make an impact. My client is somewhat well branded in this market but last year he pulled budget dollars from his primary market and put it in outer markets so he lost his awareness in this market. In 07 he wants to build his primary market back up, what levels do you recommend I try to work towards to refresh his awareness in this market? He also wants to break into a few new markets-what levels of grps do we need to break into a new market. Thank you advance for all your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 05, 2006 ):
  • In radio, people listen to stations; in TV people watch programs, so don't use the radio share of voice = impact approach to allocation of TV stations.
  • Start by thinking about what reach level you want to achieve. Reach does not neccessarily = awareness, but ad awareness will never exceed reach.
  • Put some frequency behind your reach to make sure the message is digested. How much depends on whether you have a point-in-time need for impact or you have a constant-purchase product where recency outweighs other factors.
  • Infomercials are aimed at immediate response so leave those out of your reach thinking.

Thursday, November 02, 2006 #7218
How much can you safely weight endorsement radio spots?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 05, 2006 ):
The question is very vague.
  • Weight for what? Attentivenenss, effectiveness, impact, awareness?
  • Weight grp or another factor?
  • How relevant is your endorser? An expert in the field of your product, like a NASCAR driver endorsing your tires or merely a popular spokesperson, like Shakira endorsing your orange juice?
The simple answer might be 200%, but there are a lot of steps to get there.

Thursday, October 05, 2006 #7202
I have gross impressions from a cable buy for an Adult 35-64 traget. My client has me to convert that into impressions against a Men 18-49 target. What media formula can I use to do this?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 11, 2006 ):
If you assume that the programming has the same appeal among M18-49 as it does among A35-64, it's easy.
  • Calculate A35-64 grp: A35-64 impressions ÷ A35-64 population = A35-64 grp
  • Assume you have the same grp among M18-49
  • M18-49 grp X M18-49 population = M18-49 impressions

Keep in mind that grp are percentages, so 50 grp is treated as if it were 50%.

Now the assumption of equal appeal among both groups will probably be erroneous, so you should really investigate the actual ratings for M18-49 in your schedule.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 #7201
How do you calculate grp's on the internet? I work on several co-ops for a national fast food company and they have determined that 10 grp's/wk is a good level for a maintenance schedule on the internet. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 11, 2006 ):
grp's are always impressions ÷ universe and expressed in percentage. That is, if the impressions = 100% of the universe, it's 100 grp.

In internet planning, you have the choice of whether to consider the entire population in your univerese or only the only portion of the population. The Guru usually works with the total population so that online grp will beare comaparable to those of other media.

Friday, September 15, 2006 #7196
Is there a way to calculate grpS for media tactics in unrated markets?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 23, 2006 ):
There are various approaches and considerations:
  • Assume same rating as same tactic in most similar sized, rated market
  • Adjust for media competition e.g. if unrated market had 4 broadcast stations and rated market has six, share in unrated market will probably be greater.
  • This could be refined by the nature of the stations, i.e. affiliates or not, affiliates of the major networks or not, etc,
  • ONe can also look at national rating / share, if any for the same "tactic"

Thursday, September 07, 2006 #7192
Hi Media Guru. I have a question that I'm looking for a general answer (I know that there are many different situations that would allow for many different answers- but please try!) If I am building a media plan using TV as part of a media mix (including radio and print) can you give me a very general answer as to how many points per week over how many weeks would be a MINIMUM. Target is Men 35-64. The client is only interested in news dayparts. I'm having a hard time wrapping my hands around this. I'm saying for a maintenance type schedule, we could run a minimum of 75 points per week because the dayparts are so concentrated and news viwership is loyal. the client is insistent that they've been told by their old agency they need 120 grpS per week. I'm thinking they would be correct if the dayparts were more open. We're getting additional reach through radio and print. Any thoughts? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 10, 2006 ):
You're saying 75 for "maintenance," but what's the rationale for the 120?

These issues always come down to what the communications goals are. Is it a reach level or a frequencey level or an effective frequency level? You can't argue against someone else's unsupported recommendation any more than you can support your own without goals and rationales. Your 75 seems reasonable to the Guru in a multimedia, "maintenance plan."

Monday, August 14, 2006 #7183
Can A grp ever be higher than a specific demo rating (i.e A25-54)?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 18, 2006 ):
If you mean can the HH rating be higher than the demographic rating, yes.

If you mean is the rating of a program equivalent to the grp of an announcement in the program, yes.

If you mean can you buy more grps in a program than the rating of the program, yes, (with multiple announcements).

If you meant something else, please clarify

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 #7166
Dear media guru, Can I work out CPT for TV by taking the net cost for a TV station and dividing it by the stations total grp's? Many thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 25, 2006 ):
No. Costs are specific to schedules or announcements or averages of these. A station doesn't have a "net cost". or a grp total.

Monday, July 17, 2006 #7163
Hi- I was wondering if you could help set me straight on an issue. The issue has to do with the calculation of grps for multiple-market schedules. What is the correct concept for multiple-market grps? Would the advertisers look at average grps over the markets? Would they look at total grps? Or, something else? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 17, 2006 ):
You use a weighted average of the markets.

The weights will be market size.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 #7162
I am planning a TV buy for a client who willbe running two campaigns at once - one targeted to A65+, the other A25-54. The messages are completely different but both communicate the overriding brand message. How can I determine how to weight them since there will be some mutual impact? Treat as two independent campaigns or together? I don't want to short-change either one... Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 16, 2006 ):
Typically, a campaign is planned for its target, more or less ignoring the fact of its exposure to those outside the target who will be exposed anyway. Treat them as independent and weight according to the relative value of each group. If the "value" is simply reflected by the group's size, then running the same grp level in each weights them equally. If one group is a 20% better prospect, then 20% higher grps is appropriate. Of course, the weighting might also be done according to spending rather than weight.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 #7156
Hi guru, please i am working on an in-house presentation on creativity in media planning. the document is supposed to speak to qualitative issues outside of the regular Reach, frequency, grp that we are familiar with. could you help with resources? Also help with definition of impact as a media term. thx.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 02, 2006 ):
Some other metrics and issues include
  • Engagement
  • Recency and
  • ROI
Look up each of these at the Go to the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use these as your search terms.

"Impact" is a term cients and account execs love to use without definition. Loosely, it means some sort of effectiveness. Measures that may relate include memoribility, recall, awareness, engagement, and of course, various sales measures.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 #7148
Hello! My boss is constantly trying to push 2 week TV or cable flights when our restaurant sales are down (pizz/family entertainmetn restaurants). Is there a benchmark for flight lengths I can present? Or perhaps an overall TRP benchmark? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 18, 2006 ):
Nothing hard and fast. Typical short term promotions in retail tend to go150-200 grp / week.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 #7142
How do I do TV post buy analysis when actual spends data is missing (we just took over the account from other agency)? What I have only pre campaign grps, 1+ Reach and Frequency and Post grps and R&F

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 25, 2006 ):
Obviously, the client won't be expecting you to analyze data you don't have, assuming you have requested the budget and been told it can't be provided. Still you can provide a comparison of all the pre / post data you do have and even compare achieved CPP to SQAD or other standard used by your agency.

Monday, April 24, 2006 #7130
I am beginning to plan for one of my TV clients and want to allocate a portion of my grp's to cable. Is there a "rule of thumb" as to what % should be cable vs. regular television? I have heard 10-15%. How do I need to approach this? thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 24, 2006 ):
An early rule of thumb was 10-15% (circa 1985). These days roughly half of all viewing is to cable. Make your decision based on the standards of composition, coverage, reach, etc that you would use for other programming decisions.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 #7112
Hi Guru. How about "the minimum grp reached for effective tv campaign"? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 18, 2006 ):
There is no specific minimum. Many planners "feel comfortable" at 100 grp, but mix and reach / frequency goals are more important. Other details such as purchase cycle and budget have theri impact as well.

Saturday, January 28, 2006 #7085
I have a national client that wants to generate national news media attention to help promote awarness of their charity to raise money for Dialysis and sell tickets on thier cruise. This is their 4th annual cruise (one to Alaska and one to the Caribbean). Last year I ran a 15min segment on Speed Channel and I saturated cable in several target DMA's. Speed did okay but cable bombed. I had the proper amount of GRIPS reach and freq reaching the right demo with no results. How can I expose this client to the news media nationally without having to spend a ton of money. Would you suggest USA Today or Washington Post or should I create a Press Release along with a media kit and send it to all the major news networks and talk shows?? Your thoughts. Its a big client for a great cause.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 28, 2006 ):
The Guru doesn't deal with PR, but as media, doing a direct mail piece (press release) to an audience in the business of reading press releases seems sensible.

Awareness isn't your problem, persuasion is.

You refer to a demo, but your target, the news media, is much more specific than any demo; the Guru would be interested in knowing how you calculated grp against news media.

Sunday, January 22, 2006 #7077
grp is one of the most important pilars of TV planning. a 5 sec TVC, a 30 sec TVC and a 60 sec TVC will achieve the same rating point in a diary type of survey. why should we go for 30sec TVC and not 5sec TVC? CPRP will definitely be cheaper. I do understand the difference in Impact value. Do you have any article on the difference between 5sec, 10sec, 15sec, 30sec and 60sec? which length is the most impactful? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 22, 2006 ):
As a rule, longer is stronger. Go to the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use "length" as your search term. There was enormous trade coverage of the issue when :15's came into vogue in the early 80's.

Thursday, December 15, 2005 #7069
Hi Guru. My question is regarding broadcast (TV) negotiations for a new client in the las vegas DMA (which I'm not familiar with). I have the rates client paid last year, along with station shares/rtgs/pvts for all relevant timeperiods in last four books: nov04, feb05, may05 and jul05. The stations don't have Nov05 in their computers yet, so they didn't send me rtgs/share/pvts for Nov05. Should I use May05 shares to negotiate 2006 annual rates?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 16, 2005 ):
Seems like Nov ought to be available by now, but use May conditioned on Nov being reasonably close when available. You'll be buying grp anyway.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 #7060
grp formula

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 04, 2005 ):
It depaends on what data you have to begin with. It could be:
  • Impressions ÷ population, or
  • Average rating X number of ads, or
  • Sum of ratings of all ads, or
  • reach X frequency

Friday, November 11, 2005 #7043
Dear Guru ,how can i calculate 5+ reach with in a given grp and universe for a TV PLAN.May be it depends on the program and channel mix but I want to know the basic calculation ,plz

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 13, 2005 ):
You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 #7030
What would tv reach and frequency be over a 3 week period in Chicago with 4stations on buy and total A35+grps of 165.0?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 19, 2005 ):
Visit eTelmar

Monday, September 12, 2005 #7008
what are grp

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 12, 2005 ):
Click here for over 300 past Guru responses about grp

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 #6999
what is the difference between trp and grp

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 25, 2005 ):
When both are used, TRP usually refers to specific demographic ratings while grp referes to Household points.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 #6989
When there's two TG's like Primary Mothers and secondary kids for a particular Brand, when presenting TRP's for the plan in a form of a workesheet showing one plan targeting both TG's, can we add all the programme (Both mothers & Kids)TRP's and present it as a total grp's for the plan. Is this method correct?. At the post evaluation how do you show the delivery, is it seperately by TG's or any other methods available.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 06, 2005 ):
NO. TRP's are percentages of specific totals, like total mothers or total kids. It's like buying 15% of the apples at the store and 50% of the sliced ham. You don't have 65% of anything.

When you have two targets which are somehow additive, such as women 18-34 and women 35-49, you can do a weighted average and calculate TRPs for 18-49.

In your case, it's simply two different groups; two totals must be presented.

Friday, July 15, 2005 #6976
Dear Guru, i am a media planner with mediaReach OMD Nigeria. I would like to know what levels of grp is desirable particularly for developing markets like Nigeria, we have clients that are asking. Secondly, should grp's be calcuated nationally or reginally or by key market/locations in the country?Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 17, 2005 ):
Appropriate weight levels and their audience impact are different in every country and culture with its own media; the Guru has no expertise in Nigeria. National or reegional or local depends upon the marketing scenario.

Click here for past Guru responses about levels.

Friday, July 01, 2005 #6964
What is the relationship between reach & frequency in the US to reach & frequency in Canada? For example, if a flight in the US has 325 grps and gets 38% 1+ reach and 17% 3+, how could I adjust those so they correlate to a similar flight in Canada?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 03, 2005 ):
There is no simple or specific relationship. Each country and each culture with its own media within a country (e.g. the US Hispanic market) have different reach curves. The different daypart cumes, rating sizes, numbers of vehicles within a medium, etc. contribute to reach derived from grps. It's not magic, it's generalizations from measured, consumer media behavior.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 #6960

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 25, 2005 ):
Go to the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use "grp" as your search term.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 #6959
I am a media buyer. Can you help me find some research regarding the benefits of flighting a radio campaign. 8 week promotion, one market, budget supports 300 weekly grps. I am trying to decide whether or not to buy 4 weeks continuous or 8 weeks flighted (one week on, one week off, one week on...etc for 4 weeks total). Can you help?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 25, 2005 ):
For research reosurces, see The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230. ARF materials will also be available through American Association of Advertising Agencies and Association of National Advertisers.

Friday, June 17, 2005 #6955
hi media guru, can pls tell me the relationship between reach and frequency and average frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 17, 2005 ):
Each person reached has a specific number of exposures to the campaign (simple frequency). The phrase "reach and frequency" refers to average frequency among all thosae reached. grps ÷ reach = average frequency.

Or, each person reached multiplied by the frequency of that person's exposures yields a number of impressions. The sum of all impressions of all persons reached = gross impressions. Gross impressions ÷ number of persons reached = average frequency.

Monday, May 30, 2005 #6942
What the standard sustaining, maintenance and saturation grp levels for a media buy? For what time period are these levels: one week, four weeks etc. And finally, what is your source for this information.... is it an "industry standard" or found in a textbook? Assume the client is an automobile dealer.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 30, 2005 ):
There is no generally accepted standard. For maintenance, some like 100 grp, probably because it's a large, round number.

It makes more sense to think in Reach and Frequency terms, i.e how much of the target gets how many messages; then the logic comes through. It makes some sort of sense to say that in maintenance, you want to reach at lease half of your target in an average four weeks (four weeks is the standard period in which to measure R&F). Ephron has said that cency theory calls for 30 reach every week for products continuously purchased. COmpetitvew pressure migh raise these figures or call for a specified minimum level of frequency. Attaining these levels can call for very different grp levels depending on medium and daypart selection. All this too depends on what the budget will afford.

So, clearly, grp levels are a great oversimplification.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 #6937
Thank you for your answer about internet grps(#6936). Another question would be, can we calculate reach for internet? and how about reach for a hispanic target

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 25, 2005 ):
Calculating reach is ususally done in one of two ways:
Using a respondent level audience measurement such as Nielsen//Netratings or comScore-MediaMetrix, one tracks the actual use by the relevant demographic within the sample against the schedule run.

More practically, one obtains a series of such measurements and builds a model, so that one can then genralize from schedules run in the future, using variable such as # of impressions, number of sites in the mix, share of page loads on the sites, etc.

The issues are what portion of the sites' reach does your schedule get and what is the duplication between sites' audiences.

For example, Yahoo might reach 40% of all those online in a month, but your buy will probably appear in less than 0.1% of all Yahoo page loads. And how many of the persons exposed to your Yahoo buy will also be exposed to your buy on

Since Hispanic audience is measure by both services, the Hispanic issues are no more difficult in this scenario.

As a ballpark sort of estimate, most major sites ought to be able to tell you the number of unique visitors exposed to your schedule. This number, divided by the relevant universe will give you an estimate of reach on that site. You can combine sites' reaches by random probability unless you can get site duplication estimates from the sites.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 #6921
Dear Guru thanks you for your response on my previous question and I have another question for you. Please tell me how I should calculate reach in the diary methodology when in the diary’s there is not present question about reach of each program (meaning how many people were watching the selected program in the same time with the interviewers). Until this moment I am making media plans based on the grp’s level on weekly basis, but I have requests from my clients to make media proposals based on reach and frequency. Is it possible to make reach and frequency media plans when the research methodology is diary, and how to do this? Second question is what is the difference between the reach calculations in the diary and reach calculation in the people meters methodology? Thank you in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 15, 2005 ):
"Reach" of a program means the average (time period) audience of the program. Diary or meter, it means the same thing, although the method differs. Diaries do not "ask about reach;" reach is a phenomenon of the total sample, not the individual. Diaires require the respondent to record viewing as the measurement period goes on, just as meters record this same behavior electronically, and rating or reach is a calculation conducted by the reasearch vendor from the compilation of diaries' or meters' results. Reach models may be built based on cumes genrated in either methodology.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 #6908
I was asked to present Q1 & Q2 local TV buys to my client's new advertising manager. Both buys include daytime and early news only. The Q1 buy aired Mon-Sun/8-week flight: Q2 airs Wed-Sun/8 week flight. Question #1: The new ad manager insists that the reach and frequency of the 7 days/week buy should differ from r/f of the 5 days/week buy. I say its the same. Who's right? Question #2: The ad manager informed me she likes marketron reports (because they are easy to read) and asked if I could obtain them for the current buy for her review. My reply was, "Sure I can. No problem". There is, however, one small problem. I don't know what a marketron report is. Please help!!!!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 01, 2005 ):
Assuming the same daypart dispersion and grps, the same schedule dispersed over more days should have a higher reach; there is greater reach potential in more dispersion. The typical reach model at your disposal may not have the ability to account for this level of detail in the input variables. In any case, the 5 day / 7 day difference is most notable in a one-week schedule. Over eight weeks, little or no difference would remain.

Marketron is a vendor of computer analysis systems for broadcast, nowadays more used by stations and reps than by agencies. One of the stations you buy from may be able to produce the report you need.

Sytems more oriented to agency media buyers and planners include those from our own eTelmar.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005 #6903
Dear Media Guru, Please help me figure out the combined reach and frequency of a multi-station TV buy. To find the average frequency, would I add the frequencies of the stations and then divide by the number of stations? Do I then multiply it by the total number of grps to calculate the reach? Since I do not have access to a software program, I need to calculate this manually. I'm in desparate need of your help since these figures are due soon. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 24, 2005 ):
Frequencies are never additive. A specific model is the only accurate way to combine station reaches. The reach may be divided into the sum of grp to calculate the average frequency.

A very rough estimation of combined reach might be calculated by a string of random probabilty parings (i.e. pair two stations and then combine the next with those and combine the next with the cume of the three and so on). Because this is "random" and does not account for the greater likelihood of any TV viewers to view other tv, the result will be overstated, by at least 10%.

Sunday, April 10, 2005 #6889
Can you clearly explain the job functions and the responsibilites of a Media Director, a Media Planner, and a Media Buyer?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 13, 2005 ):
To keep it simple:
  • A media buyer negotiates with media seller to secure the right media placement at the right price. The buyer fulfills goals set by the media plan. The buyer is likely to specialize in specific media types, such as network broadcast or magazines.
  • The media planner prepares the media plan which dictates which media types in what budget proportions are used to advertise the marketers' brand. Specifications may be as broad as total grp per week or as narrow as which magazines / which issues / which positions
  • The media director is a departmental manager overseeing / approving the work of these two or their immediate supervisors, hiring and firing all these people and determining the resources which support their work.

Monday, April 04, 2005 #6881
Hi, Guru. Thank you for the answer about combined grps. I'm estimating the media mix in first meaning of two mentioned by you. And my point of view on this calculation is the same like yours: grps are grps - they are not more than GI in 'shorter numbers'. Probably, i didn't explain the question correctly. I have a discussion with friend of mine - she insist that since measurements for different media in the mix are providing by different research companies (which means that respondents are also differ), it is strictly forbidden to sum up grps of each media in the mix into the 'Total grps' of the campaign, as each grp has its own base (respondents of one research company are not participating in other company's survey). I would agree with this if we would talk about two different markets - in this case, of course, grps of each market should be weighted to count the total grps. But for the same market... in my point of view, since all surveys are representing the same target group at the same market, it means we are looking at the same people and can easily estimate how often they are contacting with the message whereever they meet the message. (Again, my goal is just estimate the quantity of contacts, not the quality). Thanks, Luba.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 05, 2005 ):
.Of course it is not "strictly forbidden" or we could never do media planning, only schedules in individual media. It might be an ideal to have one media source that measures all media, but it is not practical. The rule of thumb in the Guru's book is to use the primary measurement source for each medium. For example, in the U.S. one source MRI, has certain audience information for magazines, radio, and TV. However it is only considered a primary source for magazines. The primary source for radio is Arbitron or MediaAudit, and for TV is Nielsen, which provide much greater detail and much more frequent reports on audience as is necessary for more volatile media.

Looking at it the other way, Arbitron's sample is "different" persons from one report wave to the next, yet we consider each wave comparable.

Although the samples of each medium's research are literally different people, each study is intended to project the behavior of same total population group. (As you note, this is why it doesn't work in different markets; the total popualtion groups would be different people.

Each study, typically follows an established and accepted methodology, presumably. So, bottom line, grps may be compared and combined for media planning purposes.

Friday, April 01, 2005 #6875
Hi, Guru. I need to calculate the media mix. I have a set of media, some of them are measured by one research company, some of them by another, some of them are not measuring at all, but i can estimate their reach for my target audicence. All media are using on the same market at the same time. There is no problem to estimate the combined reach for the whole media mix. The question is - is it correct to combine the grps, gained by each media to the 'Total grp of the campaign", which can help to estimate the frequency of the full campaign (for all media in the mix together)? Thanks, Luba.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 03, 2005 ):
From one perspective, a grp is a grp, simply and litereally a "gross" representation of all audience impressions. This view is most applicable for the purpose you are considering, leading to a frequencty calculation against the reach calculation.

On the other hand, it is not uncommon to apply weights to grps representing their medium's relative attentiveness or message retention, etc. But this approach is most applicable at the stage where media are being comared for inclusion in the plan or allocating a proportion of budget

Monday, March 21, 2005 #6859
Hello I am student of industrial engineering of polytechnic of Tehran. My thesis is writing a media planning software for media planning in Iran. In our country isn’t any media planner and we having not any software or book or manual about this subject at hand. In our country are not copywriting rules. Internet isn’t used suitable. We have not e-commerce. I want to know what software exist in the world of media planning. What is the most famous software and its parameters, variables and algorithms. I don’t have enough information about basic subjects of media planning: targeting, frequency, reach, continuity, CPM, grp … If you may, please guide me. If you have any demo of media planning software, and if you may, please send to me. I know the value of your help. Regards; Ayoob Sadeghiani.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 22, 2005 ):
eTelmar is media planning software from the Guru's organization, Telmar, world leader in media software. The programs are proprietary, and follow established practices in media planning. These are not likley to fit your country's practices.

Thursday, March 17, 2005 #6857
Dear MG: When does is make better sense to buy Radio using TSA numbers as opposed to Metro numbers?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 20, 2005 ):
If the marketing target is everyone within range of the signal equally and there is no reason to focus on persons in the metro, or the centerpoint of the audience is not relevant, then use TSA. If you need reach calculations and grp's then TSA is not workable

Thursday, March 03, 2005 #6835
A small change to yesterdays question. If we know the competitors 1 year grp'S and average reach, can we calculate the effective frequency. This is a little urgent

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 06, 2005 ):
There are far too many variables of media mix to accomplish this from the data you offer.

The Guru presumes you mean "reach at a given effective frequency level."

The Guru's approach would be to use R&F software that can deal with effective frequency and enter one year plan variants that include wahtever you know of the plan's components, until you find one that matches your 1 year grp's and reach, and then see what reach at the effective frequency you have.

Thursday, March 03, 2005 #6833
Hi Guru, If we know the competitors 1 year grp'S and average reach, can we find out the average frequency. This is a little urgent.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 03, 2005 ):
If you mean the 1 year average frequency, just divide grp by reach.

Friday, February 25, 2005 #6814
Guru, we run :15 television spots as bookends in a commercial pod. My client wishes to count each :15 spot (2 per pod) as seperate commercials, i.e. counting grps as if each spot were a seperate :30. We do not recommend this, we recommend that two 15 spots are counted as one :30 spot. Do you have any research that proves the agency theory? Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 25, 2005 ):
It depends on what you are doing, what conclusions you will draw from the grps. If you are projecting reach, then you must count these the same as single :30 units. If you are looking at cpm analysis and adjust :15 for value relative to :30, then again, it's more appropirate to evalue as if one :30. Actually, the Guru would be curious to learn the client's reasoning.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005 #6808
My media department often compiles "media" market profiles for clients opening new locations/stores. Within this profile we include estimated TV CPP's by daypart pulled from SQAD and a daypart mix by percent (established by past market buys). This daypart mix percentage is then multiplied by the estimated daypart CPP, the result of each daypart is then added and the total is called the "weighted CPP" -- is this right / real? I've looked all over your archives, in glossaries, reviewed formulas and beyond to find out more about "weighted CPPs." Please enlighten. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 23, 2005 ):
This is right if your weight is percent of spending, wrong if your weight is percent of grps.

It would also be be preferable to incorporate the index of your CPP buying experience vs SQAD rather than using pure SQAD CPPs.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005 #6806
I have been asked to evaluate spending money on a transit program versus adding grps and/or weeks to our existing radio campaign with the same amount of budget. The problem is that comparing grps for one versus the other, transit clearly has higher levels and extremely high frequency if you believe the numbers they provide. Any additional thoughts?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 23, 2005 ):
Transit grp are real, but they are based on traffic with an opportunity to see the poster. The real distinction of out of home is the limited message as compared to radio.

If your message can be simple, and reach/frequency are your top communications goals, then transit can be a powerful addition and probably more effective than adding more to an already adequate schedule in your main medium.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005 #6783
How do you calculate an average 4-week frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 12, 2005 ):
Divide four week grps by four week reach.

Monday, January 03, 2005 #6732
Guru, If I want to look at a total reach/frequency for several TV schedules that have run over the course of a year (same demo, various creative messages), does it make sense to use the highest reach and to just add up the frequency of all the schedules? Thanks for all your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 03, 2005 ):
If you are trying to calculate a cumulative reach and frequency for the year, and any one schedule delivers 95 or more, then you can probably safely call the cume "99+." Then add all the grps and divide by 99 to determine the year's cumulative, average frequency. You would have a total reach, total grp and average frequency among the total reached. "Total frequency" must apply to a specified group and this seems to be the most logical group.

If the best schedule delivers much less than 95, then you should process all the schedules together to determine annual cume reach as your first step, then proceed as above.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004 #6725
What is the standard used to determine grp value of product placement and integration. Does your experience say that those grps whould be represented as part of the overall plan's deliveries, albeit shown as added-value versus purchased? In other words if total planned weekly grps are 100, where 20 are added-value, then should you show the plan deliveries based on 100. Even though the 100 is not guaranteed. Anything you have on this topic would be helpful.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 26, 2004 ):
  • If added value is negotiated and has grp value, then it is part of the plan's deliveries. If it is negotiated, then it is as "guaranteed" as the rest.
  • If product placement is in-program, then it has some grp value; something is exposed to the same audience as the commercials in the program. How to value this versus a :30 is largely a matter of judgment: Is the product just visible in the background of the scene, like detergent on a laundry-room shelf, or is it a part of the scene, like a can from which the actors drink during dialog? Is it visible for 2 seconds or two minutes? Is isa just there or do the actors react to it? If :30 seconds with reactions is given the grp weigh of a :30 commercial, then the other scenarios may be indexed from that.

Saturday, December 18, 2004 #6721
Hi Media Guru. We're a national advertiser who uses one agency for TV planning and another for buying. Typically, what role does the planner play. I've found I'm mostly getting recommendations on how to flow the media (e.g., grps p/wk, number of hiatuses) and broadcast-type (syndication, cable, prime or sports). Where the buyers reco. networks, evaluate value add and negotiate the buy. I feel like I'm not getting much value from the planners. What's your thoughts on what the planners role shuold be on planning TV?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 19, 2004 ):
"Value" is a matter of what you get for your money. If media planning is an included service of an agency you are using for everything short of TV buying, than the planning may be a good value. If, however you are using a totally separate agency for TV planning, which means only "grps p/wk, number of hiatuses) and > broadcast-type (syndication, cable, prime or sports)." than it is hard to think it's a good value. The value of media planning is to look at all communications needs and recommend what should be done across all media, not simply TV. On the other hand is your plan looks at all of this, then one agency should be capable of doing what are now separated TV planning and buying functions. This does not necessarily mean that either your current TV planning or buying agency is the right one to combine the functions.

Sunday, November 28, 2004 #6705
MG, I believe I've seen recent news about efforts to align methods for measuring online and offline media. My first question: Are you familiar with these efforts? Second: Have you seen any data ranking the "effectiveness" of specific channels online and offline. (Clearly "effectiveness" is a tricky label, but I'm referring to it only in the sense of the effort to align measurement methods referred to above.) Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 02, 2004 ):
1. Yes, the Guru is aware of such alignment efforts. They have been going on almost since the dawn of internet advertising in 1995. Organizations like CASIE, Association of National Advertisers, American Association of Advertising Agencies and The Advertising Research Foundation have led these efforts.

More recently, The Internet Advertising Bureau is a leader. The newly linked I/PRO and BPA internet audit effort, with the participation of Agencies for Internet Audits, is also a force for this goal.

The essential unit of media measurement is agreed among traditional and online media to be the "impression;" one exposure of one ad to one person. Although measurment methods differ among media types, once there is agreement to impression numbers, moving to reach, frequency and grp figures is relatively easy.

2. As you acknowledge, "effectivenss" is subject to interpretation and is best examined within an advertising category. One medium may be best for selling real estate another for cars and a different one for diamond jewelry. Within a medium, it is more reasonable to compare the effectiveness of various vehicles, while controlling for copy variations. And of course defintions of effectiveness are variable; sales, awareness, share change, etc.

One great advantage of online advertising is its accountability and immediately measurable results.

Monday, November 15, 2004 #6683
How do you convert TRPs from one demo to another manually, not using a proprietary software system? For example if the grps for W18+ is 250 and I need to convert that into W25-54 grps, how would I do it? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 15, 2004 ):
This is not simply arithmetic. If you assume that whatever media vehicles you are buying have exactly equal appeal to w25-52 as to women 18+, then the ratings and TRP are equal. If you know the difference in appeal, i.e. the % audience compostion vs the % of population for w25-54 then the calculation is as followsp

w25-54 audience ÷ w18+ audience = w25-54 composition

w25-54 population ÷ w18+ population = w25-54 population percentage

w25-54 composition & divide; w25-54 population percentage = w25-54 conversion factor

w18+ TRP X w25-54 conversion factor = w25-54 TRP

Thursday, November 04, 2004 #6670
Dear Guru, I have several clients that like to say they want to place a media campaign with the main objective being to "raise awareness." Even if they give me an actual set percentage to measure from, say increase awareness by 20%, how do I know what grp's to plan to? Besides the old rule of thumb of a min. of 3 frequency, are there any set "standards" in the industry of a min. reach and grp goal to have an effective awareness campaign (I know that sounds very broad...that's why I need help!)

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 04, 2004 ):
We are discussing ad awareness, of course:

Consider the current level first. For a newly advertised product, growing awareness from 10% to 30% might be relatively easy as comarey to grwoing awareness of a product with 70% awareness to 90%.

The Guru would posit that the first step in growing awareness is by assuring reach is at least at the desired level of awareness; i.e. you won't attain 80% awareness without reaching 80% of the target.. . You will likely need to reach them 3 or more times. However, if advertising is contiuous, you may consider frequency over longer period of time.

Monday, October 25, 2004 #6648
What does it mean if HUTs in a market are continually increasing? How does the affect media buying and the mareketplace?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 29, 2004 ):
If HUTs are rising, a greater portion of the populaiton is watching TV at any time. In marketplace terms it means the supply of grps is increasing, thus if demand does not increase, CPP inflation will at least slow down,

Sunday, October 17, 2004 #6643
Dear Guru, In the past we used to assess media plans based on CPM. More than ten years ago, planners started to use CPP as a base of comparison and not CPM anymore. I would highly appreciate if you could elaborate on this evolution from CPM to CPP. Thank you & regards,

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 17, 2004 ):
This is not an evolution, this is apparently how your company has changed. Both of these measures have been in use for 40 of more years.

CPM is a more absolute measure, while CPP is in relation to a target population.

Network buyers may look more to CPM, since they don't deal with geographies of varying sizes, while planners look more to CPP, which relates directly to grp, a planning metric, from which reach and frequency are most readily calculated.

The growth of internet as a medium brings more emphasis to cpm, as CPP is not typically used in online media.

Friday, October 08, 2004 #6626
In your opinion what effect does the increase or decrease of HUT levels from year to year have on a market?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 09, 2004 ):
The question is not entirely clear. But by way of example however, the constant decrease in national HUT lead to increase in CPP. A decrease in HUT is a decrease in supply of grp.

Friday, September 24, 2004 #6616
what is the responce curve?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 26, 2004 ):
This refers to the consumer behavior pattern of action or learning (response) as a function of the amount of message weight. When graphed with a response, such as "awareness" on the Y axis, and weight such as grp on the X axis, the line is curved, rising rapidly at first and then flattening. A reach curve (below) operates similarly.

Thursday, September 16, 2004 #6604
Hi MG . My question is regarding FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION , could you please tell me how can one design a frequency distribution tabale if only the reach data is available over a period of time. For example I have the reach of a particular TV program which is tecasted 4 times a month.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 16, 2004 ):
An approximation is possible. For example if you are considering one month and you have had an announcement in each program, and the reach is 40% and the program rating is 15%, your table will have rows for reached 0 times, 1 time, 2 times, 3 times, and a maximum of 4 times. It will begin to look like this:


(# of exposures)

% Reach
Average Frequency
1 or more
2 or more
3 or more

Beyond this, lacking specific measure of the program, old actual schedules may be compared to approximate the missing cell entries.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004 #6583
Dear Guru, Can you once and for all please give the mathmatics involved to calculate a local r&f into a national r&f, and vice versa. If I am mixing a national schedule into a local market, will the grp's remain the same? If not, how is it cacluated? Thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 31, 2004 ):
Local to national is simple arithmetic:

Local reach X % US coverage translates Rreach and grp to national.

E.g. if you have a Reach / Frequency / grp of
70 / 4.0 / 280 in a market which is 10% of the US, then national reach is
7 / 4.0 / 28. Note that frequency is NOT recalculated, it is simply the same. In most cases, this doesn't make a difference, but when it does, keep the original frequency. This is because it is a count rather than a percentage. So the same people that were reached, even when expressed as a percentage of a different universe, simply experience the number of exposures originally calculated.

National to local however, invloves estimation or measurement as much as arithmetic: If you have a schedule delivering a national R/F/grp of
70 / 4.0 / 280, then you may estimate that its local delivery is
70 / 4.0 / 280, because, by defintion, that is the average reach across markets. However, various vehicles have differences in market-by-market audience, and if you have a specific market in mind, you can get the actual value of the schedule's delivery in the designated market. Then reach and frequency can be calculated for the market using whatever R&F model you have at hand, or perhaps using grp delivery indices established in past experience. A delivery index would apply only to the grps; reach grows along a "curve" and would not vary in a linear fashion proportionately to the variations in individual vehicle audiences.

Friday, August 20, 2004 #6573
My agency is in a debate with a media auditor in regards to "quality" audience in relation to ratings. For instance, does lowering the minimum spot cable rating from a 1.0 to 0.5 jeapordize the quality of the audience or integrity of the buy? Same goes for broadcast... does lowering the minimum 3.0 prime/2.0 non-prime rating jeopardize integrity so long as you're not deviating from the approved daypart mix?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 22, 2004 ):
Much of your question depends on somewhat arbitrary definitions of terms:
  • "Quality:" If you arbitrarily define quality by ratings size, then a lower rating has less quality. But why is rating size the standard? Are the people among an audience of 0.5 rating different in any specific way than people watching a similar program with a 1.0 rating? No.
  • "Integrity:" If integrity simply means adhering to standards set, then yes, a rating below standards compromises "integrity" but again it is just an arbitrary judgment.

The common rating size standard actually comes from a false premise:

  • According to statistics, with a sample of 1000, a rating of 1.0 has a "tolerance" ("one standard error") of +/- 0.3. That is, it is reliably between 4.3 and 5.7 which is 14% relative error. At 95% confidence (three standard errors), the swing is +/- 0.6. "95% confidence" means that if the same program was measured 100 times among comparable samples, 95 times the result would be in that speciified range: 0.4 to 1.6. This is "reliability." At one standard error, the rage is reliable 68% of the time.

    A rating of 0.5 has a 95% confidence range of +/- 0.437 or 0.063 to 0.937 or 87% relative error.

  • As some people carelessly see it, this means the 0.5% rating could be virtually zero and thus unacceptable for their buys
This view overlooks two key facts:
  • When we look at these tolerances, they are equally likely to swing to the plus side as to the minus side, so if the first 0.5 rating is really only 0.063, the next is just as likely to be 0.937
  • The reason that buyers are tempted to buy lower rated spots is because they are more efficient (cheaper) so that if you could buy 100 grp of spots (100 spots) with a 1.0 rating, you might be able to buy 110 grp of spots (220 spots) with a 0.5 rating. With the tolerances mostly cancelling out, the tolerance on the entire schedules is now 100 grp +/- 3 grp versus 110 grp +/- 1.5 grp

So the lower ratings-based schedule might deliver reliably more grp.

In short, make sure your "quality" standards are meaningful for your schedule, not simply bigger must be better.

Monday, June 28, 2004 #6522
M.G., what do you consider to be a "sustaining" level of grps in a mid-size local TV market for a major auto dealership? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 02, 2004 ):
If you ignore any competitve activity or seasonality or promotional calendar an auto dealership might have, a shedule sufficent to reach 30% of target weekly would be "sustaining."

Thursday, June 17, 2004 #6514
Hi Guru. I have been given the task of planning and buying some spot TV in 5 DMAs to promote a live event in one of those DMAs. There will also be follow-up spots right after the event. On rare occasions in the past when we've bought TV spots, it was on a cost per spot basis. I've been told to do it on a CPP basis this time. I understand what a CPP is and how SQAD works, but how do I determine how many points I need to buy in order to effectively reach my target audience? I don't have my budget for this yet, and anticipate them asking me how much $ I would need to do this right. Can you help me?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 20, 2004 ):
The essence of your needs is in determining what portion of your target audience you need to reach, how often, and over how long a period of time. Reaching the majority of the target (at least 50%) at least three times is a starting point.

Then, you need reach calculation software to see what level of grp gets you there. The Guru's favorite software, naturally, is our own eTelmar.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004 #6511
hi guru, could u please tell me is there any tool for evaluating post ad campaign in press as we can calculate the grpS of particular campaign for TV.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 12, 2004 ):
Print grps are calculated in the same way as in TV:
(Impressions ÷ universe) X 100

Thursday, May 20, 2004 #6500
Using the OTS formula (grp/Net Reach), if we set an OTS target with a predetermined reach, can we arrive at the required grp for differrent OTS targets. Why effective frequency is more popular over OTS when setting frequency objective. In my experience we need to achieve more grp's to achieve a predetermined reach for an effective frequency over OTS target, any reason for that methamatical relationship.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 20, 2004 ):
As a matter of simple arithmetic, Reach and grp are inextricably linked by a multiplying factor which can just as readily be effective frequency. This does not mean that you can set any reach goal at random and assume a given grp number will relate back with a specifc OTS. Different mixes of dayparts and media elements have different capabilities in reach / effective frequency generation.

Why more grp for an effective reach level? Again, simple arithmetic explains it. "Reach" in an ordinary "reach and frequency" calculation, means reach 1 or more times. In other words, a frequency of 1 is treated as "effective." Typically, when we talk about "effective reach" we are working on an assumption that 3 or more frequency is needed for effective communications so that only those reached at least 3 times count. Naturally, more grp are needed to get a given reach 3 tiems than only once.

Thursday, April 29, 2004 #6476
hi guru ,yhanks for responding my previous qs. This time I want to know ,how media planners use program -share and TVR for a plan. Is there any differnce between these two as a criteria for vechile selection or can be used interchangebly.If possible give a real life example

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 01, 2004 ):
Share and rating are more tools of buyers than planners; plans usually describe broadcast media in broader strokes, e.g. 50 grp per week of Prime time TV.

When used, share is about time-period, head-to-head competition or projecting future ratings. Ratings gives a relative strength in audience appeal. Either is only a small part of vehicle consideration.

Sunday, April 04, 2004 #6448
Dear Guru, What is meant by flatter quintiles in terms media plan and how is it important?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 04, 2004 ):
 Consider the adjacent sample quintiles. The 20% of the target with the lightest frequency of exposure averages only a frequency of 1.0, and the next lightest 1.1. Those most heavily exposed have a freqeuncy of 7.5.

The plan would be more effective, especially among the 40% least exposed, if these frequencies were more like the average exposure of 3.1. or if the quintiles were "flatter." Various manipulations of schedule and mix can deliver flatter quintile results

QUINTILE Reach Freq grp
Next Highest
Next Lowest

Thursday, April 01, 2004 #6443
What are grps

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 04, 2004 ):
Click here for past Guru discussion of grps

Tuesday, March 30, 2004 #6441
suggestion for a media buying brief document or form

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 04, 2004 ):
Think about how you would post-analyze the buy and make sure you specify standards for all elements, e.g.:
Audience bought
Cost estimate
Audience delivered
Final cost
Planned cpp
Planned vs achieved audience
Planned vs achieved efficiency Index

Communicating the details is more important than having a form

For each medium / vehicle lay out, to the degree possible:





Audience bought
Cost Estimate

Equitable Horizontal

max 2 / week in strips

Program types
Comedy, movie, game, NO REALITY

Monday, March 22, 2004 #6427
Dear MG, In respose to Q.No. 3965 Dated Nov 13, 2000 you said that reach is devided into 5 quintiles of 20% each. Then we have to look at highest viewing qintile and lowest viewing one. I want to know from how do you find the highest and lowest viewing quintile. Our Media Analysis Software gives data in terms of reach, frequency and grp for a given schedule in addition to reach at 1+, 2+, 3+ etc exposures.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 22, 2004 ):

It's a fairly simply bit of arithmetic:

Imagine you have the following frequency distribution for a schedule of 31 Reach, 95.9 grp and 3.1 average frequency:


Reached exactly (%)

Reached at least (%)

That is, 31.0% reached at least once (1+) and 11.6% reached exactly once. To convert to quintiles, the steps are as follows:


  1. Divide the reach into 5 equal groups to set the percent reached in each quintile. This will be 6.2% reach (see table below)
  2. Beginnning with the "1" frequency level in your frequency distribution, put grps into your quintile table. That is, if 11.6% were reached exactly once, then the lightest 6.2 percent must have been reached once, so you can fill in the "lightest" row at 1.0 average frequency and 6.2 grp.
  3. This will leave
  4. 5.4% reached 1 time to begin building the "next lightest" quintile (11.6 - 6.2 + 5.4)
  5. Now you need to take 0.8 reach from the reached 2 times group to finish building this "Next lightest" quintile (5.4 left + 0.8 from the 2 frequency = 6.2)
  6. This quintile now has 5.4 grps ( 5.4 reach @ 1 frequency) plus 1.6 grps (0.8 reach @ 2 frequency) for a total of 7.0 grp. By division we determin the average freqeuncy for this quinntile is 1.1 (7.0 ÷ 6.2 =1.1)
  7. Continuing the same way, the middle quintile is made up of the remaining 5.2% reached 2 times and another 1% reach from the 3 frequency group, so it has 13.4 grp and 2,2 average frequency
  8. "Next Highest" has the remaining 2.7 from the 3 frequency level, the 2.6 from the 4 level and 0.9 from the 5 level, to make 23.0 grp and 3.7 frequency
  9. Finally, the "Highest" quintile has the remaining 46.3 grp (95.9 - 46.3 accounted for in the four lower quintiles) or conitinue working the arithmetic for each frequency in the distribution.


QUINTILE  Reach Freq grp
Next Highest
Next Lowest

Saturday, March 13, 2004 #6418
wht is grp. can u give me as much info as possible?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 13, 2004 ):
Click here to see over 300 past Guru responses discussing grp.

Monday, February 16, 2004 #6383
Hi, I've looked through the archives but couldn't find anything on developing Spot TV RFP's to the various stations. I've done spot radio RFP's, but want to know if I need to include anything more than: client & brand, target, market and market R/F goals,weekly grp's, Target CPP goals, flight dates, days of the week within flights,daypart mix, any must buys shows, spot length, RFP due date, and the flight schedule deliveries. Is there something really embarressing that I've overlooked? Don't hold back. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 17, 2004 ):
A good RFP has two key elements;
  • It specifies everything that will be considered in your decision making, so that proposals are complete and allow decision making immediately, and
  • It does not request any information that will not contribute to decison making so that you don't have vendors wasting time on unnecessary work that you have no need to waste time considering, rather than the important info that you do need.
. It strikes the Guru that you have included everything under the sun that might eventually be used to describe the eventual buy, but do not need as qualifiers of submissions.

Do you have a standard for days of the week to decide what to buy? In retail that's possible, otherwise, perhaps not.

Do stations need to deal with your daypart mix? One station may have different strenghths than another. It might be counterproductive to ask each to submit the same mix, when you might do best with one station's prime and another's news.

Do they need to think about your grp total if you might buy 2 or 3 or 4 stations?

Can they respond to your reach goal, knowing they are providing only a portion of a schedule?

All these specs would be useful if each station is competing for an exclusive, but the Guru doubts that is the case.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004 #6334
We currently have spot fill radio slated for 2004 to make up for underdelivery of our Network Radio schedule in key markets. Of course we have recommended a :60 spot be created for the spot fill. Our account team does not want to produce a :60 spot and prefers to use two of the existing :30 spots back to back to fill the time. This would not be bookends within a pod, but two very similar commercials running together. Are there any exisiting white papers or support that demonstrates this is not the best use of the purchased time? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 09, 2004 ):
  1. The Guru presumes that you are spot filling for grp underdelivery.
  2. Many stations charge the same for :30 or :60 units, so solo :30 might not save any money, nor would separating the :30/:30s add reach without adding to budget.
  3. The question then becomes a creative issue about what the is effect on the listener of hearing a given # of :60s versus an equal number of :30/:30

Try The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003 #6315
How do you calculate combined frequency. If I have a cable plan in a market with a frequency of 2.6 and a broadcast tv plan with a frequency of 6.6 - what is the combined frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 20, 2003 ):
The Guru will assume you are referring to average frequency, typically considered for a four week period. One actually calculates the combined Reach and grps and then figures the "combined" frequency. Consider the following table. If you had run 400 grp in broadcast and had 61 reach there would be 6.6 average frequency. If you also had 100 grp of cable and a reach of 38, there would be an average frequency of 2.6.

grps are simply additive for a total of 500. Reaches must be combined by a system that recognizes duplication; "random probability" will overstate a bit when you are working with two related elements such as different kinds of TV. Probability might have estimated a combined reach of 76 here but let's suppose your algorithm estimates 72.

In any case, the combined average frequency is calculated thus: divide the combined grp (500) by the combined Reach (72) which equals 6.9; see below:


Saturday, November 29, 2003 #6282
Is there a method for "manually" calculating the reach/frequency of network TV/radio? I know other options exist (Telmar, for example) but would prefer to have my students do it this way if possible.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 30, 2003 ):
25-30+ years ago, planners worked with tables of grps by medium or program frequency, etc, baseds on averages of many fully calculated actual measurements but not full scale calculation, which would involve treating each commerical individually. While there might be some value in learning how to take a set of observations and develop a curve, trying to make these base calculations for each plan seems pointless.

The purely manual calculation is extremely complex. For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables

Tuesday, November 25, 2003 #6274
If a rating point is the percentage of the audience that could see the message, then what is the difference from reach? I work at a small agency, and we have gotten rid of our software. I used to be able to plug a plan in, and it would compute my reach and frequency, based on the ratings. How can I figure this out without software, if I know the rating points and grp's?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 28, 2003 ):
Each advertising exposure has certain rating points. For a single such exposure, Rating equals Reach.

For a Schedule, each of the various exposures will duplicate a portion of the audience of the other exposures. The sum of the ratings, less the Duplicated audience is the reach. The sum of the ratings is open-ended. Reach can approach - but not exceed - 100% of the target.

The calculation is complex, and software is worthwhile, especially pay-per-use software like our own eTelmar.

For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables.

Friday, October 31, 2003 #6226
How can one calculate decay rate for grps from continuously tracked data?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, November 01, 2003 ):
grps are simple arithmetic quantities. They do not exhibit "decay." Perhaps you mean some related measure?

Monday, October 27, 2003 #6221
I have looked for the answer to this question, but don't think it is out there... I want an average CPG for Magazine (cross all types of editorial- just a general value) and Newspaper. If you have seen an acceptable definition for Internet and/or Outdoor, I am all ears... Thank you in advance for any advice you can give!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 31, 2003 ):
Assuming you mean Cost per grp, this quest is pointless. At a minimum, defining a target demo is is necessary. Even then, averaging across "Juggs" and "New Republic," etc. to get a CPG for women 18-34 is meaningless.

For online or outdoor, the same demographic issues apply and the choices of media are virtually infinite. Nevetheless the Guru imagines that $5 - $8 cpm is realisltic for these latter media, generally.

Friday, October 17, 2003 #6207
I have an international planning question. In the US, a measure of advertising spend is grps. The UK uses the same, Australia uses TARPs. Where can I find information about other countries - how they measure ad spend and what the top mediums are to go into? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 19, 2003 ):
grp, etc is a measure of communication weight, not of spending. You will have to survey trade media od the various nations to gain the understanding you seek.

Thursday, October 09, 2003 #6195
What is the correct process for analyzing comparable period retail sales? Specifically, we are working on a project that would not only compare comparable sales periods (year over year), but also compare a sale window to a pre-sale window. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 13, 2003 ):
The Guru assumes you mean to compare advertising performance in these periods. The simplest approaches are comparing budgets or weight (grp). Many refinements are possible as to media mix, reach. frequency, etc.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003 #6182
Dear Media Guru, In our market we have two companies that offer radio traffic sponsorships. I have been asked by a client to compare the two in order to show which one offers the best exposure and the best "bang for the buck." One company offers live :10 reads on over 19 stations the other offers taped :15s on 9 stations. I know that I can use strata to combine all the stations for each group to get an overall rating average, but I am wondering if I should weight the ratings since these are not :60s. What do you advise? Also, besides, grps, cpp and cpm is there any other data that I should include in my comparision to show the strengths or weaknesses of each group? Thanks! KJG

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 04, 2003 ):
Weighting is reasonable. Do the "live" versions allow last minute changes? If "live" means simple announcer script, but taped meand full production, you need to quantify the difference. It might be more significant than just the length difference.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003 #6149
In regards to buying spot tv and spot cable tv - At what point is it more efficient to plan in network buys to either replace or compliment spot buying? Is it the number of markets client has locations? Our client who places spot buys in 55 DMA's, cannot grasp the benefit of a more efficient buy on network and is stuck on having, what he calls "waste" in markets with no locations. Please help!! You have a GREAT site!!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 11, 2003 ):
Assuming you have the same weight goal (grps) in all markets, when the combined cost of your selected markets exceeds the cost of that weight level in network, network is more efficent. On this basis, "the waste" just becomes free advertising that does not matter. It is not a matter of the number of markets. One advertiser might have a budget for 55 small markets that wouldn't cover 10 large markets. If there are no locations in the other markets, ill will might be a problem, especially in consideration of future growth. Efficiency is simply not the only consideration.

Monday, August 25, 2003 #6139
Hi Boss, 1. how many weeks needed as a based assumption to get certain point grp needed to achieved certain level of Reach/Freq 2. any explanation about answer no 1 3. how to calculate that (the tools) Big thanks boss

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 26, 2003 ):
The standard measurement period for R&F is 4 weeks or one month. This allows fitting in monthly magazines. For tools, see Telmar

Wednesday, August 20, 2003 #6135
Would you provide the general rule of thumb for number of rating points per week an advertiser needs to run an effective promotional spot versus sustaining an equity campaign?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 20, 2003 ):
There are many variables including media environment and media mix. The only rule of thumb the Guru finds valid is to make more noise than the competition. Most advertisers would consider 100 grp a minimum, in any case.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003 #6129
Dear Guru, Could you please give me the evaluation method or ideas to link with sales and media impact (e.g. grp/R/F)?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 23, 2003 ):
If you have sales data, it should be simple to correlate with past grp or Reach or Frequency using data tools in something asd simple as MS Excel.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003 #6125
What format should a Post Buy Analysis document be set in?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 17, 2003 ):
The Guru would use a spread sheet, showing columns of
  1. Medium/vehicle
  2. Audience bought
  3. Cost estimate
  4. Audience delivered
  5. Final cost
  6. Planned cpp
  7. Planned vs achieved audience
  8. Planned vs achieved efficiency Index

Depending upon how your plan and buying platform were structured, your "audience" units might be impressions or grp, your "efficiency" might be CPM or CPP. You might evaluate program by program / magazine by magazine or summarize by dayparts / types or media totals. You might compare to average audience guarantees.

A text overview document should be included.

Thursday, July 17, 2003 #6085
I have an $11,000 cable schedule that achieves 182 demo rating points. In Tapscan the Reach and frequency is 12.4 and 14.7 frequency. In Strata the reach and frequency is 73% reach and 2.5 frequency. I think the truth somewhere in between. Tapscan will not share the algorithims (sp)in the formula and I haven't asked STrata. What do you think?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 19, 2003 ):
The Guru imagines that the discrepancy has two bases:

One: possibly the Tapscan R&F is assuming that the input is cable grp and the desirted output is total market R&F, while the Strata is calculating only against cable universe. For example if a market's cable penetration is 60%, then 182 cable grp = 109 total market grp. 73 cable universe reach = total 44 market reach.

Two: even under these circumstances, the difference should be less. The Guru suspects that dispersion and programming selection inputs differ between the two so that reach isn't calculated the same.

Thursday, July 10, 2003 #6071
how should we measure the effectiveness of a media campaign? and secondly what shouls we include in post by analysis?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 14, 2003 ):
Ultimately, sales is the true standard of success. Of course it is difficult to ascribe advertising success to media alone. In a controlled test, when copy is constant, one may then judge the effect of variation in media executions.

Post analysis needs to examine delivery of stated, negotiated buying goals. You will probably have bought a quantity of grps by daypart. You may have specified programming and want to verify that your spots ran in taose programs, or you may have specified horizontal (days) and vertical (times) rotation ranges. It is improtant NOT to post on non-negotiated details, for example average rating size, if not specification for that was agreed.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003 #6055
Dear Guru, My client sets share of voice objectives and requires us to outvoice competition during any week. That was fine till now, until someone convinced him that he should be looking at Weighted grps (weighted by copy duration). He started to argue that for weeks he has been outvoiced bec. his competition is using a longer copy duration. I need to have your opinion on the above. Also, would appreciate if you could provide me with a solid documentation that argues against using Weghted grps if that is your belief. Thanks !

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 07, 2003 ):
When thinking in terms of "outvoicing" competition, it is perfectly reasonable to allow for copy length differences. If we didn't think longer copy was more effective, all TV advertisng would be :15 or less.

Saturday, June 21, 2003 #6029
Dear Guru, Please help me to clarify these issues : - What CPT and CPM stand for ? - Are the formulas to calculate them as follows : CPT=(Costx1000)/Impression CPM=(Costx1000)/Reach(000) - Impression and Reach in thousand are not the same,are they? Impression include duplication but the reach in thousand does not. Impression = Reach(000)x OTS? - Therefore, there must be different b/w CPT & CPM. But it seems that most books consider them as the same. - grp = OTS x Reach (%)or grp = Frequency x Reach (%)? - Does OTS have some meaning of impression? Since these issue confuse me now so much and I current get a stuck in preparing a report. Pls do reply me as soon as possible. Many thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 21, 2003 ):
You have tangled up several ideas and defintions. In different countries, some of these terms are used differently or not used. For example, in the Guru's base of the U.S., we do not use "opportunities to see (OTS)," and though you may be in Thailand, the Guru will not assume so.

CPM stands for cost per thousand impressions; the "M" is the Roman numeral M, meaning one thousand. CPT is not familiar in the US, but is probably another indicator of Cost per Thousand impressions.

The Guru most often sees "OTS" used as equivalent to "impressions" but sometimes as a reference to average frequency, so here are the simplest definitions.

"Impressions" are the number of advertising exposures, i.e. the number of different people exposed to advertising times the average number of occasions on which they are exposed. Thus, duplication is included.

"number of different people exposed" is equivalent to "reach."

"Number of occasions on which they are exposed" is equivalent to "frequency."

CPM is cost of advertising divided by impressions in thousands. Reach is not involved.

When reach is expressed as a percentage of a target group, then reach x frequency = grp.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003 #6009
Hi Guru, I have heard of one method of setting effective frequency. That is we evaluate the criteria such as : established compaign, complexity of message, well-known brand, high product clutter... by giving them marks depening on their level. This mark will be multiplied by coefficient of each criteria. The total mark will be used to set the effective frequency level for that product. Pls supply me with more info on that. Appreciate should you can give me detailed explaination on steps to do that or give me a source to refer. Another question is that how can we set effective grp based on effective frequency level, reach curve,no. of phase ( what is no. of phase?).The reach curve we use hereabove is that of target group of the brand or of any else? Thanks a lot.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 15, 2003 ):
Click here to see Guru discussion of the "Ostrow model."

Tuesday, June 10, 2003 #6004
We have planned for our client (consumer product) for a TV campaign at prime time slot of Channel A where we are getting good grp (360 per week) and low CPRP. The campaign is for one month. At the same time we are also proposing to advertise on channels B & C as well. Though the ratings of these channels are not as good as channel A and CPRP at higher side, but the reason to advertise on channels B & C is to cater the audience of those channels as well otherwise we are duplicating the same audiences if we go only for channel A at prime time slot. Now our client insisting that if we are getting the required grp with low CPRP from channel A, why should I go for channel B & C? Please advise that should we go only for channel A or for channels B & C as well.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 15, 2003 ):
The issue is in how you define "the required grp." If this level is based on a reach goal, effective frequency goal, or some similar communications standard, then the question is whether concentrating all the grp in one channel will achieve this goal.

Your question implies you have some basis for thinking that a portion of your target is only reachable on channels B & C. Presumably, you have a way of documenting that theory. This becomes your rationale for broadening your buy.

Friday, June 06, 2003 #5999
Dear Guru: I would like to know that grp calculation is reach x Avg. frequency or rating x Avg. frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 07, 2003 ):
Just as a matter of simple arithmetic relationship,
grp = reach x average frequency.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003 #5995
We are planning to release a TV launch commercial, I want to know what do you think the effective frequency, effective reach & grps. The commercial duration is 30 secs.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 07, 2003 ):
There are many considerations Click here to see past Guru discussion of effective levels

Tuesday, June 03, 2003 #5993
There has been a major shift in focus of media planning from the "numbers" to the actual "environment" of the medium, especially within print. Why do you think this is so? When are numbers important?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 07, 2003 ):
The Guru sees it differently.
  • In the Guru's experience (30+ years), print has always been more focused on environment versus numbers as compared to broadcast media.
    --In fact, the Guru can remember when some experienced planners didn't even know that print had grp's, back in the days before everything was computer- dependent
  • On the other hand, over this period of time, the broadcast world has changed from there being three giant network outlets with the big numbers versus few independent stations to a situation of 7 major networks (ABC / NBC / CBS / Fox / WB / UPN / Univision ) just somewhat bigger than several independent stations market-by-market, and 100's of stronger or lesser cable options.
    --Environmental differences outweigh the numbers
    --Or, the compuers handle the numbers leaving planners the environment to discuss subjectively
  • Finally, as you mature professionally, you become more able to deal with enviromental data versus numbers; you are changing, more than the world around you

The media environment in which you communicate is always important, but you must know how much of your target audience you reach and how often and whether you have spent your budget efficiently.

Monday, June 02, 2003 #5990
Media Guru: What is the carryover of awareness from one flight to the next? (with relatively little time between) How does the first flight affect the level of support necessary for the second flight? For instance, if the first flight achieves a target reach of 80%, I assume that your second flight could acheive the same reach at a lighter media level. Do you have any research on this? Please help! Thank you, Brooke

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 07, 2003 ):
The reach of a flight relates to the grp and program dispersion. Given the same schedule, the same reach is achieved.

Awareness is not the same as reach, but of course there is a relationship; only those reached will have ad awareness.

Once a level of awareness is established, less weight may be necessary to maintain that awareness. One rule of thumb is a 10% decline in awareness in each week without advertising. From this, levels of added support can be planned. Much depends on the levels achieved and desired.

Monday, June 02, 2003 #5989
for finding the number of the total viewers in a tv campaign, which one is more reliable and logicial? to multiple the reach with the total sample or multiply rating with the total sample? thx.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 02, 2003 ):
Firstly, in neither case is the "sample" relevant. You need to consider the total population which the sample represents.

Then, if you want to find the number of different viewers exposed to the campaign, multiply by reach. If you want the gross exposures, including duplication of exposures, multiply by the sum of the ratings (grps). Reliablilty isn't quite the issue. Ratings are subject to reliability toilerances, which grow smaller as you compile grps and the tolerances on each ratings measure cancel out. Reach, on the other hand, is subject to the accuracy of the model. The relative error is usually greater on reach than grp, but they are not measures of the same thing.

Thursday, May 29, 2003 #5984
Want to know the calculation of different grps to get required reach on 2+ or 3+ OTS e.g. on 400 grps gets 60% reach on 3+ OTS

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 31, 2003 ):
You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables

Friday, April 25, 2003 #5950
Dear Guru, In response to your answer of question: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 #5945. I am grateful for this free service and respect your answers. However, your response, “How did they determine that people who have injuries will watch these programs? HAve they looked at / understood reach and frequency, IF this is the right programming?” This doesn’t answer my question. Since their campaign uses a phone number and they get immediate response to their spots, we know the programs they are buying contain their prospects. My point is, they over-advertise in the same area day in, day out, week in, week out (my original over-saturation point). The easy way to prove my theory is to have them just cut back a small portion and buy other areas. They are reluctant to do so without other proof, first. So, my original question stands: How do you determine (using media formulas) that an advertiser has oversaturated a day part? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 26, 2003 ):
The simple approach, based on media formulae is to look for the point where the reach curve flattens (around 80% in the example below). This is where added grp cease to add enough reach to be worthwhile, generally. But, your issue is one of definiton: What is "oversaturated?" In direct response terms, it's the point where response drops below an acceptable return on investment -- and apparently that has not happened. You would like to experiment with something new, which you apparently believe could have a greater ROI. If there has been any slackening in the response rate, that might justify a test.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003 #5947
Is there any way to determine reach and frequency for a television or radio schedule if the only variables you have are cost and grps?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 24, 2003 ):
Aside from how many grps are affordable, cost has absolutely no bearing on reach and frequency.

grps can give a rough estimate if you have tables or formulae of general results, and grps by daypart / station / program can be all the input you need if you have the right software or formulae.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003 #5935
How do you convert National TRP's to Local TRP's? For instance I am running 500 TRP's Nationall and want to know if I purchased the same schedule in Louisville, how many TRP's would I run. Louisville represents .574% of the United States

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 15, 2003 ):
If you are arithmetically converting a general schedule, then the market TRPs are assumed to be the same as the national. This is the assumption of the "Little US" testing approach, that 500 grp nationally is 500 grp everywhere. The more comlex theory is allied to the "As it Falls" approach. In this approach, one must look at the actual local performance of programs. In other words, Nielsen's national rating of West Wing might be 15, while the local Nielsen reports 17. This is an actual analysis rather than a "conversion." Or you might do a conversion from national average indices of market performance vs national.

Monday, March 24, 2003 #5902
Dear Guru, I hope you can help answer this question. If I have a TV Schedule and a Radio Schedule, and I mix them together using a media mix program, I am asked which Population base to use. If I pick the Radio market pop, I get smaller Gross Impressions, than if I used the TV market pop. Which one of these is the correct way? I have to explain this to a client. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 24, 2003 ):
Radio is typically based on a Metro (MSA) geography and TV on a Nielsen DMA geography, which is usually larger. In reality, Radio grp would be lower in the DMA area (reduced coverage due to distance), but the DMA basis is probably to be preferred.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003 #5888
I'd like to know how you determine what your grp goals should be for TV. I know that Total grp's are equal to reach x frequency. However, if I want to reach 95% of adults 35+ each flight month while achieving a 4.0 weekly frequency, how do I determine those goals? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 22, 2003 ):
The fact that reach x frequency = grp is merely an arithmetic relationship, it is not predictive. Not all combinations of dayparts and programs with the same total grp deliver the same R&F.

You need to examine various schedules with Reach & Frequency software, such as that from our sister company, Telmar.

Sunday, March 16, 2003 #5883
I am planning a radio campaign for a tourism client. I am planning a six week radio campaign and am trying to determine the grp levels. I need to provide a strong rationale. Do you have any studies on how you determine grp levels? For example, at what level do you need to intro a new product vs. branding a product and etc. Any help would be appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 20, 2003 ):
As a loyal Guru regular, you should be familiar with the Guru archives. Click here to see past Guru responses about levels

Sunday, March 16, 2003 #5882
Dear Guru: our client (a premium price mineral water with a great brand awareness, although years of absence in communication) is considering 2 different media plan for the relaunch campaign: first based on national tv + press and the 2nd on press+outdoor. The budget is 1/4, 1/3 of the top spender in the market. In tv there is a very competitive arena (200-300 grp's per week). The positioning of the brand should target affluent, dinamic and young women: in your opinion it's better to concentrate the media budget on media less used by competitors (targeted press and outdoor) developing a "great noise" or you think it's better plan tv like the 95% of our competitors, risking to not be visible? thank you very much (sorry for my english)

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 20, 2003 ):
In this case the Guru thinks being big in unique media has an advantage, if you can reach the people you need to reach. But do consumers think about relative frequency within media or are they simply exposed to what they are exposed to?

Can you make a case for one medium being more effective than the other?

Saturday, March 08, 2003 #5871
Dear Guru, I encounter some more questions which I am unsure. I learnt that we can calculate combined reach of different media vehicles in one medium and combined reach of different media (e.g. TV, Magazine etc.) and same for frequency. However, how can I applied tohse in an advertising flowchart? where I need to indicate monthly reach, monthly frequency and grps for different media vehicles+media (?) To do it manually, do we really calculate first combined reach and frequency of all media vehicles within 1 medium first than use the final combined reach % to calculate with other media to get the Montly reach & frequency & grps in the adv will be quite tedious....I am confused...please help!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 09, 2003 ):
The Guru does not understand your confusion. You say you understand how to calculate the reach of several vehicles in one medium and how to combine the reaches of several media.

One thing you must understand is that reach is always calculated over a specified period of time. The standard period is four weeks. Often, when print is the only medium involved, one month is used because this is virtually the same as four weeks and monthly magazines fit readily. However, it should be recognized that variations in issue dates muddy the time cycle, and that monthly magazines' audiences cume over a longer period than one month.

In any case, whether the flow chart is divided into 12 months or 13 four-week periods, the process is simply a matter of looking at the schedule that will run in each of these periods and calculating the R/F/grp for each. The is not any kind of standard that establishes that a flow chart should show R&F for every month. When schedules are fairly consistent, it is probably more common to show the average 4-week R&F within each quarter, or whatever is needed to give a clear understanding of the plan's communications levels.

And yes, if you are doing the work manually, it is tedious.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003 #5865
What are the pros and cons of using a :15 tv spot versus a :30 tv spot? Does emotional based creative work well in a smaller unit size, like a :!5 tv spot? Thanks, WP

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 08, 2003 ):
By any measure of impact, e.g. recall, persuasion, etc. :30's will always beat :15s, one for one. By measures of media communications, e.g, reach, frequency, grps, impressions, :15's will always beat :30's, in a campaign. In a campaign, these latter measures may mean overall recall and impact favor :15s, if the message can be communicated.

Sunday, February 23, 2003 #5851
I have been asked to comment on the agency's performance on media buying and planning for their year end review. Can you provide hints on what I should look for or comment on for each discipline Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 02, 2003 ):
Are you commenting as a client or as an agency manager, it might change the questions or priorities? For buying, the issue is delivering the goals specified and measured. I.e.
  • grp levels specified
  • Media mix specified
  • Pricing
. Media buying performance is driven by planning and the planners' ability to clearly convey goals. That is, don't fault your buyers if someone else claims to get better prices. Perhaps the planners specifications called for some schedule qualities that require higher-priced choices, or budgets were released to the buyers without enough time to negotiate or after the 'good stuff' was sold out.

In other words, look at the whole picture. Evaluate planners ability to translate advertising goals into specific media goals / strategies / tactics. The look at how this was translated into buying goals to assure the buyers delivered what was needed. If prices seem high, did the planners insist on / help buyers' estimating best prices.

If you are agency management, you may also be interested in how the planning and buying interfaces with account management, traffic and production.

Friday, February 14, 2003 #5835
I'm proposing 1 ad every day, M-F, in Wheel of Fortune for 5 weeks. My media software is calculating an average frequency which does not seem to take into account frequency built against this one program over a 5-week period. What can I do?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 17, 2003 ):
The Guru would expect almost no reach build after the first week, just a grp increase. So if the program has 1 rating of 5, and reach of, say, 8 at the end of week one. the reach is 8 with a frequency of 3.1 (The 25 grp ÷ 8).

After five weeks, reach might be 12 and frequency 10.4 (125 grp). The range of possibility is not large, Minimum of one. maximum of 25. Get better software.

Saturday, February 08, 2003 #5817
What is a grp?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 15, 2003 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about grp

Friday, February 07, 2003 #5816
Is there a benchmark for the number of grps per week that should be used for local radio? Thanks. Also, I have CPP's for local radio from 4Q '02, is it safe to use those costs for 2Q'03 or should I bump them up? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 08, 2003 ):
The Q4 '02 cpps should be safe as estimates for Q2 '03, as general numbers, but station specifics can change.

Many planners like 100 grp a week, but frankly, it's just a round number. If there are other, primary media, 50 grp might be enough, as long as it's 12 spots on a station (another arbitrary, but more logically defensible standard).

If it's a short term, readio only promotion, then 150 - 200 might be needed. There are no absolute rules.

Monday, February 03, 2003 #5797
Dear Guru: Need your opinion on the following real life problem. Let us say there are about 30 beer brands in my market with some advertising, and about 6 or 7 of them advertise very heavily (about 400 grps weekly for a 8-10 week flight). Their flights come one after another and cover the whole season, so that during the season at any time there are 2 heavy advertisers on air. Say I have a similar budget as any of the heavy advertisers. What will happen if I decide to use Recency and spread my 3600 grps evenly throughout the whole season? How in this case will my 133 weekly grps be able to compete with 800 weekly grps of my 2 competitors? I hope my message is not too confusing. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 03, 2003 ):
Just to speculate in the extreme:

Your brand might be #2 all year, while heavy advertiser A is #1 half the time and #20 when not advertising. Advertiser B will be #1 the rest of the time and #21 when not advertising. Who is best off? Perhaps #2 all the time? Realsitically, if you can average 133 while others are much higher, where are you in the competitive set, anyway?

Monday, January 06, 2003 #5723
I would like to research available media for my marketing strategy. Info on TV/Radio grps or newspaper/magazine print spend is readily available, but I am having trouble finding info on "newer" media outlets such as menu inserts, POP collateral (ei. postcards, take-ones, mini ads), unique destination signage, etc. Where can I look to collect info on selection (what is out there and available), cost, vendor/supplier, how to get it/who to get it from, etc. for less conventional media? Ideas and suggestions much appreciated!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 12, 2003 ):
What makes these "newer" media new is that they haven't yet developend syndicated research or measurement standards. Typically,as the begin to form associations, they begin to compile research. POPAI is one such for POP materials.

Saturday, December 21, 2002 #5699
Dear Guru, What's the difference between grp & TRP? Thanks, JR

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 21, 2002 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses

Wednesday, December 18, 2002 #5693
Dear Guru: When estimating grps for a media plan, what is considered an acceptable error level (10%, 15% or more)? Thanks, R.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 19, 2002 ):
The Guru presumes you actually mean the ratio of post buy delivery to plan, since plan specifications are prescriptions, rather than estimates. In any case, it is a judgement, but 10% is a common tolerance.

Sunday, December 15, 2002 #5683
dear guru, i'm planning on print a first flight in january and after a hyatus of 6 months another flight in august: is it correct to sum the grp of the 2 flight or i should evaluate them separately? thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 15, 2002 ):
Why you would sum the grp? A cume R&F would be misleading.

Saturday, December 14, 2002 #5681
I am planning for an entertainment account. We have sold our clients a plan that emphasizes quality buys versus tonnage. I have a buyer who is insisting on buying Prime Orbits or Rotations vs fixed position prime in order to save costs. However for the plan, we value quality and delivery over saving versus year ago cpps. Can you help me explain why fixed position prime is better in this case than prime rotations and orbits?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 15, 2002 ):
First, it is the buyer's job to deliver the media according to plan and not according to the buyer's own personal goals. The Guru has often encountered buyers who bought something more expesive/less efficient to deliver better reach when the plan was focused on tonnage or grp goals. A buyer's first goal is delivering planned media.

That being said, the Guru does not think there is anything better about fixed posiotns versus rotations inherently. If your prime schedule for a week on the NBC affiliate is 1 spot in "Friends", one spot in "ER" and 1 spot in Third Watch, why do you care if they were bought individually or delivered in a rotator of "3 prime spots."

It's a very good buyer who can deliver the programming you need at Orbit prices. Fixed positions are NOT "quality" because they cost more, but because your specification have mafde these programs more desirable

The issue may be that your targeting or program evironment needs make ER or Third Watch desirable and Friends less so.

Friday, December 06, 2002 #5660
What is the difference between grp (Gross rating point) and TVR (Television Viewing rate)?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 06, 2002 ):
The Guru is not familiar with "television viewing rate." If you mean the measurement which shows that people watch X% of available hours, that is quite unlike the grp measure which is a sum of the percents of people exposed to each commercial in a schedule, totalled.

Friday, November 22, 2002 #5637
What's the definition of point of diminishing return and how it's applied?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 22, 2002 ):
This is not a purely media term. In general "point of diminishing returns" refers to the situation where additonal effort or spending begins to cause notable less results. A media example is the point where a reach curve "flattens." The first 10 grp may generate 10% reach, the next 10 grp adds 8 reach points. At 200 grp, the next 10 adds less than 1 reach point. The curve below is illustrative, with the point of diminshing returns somewhere around 250 - 300 grp

Thursday, November 21, 2002 #5634
I understand that % reach diminishes as the number of grp increases, but over what time period is this based on? In other words, would there be a difference if a flight ran for a week with 500 grp opposed to a month with 500 grp.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 21, 2002 ):
This is better stated as "% reach increment decreases as grps increase."

The standard R&F calculation period is 4 weeks. In general, the same grps produce more reach in a shorter time, because of people's media use habits.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002 #5589
Our company works with separate media agencies for planning and buying. The method of evaluating TV plans is different by both - one follows 50% prog reach while the other follows spot reach within a commercial break, resulting in huge variance in grpS for the same plan. Can you tell me what is the best method to do this?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 29, 2002 ):
Perhaps your ratings service measure differently than in the U.S. Spot reach seems perfectly reasonable, and directly applicable to the schedule. The Guru isn't sure what you mean by '50%' of program reach. In U.S. ratings, program ratings are an average of audience through the program and not far different than the rating of any spot aired within.

Sunday, October 27, 2002 #5582
How can you calculate grps for magazines and billboards?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 27, 2002 ):
It depends on what information you are starting with. If you have impressions, then impressions ÷ universe is the answer. In magazines, impressions are an accumulation of average issue audience. In billboards, it's the accumulation of daily effective circulation (D.E.C.).

Tuesday, October 22, 2002 #5574
Dear Guru, I am interested in the perfect values of the following media parameters for one TV campaign of beer product (May be there is some standards): 1. Number of flights per year 2. TRP’ s per week 3. TRP’ s per campaign 4. OTS per campaign 5. Reach 1+, 3+, 5+ per campaign I am interested which are the effective frequency and the effective reach. Thank you very much for your answers.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 27, 2002 ):
There are no perfect answers. Within whatever budget you have, you must consider what is possible. If you can afford 5,200 grp per year, is it better to have 100 grp per week every week or 146 grp for 9 four week flights?

Part of the answer depends on how you set the effective frequency goal. Perhaps seasonality tells you you need the 150 in the summer but only the 100 the rest of the year. What level do the competitors run? What is your brand awareness? What are your awareness goals, sales goals, share goals?

In short, budget, and many circumstances need to be considered rather than any quest for abstractly 'perfect' answers

Sunday, October 13, 2002 #5559
Is there any advantage in grp backloading within a Tv flight?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 13, 2002 ):
There may be some measurable effects, but not that the Guru would broadly characterize as advantages. One theory says that holding back the weight until most of the target has had three exposures, is beneficial. The Guru is not convinced that this is truly advantageous, over time.

Friday, September 20, 2002 #5521
what it the definition for grp

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 22, 2002 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses defining grp

Monday, September 09, 2002 #5503
Dear Media Guru: I have read in some of your previous responses that the rule-of-thumb wear-out level for a typical 30" TV copy is about 2000 grps. What would the wearout level be for a 15" copy, about 1500 grps (75% of the 30")? And what about a 5" copy? Thank you. R.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 12, 2002 ):
The 2000 grp level related to quintiles of frequency of exposure, therefore the copy length chage does not inherently call for a change. Is there a reason to think the :15 wears out faster than the :30? 75% is an impact or recall ratio. If rcall were less, wear out might be, too.

Friday, August 30, 2002 #5497
Dear Medai Guru: Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge and experience! Question: Are there any estimated (or guestimated) grp equivalents between different media. Example: Say, I am planning 400 grps on TV to reach about 50% at 4+. If I decide to use only outdoor, what R&F should I be planning for?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 02, 2002 ):
Different media have different strengths and uses; see the Guru's media strengths page

It is not appropriate to say that instead of "X" TV R&F one may substitute "Y" outdoor R&F.

400 grp of TV would be a solid 4 week schedule. A light showing of outdoor develops 125-150 grp per week, and 600-700 isn't uncommon. Such a schedule would deliver 90-95 reach with 30+ average frequency; perhaps 90 at 4+. Other issues of communication, such as message complexity and impact would outweigh the R&F comparison.

Thursday, August 22, 2002 #5479
1. How to determine the minimum grps that we should use per month 2. How do we know which level of frequency that we should set as effective frequency. Mostly we are using 3+ when do the planning but still wondering. Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 22, 2002 ):
Click here to see a compilation of past Guru responses about setting effective levels.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002 #5462
Dear Media Guru: Let's say there are 2 competing chewing gum brands in the market that generate over 800 grps weekly each. Clearly they are fighting for a higher SOV. The awareness level of each is close to 100%. I would think that when you have such a high awareness level you just need to maintain it with about 100 or max 200 grps weekly which will give you 80-85% reach. Maybe there are merits in such huge grp weights that I am not aware of? Thanks, R.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 14, 2002 ):
In communications levels questions, it is always important to understand that different target groups and especially differetn cultures have different expectations and needs.

You appear to be writing from Uzbekistan, so the Guru's experience may not apply directly.

Sometimes schedules seem high because ratings are enormous, perhaps 25%, so any kind of frequency runs to heavy grp weights. If ratings are 2-5% than this probably isn't a factor.

There are more effects derived from grp weights than just reach. At the levels of which you speak, frequency becomes the key variable. If chewing gum is a major staple in your market with users making purhcase decisions daily, extreme frequency levels might be justified. If gum brands have more significant social overtones - i.e. are culturally significant, unlike the U.S. perhaps the weight is justified.

In a U.S. context, these levels do seem mystifying.

Friday, August 09, 2002 #5459
Dear Media Guru, is there any clear relation (formula or something) between Effective reach and grp? For example: if I have to achieve 3+ Reach 60%, how much grp do I need?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 10, 2002 ):
Different media and media element mixes yield different results. That is, 100 grp of radio is different than 100 grp of TV or newspaper. 100 grp of daytime TV is different than 100 grp of Prime and News.

Reach and frequency models can deal with these differences, but there is no one-size-fits-all grp number for a given effective reach.

Thursday, August 01, 2002 #5445
Guru, thank you in advance for helping out. In our market, the TVC time is monopolized by a single government owned body and it doesn't sell spots on a grps(or TARPs) basis. I was wondering in markets where they DO, the CPP, once fixed for a certain T/A, is something guaranteed right? or is this also up for negos. Could please explain.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 01, 2002 ):
In the US, whether cpp is guaranteed varies by media type and buying circumstances, among other things.

For instance, small spot or scatter network TV buys are not typically subject to guarantee. Network upfront or syndication typically is guaranteed.

Thursday, July 25, 2002 #5435
Many years ago I used a formula to measure brand recall on TV. It was called the Zielski Study, and basically you applied a formula to the TV weekly TARP weightings when on air and another formula to current recall % achieved to measure the recall "drop off" factor when off air. You were then able to manage flighting of a TV schedule to either maintain a target recall %, or analyse exactly how many weeks you could be off air before dropping below a nominated recall % and then calculate how many TARPs were required to lift recall to the desired target. You wouldn't happen to have that algebraic formula would you?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 27, 2002 ):
You seem to be talking of awareness, an aspect of a brand or of advertising, rather than recall, a phenomenon usually attributed to an individual advertisement.

The kink in these formulae is that they seem to be keyed to 100 grp per week for a brand with established awareness. Click here to see Guru discussion of awareness decline formulae.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002 #5405
Quick question, I have an AE who keeps bringing up "impact factor" with planning. And that the impact factor needs to be addressed when planning and grp's and total R/F need to be adjusted. I have no clue what he means or an idea how to do this. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 10, 2002 ):
It sounds like your AE just arrived from working on an account which used such factors. Perhaps he never worken on any other acount and doesn'r realize this is ideosyncratic. Or perhaps he came from an agency with their own factors.

In any case, "impact" factors might be based on an index of recall or attentiveness or some other measurement of results specific to media types, from synidcated or proprietary research.

Typically, the "best medium" which is probably going to be prime time television has a 100 index and the others are set in relation to that. Also typically, the grp are adjsuted and reach is then calculated based on the adjusted grp.

None of this "impact factor" process is absolute or standard, but it can be done.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002 #5398
how could I create a reach curve if I don´t have any information of "frecuency and reach" available. What kind of assumption should I suppose? Thanks Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 05, 2002 ):
"Creating a curve" is about graphing some data so that other data can be interpolated. In other words, when you know the reach or frequency from a few different schedules of grps, you then can predict the results of others.

Lacking any data, what assumptions might you make?

  • The general shape of a reach curve is more or less like the one shown below

  • Generally, the curve rises rapidly at first and then flattens, because it is 'asymtotic,' in mathematical terms
  • The top of the curve cannot exceed the reach potential of the medium.
  • The starting point will have reach equal to the rating of a single announcement, but the curve is drawn from a (0,0) origin.
  • The smaller the average rating, the slower the rise.
Reach curves are usually created from the frequencies observed in the known schedules, because the graph of frequencies is a straight line, so its 'slope,' to use another mathematical term is easier to deal with.

Reach with no observations is a complex calculation. You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar. In one example, as input you need average announcement audience, duplication between announcements of the same vehicle and duplication between each possible pair of different vehicles. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables

Wednesday, July 03, 2002 #5397
Hi: I Need to get "the reach and frecuency" of one cable TV`plan and for my understanding exists a curve generated by grp and some assumptions which could tells me what I want. Do you know a web site where I could find this kind of information?? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 03, 2002 ):
Try eTelmar

Friday, June 07, 2002 #5332
Is there absolutely no difference between TVR and TRP (and how about grp...)? I have looked your though recent responses, but haven't found exactly what i need. thanks an advance!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 08, 2002 ):
  • TVR applies to single units and to TV
  • The other two are accumulations
  • TRP and grp may be used in any medium
  • TRP is not used in reference to households
Click here to see past Guru responses about TVR and here for TRP & grp

Wednesday, June 05, 2002 #5327
Due to the successful broadcast upfronts, many are now prediciting that cable will follow suit. My question is this - while there remains only 5 or 6 broadcast networks, there are now hundreds of cable channels, and this number is constantly increasing. How can we expect advertising supported cable to remain if there continues to be more and more channels for advertisers to spend their money? Certainly, the money will not come out of thin air, but rather will have to come from somewhere.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 06, 2002 ):
The Guru does not see the logical connection between sucessful upfronts (if you believe the networks' Wall Street-oriented hype) and a growth in the number of ad-supported cable networks / or problem in ad dollars.

Assume there exist a finite number of national Television grpS out there to be sold. Several years ago, the existing 3 broadcast networks owned 90+% of them Today, it is perhaps 50%. This, in part, explains inflation in cost-per-grp. Networks need to be able to price their grps attractively for advertisers and adequately to provide sufficient operating revenue. One solution is apparently more commercial time per hour.

If they can't operate efficiently, they will not survive.

Thursday, May 30, 2002 #5312
Our agency has suggested moving away from a national cable buy and buying local cable instead. Our brand has franchises throughout the country, although there are certainly heavier pockets in some areas of the country - we are nationwide. The thought behind the switch is that we would be able to afford higher grp levels if advertising is concentrated in top markets by franchisee. The agency believes that buying spot still engages a lot of waste, which is why they are recommending a time consuming, potentially more costly buy. They believe that matching cable systems to specific franchisees will produce better results. What, in your opinion, are the disadvantages to buying local cable? I know that we would lose rating guarantees, and sponsorships, but are there other issues as well? Thank you for assistance.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 31, 2002 ):
The chief disadvantage which the Guru sees, in addition to those you have mentioned, is inefficiency. Local cable bought system by system is probably the least efficient form of TV.

It's a matter of ratios, though, and probably should be considered market by market. For example:

  • In one market, perhaps you would only buy cable sytem "A," which covers 25% of the total DMA.
  • $10,000 buys you 100 grp within that system
  • But $10,000 would buy you 150 grp in the entire DMA (and equally within the system).
  • So even if 75% of the DMA-wide buy is "waste," it still delivers 50% more weight where it counts.

These are theoretical numbers and you have to look at the actual numbers for your market areas, including the comparison of a national buy to local cable. The Guru expects that local cable will be neither the most efficient nor lowest-cost choice.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002 #5297
I am writing a POV for a client on radio frequency levels. Are there any guidelines or general principles on weekly and 4-wk frequency goals for national radio? I haven't been able to find anything through the RAB.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 26, 2002 ):
There are many theories. Other than buying 12 spots per station per week, in local radio, there are few standard points of agreement, and even the 12 spot theory is not absolute.

For example, in some situations, such as Black or Hispanic radio, where ratings levels can be 8 or better; grpS for 12 spotrs can be 100 or more and you are really buying reach more than frequency, attitudes about frequency will change.

Then, are you talking about spots-per-week frequency or average frequency of exposure? The answer will again change depending on what other media are in the plan.

The Guru feels that all this and more need to be taken into consideration, rather than look for general rules.

Thursday, May 16, 2002 #5288
Hi, do You know of any publishing companies/print media which are using variable advertising pricing according to the reach of the media so that fixed CPT is offered instead of fixed rates? Are there any print media where You can buy grp-s? If Yes; how is it done? Thanx, Marko!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 18, 2002 ):
The physical form of print media don't really allow this. You may buy geographic pieces of circulation, demographic editions or A/B (every other copy) splits of the circulation. You seem to want a random placement akin to online.

You can evaluate print media by grps but not buy audience chunks this way.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002 #5243
Hi Guru, Where can I find the TV c/grp and c/000 for France? Thanks a lot,

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 28, 2002 ):
Some international agecnies such Saatchi and Y&R publish media guides with this data. Otherwise, you will nedd to contact vendors.

Thursday, April 18, 2002 #5230
Dear Guru, Thank you so much for this GREAT website, really it was very helpful for us. I have a question, I think it was previously asked but I couldn’t find the answer I want. How outdoor mediums are evaluated? Such as Mupi “Road Dividers signs”, Billboards, and 4X3 signs. We are from Jordan located in the Middle East and we have a software which we use to evaluate other mediums such as TV, Radio, and print but not outdoor. I would really appreciate if you can work on this example: From the software: Total population is 2131000 (all the figures are from the software - research) The TG audience is Married Females SEC ABC&D: sec = monthly income 200JD + Total # of TG is 398,200 è 19% of the total population. We are selecting 100 faces of the 4mx3m signs across the Capital City. The total number of cars in the capital city “Amman” is 1,131,860 è 53% The period of the campaign is 1 week. I wonder if the above information might help you giving me the answer in evaluating this campaign and getting the figures for grp’s , Reach , AOTS. In anticipation of your kind reply & thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 20, 2002 ):
Generally, outdoor media are based on "DEC" or daily effective circulation, which is an estimate of the traffic passing the average posting and is oriented so that it can see signs. In the US, when Total DEC of a schedule equals the population, that is called a #100 showing or 100 grp.

Techniques for estimating DEC vary from place to place and according to type of sign. A month of 100 grp ought to have a reach of 95% or so. The Guru could not possibly have specific data on all the signage and demographic variants of all the countries in the world.

Thursday, April 11, 2002 #5217
what are grp's

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 11, 2002 ):
Click here to see past Guru discussion of grps

Tuesday, March 19, 2002 #5160
What is a grp

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 19, 2002 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses defining grp

Tuesday, March 05, 2002 #5134
What is the difference between TRP's and grp's? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 05, 2002 ):
The Guru has addressed this question often. Click here to see past Guru responses

Saturday, March 02, 2002 #5130
Media Guru - if you are already using SOV and SOD models, is there a way to determine share of EFFECTIVE voice? And How does inflation/deflation effect SOV?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 04, 2002 ):
When you use possibly idiosyncratic terms, the Guru is less certain that his response addresses your actual query.

The Guru will assume for the sake of this answer that by "SOV", you mean share of messages/ grp/impresions being delivered in the category and by "SOD" you mean share of advertising dollars being spent in the category.

Therefore to compare effective SOV you must begin by assigning relative weights to messages depending on the media type and ad unit, so that if a TV :30 has an index of 100, perhaps a TV :10 has a value of 70, a Radio :60 has a value of 80, A newspaper full page has value of 90, a magazine 4 color spread has a value of 120, etc. (these are NOT recommended values, just for the sake of example).

Then by applying these indices to impressions measured in each medium and unit, you can calculate a Share of Effective Voice.

Since SOV is calculated for a specific, measured period of time, inflation/delation shouldn't be a factor.

Thursday, February 28, 2002 #5125
I need the grp (gross rating points) for a national ad. Im talking about advertising a commercial nation wide. I need the national rate at which the cost would be

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 04, 2002 ):
A national ad must be defined further for a specific answer.

The Guru will assume you are talking about television. But the specific demographic is important. Whether your ad runs on cable or network and in what daypart is also crucial.

A national ad could have a rating of less than 0.1 or over 20.0. The cost could range from a few hundred dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002 #5121
If an advertiser cuts their typical TV schedule in half for three months, can we guage any residual effect in the following three months even if they return to normal levels.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 27, 2002 ):
One old rule of thumb was that about 10% of the previous week's awareness is lost each week without advertising. A collateral rule was that about 10% of the grps were added back to reach if some advertisng ran.

So, if awareness was 80% and you had been running 100 grp per week, after one week without advertisng, awareness would fall to 72%. But if you ran 50 grp instead of nothing, you could gain back 5 points.

Obviously, this scenario will always show an awareness loss in any week with less than 100 grp, no mattere the ratio to prior weeks grps. It is overly simplistic, but may be directionally useful.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002 #5117
Dear Guru! Sorry for unclear question about media mix. I would like to know is it a possibility to estimate the whole advertising campaign in different media by using common indexes (grps, frequency, reach etc) if there are no data from the same source - people-meters (TV), diary (press and radio)?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 27, 2002 ):
Yes. It is a standard procedure to combine media and has been for decades. There are some basic assumptions of statistical overlap, making a crude combination through probability arithmetic fairly indicative, and making modern media software, such as that offered by Telmar, reasonably specific.

Sunday, February 24, 2002 #5111
What is the most effective advertising to reach a Senior Target - Adults 55 and over with Income under $17,000/yr. The product is apartments, the market is Greenville County, South Carolina. The budget is only $10,000. What do you recommend other than Sunday Real Estate Newspaper Ads that will be efficient and effective?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 25, 2002 ):
Even assuming that your prospects are all local, the budget doesn't seem serious. You might afford 200 grp of radio or a similalry indeaquate local cable scehdule. If your prospects might be northerners looking for retirement homes, which seems unlikely at that income level, small space national magazine ads in smaller, senior-oriented magazines might be effective.

Bottom line, you need a real budget, or you're stuck in the real estate section and maybe pennysavers.

Monday, February 18, 2002 #5092
I have a National Cable TV plan that we estimate will deliver a reach/frequency of 33/5.5 if run for four consecutive weeks. I have 7 networks planned. My question is this: What would happen to reach and frequency if I scheduled the same 180 grp's as two weeks on, two weeks off, two weeks on. My estimate is that the reach may increase slightly.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 18, 2002 ):
On the theory that there are always a very few people who do not watch in any finite period, but may be caught across a longer period, you are probably correct. The opportunity to capitalize on this aspect of reach is probably better by spreading the weight over the same weeks than by flighting, but the differences are likely infinitesimal.

Friday, February 15, 2002 #5088
Dear Guru: i am media planner in Colombia and I´m trying to convince a client (femenine protection) to use RECENCY planning, but i have some doubts, i wonder if my brand have many products (8) that use the same brand name i can plan Recency for the whole brand? i mean, the trp´s i use for each product can i cummulate them assumming is for the general brand? I have a very good budget, i have 19.000 trp´s for the whole brand, and is enough to be the entire year. 2. Do you know some case study about a brand in femenine protection that has used recency?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 15, 2002 ):
With 19,000 grp ( 365 per week), the Guru doesn't think recency will be a brand issue.

There is a judgment to make outside of media issues regarding whether the relationships between the various products form haloes around one another or if their messages are so different that they need separate communication goals.

If the products were entirely complementary, for instance, napkins, belts, panty liners, douche and deodorant, then they could be considered complementary. If they are more competitive, e.g. tampons vs pads, or have very different targets, e.g. teens versus women 50+, then the rub-off is less valid.

Friday, February 15, 2002 #5087
I am planning a magazine campaign which is over a period of 6 months with a reach emphasis. Can you please explain how the frequency builds along with reach.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 15, 2002 ):
Each magazine has a rating. The rating is equal to target readers ÷ target universe. grp = sum of the ratings of all the insertions.

The first insertion will have reach equal to its rating points and a frequency of 1.0.

When grps accumulate, Reach increases at a decreasing rate, as in the curve below.

A print reach "curve" builds more quickly at first; especially when there are more different titles and less so when there is repetition in fewer titles.

grp ÷ Reach = Frequency. Frequency, if graphed, would be a straight line.

Monday, February 11, 2002 #5078
Hi - My client wants a general guideline for scheduling strategies for a maintenance versus a launch campaign. The obvious answer is continuity versus burst, but could you advise on the number of weeks on and off air for both approaches? Including ideal grp levels? Thanks a lot!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 11, 2002 ):
The primary factor here is budget. With adequate budget, continuity is always better even if levels vary at specific times. You need to determine what is an "adequate level" which you might define in terms of reach, or frequency or media mix, etc. For additional guidance, Click here to see Guru comment on recency.

Friday, February 08, 2002 #5072
what is grp

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 10, 2002 ):
"gross rating points" is a comarison of the impressions delivery of a schedule to the target universe size. One million gross impressions equates to 100 grp if the target population is one million.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002 #5059
Dear Guru (by the way, thanks for your earlier answers, they are really helpful !) : If I reach 3 differents profiles of people with 1 outdoor campaign, is it correct to say that reachxfrequency for each target equals the TRP (target rate points), and that the grp is reachxfrequency over the entire population. So the grp would be composed out of several TRPs?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 10, 2002 ):
First, grp and TRP are equivalent terms. Some people reserve use of TRP (Target Rating Points) for cases where a speciific demographic is targeted, such as Women 18-49, College educated men, or Employed teenagers, and then only use "grp" (Gross Ratings Points) for a Household target. Others use grp for any target. In either case, the term means gross percentage of the specified target universe.

Arithmetically, Reach x Frequency = grp or TRP. grp or TRP for different targets may not be added.

Thursday, January 24, 2002 #5033
Is there any data out there that provides ROI information on Radio/Print/TV/Cable Schedules. Just some basic numbers. For example, we mostly know that direct mail averages about a 2% response. Is there a formula or somewhere I can go to get info for Radio or TV? For example #2 My client is placing a certain number of grps on Radio and wants to know of the people reached, how many will attend the event advertised (like a one day seminar). What they want to know is on average how many people reached respond to an ad (Print/Radio/cable/TV). Any where I can find a rough estimate or some research- This is kind of like the "Ad Effectiveness Lab" that Arbitron is working on , but is not finished with.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 31, 2002 ):
There are too many variables to generalize. It depends much, much more on the message and product than on the medium. An event is different than a movie, which is different than an inexpensive household product which is purchased frequently, which is different than a big-ticket item bought every few years.

One good resource is an article, "Advertising Wearin and Wearout" in the September/October 1998 Journal of Advertisng Research.

For much more try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Tuesday, January 22, 2002 #5026
Now that Outdoor can be mixed with other media, what is your thinking on how do the number of uses effect the frequency distribution? Should we be transferring grp's, number of days or number of boards times days? How does this effect the frequency of the programs?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 31, 2002 ):
Outdoor could always be mixed with other media, so the Guru presumes you mean that the media software you use now has the ability to calculate reach and frequency for the combined media. Your question is probably answered in the software's manual.

Saturday, January 12, 2002 #5000
Dear Guru, where can I find information about multi media planning (when I buy all media for grps and plan them together to gain aggregate effictiveness: Reach, Frequency, etc.)

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 15, 2002 ):
Planning per se is about multimedia combinations, or reasons to use only one. Start basic media planning texts, you will find in theAMIC Bookstore (in association with

Thursday, January 03, 2002 #4971
Dear Guru - Was there ever a "chart" that enabled media buyers to calculate reach/freq, gross impressions etc for broadcast television planning. I have been explaining to someone that we use programs for this kind of thing, but this person seems to remember using a chart and thinks i should be able to do this manually if he could. I've never heard of it, have you? He would have been planning around 1975. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 03, 2002 ):
Yes, before computers became common in the 80's, when there were just 3 networks, with 90%+ share, no cable, and few independent stations, R&F tables were the way it was done. Every few years, using Nielsen cume studies of actual scehdules, average reaches for various grp levels were calculated. There might be variables for the number of programs or episodes used. In this way all possibilities for a daypart could be displayed on a single, typed page.

Today, with computers on every desk, 6 broadcast networks amassing only 50% share, dozens of cable options and hundreds of independent stations, accuracy requires computer systems. Such crude tables could be still constructed, but why bother when computers and software are so readily available?

The Guru who was using the charts in the 60's, is happy with his computer today.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001 #4938
Greetings. You previously answered a question for me regarding calculating R/F for a trade print plan (question #4900). Based on your answer (which included calculating ratings and using industry standard duplication figures), I am calculating overall Reach for each publication and for the entire schedule. Once I have that information (Reach%, Rating%), can you confirm what formula I would use to get the Frequency (both for each publication and for the entire schedule). I have searched many years of your archives and can't find an answer that addresses that specific question. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 11, 2001 ):
Frequency = grp ÷ Reach

grp is the sum of all the Ratings which go into the Reach.

For example, if publication "A" has a 12% rating, three insertions = 36 grp.

A schedule of 3 times in publication "A," plus 4 times in publication "B," which has a 16% rating = 110 grp.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001 #4899
I'm currently using 2,000 toal grp's for the year, as the test for campaign wearout. Are there any new figures for wearout due to the constant increase in messaging?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 21, 2001 ):
The factors of wearout depend on a lot more than the environmental clutter. Though one common rule of thumb has been 2000 grp, the Guru has never seen this or any other specific justified through published research.

Click here to see past Guru responses

Sunday, November 11, 2001 #4876
Dear Guru, I am developing a local cable buy for adults 18+, and working with two cable systems for coverage in one county. Can you provide me with some insight to accurately project cable tv reach and frequency, when the cable systems may not be able to provide ratings data for the county targeted. If I do receive estimated ratings from these systems, can I figure this the same as network buys are estimated, R X F = grps? I was also wondering if cable systems will typically "post" buys, as network stations do? Any insight you can provide in relation to estimating cable effectiveness would be appreciated. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 12, 2001 ):
  • The arithmetic defintions of Reach, Frequency and grp assures that R x F = grp always "works." But this doesn't help you figure anything out until you have two of the three terms.
  • Your best assumption, lacking all other data is that R&F develops the same as CableNetwork
  • If there are no actual ratings available, there is no basis for a "post."

If you are limited to only those cable channels with local availability, reach will be limited. If your target is narrow and matches the profile of some of these channels, which you will buy, enough frequency can produce an effective schedule. Remeber, it may take 500 spots to accumulate 50 grp, and reach will only be equal to some small portion of grp.

Monday, November 05, 2001 #4865
Guru, what's the methodology for reach & frequency. I have two schedules, one gets an 77 reach/3.1 freq, the other 85 reach/4.2 freq. and a cume of 87 reach/5.6 freq. A client just asked why such a small increase from year to year.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 07, 2001 ):
The Guru's answer is based on the assumption that you mean:

"In year 1, I ran a schedule which cumed 77 reach, with 3.1 average frequency (and presumably about 240 grp), and

In year 2, I ran a schedule with a cume reach of 85, and an average frequency of 4.2 (about 360 total grp), and

the cume across the two years reported as 87 reach / 5.6 average frequency (487 grp). So why is this cume only 87 when I had 85 in year 2 alone, on top of the 77 in year 1?


  1. First, if the cume is the combination of the two schedules, there is an arithmetic error somewhere in the cume. The grp (reach X frequency) of the cume must be the sum of the two individual schedules, which would be about 600 grp.
  2. Reach grows more slowly as you near the potential. Why? When you reach 85% of the target, most of the people reached are among the 77% you reached previously. At it's simplest, based on pure probability, your 85% reach in year 2 means that year 2's schedule reaches 85% of the 77% already reached and 85% of the 23% not yet reached. This would add 20% to year 1's 77% for a cume of 97%. But the nature of media is that some people consume some media regularly and others not at all. So duplication in a given medium is more than pure probability. Thus reach is only 87% in cume.
  3. If you had used completely different media in each year the cume would more nearly apporach the 97% probability.
Reach methodology differs between media types.

Wednesday, October 24, 2001 #4819
I know you have addressed this question many times, but I could not find an answer to help me in your archives. How can I determine reach & frequency for my television buy without buying software? I do not know reach or frequency, only total TRP's. Please help.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 24, 2001 ):
Reach and frequency is a complex calculation. Without software, only tables of results based on averaging actula caluculation will be helpful. Complexities of dayparts, demographics, and timing can mean a 2:1 range in results for the same grp. If the media vendors can't help you, eTelmar is a low-cost, pay-per-use alternative.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001 #4798
Could you please give me all examples of TV flights pattern: grp min/max levels, guerilla tactics, else ?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 16, 2001 ):
Flight patterens can be any imaginable combination of active and inactive weeks from 1 on / 12 of to 12 on / 1 off. Anything more extreme shouldn't be considered flighting. The on/off patterens do not have to be equal or consistent.

Some think grps should be at least suffieceint to reach 30% of target weekly in a continuity plan. There is no real upper end except the "point of diminishing returns" where adding reach is prohibitively expensive or no longer possible. Even then, some would add weight just for frequency in promotions.

Guerilla tactics are marketing, not media issues.

Saturday, October 13, 2001 #4791
I have been trying to find a clear, easy-to-understand way of explaining to account services why Nielsen isn't an absolute, exact science, but see it for the base measurement tool that it is. Any way you could sum it up for me? I have pointed out many of the flaws and error measurements to the methodology but they can't seem to grasp why it isn't black and white.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 13, 2001 ):
One would devoutly hope that an account professional would have some experience with survey research, like attitude and usage studies, but then again, many of them believe you can project porduct usage from a couple of focus groups of ten people.

Nielsen is like any other research based on sampling, it is subject to sampling error. Projecting behavior of an entire population based on a large sample is a well established scientific procedure, and Nilesen has a good overview on their site. The short answer is, when well conducted research is based on a random sample, results are at best within a certain +/- range. When you hear that a national political poll regarding two candidates is '+/- 3 points' that really means that a 50% projection is between 47 and 53% at a certain confidence level like 95%. Or, that id the poll was redone the same way 100 times, 95 times the results for that question would be from 47 to 50%. But 50% has the largest possible sample portion behind it ( if the answer was 75%, it also means that 25% said the opposite and both must be equally reliable.

TV ratings are more often numbers like 2% or 7% because there are so many viewing choices and non-viewer as well. With the same sample as the political poll above, the 2% answer (or rating) is subject to much less absolute error than the 50% answer, perhaps 0.4 points rather than 3 points, But as a relative error that is very big, 20% of the audeince reported. Over time, if a show' real rating is 2.0 and rthe aduience doesn't change, there will be some weeks that get a 2.4 rating and others with a 1.6. They'll average out to the 2.0, but depending on how you read Nielsen, you need to account for that. If you by a weekly program expecting the 2.0, and happen to be in a 1.6 week, you hope (realistically) that some other program you bought has an 'up' week. Over a whole quarterly schedule, with a lot of announcements, if the grps are far from expectation, look elsewhere than Nielsen for blame.

Friday, October 12, 2001 #4785
What is the difference between 100 grps in Canada and 100 TRPs in US? I've heard that it is harder to reach Canadains than it is Americans through television, is that true? If so, why?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 15, 2001 ):
100 grps means a quantity of impressions equal to the size of the population. So in Canada, 100 grps represents about 11% as many impressions as in the US, since Canada has 11% as big a population.

'Harder to reach' might mean many different things. Perhaps the major programs in Canada have lower ratings than in the US, or there are more different program choices. Or cume patterns are lower for whatever reason. Or cost per point is greater due to less economy of scale.

Wednesday, October 10, 2001 #4772
I am going to the planning process for a new b2b client at our agency. The client has a very specific audience it is looking to reach, thus buying by the numbers is becoming less of an option than cherry picking programs and flight dates based on the small and very high brow target. Any suggestions on how to request rates without buying on grp's or CPP? I don't want to get taken on the rates as a result of our obvious interest in very specific programming only. Additionally how do I then prove the buy later since it was bought on a qualitative basis?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 13, 2001 ):
  • At some point, you preumably are using some sort of numbers to evaluate the presence of your target in program audiences to support your cherry-picking
  • Rates are usually quoted as cost per spot for programs whne you are buying programs, so you can apply whatever numbers you have to compare these programs
  • If your audience is so small and rare in broadcast, perhaps you shouldn't be using broadcast in preference to more selective media
  • Or, if there are a specific network or two which focuses on your target, they may well be prepared to cater to someone buying this target

Tuesday, October 09, 2001 #4763
What's your opinion on Recency planning (Low weekly grp levels) in a market with no People Meter data only diary data (1 week survey twice a year). Having in mind that Diary data usually overestimates TV ratings. Are 80 to 100 Weekly TV grp to low in Diary data market?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 09, 2001 ):
Recency is about maintaining minimal continuous reach levels, not 'low grp levels'. 30 is about right for weekly reach. If you have a reach model keyed to diary measurement, that's your guide.

Wednesday, August 15, 2001 #4658
Guru, Could use some help framing questions for my agency relating to the effectiveness of a media campaign. We recently ran a test cell for a new campaign (our first)in which the agency provided information on total TRPs, total reach and total frequency over the life of the test. I need to determine how the frequency builds over time. Are there any formulas/rules of thumb for calculating build over time? If not, what specifically should I ask them for? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 15, 2001 ):
Reach relates to grp in a curvilinear function. Frequency relates to grp in a straight line. This doesn't mean that each week adds the same amount of frequency, merely that it's fairly easy to work with.

The easiest thing however, is probably to ask the agency to calculate cumulative reach and frequency, week by week, over the course of the campaign.

Thursday, August 09, 2001 #4648
Guru, I'm trying to figure out a Reach & Frequency of magazines which aren't measured. For discussion purposes, lets say my target base was 100,000. I am recommending 5 magazines with a total circ. of 80,000. However, I will be running in each about 5X over the course of 1 year. To make matters worse, I have no idea of the duplication between these mags. Without measured media, how do I figure an approx. R&F?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 11, 2001 ):
The first step to a crude estimate is to determine the target readers-per-copy (RPC of your largest circ book. With an average of 16,000 ( your 80,000 total across all 5), perhaps one is double the average or 32,000. If it has 2 target rpc, or 64,000 then your reach minimum is 64%. If all the books average 2 rpc, your schedule of 5 insertions in each of the 5 books has 320,000 impressions or 320 grp in a base of 100,000.

Assume each additional title adds at least one reach point. Now your reach will be somwhere between 68% and 95% (arbitrary upper limit). With 320 grp, your Reach / Freq is now somewhere between 68 / 4.7 and 95 / 4.3. Refining your rpc may narrow the range.

Or, if you have circ and rpc estimates, Telmar has software which can produce better projections.

Monday, July 23, 2001 #4598
Dear Guru, I need to compare the W25-54 gross rating points of national consumer magazines to the W25-54 gross rating points of a network television schedule. I am concerned about keeping “apples to apples,” when making this comparison. In doing so, it seems that it would be necessary to calculate grps based on the same universe (for both magazines and television). The television universe that I am using is provided by Nielsen and is based on W25-54 who live in a household with a television, which I think is roughly 98% of the population. My question is: Is it appropriate for my print universe to be based on W25-54 living in a TV HH (98%), OR should my print universe be based on 100% of the W25-54 population? Also, can I calculate the rating points of magazines individually and then add up my schedule to determine grps OR must I calculate magazine rating points based on a schedule in order to prevent duplication of W25-54? I am doing these calculations by hand and do not have access to MRI – outside of requesting information, such as a magazine’s W25-54 audience, from a magazine sales rep. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 24, 2001 ):
It would be simpler to compare impressions and not worry about the slight universe differences. If you must use grp, adjust TV grp downward according to the TV penetration factor.

grps disregard duplication, so simple addition is fine.

Wednesday, June 20, 2001 #4506
I am reading your SQAD Report on "Costs per TV Household Rating Point". I am a novice at this. What does this mean and how do I read this report? Thank you, Michael Jordan

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 23, 2001 ):
A "rating point" is equivalent to one percent of the population in the specifed universe. So, if a commerical has an audience of 1000 in a market with 100,000 housesehold, it has a rating of 1. If the audeince is five times as large it has a rating of 5. If you have a schedule consisting of five commericals like this, you would have 25 gross rating points (grps).

If you divide the cost of the schedule by the grps, the resulkt is the Cost per TV Household rating point. SQAD collects the actual buying records of several agencies and other media buyers to calculate the marketplace averages.

Wednesday, June 20, 2001 #4500
Dear Guru, Where can I find the report from Ron Lawrence,"Uniform Target Delivery:An Illusion,"Marketing and Media Decision,Desember 1987,in the internet?. The definition of target audience is still too vague for me because of some reason. An example : if i have a product with target audience ABC15+, and I want to find the best possible TV program to get higher Reach and optimal grp for my campaign at this target audience. Should I go directly to ABC15+ program or I go to A program first, second to B program and third to C program?. If I go to A program first, should I divided it again to Male and Female program?. This is very 'crucial' because most media planner in my country usually go directly to target audience ABC15+. Is it right or wrong?, what is strong and weakness for each methods?, where is the best methods? (go directly to ABC15+ or go to each segment first).thank/ AM-Indonesia

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 20, 2001 ):
Assuming no part of the target is more important than the rest, you will most likely buy more efficiently on the specific target. It should not be difficult to examine different scenarios. Marketing and Media Decisions has been out of business for years, but back issues might be on file at The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230. or ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research Organization, or universities.

Sunday, June 17, 2001 #4492
Hi Guru - I have a few cable TV questions. 1. Can reach/frequency estimates be done for cable schedules. My rep keeps giving me everything but. 2. Does Nielen measure all cable stations. 3. Why can't I get FX numbers on Telmar, just ESPN. 4. If I can get R/F for cable what are some of the major differences from Network numbers. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 17, 2001 ):
  1. Yes they can. Some smaller networks may not have the facilities to calculate R&F, but that doesn't seem likely.
  2. Yes, but not all cable networks have enough measured audience to be considered reportable by Nielsen
  3. Telmar systems which use your own Nielsen tape data will allow you to examine any reportable network. Systems like Market Maestro, which use established generalized data can only incorporate networks old enough and large enough at the time of the system update to have establish patterns, but not all the 100+ imaginable networks
  4. Because cable ratings are a fraction of broadcast ratings, and turnover is less, cable reaches cume lower in relation to grps. SInce cable universes are smaller than broadcast, reach potential is lower as well

Thursday, May 17, 2001 #4412
Where can I find a template or example of Televsion buying guidelines (i.e. client dictated programming to stay out of) to give to my broadcast buyer?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 21, 2001 ):
Some advertisers have ratings minima, some have restrictions aimed at better reach, such as limiting episodes of strip programming.

Some have content restrictions, such as sex, violence, social or political issues or other controversies. In any case the details are usually treated as trade secrets and no "template" should be neccessary, just clear language. Also, since any restrictions work against efficiency, none should be used withouot good reason. For example, sometimes there is a bar against ratings below "X," on the theory that statistical tolerances will sometimes mean that rating dps to nothing. In reality, statistical tolerances swing one way as often as the other and the overall tolerance of a schedule's grps won't be much affected by the inclusion of some lower rated programs to make packages efficient.

Friday, May 11, 2001 #4386
Guru, can you please point me towards research on the effect of pay/cable TV in the home on channel zapping ? Specifically do more channels reduce the amount of advertising viewed ? Have you heard of an Equalisation model to account for this in reach and frequency calculations. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 12, 2001 ):
It should be simple enough to directly reduce grps according to any measured reduction of ad viewing versus program viewing.

For research try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Friday, May 04, 2001 #4368
Media Guru, please help. How do I calculate reach and frequency for a two-week, two-newspaper buy? We are placing 4 ads per week (total of 8 ads for the schedule) on Newspaper #1, which has a maximum reach of 9% of our target. Newspaper #2 will carry 2 ads per week (4 ads for the schedule) with a maximum reach of 23% of our target. Please advise. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 06, 2001 ):
Find some example newspaper R&Fs at The Newspaper Advertsing Associations Marketscope site.

In very general terms, you can estimate some parameters. If newspaper A has a 9% maximum reach, it probably has a single copy reach of around 7%.

If B has a maximum of 23%, then it likely has single copy reach around 20%. So the outside bounds of reach for your schedule are a minimum of 20, but more likely closer to 25, the random combination of the two papers' single copies. The outside maximum is 32 ( the 9% plus the 23% maxima), but more likely closer to 30 (random again).

A solid estimate of 25-30 reach for your schedule should be good enough, but you could use the eTelmar pay-per-use system for a specific calculation.

Frequency, of course, will be the sum of the single copy audeinces of all insertions (grp) ÷ the reach estimate.

Friday, May 04, 2001 #4365
What is the minimum TRP level ONE creative execution should have allocated for a campaign? For example, if I have 3,000 TRP's total (NATIONAL) for different products, shouldn't there be a limit on the number of commercials we run, in effect because none of the spots would have enough weight attributed to it? Thank you so much!!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 05, 2001 ):
These decisions should be based on communications goal for each product, not numbers of commercials.

3000 grp per year is about 60 per week. This is an adequate sustaining level for a brand, especially within recency concepts. If you are allocating this to products which have mutually exclusive selling periods of one month each, you could support 12 products comfortably.

Competitive climate should also be considered.

Monday, April 30, 2001 #4348
Have a client that questioned the use of Recency planning for a packaged goods product launch in spot market television. I've read all questions/answers from 2000 in the archives and found it curious that no one questioned the fact that the levels used for standard recency planning of 60-80 TRPs per week refer to MEDIUM EXPOSURE not ADVERTISING EXPOSURE. Considering that probably only 40% of the commercial message will even register, aren't these levels low (clutter factor), even if they are spread across multiple weeks (in this case 9)?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 01, 2001 ):
A: Medium exposure is the readily available planning metric.

B: Recency has been keyed to measured results from media exposure levels.

C: The media exposure levels referenced in Recency are -- and this is important -- REACH, not grp. The reach threshhold is thought to be about 30 - 35, which might tie to various grp levels, depending on media mix.

D: If best sales success is tied to sustained reach minima of 35, then that is the metric to connect with. The fact that the less readily available ad exposure or attentiveness-weighted grps are some other number is an artifact of the process, not a contradiction to the theory.

Thursday, April 12, 2001 #4324
Dear Guru, we are working on a sort of educational document for an important client. What we have in mind is: what should the ideal media briefing look like, som basic media terms (grp, OTS, coverage,...), what is the difference between strategic and tactical planning, media-memorisation, ... I was wondering if you have some examples of such documents that could give us an idea of such a presentation. Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 12, 2001 ):
To determine the right media briefing, you must know your audience:
  • What do they already know?
  • What do they want to know?
  • What do they need to know for future interactions?

From the syntax of your query, you seem to use British media terms (like OTS, rarely heard in the U.S.), but your email address is in Belgium. Therefore the Guru is hesitant to try to list the media terms most relevant for your needs. As a broad guide, see the Guru's Parts of a Media Plan and the Guru's Media Terms, keeping in mind that these are often U.S. - specific.

You may click here to see past Guru discussion of strategy versus tactics but briefly, tactics are specific courses of action taken to implement strategies. For example using TV is a tactic to achieve a strategy of attaining high reach towards and awareness-building objective.

Thursday, April 05, 2001 #4315
which kind of programs tend to develop large reach and high frequency? Sarwar -Lintas

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 09, 2001 ):
Generally, programs which are more different in content from one episode to the next, and thus are more likely to draw a different audience, each time get high reach.

In the U.S. this has meant programs like prime time, feature movies, a fading genre.

Of course, grp for grp, the higher the reach the lower the frequency. Therefore in media planning, a mix is used if the goal is to optimize both reach and frequency.

Sunday, April 01, 2001 #4302
What is the relationship between grp's and gross impression

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 01, 2001 ):
For any given demographic,

grps =
gross impressions ÷ population in hundreds

Tuesday, March 20, 2001 #4275
How can I find research regarding historical analysis of R/F trend on television. Specifically, I am looking to find out for example: if you looked at a generic demo maybe W18-49, and wanted to find out the difference between the number of spots in Primetime TV it took to reach 80% of W18-49 in 1970-1980-1990-2000. So basically, the idea is that today it takes more commercials to reach the same % of the population. I just need help finding actual numbers to support that concept. Would know where to find that information?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 20, 2001 ):
Since today's average primetime ratings are perhaps half of what they were in 1970, it certainly will take at least twice as many spots for the same reach.

R&F systems have changed over that time, too, so you should really compare the schedule a planner thought necessary in 1970 to the one considered necessary today. Planners will have been more likely to work with grp than number of commercials, though.

Perhaps there is such a retrospective available from The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Tuesday, March 20, 2001 #4273
Dear Guru, Can you guess at an estimated reach for a 4-week radio schedule at 150 TRP/WK (W2554)? Also, do you happen to know the formula for manually figuring reach/frequency? Thanks for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 20, 2001 ):
The formulas for radio reach are enormously complex and must take into account number of stations, daypart mix, average rating and other variables.

Your 600 grp schedule might generate (roughly) from 35 to 70 reach, depending on these variables.

Click here to see past Guru responses abourt calculating reach.

Tuesday, March 13, 2001 #4251
Hello Media Guru -- Hopefully you can help me. We are currently in planning and we are analyzing our competitiors When - In Avg Weekly and Avg 4 wk deliveries by Quarter and Full Year. We have pulled their grps by week for Network by daypart, Syndicated and Cable so we have the National TV deliveries. We have pulled their Print schedules off of Stradegy and now want to come up w/the same deliveries (When-in Avg weekly and Avg 4 wk by Quarter and Full Year)for Print in order to combine the TV and Print deliveries. Is there a method that you suggest? Thank you in advance-- Bridget

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 13, 2001 ):
It isn't clear which steps cause your problems.

If you're being strict, for average 4-week a simple arithmetic adjustment from average month to average 28 days will suffice. For average print week, you could take the year's schedule and divide it into 52 roughly equal groups, then average the R&F of all 52. If print is flighted, then you should calculate for active periods and average with zero weight for as much time as there is hiatus.

Monday, March 05, 2001 #4230
In general (barring competitive factors), how many grps per week (tv and radio) constitute a light schedule, a medium schedule and a heavy schedule?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 05, 2001 ):
These are all relative terms, with no specific definitions. 100 grp might be medium to heavy for package goods and light to medium for short-term retail promotion.

Monday, February 19, 2001 #4194
Dear Guru, what is "cost per aquisition" and what do you believe is the most acceptable way to count the effectiveness of a web site? Impressions or unique visitors? This is a huge problem in Greece right now. Every site has it's own general overview of it's performance and visitor's behavior so things are confused. Thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 19, 2001 ):
"Cost per acquistion" may refer to the marketing spending required to bring a new visitor to a site, ot the cost of generating a subscriber, or the cost of making whatever sale a site aime at.

Sites have different goals, missions and standards of success. A site might be designed to sell retail products such as books, vdeos, muic, food, cars, etc. These sites may need repeat customers, who buy music every month or more often. A site selling automobiles will probably not see the saem customer more than once in three years once sale is made.

Other sites generate revenue via advertising, still others from subscriptions, and some by conveying information to support corporate image, with a one-time message. If you are evaluating sites as advertising vehicles, and seeking reach, then unique vistors will be the key. >"Brand Visibilty Index" is not a standardized media term. It might be a term invented by one agency or advertsing school to indicate a specific concept they use in describing some situation. It might be an index of Brand grp versus category average grp. Or it might be something else based on awareness, clutter, etc.

What may seem important to a site, like building impressions so that it has ad inventory to sell, may be relatively meaningless to an advertiser. Sites with a million unique visitors may be able to sell you as many unique visitors as a site with 10 million, because your needs only call for 200,000 unique audience. Evaluate according to your plan's needs, not the site's claims of success.

Saturday, February 17, 2001 #4192
What is brand visibilty index ? How do you calculate Brand Visibilty Index from Media Planning perspective ? Please state examples ?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 19, 2001 ):
"Brand Visibilty Index" is not a standardized media term. It might be a term invented by one agency or advertsing school to indicate a specific concept they use in describing some situation. It might be an index of Brand grp versus category average grp. Or it might be something else based on awareness, clutter, etc.

Wednesday, February 14, 2001 #4180
Hi! Dear Guru thank you for your last ansewrs! How do You think is it possible to estimate budget/grp limit with wich there is no sence to advertise on TV (ad. cmp. will be lost in ad.clutter). Or there is no any limits at all? For instance could 10 spots placed in prime-time on national channel(with av. rating 10%)give some results? Spasibo!(means thank you in russian).

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 14, 2001 ):
Any advertising has some effect. There is a threshhold of awareness where a noticable difference in consumer response occurs.

Some say those exposed more than three times respond noticably more. Others speculate that once the three exposure threshold is past, continuous exposure wit a reach of 30+ per week is the key to sales.

Your 100 grp schedule is a good starting point.

Monday, February 12, 2001 #4174
Dear Guru. I was wondering who I should build up frequncy and reach, for a company in the financial sector, were the target is both, individuals and businesses. Should I plan for a week, or a month? What would be the minimum grp needed..or maximum? Is TV the primary media?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 14, 2001 ):
Not enough information given to say TV should be primary. Generally, TV will not be efficient for a business target. Some financial cable may be efficient but won't meet the entire reach goal.

There are numerous considerations in setting levels. Click here to see past Guru responses about establishing levels.

Wednesday, February 07, 2001 #4167
Dear Media Guru, My client is looking for information on the Hispanic viewership of general market cable networks. Without buying the entire Nielsen Hispanic ratings service, is there a way to find out this information? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 07, 2001 ):
According to Telemundo's STRETCH2 system, on average, 100 A18-49 grp of general market cable generates 50.5 Hispanic Adult grp.

With cable ratings averaging in the range of 0.5 or less, this does not leave much room to measure variance in Hisapanic audience.

Depending on the reason for asking the question, one should also consider the far lower effectiveness of advertising in English to Hispanics, roughly 5 to 20% that of Spanish advertising to Hispanics.

Your best source for Nielsen Hispanic data, if not Nielsen is one of the cable networks you ordinarily buy.

Tuesday, February 06, 2001 #4162
Hallo, Dear Media Guru! Can You please help me to solve the following problems:

1 - I know that my TVcmp should get effective reach of 50% with effective frequency 4+. How can I get(count) the number of grp I need to buy and TRP I need to reach?

2 - what concrete methods do can You recommend to define the levels of reach&frequency for concrete product's/brand's TV cmp. Thak you a lot.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 07, 2001 ):
The Guru is not clear as to what distinction you are trying to make regarding grp and TRP.

To determine the grp/TRP needed to achieve a specific reach / effective frequency goal, you need a media software like that provided by Telmar or eTelmar.

Click here to see past Guru discussion about establishing levels.

Tuesday, January 30, 2001 #4138
Hi, Currently I'm preparing a business plan for a startup. I'm considering radio and print advertising in the top 50 markets. I will eventually hire an agency to work out all the math. But for the sake of projecting marketing expense, is there a way I can show "so many spots/print ads in so many main stations/magazines in the top 50 markets for a total budget of $500,000? I'll be happy as long as I can quote average rates for radio spots and print ads from reliable sources.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 31, 2001 ):
It's easier if you think of radio in grp terms. Then you can look at average rates in SQAD and do your calculations.

The Guru does not think you will find local magazines, other than Sunday newspaper supplements, in most of those markets.

Newspaper rates can be found at Media Passage.

Tuesday, January 30, 2001 #4137
Please help. One of my clients started a TV campaign YESTERDAY and wants to know why sales haven't gone through the roof yet. Where can I find research explaining R/F, etc. to help him answer this question? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 31, 2001 ):
This is not a matter of reach and frequency, just common sense.

If first day schedules usually put sales 'through the roof' why would anyone ever advertise all week or for several weeks?

Look at your grp per day: is it perhaps as many as 20? If so, perhaps day one's schedule reached 12 or 15% of your target.

What's a reasonable proportion of those exposed to your message just one time immediately wanting to buy that day (assuming killer creative)? 1% as a generous estimate? Thus on day one, if there were one-tenth of one percent of the target as new customers, that would be a raging success. Over the course of the first week, more of those who heard it on day one may get around to buying, plus those from day 2,3, etc. Plus those who hear it 3 times by day 3 or four may finally become persuaded.

If you are doing direct response, you might expect the build to be flatter and resonse to be more immediate.

Monday, January 29, 2001 #4133
I have been a media buyer for almost three years now. I am just starting to plan media. Can you tell me what are efficient grp levels for tv and radio buying? I am in the entertainment industry and our audience is A25-54 and 55+. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 30, 2001 ):
Effective levels depend on what you are trying to accomplish:
maintenance of regular purchases, building awarenss of a new product or driving immediate attendance to a short term event.

The plan is all about working through these goals, and making decisions about levels within available budget and communications strategy.

Wednesday, January 24, 2001 #4123
Hello. Hoping you are able to answer this sooner than later. . . I am trying to generate a ratio that compared the CPP (across Dayparts in Tampa and Orlando) among total people compared to a CPP among the just the Hispanic population. I do not work for an agency or have the $ or consistent need for a service like SQAD. Hoping that you are aware of some "rule of thumb" that gets at an average difference between the two populations in terms of what it costs to reach them at different intervals of the day (ON TELEVISION). Thank you very much!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 26, 2001 ):
There is no rule of thumb here. The markets you're looking at do not have Hispanic audience measurement, so grp can't be calculatd hence CPP won't exist. If you are thinking about the Hispanic audience of the General Market TV stations, than a rule of thumb could exist if there were measurement. But if you are thinking of comparing CPP of Hispanic TV to General Market TV, these are two independent media and no specific, predictive relationship would exist, even if there were measurement. If there were then buying experience or SQAD could offer ratios from past buys.

Thursday, January 18, 2001 #4107
Dear Guru, I am writing from Istanbul,Turkey.I have two questions. 1. Would it be a good idea to place tv commercials on Monday, Wednesday and Friday one week, and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday next week. And repeating this cycle for three months. Since the product is a FMCG, I want to keep Fridays continiously so that just before weekend shoping our ads will continiously be in front of the consumers. Is this a wise use of alternating technique? This way I am hoping to have more effective frequency on three days of a week but leaving the four other days "empty". What's your opinion and guggestion? 2. As we all know, grp =FREQUENCY X RATING. Therefore, it doesn't take the length or size of the ad into account. In other words, the grp for a 10" commercial is considered equal to the grp of a 45" commercial, which is not fair. There must be a way that doesn't ignore the length or size of the ad and reflects it , one way or the other to the final grp figure. What do you think about this problem? Do you know any solution? Thank you very much for your kind assistance. Muammer Oztat

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 18, 2001 ):
Concentrating on Fridays may be beneficial, but the Guru thinks the other alternation is insignificant.

Regarding grps, "fairness" is not a media concept. In some calculations, such as reach, they are a way of counting people, not impact, and grps are simply headcounts. In other situations it is common for planners to make adjustment to grps for schedule comparisons. These adjustments may be based on commerical length, daypart attentiveness or other factors.

Wednesday, January 17, 2001 #4103
When was the last time the Reach & Frequency Curve was updated? And what is the significance of that?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 17, 2001 ):
Reach, as we use it, is a mathematical calculation, based on average performance of actual schedules similar to the ones for which we are trying to estimate audience accumulation for a plan. A large number of actual schedules are evaluated from survey research such as Nielsen. Because reach is a factor of duplication, as a schedule grow in size, the reach added by each increment is less and less. When reach is graphed against an axis of grp or insertions or dollars, an asymptotic "curve" like the one below, is drawn. The actual formula which descibes this graphic curve is what is in reach evaluation software. Typically it is a regression of the frequencies vs grp levels, because frequency, too, is linear.

The Guru imagines you are thinking of TV reach, but could be referring to radio, magazines, or internet, etc. There are different "curves" for any given medium / daypart / demographic / mix situation. If you use Nielsen actual data, the "curves" are -- in effect -- continuously updated. If you use other media software like Telmar or its competitors, you need to ask your representative how recent their update of formulae is. Curves based on reach vs grp are not very variable over time unless there is a major change in the medium.

For example, Telemundo's Hispanic TV reach system "STRETCH2," was updated in 1998 (by running new Nielsen actual schedules), 5 years after its introduction . There was no significant change in reaches.

But looking at general TV reach curves from the days before cable was significant, versus today's would show big differences.

Thursday, January 11, 2001 #4090
I am working on a new product introduction and was wondering if any information is available that would allow me to see the grp levels used by some major companies as well as unknown companies as they launched new products. What I am trying to do is benchmark reasonable grp levels for successful product launches in order to gauge the appropriateness of our current media plan. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 11, 2001 ):
The Guru does not believe that there is any such public listing. Nor would these facts generalize well across different categories. There will be anecdotal reports at The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Friday, January 05, 2001 #4082
Guru ... I am analyzing various grp levels for a radio only schedule for a retail client. Is there a benchmark for an acceptable average frequency to ensure the schedule is worth airing? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 06, 2001 ):
Beyond a reasonable minimum, say 12 spots, any schedule can be useful.

Wednesday, December 27, 2000 #4068
Hi Guru I want to know if there is a software in the market that you can proyect awarness based on your grp goals? Last month I saw something like that but I do not know were can I have. I will appreciate your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 29, 2000 ):
There may be software purporting to do this. The Guru would expect reach to be more relevant than grp. The Guru would be quite dubious of any such simple, all purpose, solution.

Saturday, December 23, 2000 #4063
Dear Guru, I am a very new media planner so I have a very basic question. What is the difference between average Frequency and average OTS and what is the formula for their calculation. Thanking you in advace.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 23, 2000 ):
"OTS" or "opportunities to see" is used differently by various practitioners. One meaning is equivalent to impressions, or the number of exposures of a campaign to individual members ot the target demographic; a summing of the audiences of all the advertsing occasions of a campaign. In this sense, "average" is not an appropriate modifier.

Average frequency is the average number of exposures experienced by the members of the target who have been exposed to the campaign (net reach) over a measured time period such as 4 weeks.

Gross impressions ÷ net reach
grps ÷ percent reach.

Wednesday, December 13, 2000 #4038
what parameters exist for determining how much to spend in advertising (dollars)--or what is an effective weight level (grp's) for a given brand/marketing situation?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 17, 2000 ):
There are many. Click here to see past Guru responses about setting levels.

Monday, November 27, 2000 #3993
A client has asked for information pertaining to the level of advertising required to increase awareness and positively affect the perception of their company on an on-going basis. Is there a source for information regarding required grp levels for radio and television to maximize awareness. Our client is based in Phoenix, Arizona, with an interest in statewide coverage?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 29, 2000 ):
Awareness relates most to the reach and frequency of a plan. You must reach more people more often to increase awareness. You must reach more people than are currently aware.

Click here to see past Guru responses about awareness and levels

For research, try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Monday, November 27, 2000 #3988
Hi, I am working on a toothpaste brand in India which is a national brand and has limited market share . It faces competition from Levers and Colgate Palmolive who spend many times more. The sensitivity analysis says that for 1% increase in trial, there is a 4% increase in volume. Need to know if u could advice me some models on grps to awareness and awareness to trial correlations Many many thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 29, 2000 ):
Awareness relates more to the reach of a plan than grp. You must reach more people more often to increase awareness.

Click here to see past Guru responses about awareness and grp

For research, try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Tuesday, November 21, 2000 #3982
Dear Media Guru, I need some help from you. I know that in the United States the grp-trading system for radio do exist for a long time. But where I can get the information about the main characteristics of the research on which it based on (I have already visited the ARBITRON site, but there is not enough information of the periodicity of the research and the sample size)? And in addition, could you give me some referrences for sites or other coordinates of some grp-sellers for radio in the US? And could you name the other countries who have the grp-trading system for radio?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 24, 2000 ):
Click here for the full schedule of Arbitron surveys.

The principal radio sellers in the US include Katz and Interep. Consult these sources for international information.

Monday, November 13, 2000 #3966
how do you calculae radio reach and frequency by hand?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 16, 2000 ):
The calculation is complex, because it describes a curvilinear function and considers several factors, such as grp, dayparts, turnover, quarter hours in a daypart, # of stations, etc. Sometimes agencies run computer calculations of several schedules with varying components and print tables summarizing these to allow quick, rough calculations.

Visualize a left hand column of grps from 50 to 1000, in 50's
and adjacent columns for 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5+ stations.

Read across the appropriate grp row to find the reach under the correct number of stations. But wait, you'd better make a different table for schedules running only 6am-7pm Monday to Friday and another table for Mon-Sunday 6am - midnight. But wait, you'd better make extra tables in each of those categories for when average rating is 1 and when average rating is 2, 3, etc.

Years ago, some reps and ratings report offered slide rules for the calculations.

Monday, November 13, 2000 #3965
Can you give a definitive explanation of media quintiles (radio, tv, newspaper)?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 16, 2000 ):
Quintiles are used in two key ways:
  • Quintiles of media, and
  • Quintiles of schedules

Quintiles in either case involve dividing the people under consideration into five (quint-) equal groups for analysis. Why five? Why not? it has become the established method. Three groups would often be more useful: "average," "above average" and "below average" are easier to conceptualize. And some advertisers have considered "nine-tiles."

In media quintiles, the users of a medium, like radio, are divided into five equal groups, arrayed according to their heaviness of use, for example, the 20% of the population who listen to less than 3 hours of radio per week, those who listen to 3 to 6 hours, up through those who listen to 50+ hours. The range of hours of listening are set so that each range takes in 20% of the population. Then, other aspects of the behavior of these groups may be evaluated and lead to media or marketing decisions.

For example, if the lightest radio listeners are also light TV viewers, but the heavy newspaper readers, newspaper may be the best way to add reach to a radio plan and more evenly distribute frequency of exposure across all the people reached.

Quintiles of schedules are similar, but only consider those reached by a media schedule. For example if you had a radio schdule of 500 grp in four weeks with a reach of 70 and a 7.1 average freqency, you might find that the lowest frequency 20% of your schedule reached (14 reach ou of the 70) had an average frequency of 1.0 and the highest frequency quintilehad an average frequecy of 19.8. When you add newspaper to the plan you can examine each quintile of the combined reach and will likely find the least reached group of the new total has a better average frequency.

Wednesday, November 01, 2000 #3935
Where do I find information on weekly grp levels to use in radio for a service that is constant throughout the year, with no seasonality?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 06, 2000 ):
  • Determine grp from desired reach and or frequency
  • Determine desired reach / frequency from awareness or sales goals; you can only sell to people who are aware of the service.

Friday, October 27, 2000 #3920
Guru- Is this any information to reference why it is better to flight a radio schedule instead of running 52 weeks beside it being cheaper?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 30, 2000 ):
When you refer to "cheaper" it implies that you are talking about running less advertising in your flighted schedule than in your 52 week schedule. Generally, this would not be better in any way other than being cheaper. If you wanted to compare 52 weeks at 100 grp per weeks versus running flights of 4 weeks on / 4 weeks off at 200 grp per week, then there could be pros and cons on both sides.

Thursday, October 12, 2000 #3886
How do you determine the level of grp's/week needed in radio or TV to establish an acceptable level for "Brand Positioning"?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 14, 2000 ):
Brand positioning is a process, not a goal. Positioning as what, against what, in what competitive situation are the issues which will determine grp per week.

A new brand entering the market with a totally unique positoning has different needs than an established brand trying on a new marketing position.

Analyze the marketing situation first.

Friday, October 06, 2000 #3873
Hi Guru. Do you have any information about "Decay Reach" or "Decayed Reach"? My client asked me about it. I know "Decay grp" but I've never heard of "Decay Reach". Does reach decay? Is it a popular concept?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 08, 2000 ):
This is not a familiar term to the Guru. It might refer to awareness decline after consumers are reached.

Thursday, September 28, 2000 #3851
Oh great and powerful guru... I've just read a series of responses concerning grps and wearout. Most questions seem to be based on X # of grps but no mention of reach or frequency. The real answer may lie in average frequency. If your grp of 1000 is 1000 reached 1 time wearout is not a factor. If the grp is 50 frequency for 20 reach, it's time to change spots. Am I'm living on a different planet or am I close to understanding something?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 29, 2000 ):
You are quite correct; the key audience metric in examining wearout is frequency.

But media people use boxcar grp numbers as a general reference for schedule magnitude. Any reasonable TV mix of 1000 or more grp will deliver about 85 - 95 reach for a typical demographic, making the average frequency about 11. The range in this discussion is therefore pretty narrow.

Some set a wearout standard according to frequency in the next-to-highest quintile, something like "when the next-to-highest quintile has a frequency of 20+." Even this kind of standard doesn't give greatly varying results across reasonable mixes of high numbers of grp.

Monday, September 25, 2000 #3835
Guru, In broadcast planning, what is the generally accepted maximum number of grps per schedule when there is only 1 creative spot? I have heard 1000 grps as a guideline, do you agree? Is this true for TV and radio? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 26, 2000 ):
1000 is low, but it also depends on the lenght of time over which the schedule is spread.

Click here to see past Guru responses about wearout.

Wednesday, September 20, 2000 #3811
According to Ephron, reach is most important for a brand. If this is true, should a major packaged goods company target A18+ rather than women? In their case, 70% of purchases are still made by women. However, we know men are a very strong influencer for this particular category. It seems to make sense, since we could achieve higher overall reach with an A18+ target, especially since tv cpp's for A18+ are lower. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 23, 2000 ):
You are confusing three different concepts.

The point about reach is that it is discussed with some target being implied. Theoretically, some demographic groups are much better prospects than others for sales, and it is more valuable to reach these.

Imagine a population of 1,000,000 A18+, including 400,000 women 35+ who have a 150 index of usage for a product and the remainder of A18+ average a 67 index. So, W35+ are more than 2x as likely to use the product.

Now, you might be able to buy a W35+ grp at $100 cpp and reach 4000 W35+. If A18+ CPP is $80, you can buy 25% more of those grp for your money, but each untargeted A18+ grp only produces 30 W35+ grp.

The key is this, when you "targeted" W35+, every grp you bought also came with cosniderable audience among the remainder of A18+. The idea of targeting is to focus on the best prospect. Thinking you get more reach by buying a cheaper grp target is merely an illusory of improvement. Keep buying W35+ but count A18+, if you want to feel you've reached more people.

There is a simple technique for comparing two such buys. Add all the impressions (or net impression) of each and weight the segemnts acccording to their index of usage. The buy with the most weighted impressions, no matter how you bought it, has the advantage. (That is, an 80 grp W35+ buy might have more value weighted impressions or net people reached than a 100 grp A18+ buy).

Friday, September 15, 2000 #3798
i have heard that 3500 grp's equals to 70% of brand awareness what do you think

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 15, 2000 ):
The Guru thinks that's nonsense!
  • 3500 grp of what?
  • In what competitive environment?
  • Over what period of time?
In media and awareness nothing is ever so simple.

Monday, September 04, 2000 #3775
Are there any practice of the radio advertising trading by grps as it is for TV? If yes, where in the WWW I can find something about this?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 09, 2000 ):
In the U.S this is standard practice and has been for at least 30 years. The Guru doesn't think there will be any data on this, because it is simply the assumed method of business. Perhaps in some country where radio ratings research is new, this woould be a topic to discuss.

Wednesday, August 30, 2000 #3770
What is your opinion on 4 week TV plan that has the most grp during the first 10 days and the last 10. Three new ads used for a brand with rather low brand awareness.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 03, 2000 ):
You don't cite any reason why the middle 8 days are less important than the first or last 10 nor why the first and last 10 have significance versus the middle. Since your other references are about simple brand awareness building. So the effects will only be part of a longer term scenario. The Guru imagines, without any information about what else you are measuring or trying to achieve, that this schedule won't have results any different than running evenly over the 4 weeks or running nothing during the middle 8 days and all the weight in the first and last 10.

Wednesday, August 30, 2000 #3768
M.G. - please advise how to perform an analysis of TV HUT levels using MRI syndicated research tools? We want to evaluate HUT levels in our market in order to confirm that our daypart mix will be effective (to influence a purchasing action when our target is home using television). Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 01, 2000 ):
does not compute.You really can't and shouldn't anyway.

"HUT" is Homes Using Televison. That is, the percentage of all Television-owning homes which have the set turned on at a point in time.

MRI does not report data about households and does not report point-in-time data about TV, but rather data which might be interpreted as cumes.

The analysis you propose, that judging effectiveness based on the portion of the audience which is using television in the dayparts which you purchase, is off the mark. A simple reach evaluation is much more sensible. You can reach 95% of the people in prime time, which has the highest HUT level or 95% of the people with the same grps dispersed though several, more efficient dayparts. Or you might reach more perple in dayparts with a lower HUT but efficient enough to afford lots more weight.

Use tools intended for TV, such as Nielsen, and reach ansd frquency tools like Telmar's

Wednesday, August 30, 2000 #3767
Dear Guru, we are getting into awareness based media planning which means objective will be set on awareness scores, rather than grp, R&F. Please tell me the factors which are required and procedure for setting awareness objectives.Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 01, 2000 ):
Very theoretical. There is no specific rule of thumb equating awareness to grp. There will be a big difference in saying the objective is to achieve 30% brand awareness versus increasing an existing awarness of 30% by 30 points.

You should think about:

  • What percent of "aware" persons will be purchasers?
  • What number of purchases is the pay-out level of your advertising?
  • How often does the aware person make a purchase decision?
  • Assuming awareness never exceeds reach, what reach must you acheive and what decay rate can your afford to maintain the awareness that will drive sales?

Frankly the Guru believes that saying "awareness based media planning" is just putting a marketing spin on the media plan. Ultimately a media plan sophisticated enought to have objectives almost invariably has some awareness objective mentioned. And ultimately, media must be bought in terms of grp or impressions or insertions; the media vendors do not sell quantities of awareness. So either you have a formula which equates awareness numbers to media units or you do not. The Guru does not.

Wednesday, August 23, 2000 #3737
I am trying to figure out the wearout for print. My target is African Americans 12-24 and 18-49. All I have is the FY reach, freg and TRPs. What would be my next steps?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 28, 2000 ):
There are no accepted standard formulas for wear-out. By the nature of print, which tends to yield high reach adn low frequency, there is generally less concern about wear-out than in broadcast.

Some of the broadcast rules-of-thumb for wear out include "over 20 frequency in the second highest quintile" or "2000 grp.

Niether of these are likely to occur in print. Custom research may be the only real way to evaluate this. Start with Starch.

Monday, August 21, 2000 #3728
What is the formula to equate reach and frequency from an outdoor showing? i.e. a 25 showing has a reach of 76.8% and a frequency of8.2 (I pulled these numbers from your media glossary)

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 21, 2000 ):
"25 Showing" in out-of-home media indicates a buy with a daily effective circulation, or traffic count, or impressions, which equate to 25 grp per day.

In considering a month's reach & frequency, it is common to adjust the weekend days' traffic down by about 50%. In a month, instead of 25 X 30 = 750 grp, we credit about 630 grp. This agrees with the arithmetic of 76.8 Reach and 8.2 Frequency.

Wednesday, August 02, 2000 #3666
Ref. question 3663 Thanx for answering my question. I buy slots with high eff. index when my objective is to accumulate grp's and drill my message into my consumers mind. This is the secondary stage where after creating the initial reach i focus on accumulating greatest total number of impressions (Funnel Treatment). As for the decay factor it reflects the decrease in the recall leval when advertising is reduced or stoped. I normally use 10% decay level in IMphase(IM horizontal planning technologies) The question that i want to ask you is what is the better way of flighting. There is a 70's 3+ eff frequency model by Prof. MacDonald which says that brusting is a better flighting patteren.On the other hand there is more recent Recency concept championed by Prof. JP Jones of Syracuse university of NY which says that as far as FMCG goods are concerned people are in the market every week and infect only needs one OTS to stimulate purchase.Please comment MY second question is how do you calculate Eff Frequency. Normally i use Eff frequency model where i calculate the eff frequency by applying judgement and common sence in a disciplined manner using Marketing, Advertising and competitive factors Thanx Sarwar Khan Media Manager R-Lintas Lahore,Pakistan

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 06, 2000 ):
1. In regard to 3+ effective frequency versus recency, the Guru tends to favor recency for "Fast Moving Consumer Goods." Recency is not really a contrast to the 3+ frequency theory, but an extension. As championed by Erwin Ephron, a core concept of recency is that once the third exposure is delivered, all additional exposures are at 3+.

2. Once again, there seems to be a semantic issue when you say "calculate" effective frequency. If you mean setting the frequency level to be considered effective, then your "judgment and common sence in a disciplined manner using Marketing, Advertising and competitive factors are the right approach, and the Ostrow Model will be helpful.

If instead, you mean to calculate the effective frequency delivered by your schedule, this has absolutely nothing to do with the subjective factors you have listed. A reach model determines how many persons are exposed to each discrete number of ad units in the schedule. That is if your reach is 75%, that means, explicitly, that 75% of the target has experienced one or more ad exposures. Within this, perhaps 70% of the target has been exposed to 2 or more, 66% to 3 or more, etc, up to the full number of units in the schedule. Reach models allow for expressing all of these levels. "Effective reach" mean those reached at least the minimum number of times established as effective, most typically 3.

Saturday, July 29, 2000 #3663
Dear Media Guru I am a media planner from Pakistan.I need to ask what are the possible comparison tools that we can use while planning for different programs on television.At the moment while planning i calculate cost index, rating index, efficiency index, Avg grp's, Maximum reach, and avg.viewing miniutes for each time slot. Normally i advertise in time slots with high effeciency index, is this a good comparrison tool for planning or not. Normally the decay factor that i take is 10% is this OK or not. What are the different possible ways to break the adverising clutter on television and increase the possibility of high ad exposure. Thax in anticipation Sarwar Khan Media Manager R-Lintas (Pvt.)ltd. Lahore Pakistan

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 29, 2000 ):
It always fascinates the Guru that countries sharing a common language can use it quite differently when applying it to the jargon of a particular business or interest.

What you are describing as "planning" seems to the Guru to be what he would regard as a buyer's selecting a schedule after a plan has been approved. You haven't mentioned what goals you are pursuing with your schedules. Selecting spots with the best efficiency index (audience versus cost) will get you the greatest total number of impressions, but possibly not the greatest net reach. The best rating is more often likely to lead to high reach, but perhaps not without due regard to efficiency and duplication.

"Decay factor" is an unfamiliar term to the Guru. "Maximum reach" and "average viewing minutes" don't seem relevant to assessing individual spots as the Guru understands the terms.

Overall, the Guru believes you should be comparing possible schedules, rather than individual spots to accomplish planning goals.

Optimizers serve this purpose, but running reach analyses of several schedules can get you there, as well.

Thursday, July 13, 2000 #3618
On July 5 you responded to a question regarding the decline of brand awareness due to reduced advertising activity. You indicated that the "formula predicts that a brand running low grps per week loses awareness and a brand with no activity loses 5-10% of the previous week's awareness each week." I would love to pass this information along to some clients. Is there a source I can quote?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 13, 2000 ):
"5-10%" is a general summary of experience with various estimates the Guru has found over many years.

The Guru has been told that some people are quite comfortable citing the
"AMIC Media Guru,"
as an information source.

It shouldn't need documentation to understand that awarenness will decline when there is no advertising. It also seems easy to assume that it will be like an inverse reach curve:
constantly approaching 0% in constantly decreasing increments.

No doubt many supporting studies are available through The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Thursday, July 06, 2000 #3604
I've mostly handled print and DM advertising and am trying to master radio. If a client is saying that their optimum TRP level is 175, what does that mean?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 10, 2000 ):
Click here for a definition of TRP .

Presumably, the client would be speaking of the TRP level which has produced nest results for the budget.

Wednesday, July 05, 2000 #3598
lets assume that a company has been running a branding and image campaign for 12 months at 800points a month. If the company goes completely dark for 6 months what are the expected effects on awareness and branding. The negative effects of going dark at then end of a branding campaign have been taught to me during several courses I cannot remember nor find a formula or case study which proves this point. Where can I go to find statistics or case studies to support your answer. Thank you again for you help.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 05, 2000 ):
The Guru can consider this in terms of ad awareness, since brand awareness is subject to so many more outside factors.

Whatever the level of advertising, awareness can never be more than 100%. One very simple formula the Guru has seen predicts awareness as a high percentage the previous week's awareness plus a small percentage of the current week's grps.

As will be obvious, this formula predicts that a brand running low grp per week loses awarness. A brand with no activity loses 5-10% of the previous week's awareness each week.

Of course this is all general. One classic case is the old Certs "two, two, two mints in one" copy which had good awareness as a "current commercial" ten years after it last aired.

Tuesday, June 13, 2000 #3548
I am in the process of evaluating a print proposal submitted by a business to business annual register with company listings/profiles, accessible by category. In addition to receiving a P4C ad, my client wil also receive 8 bold type listings with descriptive information and 4 bold type listings(company name and phone # only) throughout various sections of the register. At first glance the package looks like a great idea. The circulation is nearly 100% targeted, the CPM (based on the P4C alone) is very low, and there are additional merchandising perks that will expose my client to their target for one full year. The problem is, I must put a "value" on each component of the package. Do you have any ideas on how to place a value on the "bold type listings" described above?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 15, 2000 ):
Your situation is analagous to evaluating reach versus grps or a full commerical in a special versus billboards.

Since the deal seems efficient and effective simplay based on the P4C, any value you give to the other elements can be arbitrary and will be just for the sake of dicsussion. Why not calculate the impressions of all the other elements and price them at 25% of the P4C cpm?

Monday, June 05, 2000 #3529
Hi, I would like you to expain the terms, TG, TRP, CRP, grp, ROS, RODP and the basic difference between the trems. Thanks a ton!. Anjali

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 08, 2000 ):
  • TG= Target group, the selected demographic or psychographic group against which a media plan or buy will be constricted
  • TRP=Target Rating Points; the sum of the audiences of the all media insetions in a plan or schedule, expressed as a percentage of the target group population, such that 100 TRP indicates a summed audience equal to 100% of the group's population.
  • grp= gross rating points; this si essentially identical to TRP, except that some planners use grp only in reference to Household audiences and TRP for any other dempgraphic. Others use "grp" in all cases
  • CRP= Cost per Rating Point ( some say CPP for "Cost Per Point"); Simply a division of the media's cost by the rating points (TRPs or grps) delivered
  • RODP=Run of Daypart, also referred to as "daypart rotator," wherein a broadcast spot is purchased to air at anytime within a defined dayaprt, such as 6am to 10am, Monday thru Friday
  • ROS=Run of Schedule or Run of Station, wheriein a broadcast spot is purchased to air at anytime from station sign-on to sign-off. Sometimes the term "Daypart ROS" is encountered. This is another version of Run of Daypart.

Sunday, June 04, 2000 #3527
Hi Guru,What will be the right measure to evaluate niche media channels : reach,grp's or Share.This keeping in mind that the niche channels are traditionally viewed and used as frequency channels and are traditionally decided after the mainline reach channels are selected.Regds RKB

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 08, 2000 ):
The right measure will depend on your goals in a given plan. If you are considering niche channels to extend reach among that niche, then the reach added by the potential schedule is the standard. Note that this means how much reach you can add for the dollars available for niche channel investment, and not the total reach of the niche channel itself. It is a common miustake, in the Guru's opinion, to compare media based on an abstraction of their total performance rather than what they can realistically contribute to a specific plan.

By the same token, if the niche channels are to be used as frequency vehicles, then efficiency is probably your best comparison. Share will rarely be most pertinent metric in any case.

Thursday, June 01, 2000 #3517
What is the general rule of thumb (in terms of number of :60 radio spots per week) in a non-metered market? The goal of the advertising campaign is awareness over a 7 month period (no weekly promotion to talk about - just letting people know about our business). In the past we have been running anywhere from 14 to 16 spots per week.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 01, 2000 ):
The "overkill" level of frequency will depend on continuity among other things.

In a market too small to measure, the Guru imagines that there are relatively few radio stations, perhaps 12 or fewer, and average ratings might be 5 or better. So suppose 16 spots is about 100 grp. FOr reach you would still want to use more than one station, at least 12 times each.

Are you sure your market isn't measured, perhaps as part of a larger market as defined by Arbitron? Even tiny Lima, Ohio, the 201st of the 210 DMAs making up the entire country has ratings twice yearly. Check out Radio & Records.

Friday, May 26, 2000 #3500
Guru, I have had a lot of planning experience for spot television and local cable television and am now being asked to plan network television, network cable television and syndicated television. I've noticed after looking at several example plans that network grps are often lower than spot grps ... Why is that and what are effective grp levels for network media? Please help.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 29, 2000 ):
The Guru would surmise that in spot, you have seen more promotional or retail-oriented schedules, where noise level is the basis. In network plans, more sophisticated assessments of communications goals may have been made, focused on reach and frequency.

The concept of "planning spot tv" or "planning network TV" is also puzzling. The media choice is the result of planning, not the going-in assignment. Are you part of the buying process moving to network tv where multimedia plans may have been assembled by others, prior to your involvement with a single element?

Tuesday, May 16, 2000 #3479
Are there parameters (highs and lows) for effective reach and frequency? In other words, is there a particular reach and a particular frequency that are considered "average" as they relate to broadcast media? How would one determine whether an advertiser is spending adequate funds to meet these "averages" when airing a broadcast schedule on a Mon-Sun basis?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 19, 2000 ):
The Guru finds the concept of average irrelevant in this context.Such measures are relevant in relation to competition and one's own communications goals. What does it benefit an auto brand if the "average" advertiser has a reach of 50% at 3+ frequency when all automotive competitors are delivering 75% at 3+?

As to turning spending into effective reach and frequency, that's typically part of a media plan. Budget gets expressed as schedules of TV, radio, print, etc. Reach and frequency are calculated by available software for these grps. Effective reach / frequency is an inherent part of the calculation.

Tuesday, May 16, 2000 #3476
What is the usual time of TV copy worn-out? Please give me some examples of Western markets (I am writing from Poland). Is there a big difference when you use the same copy all the time or several versions (let's say - the same logo, text, packshot, but different scenario)? Please submit it to FMCG brands. Thanks in advance. Cezary

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 19, 2000 ):
It depends on how you define wear out, which might be based on grps or frequency or sales rate.

Click here to see extensive past Guru comment on wear out

Sunday, May 14, 2000 #3470
Question: Would you please advise how audience accumulation builds over time? For: (A) Weekly Consumer Magazine (B) Monthly Consumer Magazine (C) Business Publications (D) Out of Home Media. I suppose that based upon the type of media -- daily newspaper versus monthly magazine, that audience accumulation will vary quite differently. But from the standpoint of audience accumulation over the course of time from Week 1 to Week 2 to Week 3, etc., because of duplication, the accumulation figure will decrease --- with reach maxing out. Could you please provide a run down by media type (A, B, C, D) as to how accumulation figures build over time?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 14, 2000 ):
To really evaluate this you need the specific respondent-level data from individual media, such as that provided by MRI or Simmons.

Generally, in any print medium, the audience builds quickly at first, within the medium's cycle. For instance, a weekly builds the vast majority of its audience within the week following issue, and virtually all of its reach within 3 weeks. A monthly has a similar shape to its "reach curve" over time, but the 3 week time line extends to perhaps 2 months. Business publications would probably compare similarly for weekly versus monthly.

Out-of-home media are quite a different story. Since they are not media with content, and are incicentally encountered in life as opposed to the audeince seeking it out, there is no aging content to affect readership. Because out-of-home, at least in the case of outdoor posters, is bought at enormous grp levels ( usually 25 to 100 grp per day), reach accumulates very quickly, reaching 85 to 95% of an audience in the first month. The medium itself does not get measured, the campaign does.

Monday, May 01, 2000 #3434
I am trying to determine how best to manually calculate reach and frequency for Out of Home Media. Would you be able to help and provide me with reach curves and turnover ratios for OOH media. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 02, 2000 ):
Out-of-home (outdoor poster media) is usually bought in #25, #50 or #100 "showings." These are based on daily effective circulation, or traffic, equal to 25, 50 or 100 grp per day, respectively.

Within the state of the art, in rough terms, these levels usually mean 4-week reach and frequencies of approximately

  • 80 / 8.8 / 700
  • 87 / 16.1 / 1400 and
  • 92 / 30.4 / 2800.

As should be apparent, there is not much room for fine tuning, nor much reason for considering other grp levels.

Tuesday, April 25, 2000 #3420
We are putting together a sponsorship package that incorporates TV spots, our company newsletter, our website and our fleet vehicles -- is it possible to estimate a combined reach/frequency for all four mediums combined?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 25, 2000 ):
The TV is easy, using standard methods, of which you are probably aware.

The other estimates must start from simple counts of the newsletter circulation, web traffic and - the toughie - persons exposed to your fleet. Most simply, after getting a standard TV reach, convert the other media impressions to ratings and combine by "random probability."

Wednesday, April 19, 2000 #3410
What is your opinion on using out-of-home (30-sheets or bulletins) as a stand-alone medium for a brand-building campaign? On a related note, are there any "rules" for adjusting different types of media for their "impact" versus other media (e.g., impact of an all-newspaper campaign versus an all television campaign given the same TRP levels and the same "likelihood of use" by the target market)?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 21, 2000 ):
The Guru has seen impact adjusments across media based on recall, on attentiveness and on an advertiser's proprietary research, but no general rules-of-thumb.

Unfortunately, such adjustments are too often based on one unit of the advertising, such as a TV spot versus a radio spot, and don't take into account the crucial difference in number of spots or grps per dollar.

As for brand-building in outdoor, there are two principal considerations in the Guru's view:

  • Definition of "brand building:" The term, one of those nebulous buzz-words which seems to mean whatever the speaker wishes, implies, to the Guru, the creation of a brand image and positioning from a low-awarness start.
  • Limited message: How much can a brand be "built" by the few words and large graphic allowable in out-of-home media?
  • Yet, the Guru is very favorably inclined to taking advantage of the enormous reach and frequency possible via out-of-home

In short, the Guru's gut feeling is that outdoor can contribute greatly to brand building, but that the process needs at least one longer-form medium.

Wednesday, April 19, 2000 #3407
Dear Media Guru, could you tell me what you know about beta-coefficient for different media measuring the percentage of the target audience who remembered the brand or at least one of visual or text elements of message after the first contact. Do you have any statistics on beta-coefficients for different media? Great thanks, Ekaterina

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 21, 2000 ):
"Beta-coefficient" is not a standard term in defining recall. It sounds like a measure of correlation of two metrics, perhaps grp and recall, which were cited in some unknown person's study.

For a collection of such studies, try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Monday, April 10, 2000 #3383
For an "Impression Advertisement" what is the time that the ad must be available for viewing. Can you place 6 banner ads for 10 seconds each and have each 10 seconds be credited with an impression ? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 10, 2000 ):
In broadcast, where presentation is linear, time of exposure doesn't change how we count grps and impressions. However, limiting display time of a banner means that there is less chance of exposure, as the user may have scrolled away from the active portion of the page. As a media buyer, the Guru would not give full credit to this method of display.

Wednesday, March 08, 2000 #3298
Please describe the major steps and information required for Network TV Media Planning at an Agency. What computer skills are needed or research sources most used to evaluate Network? Are there any trade journal articles that would provide a description of this aspect of media planning, as I am applying for a position in this area, but have not planned Network in many years. What are the current Network $/grp and target delivery efficiencies? What is the current coverage of U.S. Houselholds, for the three major networks? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 13, 2000 ):
There seems to be some confusion in your terms. The job of an agency Media Planner is to determine which media are best to meet the advertising objectives of the specific product/service.

In some cases this will include network TV.

When an approved paln includes network TV, the Network specifications are turned over to Network TV buyers. The plan's specifications are not likely to include than demographic target and weight goals, budget, timing, dayparts and/or program types.

Network buyers will then review program package offerings and sponsorship opportunities from the networks to meet all the specifications.

Nothing more than a spreadsheet is really needed, but there are some specific TV analysis programs, including optimizers, in use. Nielsen is the basic audience measurement source used.

When optimizers, which are programs that do extensive analysis of program data to select best schedules, came into use a few years ago, there were several trade articles in Ad Age and MediaWeek about the network buy "planning" process. See the one by Erwin Ephron in our Telmar 30th Anniversary Awards section.

Telmar, AMIC's sister company, also offers an optimizer, called Transmit.

See samples of current rates in AMIC's Ad Data area.

Tuesday, March 07, 2000 #3293
In a budget meeting I´D been asked to reduce the number of stations planned for certain cities, in order to have money to cover other markets......My argument is that we need to buy at least 35% of total PUR (persons using radio) to have an effective impact with the promotional radio campaign...I´ll appreciate your comments...AZ (MEX CITY)

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 07, 2000 ):
The Guru has never encountered a share-of-PUR-standard, nor have a couple of his senior, radio researcher colleagues.

The big issue is what you determine makes an effective impact, in concrete terms so that you can make a case. Is it reach, effective reach, frequency or what? All these issues relate much more directly to consumer communication and impact than the abstraction of share of PUR. If you can buy grps and reach to your needs, but have to do it with fewer stations, it doesn't strike the Guru as a very significant issue.

Tuesday, March 07, 2000 #3291
Is there a formula which calculates effective reach and frequency? I know that reach x frequency=grp's, but how can I determine what the effective reach and frequency would be for 100 grp's or 150 grp's?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 10, 2000 ):
Of course there's a formula, but it can be immensely complicated. In fact, media planners rarely, if ever, considered effective frequency before computers became a part of everyday reach and frequency calculation in the 70's.

Your "reach x frequency=grp's" is not a formula, but merely the arithmetical relationship of these quantities as they are defined.

grps are the convenient weights and mesures we use in media buying. They are simple statistical measurements, whereas reach and frequency are more complex statistical models In some cases, there are relatively simple reach formulae derived from compiling the actual, measured reaches of actual schedules with known grps. The formula is non-linear.

To find the effective reach of a schedule, you first determine level of frequency to consider "effective" and then examine the frequency distribution of the schedule to see how many people have been reached that number of times The frequency distribution shows exactly how many people have been exposed to each integral number of announcements in a schedule.

The math is based on non-linear functions. For any given reach and grp set, the frequency distribution can vary considerably depending on the media combined and the dayparts within the media.

Monday, March 06, 2000 #3288
I am doing planning for an image campaign on TV for this Spring (May-June). The are going to be 5 separate spots running under the same theme, but with different messages. Since there are so many spots, about how many grps per spot per market should I consider to be reasonable for delivery of each message? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 09, 2000 ):
This is one of those "how high is 'up'?" questions.

Do you need for each spot to be seen by some number of different people? Then buy grps adequate to build that reach for each spot.

Does each peice of copy need to be remembered rahter than just the overall theme? Then establish effective reach goals for each execution and buy to required grp's for that goal.

There are no real magic numbers like "a minumum of 100 grp's to do X."

It's a matter of setting communications goals either for a campaign or for specific pieces of copy, and buying the needed media to achieve the goals.

By the way, in an image campaign, the Guru would expect that the overall theme is more important than the individual messages.

Thursday, January 27, 2000 #3163
Just curious to find out what your thoughts are on "Share of Voice". Is it realistic to conduct such an analysis or is it just a concept of an ideal situation? How would you go about determining share of voice?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 29, 2000 ):
Share of voice is typically an analysis of the grp weight of the competitors in a category. (Some use dollars, but that would more properly be separately evaluated as "Share of Spending").

What can make SOV analyses unrealistic is:

  • Failure to account for different copy lengths in the grp
  • Failure to account for different impact values of different media
  • Failure to track all media, for instance the more and more common, but hard to track competitively, online advertising.

Thursday, January 27, 2000 #3162
I am in the midst of developing a media plan and our marketing manager is developing an Ad Library. He wants to determine at what point a commercial creative unit should be replaced. For instance, is a commercial dead after being on the air for 3 months, 6 months or 12 months? Or is a commercial dead after it has achieved a certain number of grps. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. K

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 29, 2000 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about wear out.

Sunday, January 16, 2000 #3122
Dear Sir / Madam, The question that I have is related to media weight setting. q1) Often in the past we have used the market prioritisation technique in BDI / CDI. Having done this we simply super impose the market dynamics to arrive at a market task. Now the question is can we make the BDI / CDI numbers talk harder. Is there a relation between BDI and the frequency required.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 19, 2000 ):
BDI and CDI are typically used to establish the effort which will be made in each market in relation to the other markets. These indices reflect a market's contribution to national sales versus its portion of national population.

The application of the index typically addresses allocation of media dollars or impressions. It could just as easily be used to set average frequency or effective frequency goals, but since frequency grows in a non-linear fashion - the growth rate accelerates as grps accumulate, it is simply a more complicated basis for media application.

Friday, January 14, 2000 #3120
What is the minimun number of grp's a radio schedule should have to reach A35-64? I have planned a minimun of 50 grp's for various markets, but I do not know if this is too little, or too much.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 19, 2000 ):
The only generally accepted "minimum" in radio advertising is 12 spots per week per station. But grp must be considered as well in judging communications value.

50 grps is almost too small a total schedule to bother with. Most advertisers, pulling a number out of the air would probably start with 100 grp per week in a campaign if radio is the only medium being used. A total campaign of 50 grp should reach about 20-22% of the target, at a low level of average frequency: about 2.3. This would not be expected to generate much consumer response.

4 weeks at 100 grp/week will get about to 50% target reach at an average frequency of 8x.

Certainly budget is a constraint, but effective levels in fewer markets is better than wasting money in a longer market list.

Thursday, January 13, 2000 #3119
Media Guru, I'm an advertising student and will be going out into the working world of advertising on a media buying internship in two weeks. I have one question which i would much like your input on. The question is as follows; Junior media buyers are routinely asked to book millions of dollars worth of advertising. But do they know enough about the vast complexities of media to do the job right? sincerly, intern student

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 19, 2000 ):
No, they don't. But then again they aren't actually asked to do this. You have a somewhat oversimplified view of the roles, the Guru believes.

Junior buys operate within tighly defined limits on their authority to make spending decisions.

Over the course of a year a "junior buyer" at a large agency might book millions of dollars, a few tens of thousands at a time. Each time, in a properly run agency, there should be a set of buying parameters from a olanner which specifies the target group, amount of media weight, (grp or impressions) type of programming or environment, minimum audience size of an ad unit, cpm/cpp range, and perhasp even reach of the schedule.

With all these parameters properly set, there is little room fro a junior buyer to make a significant error. The job is to find the right media according to clearly set, mostly numerical, standards and then to negotiate the best possible price.

Additionally, there should be review of a junior buyers proposed buy by a supervisor.

If you find yourself in a situation without these controls, then you are not observing a professional media operation.

Wednesday, January 12, 2000 #3114
Why don't Agencies hold radio to the same standards of TV in terms of posting. I understand there are flaws in measurement (as with TV) however, shouldn't radio stations be held accountable for under-delivering the points they project? Clear Channel has even made it a corporate policy to NOT post and, since they own such a large percentage of radio stations in many markets, it's virually impossible to "buy around" them. Any suggestions on how to make these radio stations more accountable?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 12, 2000 ):
Spot Radio ratings typically appear quarterly, meaning that there isn't an opportunity, during a buy, to monitor how the buy performs and to add weight if necessary.

Spot TV, even where weekly reporting is available is not usually sold with an audience guarantee.

Network radio, like network TV is sold on a guarantee basis.

The old theory, that radio ratings were too subject to statictical bounce, due to limited sample size behind any given rating and that therefor neither buyer nor seller could be sure of performance, still holds.

Radio buys can be guaranteed if

  • There is agreement that the buy must deliver the grpS, based on actual air times and ratings in a report which is available at the time the buy is made
  • If the agency insists adamantly that a guarantee is a condition of the buy.

Monday, January 10, 2000 #3104
Is there any information on "copy fatigue"...or how many grp's does it take before copy loses effectiveness? Any thoughts on this would be of great value. Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 17, 2000 ):
It depends on the quality and nature of the copy as well as marketplace dynamics in the category, media mix, etc.

Research is available at The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Wednesday, January 05, 2000 #3096
Oh Great Guru -- I need to calculate grps, but I don't have reach or frequency on some tv buys. I do have CPM, total impressions and impressions/week and the total population of the demographic. Can you supply a formula for calculating grp based on what I have?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 05, 2000 ):
(Impressions divided by population) x 100 = grp.

For example,
if impressions are 2 million and population is 1 million, grps = 200.

Saturday, December 25, 1999 #3075
Dear Guru, there has many studies and discussions about the effective reach and frequency, grps level, etc for the TV media. Is there any for Newspapers? Any industry norm about what is the effective frequency for Newspapers

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 25, 1999 ):
The concept of effective frequency is based on psychological studies of learning which found three repetitions of information were required for the information to be "learned."

The original study, by Ebbinghaus, was conducted circa 1883. If the concept is valid at all, it is equally valid for print media as it is for TV.

Tuesday, December 14, 1999 #3050
Dear guru, where can I find information about terms like clutter, grp, CPR, benefit? Do you recommend any web site?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 14, 1999 ):
The Guru is quite certain that no other web site offers as much discussion of media terms and concepts as the AMIC Media Guru. You can go to the Guru Archives Search Engine to look up Guru responses about virtually any media term.

Click here to see past Guru responses about clutter, or here for grp, or here for CPR (or CPP) or here for references to media benefits. "Benefit" is a very general term of course, and you may find you need to narrow the search to get the information you want.

Tuesday, December 07, 1999 #3033
Without the budget for post-flight call out surveys what formulas or 'rules' can I use to anticipate message saturation and burn. What reach or net reach level over what period of time would be probable to achieve a 80% awareness within the target. Also what is considered too much exposure for one message before you reach a point of diminishing returns. I know that the the better measurment here is research before and during the campaign, but there must be some bench marks that are industry accepted. Can you share these and share a public location for other general assumptions like this. Thank you in advance Guru... J

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 08, 1999 ):
  1. Ad awareness will never be greater than reach, so start from a plan that delivers at least 80% reach
  2. To establish measurable awareness, some repetiton will be needed, so think about getting an 80% reach at a set effective frequency level. The Guru has previously discussed use of the Ostrow Model to set this goal.
  3. A message is worn out when its ability to generate sales falls off. This being hard to predict, many advertisers have used past experience to set media-measurement based cut-offs. These have included a limit of 2000 grps and a frequency cap of 20 in the second highest quintile. In reality, the size of the copy pool, the qualities of the copy, the target, the overall media mix, and product category may all lead to wide variations in wear out. The two standards mentioned above were both commonly used in basic package goods TV advertising in a mix with print and a TV copy pool of 2-3 executions.

Wednesday, November 24, 1999 #2998
hi media guru please guide me : how can i know how much frequency, reach, and grp is needed for an old brand which first advertise on t.v? ( the target audience: main shoper with young children - 4-8 years old) thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 28, 1999 ):
This is a judgment call. The Ostrow model can help guide setting of effective frequency goals.

Reach then becomes what you can afford or what you need in terms of numbers of sales to become successful judged against anticipated consumer response as a percentage of target consumers reached effectively.

Further, one must keep in mind, since you are writing from outside the U.S., that cultural situations and media environments have a big impact on the matter.

Friday, November 05, 1999 #2938
I'm hoping develop a reach curve for a client to shhow how audience accumuluates with increased dollar spending in the market. I have a table that shows % reached by grps per 4 weeks and wondered where I could get published tables and surveys realting to increased share of voice in realtion to share of market spending. Is there are projection formula that could be used?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 10, 1999 ):
Share of voice usually means share of grps. Developing a Cost Per grp index would give you a simple conversion. The shortcoming of share of voice is that it ignores impact differences between various media and copy units, unless comlex formulae to equate grps are created.

Thursday, October 28, 1999 #2918
i guru could you please explain what should be the diffrent between plan grp and plan TRp and the real resoult in TRP and grp terms? thamk you

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 28, 1999 ):
1. None

2. Some people use "TRP" when referring to grps of a specific demographic and say "grp" only in reference to Household Rating Points.

Tuesday, October 26, 1999 #2907
Respectable guru, I am writing from a country where outdoor is still sold by number of sites. What would be the pro's and con's for a 14 day campaign with 200 sites against a 30 day campaign with 100 sites (in the same area for the same cost)? What would be the relation between reach and frequency in both cases? Are you aware of any web sites with research on this topic? Thank you for your answers.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 27, 1999 ):
The Guru imagaines that in your situation, the daily effective circulation (DEC) of the sites is not known. This data is the basis for grp based out-of-home buys in the U.S.

If we assume that the average DEC is equal for all 200 sites and the 100 sites, and that the 100 are evenly dispersed among the potential 200 locations the Guru would opt for the longer schedule. The net reach over each schedule should be similar and the longer presence should produce more sales.

Monday, October 11, 1999 #2865
What is the difference between a TRP and a grp?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 11, 1999 ):
1. None

2. Some people use TRP when referring to grps of a specific demographic and say grp only in reference to Household Rating Points.

Wednesday, October 06, 1999 #2854
What are the advantages/disadvantages of advertising during sweeps? We have a client who is TOTALLY hung up on advertising during sweeps. Isn't there a lot of self-promotion going on in TV? The client is a newspaper. Also, I've heard that political advertising during the fourth quarter 2000 is projected to be phenomenal. Do you have any information on how advertisers are reacting? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 07, 1999 ):
It is true that ratings are higher during sweeps, because programming is selected to increase audiences when they are being measured. And yes, there is a lot more self promotion in these periods.

But, assuming your client is going to buy "X" grps, they will get them with fewer announcements in a sweep than otherwise. If it takes 20 announcements to get 100 grp in October but only 15 to get 100 grp in November, the difference to the advertiser should be infinitesimal in terms of more impact. If any measurable effects are seen, there would be a hair more reach and a speck less frequency in the sweeps scenario. The cost per point might be higher.

Political advertising surges during every presidential election. Advertisers will not be visibly reacting today, since Fourth Quarter is sold as the first quarter of a network's year. When Q4 2000 selling starts to move next May, the upfront advertisers will secure their time comfortably. Some advertisers who don't usually buy upfront will. As the year goes on, some money which would have been spent in some places will go elswhere, network to spot, TV to radio, broadcast to print.

It happens every four years and used to be worse when both summer and winter Olympics fell in these same presidential election years.

Friday, October 01, 1999 #2840
What is the difference between achieving a 10.0 rtg. on one spot of Seinfeld, vs. a combined 10.0 rtg. on Oprah, The Today Show and Just Shoot Me? Are we reaching a larger audience? Is there a way to measure duplication of the three programs? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 01, 1999 ):
A combined 10 rating points accumulated across three programs will also represent 10 grp, or an equal gross audience, but because of duplication the reach will be somewhat less than 10 and frequency somewhat more than 1.0. The reach will be at least equal to the rating of the highest rated program of the three.

The syndicated ratings reports, i.e. Nielsen, measure the duplication; the planner's standard reach & frequency tools estimated the net audience, accounting fo this duplication.

Tuesday, September 28, 1999 #2831
Is there a documented research/ benchmarks followed which indicates a) how long (in units of time and grps) should a TV commercial last before fatigue for that commercial sets in. b) Is this likely to be different for FMCG or durables? if yes, how much? Thanks, Praveen

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 28, 1999 ):
There have been many studies, most of them proprietary. The variables are too many to be generally applicable: Commerical length, quality, recall, enterntainmnet/annoyance value, number of executuions in rotation, etc. The differences in cultures and media environments probably also have an effect.

Some set a standard based on quintiles of exposure, others on grps.

The major compilations of publicly available research are at ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research Organization and Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter.

Monday, September 27, 1999 #2830
I have read all your responses regarding recency. If you wouldn’t mind answering a few more, this is a multiple question predominantly regarding recency as a planning theory. 1) What Telemar program deals with TV R&F on a weekly basis? 2) Do the same audience accumulation formulas work for a one-week cume vs. 4wk or 52 wk? 3) When now planning an a weekly basis rather than a flighted basis are frequency guidelines or goals a consideration in the recency planning theory? 4) Has there been a clear industry swing relative to EF or recency yet? 5) A 1997 JAR article by Erwin Ephron cited some minimum target reach guidelines like 35 weekly, 65 four-week and 80 quarterly. Has there been anything more definitively determined since then (I noticed reply 2631 7/14/99 lowering the weekly reach to 30)? 6) For those espousing recency, is the trend to a 52 presence or extended flighting like 8-10 continuous weeks of each quarter? 7) On the Effective Frequency side, where the defacto goal has centered around the 3+ level, has the time frame shifted to anything other than a 4-week period?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 29, 1999 ):
1) Media Maestro and TV Buyer handle TV R&F.

2) No, formulas differ for one week, 4 week, and long term. 400 grp, spread ove differend programs might come close to exhausting the reach potential of one week's TV audience, but not if spread over 4 weeks or longer.

3) Recency planning is focused on weekly reach, and incorporates the concept that every exposure after the third one is at the 3+ level.

4) Some have adopted recency, some cling to effective reach. The Guru is not aware of any polls of agencies or advertisers, but suspects that recency is still growing in acceptance, but is a minority approach.

5) The reach minima are a bit loose, and 30 vs 35 is not a major point of contention.

6) The idea of recency is that being there whenever a purchase decision is made is ideal. Flighting, when continuity is affordable and there is no major seasonality is contrary to the principle.

7) Four weeks has always been somewhat arbitrary, likley stemming from the one-time dominance of monthly magazines. But it is a convenient benchmark. A logical approach can set a level other than 3+ or other than 4 weeks, etc.

Wednesday, September 22, 1999 #2814
Hi Guru The ad agency I work for has a theory that cable grp's and radio grp's effectivenesss are significantly less than network and spot television. On our flow charts we only calculate 1/2 half of these points. I have heard this theory before but I've never seen a plan that cuts the grp's in half. What do you think?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 23, 1999 ):
The Guru has been aware of theories that use effectiveness factors in comparing media. Sometimes grp are adjusted on the flow chart, but since the flow chart often serves as the buying control document, more often the adjustments are shown in reach and frequency comparisons.

There can certainly be an argument that radio has less effectiveness than TV, commercial exposure versus commercial exposure, all else being equal. But, the argument doesn't seem to be rationale for cable TV. The commercial is the same, the presentation is the same. Unless there are objective measures of attentiveness or clutter or recall used, why is cable less effective? Individual commerical audience size is not relevent to message effectiveness of the medium; one consumer is not aware of how may others are watching the same program.

Tuesday, September 14, 1999 #2795
Dear Guru, I am writing to you from the Middle East. First of all I am very excited to discover the AMIC site. I have recently been exposed to various documentation on the recency theory. Alongwith the documentation I have seen something called reach curves. The reach curves I have seen are typically for 1+, 2+, and 3+ levels for all adults and all women audiences. I understand it is an easy way to translate Effective Reach goals into grp goals e.g. X grps will get you Y% 3+ reach against the target. It also clearly depicts the point of diminishing return. I am eager to know how I can develop reach curves for my market. Can this be done by us in the media department or do we need to approach some company which specializes in this area. What sort of data is required? Just to give you a background, we are not a metered market. TV audience measurement is conducted thrice a year using face-to-face interviews with a representative sample. Viewership is typically available by 15 minute time segments for all channels across various demos. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 14, 1999 ):
Reach curves have been in use since long before computers were used in media departments and long before metered measurement.

Curves are created by using the reach of actual schedules. For example, in the U.S., Nielsen would report the actual reach of specific brands' schedules, based on examining the net unduplicated viewers in their reasearch data who viewed the program schedules used by the brand's commercials.

Once you have several schedules ( 8 or so will do) with actual reaches and frequencies for various grp levels, you can use the regression analysis data function in a spreadsheet, like MS Excel or Lotus 1-2-3, to calculate a formula which describes the curve. This formula can literally draw the curve on a graph, or let you build a table of grp / Reach pairs. By the way, it is the frequency and grps which are used in building this regression, because while reach is a curve, frequency is a straight line.

Tuesday, August 24, 1999 #2738
Is there a difference in Reach for the same level of grps if they are run in one week versus four weeks? It seems like there should be, but most media planning tools don't allow for a difference. They give the same reach result regardless of the length of time the grps are running. I'm interested in your perspective. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 24, 1999 ):
Yes, one week reach is higher than four week reach from the same number of grps, particularly in radio. The reason is that, while the weekly cume of stations or of the medium, does not vary much from the four week potential, your chances of capturing more of this potential is greater when grps are run, well dispersed, in a single week.

In TV the enormous dispersion of program options and audience fragmentation makes this less of an issue. In radio, where buys are typically on just a handful of top-ranked stations, based on the target demo, the difference can be felt.

Telmar's radio planning tools allow you to set the number of weeks in reach calculations and see the difference.

Tuesday, August 24, 1999 #2736
I've been asked to do a post-buy analysis for a business-to-business advertiser. What components should be included in the analysis?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 24, 1999 ):
Any specifications of the buying instructions should be included in the post. These might include:


  • Number of grps
  • $ spent
  • Daypart mix
  • Horizontal and vertical rotation
  • Average rating or number of spots meeting/not meeting ratings minima


  • $ spent
  • # of insertions
  • Page position
  • Reproduction quality
  • Rate base guarantees met/unmet - rebates due

Thursday, August 19, 1999 #2729
Dear Guru, 1- Please let me know SQARE model that SQAD use to calculate CPP for TV and Radio. Please let me know the detail or any link I can find more information or books... 2- Do you know any model for reach vs grps? Our client ask us to show the data like that. The problem that we try to find the suitable daypart mix, station mix, medium mix that is good for our advertising strategy but we don't have any optimiser programs. We have only ratings data like Telescope and Prinscope of ACNielsen. Do you know any example to solve this kind of problem? 3- Our client also want to have a model to set advertising budget to get for example 80+ reach but we can not know until it happen. How to solve this issue? warmest regards, Thai Vang

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 19, 1999 ):
A general explanation of SQAD's model is available from SQAD. They will give you the same information they would give the Guru. But the essence is manipulating actual buying data in real situations, provided confidentially by actual media buyers.

grp's and reach do not have any standard realtionship, except within given media and population parameters. You are writing from Viet Nam, where Televison audience cume patterns are likely to be quite different than in the U.S. Even within the U.S., Hispanic TV reach curves are very, very differerent than the General Market TV reach curves.

The way to build a model, to oversimplify, is to collect a great number of actual reaches of real schedules, and then plot their frequency against reach in a regresssion analysis, which gives you the formula for the "curve." Frequency is plotted, rather than reach, because frequency is a straight line while reach is a curve. The curve formula then allows you to create a model with a reach solution for any grp input. The more variables you use to build different curves, the more sophisticated your model can be.

Thursday, August 19, 1999 #2726
I buy a base level of 500 Ad 18-49 TRP's per week; a typical flight will run 4 weeks --- for a total of 2000 TRP's. From this base buy, we usually split the base buy in 1/2 trafficking in two different spots (1000 / 1000 TRP's). At what level do you think that wear out will occur? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 19, 1999 ):
What is your definition of wearout? A frequency level? A decline in ad awareness? A sales decline? There are may ways to set wearout.

One of the oldest, and easier to use because it is defined entirely by media measurement, is a certain frequency level in the next-to-highest quintile, perhaps a frequency of 20.

Depending on daypart mix, this might mean wearout at about 2000 grps for a spot.

Monday, August 02, 1999 #2681
what is grp

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 06, 1999 ):
grp stands for "gross rating points:"

Every ad has a number of people or homes in its audience (impressions). This number, divided by the population base for the relevant demographic, is the advertisement's "rating." The sum of all the ratings in the schedule is the grps. Or, the sum of the schedule's impressions divided by the population base = grps.

Thursday, July 29, 1999 #2669
What is the role and job definition of a media planner in a creative agency v/s that of an AOR agency ? Does the creative agency media planner need to give detailed plan schedules which include channelwise grps in order to justify reach/freq objectives to the AOR agency?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 31, 1999 ):
"AOR," or Agency of Record is a buying function and there is no inherent reason for a planner's role to be different. The planner should not need to "justify" anything to an AOR, assuming plans are approved by the client before buying instructions are communicated to the AOR.

Of course, there can be situations where specific rules have been set up going beyond the typical AOR role.

Monday, July 19, 1999 #2643
Dear Guru! I've got the following question. Our client has a product to advertise. He has set advertising goals for the ad campaign. We defined the level of effective frequency needed to reach these goals. 1. What is the range of effective reach? For example, 30%

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 23, 1999 ):
Media plan communications goals should specify a level of effective reach along with specifying the effective level of frequency.

Basic, as well as more advanced media software, calculates reach and frequency, frequency distribution and reach at various (effective) frequency levels. Input is typically grps.

Setting an effective reach goal can be based on gut, such as reaching the majority of the target at effective frequency levels in 4 weeks, or based on sales predictions. For example, this might be an estimate that 10% of those reached efectively will buy and X number of sales are the goal. Then 10 times X are the number who must be effectively reached.

Friday, July 16, 1999 #2641
Here's a basic math question for you: I recently bought a media (TV) schedule that gave me a total A18-49 delivery (in 000's) of 45000, 89 spots, total cost = $1,300,000. Knowing that the total A18-49 universe is 61350 (000), how do I find the following?: 1) total grps delivered 2) total CPP

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 16, 1999 ):
The grp equation is 45,000,000 impressions divided by 61,350,000 universe, expressed as a percent, or 73 grps.

The CPP equation is $1,300,000 cost divided by 73 grps or $17,808 CPP

Guessing this is national cable, it seems high. to the Guru.

Wednesday, July 14, 1999 #2632
What are grp's and what do they stand for in a media buy? I am an Account Manager and don't have the Media background but need to explain the grp levels to my Product Managers. Please help.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 15, 1999 ):
grps are gross rating points, the pounds and ounces of media buying and selling. The target audience of an advertisement divided by the population of the target group is the ad's rating. The sum of the ratings of the ads is the gross rating points. Plans specify how many grps of each medium to buy. For print, specifications are more often numbers of insertions in specific titles, but the grps can be calculated the same way and one plan compared to another.

Allowance must be made for :15 versus :30 grp or half page versus full page. A given program or magazine has the same rating (grp) whatever the ad size/length, but obviously there is more benefit from 100 grp of :30s or pages than from 100 grps of :15s or half pages.

Wednesday, July 14, 1999 #2629
Dear Guru, Could you please tell me what is "cost per reach"? Is it just to divide the spending by net reach? Do you have standard to evaluate "cost per reach"?? Thank you very much.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 14, 1999 ):
Cost per reach can be cost per Reach point which is like cost per point and is spending divided by percent reach OR c.p.m. reach, which is spending divided by thousands reached.

Like cost per point, it doesn't depend on a standard, but is used as a comparison in planning. It varies across media, media types and countries, of course.

For example, in the U.S., the scenario might be, Prime time evening television is the best generator of reach for X number of grps. But, daytime TV might deliver more reach per dollar invested at first, until the daytime reach curve flattens. Or the first 50 reach points in Prime might have X cost per reach and the next 10 reach points added in prime might have 2X cost per reach.

Monday, July 12, 1999 #2623
Reciently I have read a couple of documents that explain that you may estimate wearout using an equation(applying quintyl analysis). I would like to know if there is any equation to estimate hoe many grp's per version you need to generate awareness. As always thansk in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 12, 1999 ):
Any number of grps generate some awareness. So the question is how much aweareness do you want to achieve. Reach may tie more closely to awareness generation, but grps are easier to work with.

Also, consider whether you really care about awarness of individual commercial versions as opposed to advertising overall.

Formulas the Guru has seen generally assume some beginning level of awareness and a fall-off in any week with less than100 grp.

Monday, July 12, 1999 #2622
Dear Guru! Our client would like to spend $ 100000 on advertising on one of the major TV channels. This budget allows us to buy approximately 50 insertions. The product is a tv set. The brand is not new at the market. The advertising campaign goal is to increase the brand awareness. We are doubtful whether to place all insertions in a 4 week period, or to use fligts and 1-week hiatus. Could you clear the problem. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 12, 1999 ):
The Guru is not very familiar with TV in Russia (from where this question has been submitted).

But, assuming common ground: If a national commercial costs $2000, the Guru imagines it has to have a very small audience. Perhaps 1.0 rating, so you are talking about 100 or so grp.

Ad Awareness is primarily a function of reach, while brand awareness nay have many drivers. 100 grp of low rated commercials will not be likely to produce much reach, whether in four weeks or flighted. If brand awareness is the only goal and there are no promotional periods involved, the Guru would choose to spread the advertising over more time, to sustain the limited awareness which will be built.

Friday, July 09, 1999 #2620
Hello GURU ! I have 2 questions for you : 1. One of the media analysis we do in our agency,mainly for TV, consists in comparing a competitor's share of spending (calculated as his % of advertising expenditure within the total category) with his share of voice (calculated as the % of his 30 sec equivalent grps within the category). Is this correct in your opinion ? 2. How do you define SOV ? Is this the % of the grps one achieve within a category or is it the % of money invested by an advertiser within a category in a certain period ? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 11, 1999 ):
1) What do you do with the results of this comparison? How does the ratio of SO$ to SOV help you make decisions? The :30 equivalent step is reasonable, but how do you do that effectively outside of broadcast?

2) Some use SOV to refer to share of spending, others use it to refer to share of weight. The Guru believes share of weight is more descriptive of the marketplace perceived by the consumer, but the person controlling the budget, that is, the client, more often cares about money. They can see the impact of money on the bottom line more easily than they can understand the differences in impact of their :30s versus a competitor's :15s or competitor's radio versus their own magazines.

Thursday, July 08, 1999 #2616
Hello Guru! I would like to ask you what is a 30 sec equivalent grp and why is that calculated if the spot length (as per some of your previous answers) do not influence yhe level of reach&frequency ? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 08, 1999 ):
:30 equivalent is a buyer's convenience. Assuming the standard unit purchased is a :30, instead of dealing with different unit rates in the same program, a :15 is treated as if it had half the rating. It's strictly an efficiency/value issue and has no impact on reach or frequency. Remember that the ratings we have are actually the ratings of programs or time periods and not commercials; commercials are just assigned the rating of the time slot wherin they air, so commercial length is irrelevant to rating.

Tuesday, July 06, 1999 #2608
Our company is presently trying to locate a list of kids aged roughly 12-19 for a direct mailing. Do you know where we might find such a list? We are also interested in knowing what the most popular magazines are among kids in this segment (for advertising purposes). Lastly, we would like to determine what it costs to advertise (gross, not CPM) via the following media: TV (specialty channel), radio, Internet (banner), magazine (popular), billboard, and space. Any help you could give us on these questions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your assistance. Sincerely, Drew Spence Market Research Associate Lac-Mac Limited

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 06, 1999 ):
Most list brokers would have a teenage list available. Try American List Counsel for starters.

. Seventeen ,Teen,YM,TeenPeople are among the most popuular, especially with female teens. Male teens gravitate to more broadly targeted titles like SportsIllustrated.

To discuss ad prices in the media you mention, you really must consider something other than simple gross. If the Guru tells you a :30 on a specialty channel cost $100 or $1000, how can you evaluate what you must spend to communiucate something?

Internet banners are sold in cpms and numbers of impressions, not flat gross dollars usually; major sites have more impression than you might buy so you buy a portion of the available impressions. You can get teen oriented sites' banners for $15-30 per thousand. But just putting a banner on all the teen pages of Yahoo could cost $1,000,000 per month.

or more. Billboards might cost $250 apiece, but you won't buy just one, you buy a quantity of daily effective circulation expressed as grps. A teen cpm might be $5-$10

Tuesday, June 15, 1999 #2576
I'll launch a new 20" copy with a minimum grp's level (70 Reach A4W) during 13 weeks. The creative team is recommending a 10" lift for the fifth week. This, of course will give us more weight or more weeks on air (I must pay 15" instead of 10" because of the TV Network policies). In cuantitative basis I will win using shorter copies but I would like to know how to evaluate the qualitative part to make the best recommendation. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 15, 1999 ):
If 10" costs the same as 15", why use 10's instead of 15's? 15's must have advantages over 10's.

The important factor is the relationship to the cost of a 20". Years ago, when 30's had become the accepted U.S. standard, 15's were introduced and extensively evaluated. The general finding was that 15's had roughly 75% of the value of a 30' at half the cost, so they were a very good buy

Defining "value" is the trick; is it recall, consumer motivation, sales effect? The archives of that old U.S. research will be available in the Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

However, since you are writing from Mexico, it must be kept in mind that consumer reactions might differ, depending on what typical advertising units and exposure are for your consumers.

Friday, June 11, 1999 #2572
Is there any way to equate grp levels to a brand attribute awareness? Everything I have researched tells me that a planner can translate grps into a desired awareness level, but I don't know how to take it to the next step. And aren't there many other factors that contribute to the brand attribute awareness that aren't advertisind-related? Help!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 16, 1999 ):
Yes, consumer experience, word of mouth, in store exposure all contribute to attribute awareness. And grp to awareness translation is far from perfect.

Wednesday, June 09, 1999 #2564
Do you know of any studies that compare direct response television advertising to general rate/fixed position advertising? Specifically, the differences in the grps across the board? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 10, 1999 ):
Assuming you are talking about the comparison of spots sold on a pre-emptable, ROS basis for direct response (often sold at 50% of "list price") versus ordinary "regular" priced spots in specific program or dayparts, why would there be a grp difference? One can buy 100 grps either way; the price of a spot doesn't influence its rating.

If you are looking for the differences in grps purchased by typical campaigns of either style, the Guru isn't aware of any such compilation -- one can estimate dollars spent, but estimating grps requires and additiona source for ratings data and knowledge of the advertisers' targets.

One consideration worth noting is that direct response is often just bought as numbers of spots, with little regard for grp delivery.

Tuesday, June 08, 1999 #2562
I have an outdoor question. If showing size refers to the reach per day, i.e. 25# reaches 25% of a market per day, why aren't the estimated TRPs per month simply 25 x 28 = 700. Most studies I see quote a lower TRP level for a 25 showing. What gives?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 09, 1999 ):
The Guru has come across this problem and found the answers.

There are two answers, one sensible, one nonsense, but both real.

Sensible: The "25 showing" is a standard number of panels, based on 25% of adult population. So if your target is Women 18-34, there may be a different number of women 18-34 grps in a showing actually bought as 25 Adult 18% grps. This is perfectly sensible, and happens ain all media, but the sellers and buyers of other media are fully conversant with these facts.

Now for the nonsense answer, which is most likely the basis of the number you were given. Various research companies, such as MRI have measured outdoor as part of multimedia reports and these generalized reports are being used to estimate target reach for a marketpace showing. Often a completely different source for average frequency is used and these two factors are multiplied to calculate grps. It seems invariably to be much lower than the grps you would get by the realistic method first described, and so makes outdoor seem less efficient than it should.

The misused sources could, instead be used to provide relative exposure indices between demographics, allowing a simple conversion of grps. The Guru hopes the Outdoor industry improves in this area.

Monday, May 17, 1999 #2509
Media Guru - I just read your responce to question #2507. Numerically, your answer may be correct that turning 200 pulsed TRP's into 100 continous TRP's may be more effective. (recency theory) It may not however be realistically the best course of action. Recency assumes that your advertising is ongoing reminder advertising and that your brand is well established. Also, purchase patterns and frequency are important. In terms of media, you have to consider what will 100 TRP's afford you? If you are in 2 or 3 dayparts in TV you will have a handful of spots, that the prospect will be lucky to see. I think that recency has to be balanced out with other marketing and media factors, including impact.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 18, 1999 ):
As the Guru said in that response, the concept applied "particularly if your product is something people are buying continuously or regularly."

Recency does not make assumptions about product establishment -- though some practicioners may. In fact the original statement of the thesis emphasized the point, for effective frequency adherents, that after the third exposure, every exposure was at "three plus" and looking at abstractions like three plus in a set time frame was not necessary. About 60 grp per week has been identified as a workable threshold of effectiveness.

Regarding dayparts, any mix of daypart is likely to deliver an average rating in the 5 to 8 range. Unless you have frequency goals by daypart (why?), 100 vs 200 seems a moot issue.

The net effect on consumers, at the end of four weeks, whether you have run 100 grp per week or 200 grp in weeks #1 and #3 only, will be about the same, in accumulated reach and average frequency.

The biggest difference will be in average reach per week (or per day). Your point makes a big issue of a time frame called a week, which is just an abstraction and a common convenience in looking at schedules.

Thinking of the schedule you would select to run 200 grp in 7 days, why must it differ if spread over 14 days?

Wednesday, May 12, 1999 #2507
For several years, I have bought my client's spring and fall campaigns on an alternating schedule i.e., one week on and one week off @ 200 TRPs per week. Historically, we take a four month hiatus between campaigns. Recently, someone told the client that it would be more effective to buy three weeks consecutively at lower TRP levels. Either plan would be restrained by a stated budget amount. Do you have an opinion about each of these strategies or your ownpreference in television buying strategy when trying to stretch the time on-air?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 16, 1999 ):
You haven't stated how many weeks of 200 on and off you run.

But, assuming you take a one-week-on / one-week-off schedule of 200 and change it to 100/week continuous, this will probably be more effective, particularly if your product is something people are buying continuously or regularly. Since reach can only go just so high, the average reach per week of 100 grps continuous will be higher than the average weekly reach of one week at 200 and one week at 0 grp. So the continuous schedule has a better chance or reaching someone just as they are about to make a purchase decision.

This is the essence of the "recency theory."

Click here to see past Guru responses about recency

Wednesday, May 12, 1999 #2506
We have a client who always hears our radio spots (I believe that is a good thing) but thinks they are worn out due to the high exposure. We do not agree as we are running 200 grps/wk. for 40 weeks with five spots with a 20% rotation for each spot. We believe that wear out is difficult as frequency is one of the goals of radio and due to listening habits. Is there an industry standard to determine when a radio commercial is worn out? For example, I know packaged goods advertisers who use TV look at the reach at the heaviest viewing quintile. If reach exceeds 25% they considering replacing or resting the spot. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 16, 1999 ):
Wear-out is

1. Subjective 2. Variable depending on the quality and memorability of the copy.

Rules of thumb the Guru has seen include

  • "It's worn out when the client starts asking". . . or
  • 2000 grp -- you're getting close on that one . . .or
  • 20 (or 25 or 30) frequency in the second highest quintile -- you're probably past that one, and have at least a 20 average frequency depending on your target and dispersion.
  • . . . and the one that really makes sense is tracking sales and making a change in the copy when the sales trend drops.

Friday, April 23, 1999 #2465
I am puzzled and maybe I should know the answer to this question, but I don.t We are competing with another agency to win an account. We were given the assignment to put together a television buy. The objective was to put the same buy together, but improve on the rates. Bottom line is that the buy starts in two weeks and the market is very tight. We improved in some areas and some ares came in higher. We were able to secure some overnight spots at no charge. This was the only difference. The ratings were .1 and .2 for overnights. We ran a reach and frequency. The following are the results: Ours results: 69.5 reach 4.4 frequency 309.1 grp's There results: 46.6 reach 6.6 frequency 309.2 grp's Why the difference? We use MM+ and they sue TAP SCAN. Could the diffence software programs be so difference in calculating R&F? I hope I have supplied you with enough info. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 23, 1999 ):
Two systems can legitimately have very different results, but this case does seem extreme. The detail level taken into account can vary and be quite important; for example, repeated use of the same stripped program or weekly program may be something one R&F model takes into account while the other just considers a more general grp by daypart.

You haven't said whether the schedules were very nearly identical, either. If your 309 grp was made up of 60 spots and their 309 was made up of 300 spots there would be substantial difference in R&F. Yours would then be preferable to most advertisers.

Bottom line, it doesn't make any sense to compete based on R&F results unless the same model is used on both schedules.

Wednesday, April 14, 1999 #2445
i read an article about the optimizer program and they use there on the phrase REACH PER POINT (RPP) what does it mean and how can i use it . (and i am not mean to cost per reach point) thanks a lot

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 14, 1999 ):
Without seeing the article, the Guru is only speculating, but he believes this refers to the varying reach accumulation rates of different media elements, programs and dayparts.

For example, a given demographic may generate 30 reach for a typical schedule of 100 gross rating points in daytime and 50 reach for 100 grp of Prime. They have a different reach per point (grp). When coupled with the cost, it's the essence of optimizers.

Thursday, April 08, 1999 #2434
My client was told from a previous agency that 100 points a week is a standard guideline for television advertising, for sustaining levels. I know there are tons of factors that would really go into developing point levels, but other than showing r/f and eff 3+ numbers is there any way to source this or provide rationale? The client is looking for it. Thanks as always.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 08, 1999 ):
As a regular correspondent of the Guru's you certainly knew that an agency saying 100 grp / week is "standard" is a sign of ignorance, at best, and you've come to the Guru for help in debunking this nonsense.

Looking at the 4 week reach of 100 grp / week might show a 100% variation in reach, frequency or reach at 3+ based on daypart choice, for Adult 18-49. So ignoring whether daytime or prime is used is foolish. Will 50 grp/week of Prime do the same communication job as 100/week in day?

When grps are seen as just weight, with no consideration of programming content, reach potential, frequency, etc, one suspects media planners have not even gotten into the game.

Factors such as how high is the introductory weight, how high is the competitors' weight how long are flights vs hiatuses, should all influence a choice of sustaining weight.

The simplest way to rationalize for your client is to show how different the reach and frequency of 100/week can be and what the competition

Monday, April 05, 1999 #2431
Dear Guru, I have a question regarding %US coverage with spot radio. An old boss of mine who has recently left the company had used DMA %ages rather than metro %ages when reflecting total US penetration on a spot radio buy we did. I am unsure as to why this was done. Can you provide a rationale for using DMA numbers here? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 05, 1999 ):
To some extent it represents TV thinking and to another, it's more realistic.

DMA's are really a TV-defined area. Every U.S.county is assigned to one DMA or another -- except for some oddities in Alaska. So the sum of all DMAs is 100% of the U.S. with no duplication. The definition is based on which TV market gets the bulk of a county's viewing. In each market, the central city VHF stations generally reach the whole DMA. Spot TV buys are usually planned on a DMA rating/grp basis.

Radio, on the other hand, is usally planned on a metro point basis. Even the strongest radio stations, audience-wise, rarely reach the outer areas of DMA's. In each DMA there are one or more Metros. Because the population of the DMAs concentrates in the metros, buys in the metros are treated as if they covered whole DMAs, and indeed, radio coverage is gernerally wider than the metro.

In the U.S. there are roughly 10 times as many radio stations as TV sations, many surviving because they cover out-of-the way areas, but others simply because we will buy small, select audiences. Consider the New York DMA. Largest in population, one of the smallest in geography, but with about 50 reportable commercial radio stations and about 9 commercial TV stations.

Friday, April 02, 1999 #2427
My AE has asked me to determine how much of the clients budget should be allocated to media spending. I believe this should be the AE's decision. How can I determine what should be spent on media and/or how can I help the AE to decide? grp's

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 02, 1999 ):
If you've been given communication goals, like "100 grp per week for 26 weeks", or "60 reach at 3+ frequency when in, for 26 weeks of activity" then it is fair to ask you to determine a budget, but the Guru imagines your AE's question has been asked in total information vacuum.

You're quite right then, that this is a decision that should be made before media planning comes into play.

Regardless of who makes the decision, considerations must first allocate budget to PR vs Promotion vs Advertising, in the broadest strokes.

Within advertising there's production vs research vs media.

You need to ask for the client's overall marketing plan, as your AE should have, if it wasn't the AE's responsibilty to create one from client information.

Of course, you can look at this as an opportunity to demonstrate that you can do the AE's job, since you've been asked to.

Thursday, April 01, 1999 #2426
What are the appropriate rating point levels for introducing a new grocery product into the New York Metro?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 01, 1999 ):
The Guru has discussed this kind of question frequently.
Click here to see past Guru responses about advertising levels

Tuesday, March 30, 1999 #2421
The need: I am looking for a way to factor 'page exposure' data into mainstream media metrics such as CPM or grp. MRI tracks and calculates page exposure using the following: (#_of_days_magazine_is_read * #_issues_read * %_of_pages_read)= avg_page_exposure I believe such data would not only provide a more accurate picture of a readers exposure to the ad pages but could alter CPM & grp rates. My Reasoning: CPM=(ad_rate/audience); audience=(circ * readers); 'readers' is thenumber of different set of eyes per issue (single exposure). This number does not take into account how long or to what extent the reader looked at the publication -- it could be the mailman delivering the magazine who remebers the cover or it could denote a subscriber who reads the issue cover to cover. Enter the issue of page exposure. Suppose I am considering a magazine with a CPM of .01851 = 40,400/(704,000 * 3.1). However, if this same magazine provided me with a page exposure rate of .99 = (3 * 1 * .33) -- which says that the audience takes 3 days to read the issue and reads about 33% of the issue a day (which I know is unrealistic, but hear me out). Now suppose I take the .99 exposure rate and add it to the 'reader' and recalculate CPM --- 40,400/(704,000 * (3.1 +.99))= .01404 -- I get a much lower CPM. My Question: Why can't I make this type of calculation with page exposure data -- where is the break down in my logic or math? Any insights would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks in advance!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 01, 1999 ):
First, overall, yes it is a reasonable and not unusual concept to adjust CPM according to additional measured factors reported for magazines. However, there are some minor and some major issues with your process in terms of labels and decimal places, etc.

Yes, CPM is ad rate ÷ readers. Readers is circulation times readers per copy (refer to the explanation of MRI information which the Guru did for you in query #2403).

So the basic CPM -- cost per thousand impressions -- in your example is actually $18.51, assuming you mean $40,400 is your ad csot, 704,000 is circulation and 3.1 is readers per copy.

The exposure rate is a factor, not an add on. So the adjustment would be 3.1 times 0.99 or 3.069 or virtually no change. The cpm is now $18.70. If there was a very different page exposure factor it would make a difference. It is a valid way to reaxamine CPMs.

Wednesday, March 24, 1999 #2409
Dear Guru - This may seem like a vague question, but what is meant by "adjusted grps?" I am looking at a combined TV and print plan that delivers 425 avg. 4-week grps against W25-54, and under "adjusted grps" it says 336. These are 52-week plans, and there are only :30 units (no copy split). Your help is much appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 25, 1999 ):
Your question isn't vague, but "adjusted" is. Somone has done you a disservice by presenting something labeled "adjusted" with no explanation. There are numerous bases used to adjust grps including:
  • Variations in measured daypart attentiveness
  • Variations in measured daypart recall
  • judgement regarding sales effectiveness of different media
  • copy length/size versus some established standard
  • etc
. Various advertisers have set policies on these matters and planners trained on those advertisers' business report Reach/Frequency/grp including these adjustments almost without thinking about it. But the first time someone sees such data, they deserve an explanation.

There are no universal standards for "adjusted grp."

Wednesday, March 24, 1999 #2407
How did the industry standard of requiring television stations to post at 90% of the estimated TRPs on local spot buys originate?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 24, 1999 ):
Just because your agency and many others use this figure, it doesn't mean it's an "industry standard." But it is probably most common. The practice began in recognition of the statisical instability of the audience research, due to sampling issues. Two people, negotitating in good faith, and agreeing that a schedule should deliver 100 grp, can find that, without anyone doing anything wrong, the schedule is reported to underdeliver because of "bounce" in the ratings. So to avoid arguements over probably half of all the schedules bought and sold, it became common to agree that if the schedule posted at least 90% of what was bought, it was "no harm / no foul." In fact, in most cases, schedules estimated in good faith should, statistically do better than 90%. And if a buyer finds that every schedule bought from a specific station came in near 90%, then there's something wrong; schedules should post over as often as under if statistical bounce is the culprit. Of course a buyer doesn't want all schedules to post 110% or bigger either, that would imply bad estimationg and overspending.

The 90% figure shouyld be a negotiating point. Don't automatically expect a station to honor it unless it's your stated policy or by agreement. Many schedules are bought without guarantees.

The Guru recalls his own buying experience when one salesman would offer 90% guarantee and the next 95%. It made it too hard to compare proposals. So the said to all the sellers. Give me only numbers which are 100% guaranteed. Raise the cpm you are offering, if you must, to compensate, but all sales must be on the same basis.

Friday, March 19, 1999 #2400
I need to know the calculation to work out margin of error for TV reach and frequency results. E.g. what is the margin of error of 40% @ 2+ depending on the size of the sample, penetration etc.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 20, 1999 ):
Assuming you are using a model to calculate reach and frequency, your error is no longer an aspect of sample size but of the reliability of the model.

For instance, suppose your schedule consisted of 20 advertisements with an average rating of 10. And, based on sample size, the 10 rating was +/- 2 rating points (or 20% relative error). But your total schedule of 200 grp is not going to be +/- 40 points. Because error is plus or minus, there is an equal chance that one 10 rating is really PLUS 2 and the next 10 rating is really MINUS 2. So, in a schedule, most of the error cancels out. This is one reason why ratings minima for buying are often short-sighted.

When it comes to reach analysis, someone might have built a model by compiling several actual schedules measured by the original research and finding a formula for the straight line formed by the average frequency of each. Since the actual schedules came from the orignal research, the sampling error of each (minimized by the plus or minus aspect of the schedule elements, as above) could have been calculated. But now the "curve" coming out of the model is only judged by its ability to match back to actual schedules.

Monday, March 15, 1999 #2393
Dear Guru - How do you nationalize grps? Is there a shortcut?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 15, 1999 ):
Assuming you mean that you have grps for a spot market area to start with:

simply multiply the grp by the % U.S. to "nationalize".

For example, if your coverage area is 25% U.S. and you have 400 grps. then 400 times 0.25 = 100 "national" grp.

Monday, March 15, 1999 #2392
What do you know about radio effectiveness? I know my question is a kind of broad but please help me with whatever you know.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 20, 1999 ):
The Guru loves queries which invite him to write a textbook (overnight).
  • Radio is effective. There are numerous radio success stories, most famously, but not exclusively, based on great creativity and well known voices such as Stan Freberg or Stiller and Meara.
  • Too often, radio is judged by comparing a TV commercial execution to a radio commercial execution and ignoring the key point that in a schedule a radio spot may run three or more times as often or three times as many grps for the same budget. In other words, even if a TV commercial is more effective than a radio commercial, a radio schedule may be more effective than a TV schedule.
  • Radio commercials have sometimes tested as well as TV spots in some standard measures such as Day-After-Recall.
  • Most important: There are as many bad TV commercials as good radio spots and vice versa. Good radio will always outperform bad TV.

Thursday, March 11, 1999 #2384
Dear Media Guru Suddenly without my Strata software...what was the formula I learned so long ago for calculating gross rating points?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 12, 1999 ):
The Guru has discussed this frequently.
Click here to see past Guru responses on grp and calculations.

Wednesday, March 10, 1999 #2379
My supervisor said it is impossible to figure an average 4 week r/f if the flight is shorter than four weeks, but i remember doing it on another account. Can you please confirm who is correct, and how to figure it out if I am? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 10, 1999 ):
You're correct. There are a few workable approaches to this.
  1. One says that whatever grps run within four weeks are the grps that count in figuring an average 4-week R&F, whether these grps are spread over one, two or three weeks. So, if you have two weeks at 100 grp/week you have the same average four week R&F as you would for 200 grp across four weeks; it could just as well have been 50 grp/week for 4 weeks or 67 grp/week for 3 weeks.
    The Guru supports the above theory.
    A small exception might be made for one week schedules, where actual data shows that, for radio in particular, a given number of grp run in one week delivers slightly higher reach than the same grp spread over four weeks, due to listening patterns.

  2. Another approach uses "when-in" data. Here, if you run 100 grp/week during your flights and your flights are two weeks in and two weeks out, then you do your R&F as if you had 100 grp/week for four weeks. Using this theory, you get the same result for 100 grp/week two in, two out, as you do for two in, four out, which, to the Guru, is clearly quite a different communication level.

Monday, March 08, 1999 #2378
How do you figure out average four week r/fs without software? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 08, 1999 ):
Before software, there were tables to get reach from broadcast grp, and books of factors and formulae for print.

Those old tables are probably no longer valid, perhaps someone has done some new ones. The Guru has discussed this frequently.
Click here to see past Guru responses on reach and frequency

Thursday, February 18, 1999 #2347
As a buyer I have always been given the necessary information needed to put together a buy. I am currently in a new position, and I am being asked to provide information that I've never concerned myself with before, or gotten involved with the how's or why's of the decision. I'm in dire need of help. Here goes: I have been asked to determine the number of grp's that should be used in a proposal for a new client. I have not received any budget information. The schedule will run 6-8 months, my demo is A 25-35 and the grp's should be spiked during the 1st & final week of each month. Also, I am to include TV, Cable, and Radio. My question is: Do I simply request avails from the various TV & radio and cable stations within the market, put together a proposed schedule based on the avail information I receive, and add up the number of grp's accordingly? HELP!!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 18, 1999 ):
Congratulations, today you are a media planner. But apparently you are working with people lacking professional advertising experience or perhaps a retail client.

You either need some marketing goals input or you need to suggest some goals and get agreement before proceeding. You have been presented with a question equivalent to "how many pounds of nails are needed to build a building?"

You need to know how big a building, what materials it will be made of, how many nails in a pound, to what use will it be put and how big must it be?

To recommend schedule weights you need either a budget or a communications goal to deliver. In media / marketing terms you need to establish -- whether you are given direction or someone accepts your suggestions:

  • What has priority: Reach or frequency?
  • is there a minimum reach or effective reach to attain; per week, in four weeks, or in total?
  • To help answer those questions, if no simple answer is available, you might ask is it a new or established product or service?
  • What levels are used by the competition, if any?
  • Are there any specific product awareness, ad awareness or sales volume goals?
  • (In planning advertising, assume everything is a result of advertising: there is no awareness among people not reached; there are no sales to people who are not aware of the product.)

Knowing all this, you could examine reach frequency and continuity impact of various levels and combinations of your media choices. In other words, you somehow need to establish what must be accomplished by the grps, before you can decide how many to use.

It is puzzling, in this great information vacuum, that someone has decided to "spike" certain weeks. Apparently there is some information around which you haven't yet been given.

Wednesday, February 17, 1999 #2344
How do you calculate the average radio or TV CPP for a specific market?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 17, 1999 ):
It depends on what data you have to work with and how you want to describe your result.

The general rule is to add up all the grpS delivered and all the costs. Then divide total cost by total grp.

But this assumes you are working with some real numbers, either a past buy or proposed schedules. Averaging CPPs directly is usually wrong. If you have only CPP's to work with, you will need to get either their associated costs or associated ratings to work back into the numbers you need for accurate averaging.

Tuesday, February 16, 1999 #2338
Ambient media is defined as the "rapidly expanding sector of non-traditional out-of-home opportunities that surround us."(Concord Ambient Media Report 1998) My dissetation topic is concerned with measuring and improving the accountability of this sector, what is the best way to get started?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 17, 1999 ):
The Guru would recommend that you begin with a review of the literature concerning the move by 30-sheet and 8-sheet outdoor from arbitrary sales of "showings" to a grp system, in the late '70's and 80's.

Sunday, February 14, 1999 #2331
How can i measure and incorporate the effectiveness of outdoor mediai(hoarding,transit etc)in a conventional media plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 15, 1999 ):
Do you actually incorporate the "effectivenss" of other media in your plans?

Outdoor is measured, and you should be buying outdoor by audience size as you do other media. 30-sheet and 8-sheet outdoor, for example, sell in "showings." The current standards of "Showings" call for expressing showing in grp-per-day. In other words, a "50 showing" of outdoor means that the locations you buy have a combined "daily effective circulation (DEC)" -- or number of daily impressions -- equal to 50% of the population.

Some people may discount the passive, short copy outdoor medium by a certain percentage, say 50%, when combining with or comparing to other media such as broadcast and page-dominant print.

Thursday, February 11, 1999 #2322
Ephron(1993)suggests that the more a planner goes for frequency on television, the less effective he will progressively be, because the extra grps will fall increasingly into the "black hole" of the heavy viewers' viewing times, when they already have more enough OTS. In the context of "Effectiv Frequency", do you think concentrated frequency with a low reach is usually "better" than a lower frequency with a higher reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 13, 1999 ):
In the context of effective frequency, yes, more frequency with less reach is better than less frequenct with more reach, but that isn't the point of effective frequency. Effective frequency is the concept of focusing on the reach which is delivered at enough frequency.

Effective frequency is one basis of Ephron's theories. The key point he adds in movimg to recency planning is that frequency is additive over time; once a message has passed the effective threshold, each additional exposure is with effective frequency, especially when advertising is continuous. There is no need to consider only four week

Thursday, February 04, 1999 #2309
Dear Guru, I was wondering if you could tell the average CPP for women 18+ for 100 grp's in the top 20 markets.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 05, 1999 ):
AMIC provides recent SQAD HH spot costs per point for all markets in the Rates, Dates and Data area

Friday, January 22, 1999 #2285
Dear Guru, This is a bit of a theoritical problem.I am currently working on a shaving cream brand which has been on decline for a few years now. Currently it has a market share of 3.9% and is ranked 7th.The markets where it is doing relatively better are actually the smallest markets, but here too, it is not better than 5th on market shares. It has a media budget which is about 1/5th of the biggest spender, which incidentally is not the market leader. My dilemma is - in the given scenario, for a relaunch, where should media focus be - on the overall smaller markets but where the brand is but marginally stronger or on the bigger markets for the category, where a greater potential lies ? The distribution strength is the same in all markets and no directions have been provided by the marketing team on priority markets. Thank you Guru. My name is Abu Huzaifa and i am media planner in Bombay, India.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 22, 1999 ):
Firstly, these are really marketing issues, not media issues, but to try to look at it from a purely media perspective, consider:

Think beyond the "bigger opportunity of the larger markets," because the impact you can deliver in a market is important. In other words, do you get more consumer response to 100 grps against 2 million people or 200 grps against 1 million people?

For example:

1. Assume that every impression delivered, no matter the market size, has the same potential to generate sales and / or share growth - where will your budget buy the greatest number of impressions?

2. Assume that the ability of the impressions to generate sales growth is influenced by current share of market. Estimate the value of this effect, plus or minus. Apply this weighting to the impressions you can buy and recalculate sales potential, according to paragraph 1.

3. Or assume that every exposure after the third one (or a level of your choosing) is some degree more effective. How many "effective impressions" can you deliver to each market set?

Tuesday, January 19, 1999 #2276
What you can tell me about grp and CPT? How to explain the formulas of them?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 19, 1999 ):
The Guru assumes that by CPT, you mean "Cost per Thousand," which is abbreviated "CPM" in the U.S., (using the Roman numeral "M" for one thousand)>

grp stands for "gross rating points." It is the sum of all the ratings of all the advertisements of a schedule. Or it is the sum of all the impressions of a schedule divided by the population of the geographic market under consideration. "Impressions" and "Population" must be in the same demographic category within the same geography when applying this formula.

CPT, or cost per thousand, is simple a matter of dividing the cost of media by the number of impressions delivered expressed in thousands.

Thursday, December 24, 1998 #2236
Dear Guru, One of our clients is interested in "pricing guidelines" in the media according to a designated sought reach; He wants to change the pricing method he was working according to with the tv franchises, and seeks for a way that media prices will derive from the reach defenition. All his products are targeted to the same target audience so he believes he can convince franchises to determine prices accordind to a basic monthly reach he will undertake to accumulate every month. Since this is totally new to us, we will be grateful if you can help us. Are there any case studies we can learn from?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 24, 1998 ):
The Guru thinks this is simpler than it may seem. In television, generally reach is quite easy to estimate from grps when schedule parameters are known. Therefore, either the agency or the station can look at the reach goal, know the grps required, and use established cost per grp to express cost for achieving the reach goal.

You should keep in mind that in cases where multiple stations are used, the overall reach is a matter of a combination of their schedules.

Tuesday, December 22, 1998 #2232
We use a buying service for our media. I'm just learning and was asked what seems a simple question, but do I have all the elements and could you help me to formulate the equation to learn. We are running 125 TRP's weekly in radio flighted thoughout the year. 3,000 total TRP's for the year. $550,000 total budget. CPP ranges from $32 to $200, average is $90. Q. With 125 TRP's a week, approximately how many spots a week will this schedule produce?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 23, 1998 ):
The Guru assumes you are running 125 grp in each market.

Depending on market and demographic, average ratings run from about 1.0 - 2.0 on top stations. Divide grp by the average rating you will buy to estimate number of spots. At an average rating of 1.0, 125 grps represents 125 spots.

And you didn't need any of that cost or cpp data.

Monday, December 21, 1998 #2230
I am currently analyzing a media schedule that includes consumer print, trade print and national cable. I have been asked to pull a reach and frequency for the entire schedule. I realize that I am working with several differenct universes. I have added the circulations and pulled the gross impressions for cable. I have added those together. Is there any formular to determan a reach and frequency? Help?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 24, 1998 ):
In general, different media have different audience accumulation patterns when thinking about net unduplicated audience vs gross audience.

Calculating reach from a total multimedia impressions number is not practical unless the gross rating points (impressions divided by grps) is so many thousands that a 95+ reach can be assumed.

Some media, in particular broadcast media, allow general estimation of reach from a table of grp levels. Print media are more complicated.

What you really need is standardized media software for reach and frequency calculation like that which is offered by AMIC 's sister company, Telmar.

Friday, December 11, 1998 #2216
Dear guru- we are trying to figure out how to combine impressions for radio and newspaper across 18 markets. should we combine each market separately? or should we combine all markets for each media vehicle? what is the best way to do this? thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 11, 1998 ):
It depends on what use you want to make of the data. Impressions may be added across media and across markets.

The tricks come when you want to turn them into grps. Then you must compare impressions against the population for the relevant geography to get grps for that geography.

Friday, December 04, 1998 #2198
Dear Guru. Thank you for your answers - they are very helpfull to me. My question is on "recency". 1.What groups of products best fit for "recency" planning. 2."Recency" planning needs continuity. But it is not evident what frequency level is needed at every moment of such continious ad campaign. It seems reasonable to set more frequency at the launch period and then decrease frequency for mantainance. Also we should take into consideration seasonality. Thus our campaign becomes pulsing but not continious. What are your comments? Thank you very much.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 04, 1998 ):
1- Recency seems to best fit common products that are bought regularly; in other words, a purchase is stimulated by running out of the current supply. This means food and HBA products, primarily. More "considered purchase" products, like automobiles, may not be a good fit.

2- Erwin Ephron, principal proponent of Recency, has commented to the Guru that about 30 reach on a weekly basis is a threshold level. This might mean 50-60 grp depending on the media used amd target.

Part of recency theory, in relation to frequency levels and effective reach, is that after three exposures have been delivered, every subsequent exposure is supported by adequate frequency. Recency generally applies to brands with established awareness; when you raise the issue of product introductions, it is a different situation.

Seasonality is the principal exception to recency. There is no point in delivering the most recent ad exposure at a time when no purchase is likely. It is important to distinguish products with seasonal fluctuations, like deodorant, from products with very specific seasons, like barbecue charcoal.

Also consider that Recency does not mandate even levels in its continuity. The weight can be raised above the threshold when appropriate.

Wednesday, December 02, 1998 #2195
In radio terminology can you please explain a wired and unwired network? Also, is a wired network the same as a line network? As always, thanks for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 02, 1998 ):
Wired and line are the same. The terms stem from the days when telephone lines were the primary connection for a network. Wired or line networks are sets of stations under affiliation ageements to carry a network's programming, typically on a common schedule or with stated exceptions. "Unwired" is essentially a way for a spot rep to sell a long list of stations as a package. No programming is involved; just spots or grps.

Wednesday, December 02, 1998 #2194
Dear Guru, can you name any media analysis tools and media predictive tools that media planners use on a regular basis without being too technical, of course. Many thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 03, 1998 ):
Here are several:

  • Reach: the number of different target households or persons exposed to a campaign (most often expressed as a percentage of the target universe, and most often calculated over a 4-week period).
  • Frequency: The average number of exposures of the campaign to those reached.
  • gross rating points (grp) / Target Rating Points(TRP): Essentially interchangeable terms for the sum of the audiences of all the ad units in the campaign, expressed as a percentage of the target universe.
  • Gross Impressions: Same audience count as grp/TRP but expressed in whole numbers rather than percents.
  • CPP / Cost per grp and CPM / Cost per thousand impressions: should be self evident from the previous. These are referred to as the "efficiency."
  • Effective reach: Those in the "Reach" who experienced a specified minimum number of exposures (effective frequency)

All the above stem from the audience research tools and investment figures. So called "reach and frequency" systems typically generate all these figures.

Other tools, especially in print media are also occasionally used. These may include "time spent with" media vehicles, "page openings", attentiveness, etc.

Wednesday, December 02, 1998 #2192
Dear Guru. It is not still clear to me how to measure or calculate Reach of the ad campaign using media mix. For example, my ads on TV provided 90% reach, and ads in print reached 25% of the target audience. What is the total reach, frequency of the campaign? What other indexes can we find for such campaign? And my second question is about outdoor advertising. It is essential to measure the effectiveness of the ad campaign comparing awereness and sales before and after the ads placing. But that is somehow the post- campaign analisys and my client would like to see some feagures before the campaign starts (pre-campaign). What indexes (like reach, frequency, grps, OTS) can we provide to the discription of the outdoor ad. campaign? Thank You very much.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 02, 1998 ):
Reach of a medium in a plan is simply a statistical probability. Further, it is generally thought that each medium overlaps each other medium randomly.

So, in your example, if you consider the reach of each medium as a decimal, the probability of not being exposed to TV is 0.10 and of not being exposed to print is 0.75.

The probability of not being exposed to either one, is therefore 0.10 times 0.75 = 0.075.

Therefore, total reach of the mix is 92.5 (if 0.075 or 7.5% don't see it then 92.5% do see it).

Other basic "counts" for a campaign are impressions (OTS), cost per rating point and cost per thousand impressions.

All of these counts; reach, frequency, grp, OTS, etc are possible for outdoor, if the research has been done, in your country, to count the audience of the locations used.

Tuesday, December 01, 1998 #2190
Guru- Can you please explain Gross Weekly Reach Points (also refered to as levels)? How are they determined? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 02, 1998 ):
The Guru believes you mean "Gross Weekly Rating Points," a term often used to mean "levels." "Reach" is a term referring to the net, or unduplicated, audience.

gross rating points are the sum of all the ratings of all the announcements or insertions of the campaign, or the sum of all the impressions of the announcements, divided by the population for the relevant target demographic.

An "impression" is created every time an audience member is exposed to one advertisement.

Tuesday, November 24, 1998 #2172
what is the standard response rate and should response be figured on grps or reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 24, 1998 ):
There isn't a "standard." The Guru has to guess that you are talking about TV infomercials. Obviously, price, product interest and quality of the infomercial can have great impact on response.

One or two percent is probably a very high response. The Guru would use reach as the base, because grp will progressively accumulate fewer and fewer exposures among those who might buy but have not yet.

Contact the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) for more information.

Monday, November 23, 1998 #2170
Dear Guru! Since there are several media planning softwares in the market I wanted to ask: are there any guidelines for measuring the gap between the prediction and the actual results. What I mean is: Is there a "normal" gap, for example: 20% gap between the predicted reach\grps (pre campaign)to the results (post campaign). Thank you!Irene Kol.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 23, 1998 ):
This is a two part question:

1- The "gap" in grps will not be due to the software, it is based on your buyers' estimating ability and the accuracy of post analysis as well as the reliability of your audience research.

2- Since reach is derived from models based on averages, there can be variance. Variance will also depend on the medium you are considering and how it is measured.

For example, if your magazine audience research is conducted once a year when you plan a quarter's campaaign of 1 insertion in each of 5 magazines and then buy exactly that, how will you ever know if the reach was different than you planned?

On the other hand, suppose you plan radio based on a specific number of grp on a specific number of stations, in a specific daypart mix, and you buy exactly that. How would you judge that the reach goal wasn't met, unless the buy did not deliver as planned, whether because of poor estimating, station failing to schedule properly or a new ratings book?

In no case are you dealing with the accuracy of the planning software.

Many agencies and clients agree to a +/- 10% range in delivery of broadcast grps. Other standards are often agreed as well.

Thursday, November 12, 1998 #2148
We have a client who is planning to run about 450 grps in cable TV. The timeframe for the spots is from 6pm - 1am and the campaign length is 10 weeks. We have 2 :30 spots in rotation (new copy for the client). If frequency is important, what would be a good level to shoot for and what would be overkill? Help!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 13, 1998 ):
The Guru is not sure whether you mean average frequency of exposure, as in "Reach and Frequency" or the frequency per cable channel per week in your buy.

At 450 grp over 10 weeks, you will probably run about 75 - 200 spots per week, depending on the networks used and target. 15 to 20 per network wouldn't be a bad level.

The Guru believes that some cable schedules get so heavy that the repeated commercials quickly become an annoyance to loyal viewers of content specific networks.

Four week Reach / Frequency would probably be in the 30 / 6.0 range.

Friday, October 30, 1998 #2117
I have a client that would like to do an image radio schedule for the first time. An 8 week schedule was proposed - he wants to cut it to 6 weeks for budget reasons. The reach and frequency for both schedules are similar. Is there research to show him as to why the longer schedule will have more impact and long term effectiveness?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 30, 1998 ):
There seems to be a missing factor. If you were running 100 grp per week for 8 weeks and cut back to 100 grp per week for 6 weeks, grp would be reduced by 25%. Therefore, reach or frequency would have to change significantly, if not both.

I.e: suppose your 8 week plan had a reach and frequency of 60 / 13.3 with 800 grp. If you reduced the plan to 6 weeks / 600 grp and the reach did not go down, frequency would drop to 10 -- a 25% change. If the frequency did not go down then the reach would have to decline to 45, again a 25% decline. Realistically both reach and frequency should exhibit obvious drops.

Perhaps someone is mistakenly comparing average 4-week reach in the two plan. That comparison would be irrelevant, but be "similar" if not identical.

If you mean that the 8 weeks schedule is compressed into 6 weeks, then there would be an avergae 4 week difference but no budget reduction.

In this case, however "recency" theory would prefer the 8 week version becasue it provides more chances to deliver advertising to the consumer at a time of decision making. This theory may not be appropriate for "image" campaigns.

Wednesday, October 14, 1998 #2095
Dear Guru, Do you know special media models for autdoor advertising? Are there any difference of modelling diffrent media? What is the most appropriate model for calculating reach and frequency for the outdoor advertising. There are several models like Agostinis, Beta Binomial eg., what is the closest one to the outdoor models. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 15, 1998 ):
Harris Donovan of Canada has an Outdoor Reach and Frequency system.

A media reach model is based on several observations of the actual reach achieved by real schedules and finding a "curve" that matches a regression analysis of the grp vs frequency lines. Some of the models you mention are appropriate with small ratings like radio's or medium ratings like consumer magazines'.

Wednesday, October 14, 1998 #2094
Dear Guru! Could you explain the speciality of billboard advertising, focusing on the time length of the campaign. I suppose there is an optimal length of a campaign, and after that the reach is not growing (or just a little). In the European market we can find 1 week 2 week and 1 month long campaign too. Are there any available research on this topic? Thanks Tamas

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 15, 1998 ):
In the U.S., an outdoor campaign is usually bought as a 25, 50 or 100 "showing". "Showing" means grp's per day, based on camparing DEC (daily effective circulation) to the population universe.

A "50 showing" outdoor campaign will achieve 85% or better reach in one month, so obviously there cannot be much reach growth from there. A 25 showing isn't much lower and a 100 showing isn't much higher.

Campaigns usually run 3 or more months. The cost of production typically works against less than 30 day postings.

Even though outdoor delivers very high reach at low cpm, in the Guru's experience it is rarely employed just for this reach building, because it offers limited message length and detail.

Harris Donovan of Canada has an Outdoor Reach and Frequency system.

Tuesday, October 06, 1998 #2073
In media jargon, what does recency planning mean?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 06, 1998 ):
Most simply, it's the idea that the message heard closest to the time of purchase decision is most effective. This leads to plans that optimize continuity instead of focusing on achieving a minimum level of grp's or minimum effective reach for some affordable number of weeks.

The Guru has addressed recency often; try searching the term in the Guru Archives Search Engine.

Recency has also been a hot topic on our MediaPlanning and Award-papers e-mail discussions.

Friday, October 02, 1998 #2068
Hi Guru! We have a client who has $80-100,000 extra budget to spend this year. The budget has to be spread out nationally (in over 150 markets). We were offered a full page ad with a magazine (that reaches our demo) with a circulation of 7.6 mill. for 90M. We were also considering running a cable schedule on only one station since that's all we could afford. Which do you think is the better option? In addition, we are looking to run the first 2 weeks in December.Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 02, 1998 ):
There really isn't enough information here to make an informed decision. For instance, a lot would depend on what media are in the base level of the plan, what your base reach and frequency are already, and what are your goals.

But let's play with it anyway: Suppose your magazine is Better Homes and Gardens, which reaches 26% of Adult Women. You would be achieving 26 Reach, a frequency of 1.0 and, of course. 26 Women grps.

Let's suppose your cable network is Lifetime. Does your money buy 26 grps there? More ? Less? It might get you 13 reach and a frequency of 2.0. Which is more important to you, reach or frequency? Does the magazine or does cable offer better content as an environment for what you are selling?

You need to reduce the question to specific factors which you can evaluate.

Tuesday, September 22, 1998 #2052
I am working on a national cable buy. First question, please explain VPH. I have been asked to provide the following information: -How many households will my schedule reach and how many times. Of course, I have to have all this information by tomorrow at noon. I have selected my networks and have asked for proposals from each network. The networks inform me that it will take several days to pull a reach and frequency. So my question to you is, can I take the HH's thousands and add them? It this the right way to approach this project. How will I calulate for a frequency. I can give the client the total number of spots, but is there a way to calculate frequency? Please Help? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 22, 1998 ):
VPH is "viewers per Household" and is used as a simple way to express persons audience in relation to housholds. In other words, if a network has a measured average quarter hour (aqh) audience of 1000 Households and a measured aqh among women 18-49 of 550, then its VPH for women 18-49 would be .55

Estimates of reach are based on modeling from actual past schedules and are typically calculated with computers. These calculations take only minutes, but you are probably facing a backlog in your vendors' research departments or, typically, a turnaround time policy which can be overriden if you apply the right charm or pressure to your sales reps.

Because these models reflect varying audience duplication between one spot and the next and between one network and another, adding household impression would be wrong. Such a calculation would produce "gross impressions" which is much greater than reach.

Frequency is calculated by dividing reach into gross impressions (or percent reach into gross rating points), so you need reach to calculate frequency.

If you have any media planning software at all, such as Telmar's AdPlus or Maestro, you would find that these system usually have a general calculator of cable reach built in.

Wednesday, September 16, 1998 #2045
what is persuasion rating points?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 16, 1998 ):
Persuasion rating point is not a standard term. It would seem to imply an adjusted rating point based on testing of the effectiveness of specific media in specific situations. For example, the Roslow Study, for Univision, summarized in the Abbott Wool's Market Segment Resource Locator area of AMIC, measured effectiveness of English language advertising among Hispanics, using persuasion as one of three metrics.

Based on theis study and other data, many advertisers use an effectiveness adjustment when planning Spanish language media.

E.g: If I (the advertiser) want to have 100 grp per week among my Hispanic target, before buying Spanish media, I wish to account for the fact that Hispanics watch some of the English language media in which I advertise. From Nielsen's NHTI I can see that for every 100 general market media rating points I buy in English language media, I get (for example) 60 Hispanic rating points.

But I know from the aforementioned studies that the grps Hispanics receive in English are less persuasive that grps of Spanish media. So I apply an effectiveness adjustment to calculate effective Hispanic rating points to which I might refers as "persuasion rating points".

Now the 60 grps among Hispanics might become only 33 persuasion rating points. So instead of buying only 40 Spanish language media rating points (100 Goal minus 60 delivered), I should buy 67 (100 Goal minus 33 delivered), to have an effective (persuasive) media plan.

Tuesday, September 08, 1998 #2031
Dear Guru, I'm new in the Advertising field. I would like to know how to calculate the Target Market Reach1+, Reach2+, abd the Average Frequency. TIA. -- SKY

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 09, 1998 ):
The answer depends upon what data you are starting with. At its most simple, "1+" reach is the same as just saying "reach". If you know the grps, and the reach, then the average frequency is calculated by dividing reach into grps.

At bottom however, in each medium, TV, radio, print, etc. reach was actually measured at some point, rather than calculated . That is, using respondent level measurement, such as Nielsen or MRI or Simmons, actual schedules advertiser were evaluated for gross audience accumulated and the net reach accumulated, as well as how many people saw exactly one advertisement in the schedule, how many saw 2, how many saw three, and so on. As the Guru stated above, reach is defined as those who saw one or more (1+) advertisements. 2+ or 3+, etc, is determined by adding those exposed to each discreet number of ads.

Taking the results of many of these schedules as a scatter graph, a classic reach curve may be plotted. Or, by arraying grps and frequencies in a table, a formula equivalent to the curve can be determined statistically. This formula then becomes a "model" for calculating reaches of other schedules in similar media. Formulae for 2+, 3+ frequencies can also be calculated. There are no simple formulas for doing this. "Beta Bimodal" is one statistical function frquently used. These functions and models are usually built into large computer media planning systems like Telmar's.

Thursday, September 03, 1998 #2026
Both we and our client agree to the recency theory. The problem is that given the retraints of the budget, we are only able to schedule "weekly" advertising for about half the schedule while still achieving minimal weekly TRP threshold levels. Right now we are wrestling with the dilemma of how to schedule these weeks for the first half of the year while still following the principals of the recency theory: (1)12 weeks straight through then a 14-week hiatus (2)6 weeks on, 14 weeks off, 6 weeks on or (3)an alternating schedule of 4 weeks on and 4 weeks off, etc. throughout the period. Do you have any theory on what might be the best approach to maximize return?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 03, 1998 ):
Thinking about a "threshold level" of grp's is instinctive, but at odds with the essence of recency theory. Review other Guru answers below about recency. Please also see a very interesting discussion of recency on our MediaPlanning e-mail list. The list archives are at Ad Talk and Chats . Why not subscribe to the list and bring your question there as well?

Tuesday, August 25, 1998 #2014
Hi, I would like to know anything regarding setting the minimun level of TRP's, or minimun reach goal. We know how to set the optimun level, but there is a minimun? One point where is better not to advertise at all. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 31, 1998 ):
Any grps generate some reach and frequency.

Any reach generates some consumer impact. Setting minima is a matter of judgment and logic.

If you are an adherent of the effective reach theory, you will determine what is your effective level (3+ or more) and what portion of your target you need to reach at that level, to make advertising worthwhile. This determination will tell you either how much time you can be active in advertising or across how much geography. The Guru favors 50% as the portion of target to set as minimum to reach effectively.

If you believe totally in the recency theory, any is a reasonable minimum, because each impression has its greatest chance to produce a sale this way, as it is more likely to produce unduplicated reach at any point in time. Yet, few planners can avoid feeling there should be a minimum, probably because they want to see measured sales movement for some period of time.

In either case, seasonality and purchase cycles will inform the decision.

Monday, August 24, 1998 #2011
We are in the process of planning for a major TV client where we have been applying the recency theory for the past year. Because of the size of the budget we have been limited to around 70TRPs weekly essentially for the entire year. In Year II our client has asked us to consider temporarily abondoning the recency theory and to move dollars (and TRPs) out of the more expensive buying months (April, May) to the relatively more more inexpensive months (January, Feb)and to increase our TRP levels accordingly. Do you have any input on which strategy should/could have more effect on brand performance assuming all other factors are equal (pricing, distribution etc.)?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 24, 1998 ):
First we have to assume that the basis of recency theory is accepted.

Recency theory calls for reaching as many people as possible as close to the sale as possible. Thats's why continuity is emphasized for products with little seasonality and regular purchase cycles.

One of the essential elements of recency theory is that not all impressions or grps are equal, even in the same programming. You are focusing on cost per point. As you are probably aware, reach developed per grp decreases with every added grp in a schedule. There is therefore, a declining return on investment in reach at any point in time, which is why spreading out prospects reached produces the optimal return. The first 10 grps bought in a week generate more reach than the last 10 grps.

Hence, the added impressions bought when they are cheap produce less sales than the impressions lost from the more expensive times.

So now you have to evaluate what might be produced. Assuming you are lowering -- not eliminating --activity in higher priced periods how many more impressions, and how much more reach can you achieve in low priced times. If you cut back 10 reach points per week in July but buy 20 added reach points per week in March, perhaps the added reach can sell more than the lost reach, or perhaps not. The Guru would look for a 50% minimum trade up in added vs lost reach points to justify the change; i.e. if the plan goes down 10 reach points per week in one period, then it need to go up 15 reach points per week in the other.

Wednesday, July 29, 1998 #1978
If I'd like to compare cost-efficiency of certain radiostation and certain TV station, would it be correct to apply some coefficient for radio grp's (like 0,3 radio grp's vs 1 TV's)? Is there any reliable research findings concerning the question of comparable value of, say, the same kind of units but for different media? Thankful for your answer, Elena, Moscow

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 29, 1998 ):
Cost efficiency is typically used to compare media while intentionally ignoring "qualitative" differences. Of course, planners like to assign values to represent the differing value of communication power or whatever.

What is your measurement standard in a media plan? Reach, effective reach, sales per grp?

It is quite unlikely that a TV grp has 3 times as much of anything - recall / sales motivation / etc. And one must keep in mind that grps have their effects as part of schedules, not one at a time. Even if one radio announcement was 30% as strong on some basis as one tv annoouncement, the accumulation of effect over the course of a schedule would become much less, especially if radio's lower cost per grp allowed a bigger schedule for the same money, which is why efficiency is compared in the first place.

Short answer - develop comparisons of efficiency and effectiveness separately. Then use effectiveness as an index on efficiency if you must.

ESOMAR , the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research organization or the Advertising Research Foundation may have studies on the relative effectiveness question.

Friday, July 24, 1998 #1973
I need help! I need to know the forumla (or formulas) for figuring the reach and frequency on a television schedule. I need it to be demo / and have the following information: universe, impressions and grps. What else do I need and what is the magic FORUMLA! At this point we are using the cumulative impressions into the universe to figure the reach - but could that be right? I don't think so - but the reach is what I need to figure (already have grp and freq is easy if I have reach!). Please help - and thanks tons.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 24, 1998 ):
When you divide the accumulated impressions by the universe, your result is grps. There is no simple reach formula unless you already know grps and frequency. There are various very complicated algorithms for calculating reach for a given average rating size, known average duplication between programs used, etc. "Beta Bimodal" is one of the best known.

But today, Reach calculations are done by computer, using models built from Nielsen's actual measurements of net audience reach from meter-measured schedules.

Telmar, AMIC's sister company, is the leading provider of software for such analyses.

Before computers were commonplace, media planners had tables which gave reach for various grp levels depending on demos, dayparts and duplication. These, too, were based on average Nielsen audience accumulation reports.

Wednesday, July 22, 1998 #1968
I am trying to study the factors related to unaided recall of TVCs. In your experience, is the prevalence of potential buyers connected to recall? In particular I have in mind several campaigns to baby products. Providing that all have the same reach and grp, and that X% of mothers intend to buy Y product and 2X% intent to buy product Z. How should this effect the results? Irene Kol Israel

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 22, 1998 ):
The Guru would expect consumers in the market for the product to have better commercial recall. Also that people with specific brand intentions might recall that brand's commecial better.

But the actual content of the commercial should be the major factor. If intenders of product Y see a product Z commercial with important information about that product it may greatly enhance their recall, especially over a schedule as you posit the question.

Surely at least part of a commercial's intent is to convert users from one brand to another. At any point in time, those still intending to buy Y will probably have better recall of Y, and vice versa.

Friday, July 17, 1998 #1959
I am working on a television post buy analysis and was wondering what the industry standard index is for estimated vs. actual grp ratings? Rule of thumb in the past was 90%+, is this still in effect and does it change from market to market? Is there any documented research for this percentage or do most television sales reps know the "rules" in order for me to get make-goods for my client?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 17, 1998 ):
Everything is by agreement. In this business, one tends to think the policy of the agency or medium where they learn things are rules of the industry.

Some agencies have a +/- 15% policy others have +/- 10%. Some advertisers make their agencies give them +/- 10% when the agency policy is a wider allowance and some major advertisers don't post.

Some network deals are 100% guaranteed, magazine "rate base" is 100% guaranteed, but many advertisers/agencies never verify delivery.

If you negotiate a 90% deal with your sales rep, then that' s what he/she's got to do. If you're doing regular business, it shouldn't be much of an issue to get 90%, anyway.

In markets where there are weekly ratings available, it should also be your practice to rerate buys as they progress and negotiate adjustments during the schedule to avoid shortfalls on post analysis.

Saturday, July 11, 1998 #1945
Dear Guru, I have seen you use "advertising weight" in other response. Please clarify the meaning of this percentage. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 11, 1998 ):
Advertising weight refers to the gross audience of a campaign. It may be grp/TRPs or impressions. It may be considered in total or by individual demographic segment. While some look primarily at expenditure, "weight" is a better guide to communications impact.

In competitive analysis, each advertiser's weight is compared to all others as a percent of the total weight in the category to calculate "Share of Voice."

Saturday, July 11, 1998 #1944
Dear Guru, Thank you for your incredible help! I have to fulfill an RFP for an online ad campaign. The agency requested avails, SOV and a proposal. Please explain SOV in the online context. I understand avails to be available impressions.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 11, 1998 ):
"Avails" in the context of a media proposal typically means a listing of the advertising positions offered. In broadcast, it may describe dayparts and programs available for sale with audience and pricing specified.

The term seems a bit of a stretch in on-line, but could describe a lsiting of available banner sizes, positions and rotations, with impressions and prices.

"SOV" does not seem to fit here unless it is meant to express the portion of the site's total available impressions delivered by each available advertising opportunity in the "avails."

The Guru's observation has been that people operating web sites and managing their advertising have not come from other media or even agency backgrounds. It would not seem useful to try to impose broadcast terminology on new electronic media, except for those terms common to all other media, such as "impressions," "grp," or "cpm."

Monday, July 06, 1998 #1937
Dear Guru, I'm trying to find info on the relationship between reach and frequency known as the prime axiom in media planning. Such as, what it is, why is it useful and how is it directly or indirectly measured? Also, I need research on the volatility of broadcast media. For instance, how can broadcast media avoid law suits if they fail to run a commercial. I'm frantically completing a take home exam for a graduate class and can't find research on these topics. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. I'll let you know if we get an "A."

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 07, 1998 ):
One wonders at the sort of course where these terms matter but are not thoroughly taught. Reach and Frequency are the weights and measures of a media plan.
  • "Reach" tells you how many different people are exposed to an advertising schedule. It is commonly expressed as a percentage of a target group's population. E.g. 75 percent reach among women 18-49.
  • "Frequency" tells you the average number of exposure to the schedule experienced by the people reached.
The usefulness should be obvious: no matter how great or impactful an ad may be, it will not sell product unless it reaches enough people and reaches them frequently enough to have an effect on their behavior.

The various research tools media planners use which measure the audience of TV shows, radio stations, magazines, etc can also tell us how many people are reached by schedules of several uses of theses programs and books. From these direct measurements, statistical models are built which can estimate the reach and frequency of schedules being planned. Media Planners can therefore compare alternate schedules to determine which ones will best meet reach/frequency goals.

Thinking of pure arithmetic relationships, reach and frequency are linked with grps -- gross rating points. When the ratings (audience as percent of target group) of all the individual ads in a schedule are added up, the resulting total is grp. grp divided by reach = frequency and reach X frequency = grp. 2. Mistakes happen. Fine print in contracts protects broadcasters against liability if they inadvertently miss airing a commercial, or deliberately do so because a higher paying advertiser comes along, or because the decide to air a news special. etc. Their only obligation is typically to give a "makegood," another commercial location with equal or better quality.

Monday, June 29, 1998 #1929
We are producing a 90-second radio vignette for our client. It will include :30 for their commercial and :60 of new entertaining content that relates to thier product. When scheduling this vignette to air on network radio once each day for 26 or 52 weeks, is it better to get a fixed time or an ROS type schedule? Thanks for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 29, 1998 ):
There are pros and cons to either. An ROS schedule should cost less per spot and per grp. It should also develop better reach. A fixed time lets you pick your environment, but you may not have any particular prefernces, so that can be an illusory advantage. Over the course of an ROS schedule, ROS should get the network's average rating as the schedule's average rating, or a better one if that's what you negotiate. Picking fixed positions will not likely give any advantage over that.

The greatest remaining benefit of fixed positions is being able to tell the client to listen for his spot at a specific time. However, even with an ROS schedule, the network should be able to give you a scheduled times a day or two before they air.

Friday, June 26, 1998 #1927
Are you aware of any published research that indicates at about how many grps recognition (or even recall) measures begin to level off?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 27, 1998 ):
There may be many such studies, most likely available through the Advertising Research Foundation library or Newsweek Media Research Index. However, when such single variable sudies are published, it makes it all too easy to overlook the fact that the creative carries the greater burden for your measures. Thus the perpertual questions about how many grp = wearout.

Thursday, June 18, 1998 #1905
Is there a threshold at which you maximize on reach (TV) at a certain weight level? I am purchasing a high concentration of grps (60% in prime / 20% in news/prime access / 20% early morning/daytime/late night) in excess of 300 Ad 18-49 grp's per week for 4 weeks. Running R&F against such a plan shows reach at 99% --- which I feel is impossible. Isn't the threshold of maxing out on reach at 96%?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 19, 1998 ):
The typical, short term cume study gives a 96% top end. But 99% of Homes have TV so a 99 reach is theoretically possible.

Since either 96 or 99 is the result of all TV collectively, a very heavy plan is required to achieve it, especially in today's fragmented TV environment, where cable has so great a share of viewing.

For your schedule, even 96 is probably somewhat high. If your R&F system is unsophisticated, outdated or unable to adjust to the number of weeks in the schedule, that may explain the high result you are getting.

Wednesday, June 10, 1998 #1890
Dear Guru, Is there any way to compare between the quantity of a campaign grps to the purchase intentions? For example: if we did a campaign of 1000 grps, and the post test results show that 50% intend to buy the product (a new product that was just penetrated).Is there any criteria that I can use to evaluate the "value" of each rating point according to its influence on the purchase intentions or on the aided / unaided awareness? I know that the purchase intentions and all other post-test results are a results of lots of other factors as the message itself, the frequency, the product itself etc. Still, I wonder if you can help me to focus on the connection / correlation between the grps quantity and the slots mix to the purchase intentions (The competitor's campaign had the same sum of grps but most of it in off prime, unlike ours that was about 50% in prime time, and this difference had a meaningful effect on the purchase intentions. Can I "prove" the correlation between slots mix and purchase intentions? Thak you very much!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 20, 1998 ):
The Guru could rule the world if grp's had a simple direct relationship to purchase intent, or sales, etc. If advertising copy quality or unit length or programming made no difference, as your theory would require, there would be no creative "stars" in agencies and The biggest agency might have a one-person media department.

To approximate what you are looking for, if purchase intent is measured at enough different points of enough different schedules, then a graph relating grp to intent can be created. It will only be approximately predictive because it ignores all those other variables the Guru mentioned.

Thursday, May 28, 1998 #1610
1.Please, where can I find "Archives" by topic? 2.I have seen a table showing Awareness Level correlat ed to Target grps.Could you, please, tell me how they estimate Awareness Level? 3. I also have seen a table showing Audience engagement in various activities when average commercial is aired. Would you, please, tell me how the information is obtain ed? Is it from a national panel? If yes, does this panel also provide audience data? Thank you, Inocima.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 02, 1998 ):
1) The Guru Archives may be accessed from their link on the Media Guru Page. In the next few days, we will be adding a search engine to allow you to find all all past Guru answers on the topics of your choice.

2) The Guru isn't familiar with the table you have seen. Since you are writing from Brazil, it could be based on research totally unfamiliar to the Guru. The proper way for such a table to have been created would use just estimates of awareness, but actual survey results. An advertiser or agency which has conducted many awareness studies and correlated them with actual grp's of the plans running in synchronization with the studies could create such a table.

In fact, just a few actual measurements could be the basis of a table if it is assumed that the awareness / grp relationship follows some sort of curve as does the Reach / grp relationship. The Guru is familiar with one formula for predicting awareness based on grp, which came from analyzing several plans and surveys. In essence, it predicted that when there was any significant starting awareness, awareness declined in any week where there were less than 100 grp.

3) Again, Brazil's audience engagement data is not familiar to the Guru. In the U.S. such data usually comes from secondary sources such as our Simmons or MRI, which ask these questions but are primarily print audience and product usage studies.

Saturday, May 23, 1998 #1602
I am looking for any guidelines / research about: 1- number of spots for radio (sustaining level, 50% heavy up, 100% heavy up 2 - if I have continues strategy what maximum gap of not being on air may I allow without harm to sales (one week, two, three?) 3 - in my country (Russia) we have practice in outdoor not to place competitors on two opposite sides of billboard, ahzt I think is not correct, as each face of billboard works for different directions and can not compete with each other. What is the practice regarding this in other countries. Thank you very much.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 26, 1998 ):
1) The Guru doesn't judge radio effectiveness in terms of numbers of spots. If one schedule of 12 spots, for example, has an average rating of 0.5 (one-half of 1 percent of the target audience), which is common, it cannot be considered equal to another station's 12 spots with an average rating of 2.5 (also reasonable for top stations in the US). The first accumulates 6 grps and might reach 3% of the target, the second accumulates 30 grps and might reach 12-15% of the target.

So grps' or other audience measure are more realistic ways to determine levels. Having done this, if you determine that 100 grps, for example, is the correct sustaining level, then by simple arithmetic, 50% heavy-up is 150 grps and 100% heavy-up is 200 grps

2) Awareness begins to decline as soon as there is any advertising gap. Current thinking is that sales of a continuously purchased product are better supported by continuity at whatever level is affordable rather than an arbitrary minimum effective weekly level, separated by periods of inactivty. The U.S.'s Advertising Research Foundation has considerable literature on the topic and so might ESOMAR , the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research organization

3) The Guru agrees with you regarding opposite sides of a billboard. The competitive protection policies the Guru is familiar with in the U.S. only deal with advertising seen by the same audience, that is, traffic headed in the same direction. Usually there will be a certain range specified, such as "Within 500 feet" for metropolitan 8-sheet boards, which are about 5x12 feet and can be placed in dense concentration within cities.

Thursday, May 14, 1998 #1592
Dear Guru, There are two questions I wish to address to you: 1. Is there any rule of thumb regarding the weight of 10'' spots? How effective can a relatively 'small' campaign composed chiefly of such short spots can be? By a small campaign I mean one that has arounc 300-400 grp. 2. When it comes to factors that either enhance or lessen the effectiveness of a campaign, are there any conventions regarding the use of relevant factors? The order in a break may be a more familiar example but there are other factors that one may incorporate to a media plan, e.g whether the commercial is new or not. Thank you so much for the attention Iris Kalka Pelled3 Communications

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 14, 1998 ):
1) The Guru's rule of thumb in general, is if the effectiveness - relative to a :30 - is better than the price ratio, a :10 can be a good investment. In the early days of :15s in the U.S., they were evaluated as about 75% as effective as :30s, and sold for 50%, so they were popular. The Guru believes he has seen research to say a :10 is worth 75% of a :15.

However, you are posting from Israel. Your local standards may be different, because of the different culture and different media environment, clutter, media mix, etc. If you can ascertain a local effectiveness ratio, you can make an informed decision.

In any case, the Guru believes these short executions are best used as a supplement to longer copy. The Guru does not believe most creative people would be comfortable with only :10 copy and just 300-400 grp. 2) The number of factors, such as break position, age of commercial, complexity of message, product interest, etc, which can be influential is almost infinite. The relative influence is a judgement call. Evaluating through a logical process, by establishing your rules and executing them, is best.

The Guru has seen these factors used to develop an effective frequency basis for a media plan's communication goals. In this way all considerations come down to a single number.

Monday, May 11, 1998 #1587
Is there a correlation between grp levels and awareness? If so, what grp levels are recommended to significantly effect awareness? The category I'm looking at (long term care insurance) has low consumer awareness, and a high avoidance factor.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 11, 1998 ):
In its simplest terms, there is a correlation. Obviously, the more grps delivered, the more awareness is created. Creating new awareness will take more grps than sustaining existing awareness.

A safe minimum guideline is to continuously reach more people than the existing level of awareness.

It is also important to remember that awareness alone doesn't make a sale. The message must be persuasive, not merely one of which the prospects are aware.

Monday, March 09, 1998 #1522
How do you delicately tell the client that newspaper doesn't deliver gross rating points?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 09, 1998 ):
The Guru doesn't understand. Do you mean

*Newspaper isn't measured in Gross Rating Points?


*Newpaper isn't a good way to deliver gross rating points?

In either of these cases you'd be wrong to tell it to the client.


*Any medium with a measured audience can be reported in gross rating points. Divide the audience (households, people, etc) by the population in the same category for the geography in question: Metro Area, DMA, City, etc. This calculation will give the "rating" of a single issue or the gross rating points of a campaign.

In Newspaper measurement, "Coverage" is the term usually used in place of Household rating


In some market/demographic situations, the leading newspaper might have a little as a 10 rating. But it is not uncommon to find major market newspapers with a 50 or 60 Metro coverage (or household rating).

Saturday, February 21, 1998 #1507
Question: What are the various pros and cons of the respective television dayparts when determining daypart mix or dispersion? I've perused ARF and Newsweek's archives and can't find anything regarding "rules" of the daypart mix.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 21, 1998 ):
The Guru doesn't feel there are explicit "rules," per se.

Considerations include:

A daypart mix will reach more people than the same dollars in any single daypart.

Dayparts chiefly differ in

  • rating size
  • cost per spot/cost per grp
  • audience compostion (proportion of genders, ages, etc)
  • and viewer attentiveness

A plan's communication goals should specify which of these aspects matter and to what degree, allowing the planner to make an intelligent choice in mix by examining how well the various possibilities deliver the goals within the budget.

Sunday, November 30, 1997 #1466
Hi Guru: I am a marketing student and now doing a promotional campaign. My team needs to develop a media flowchart with reach, frequancy, grps, and yearly schedule by by month. I know there are softwares that does that, but we are only students and have no money to buy professional softwares like that. I would like to know if there is freeware that we could use to develop this chart or if there is anything we could refer to. Thanks a million. Please let me know ASAP cos this is due pretty soon. Sarah

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, December 01, 1997 ):
As with most specialized software that makes a job easier and a result prettier, there's also a tedious, less attractive choice.

Telmar's ADplus / Flowmaster is one of the best programs for media flowcharting. However, with no budget, you can probably do an adequate job for your school project with whatever spreadsheet program your computer has installed: Lotus 1-2-3, MS Excel, or MS Works, etc.

Just set your columns to 2 characters wide (enough for dates) for each week and you can create a flow chart. Activity bars can be filled in with special characters or shading.

Any text can be accommodated and total can be calculated; heavier lines dividing months and quarters are also easily done.

Wednesday, November 19, 1997 #1459
Does it make any sense to calculate grps not having reach and frequency stated? My campaign brings me 530 grps - whatdoes it mean for me? Could I calculate OTS if I have only grps? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, November 22, 1997 ):
grps are simply a summation of all the audiences of all the ads in a plan. They give you the "boxcar" size of a plan without any detail. This can be used to compare to other campaigns or other times, in crude terms.

If by OTS, you mean "Opportunities to See," which is equivalent to Impressions, then the calculation is simple. grps are a percentage of the population. Whatever your grp's target group, you need to know the total "universe" of that population for which the grps are stated. Then, if you have 500 grps, you have impressions equal to the population, times 5.

Saturday, October 18, 1997 #1438
Dear Guru Could you please give me your views/suggestions on the following: 1. How can you set media objectives for a banking client in a market with only two major competitors; both of whom do not have a clear-cut advertising campaign? Would a % above last years grp levels be appropriate; in proportion to the market share desired? What other parameters should I consider? 2. Qualitatively or quantitatively, how can front page solus positions in newspapers be compared with inside pages and ear panels? 3. And lastly, how do you add TV and press grps; for a specific audience? Sorry about the long query. Thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 18, 1997 ):
As a rule, the Guru sets media objectives based on marketing goals, not competitors' activity. Some marketing goals do indeed lead one to comparsions with competition, and awareness of competitors' plans is always a consideration.

If the key marketing goal is share growth, then a proportional increase in weight is one approach. But consider that share, like reach, exhibits an asymptotic curve. In other words, it can't pass 100%, so the higher it goes, the more effort is required to "move the needle."

Consider: You first assume that "X" amount of grp's are required just to maintain share, on the assumption that competitive activity doesn't vary (and that advertising is the only variable influencing share).

Have you considered whether current share is proportional to share of grp weight among competitiors?

Would 50% more grps grow share by 50%? No, if only because it increases the size of the total advertising arena. Your 50% increase in grp does not increase your share of grp by 50%, so calculate the right number to increase share of grp, if you follow that philosophy.

But since there are competitors, perhaps it takes 50% more weight to gain 25% more share?

Newspaper positions can be compared on a basis of noting, reading, recall, etc. In each country or culture (you are writing from India), the relative power of media and the way consumers relate to them are different.

In the U.S., for example, a front page ad in a newspaper would be quite unusual if not unheard of.

Contacting the U.S. Advertising Research Foundation or ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Marketing Research organization, or your own country's newspaper advertising association may turn useful up research on positioning.

The Guru treats grps of different media as simply additive. When there are established effectiveness factors, as some advertisers have developed, grps may be accordingly adjusted before adding, in comparing plans.

Thursday, October 09, 1997 #1427
Does the length of the commercial determine the amount of grps reached? If I schedule a 30ss and achieve X amount of grps, and schedule a 15ss the same amount of times I achieve the same amount of grp's as with the 30ss?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 10, 1997 ):
Very simply, yes. Whether they are watching for 15 or 30 seconds, the audience of the commercial is the same, so the grps are the same(never mind theories of channel switching, or we'd be adjusting commercial audiences based on partial viewing).

What can be confusing is that TV buyers often use formulas requiring :15's to be treated as if they had half the rating of a :30 in the same time slot, so that they can most readily calculate a ":30 equivalent" c.p.m. or Cost Per Point.

Monday, August 18, 1997 #1393
If I took 75.0 grps from Prime Spot TV, and moved it into Spot cable, would the reach be equal?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 18, 1997 ):
Generally speaking, cable does not cume as high as prime spot(ratings size is the simplest guide to relative reach potential, in general). Strip programming cumes less than higher dispersion schedules.

In any given market/universe situation, if a cable buy is made such that its ratings and dispersion equals that of the prime spot schedule, reach may be equal as well, but such a situation is not very likely.

If there is a large schedule of other dayparts or media, to which you are considering adding either Prime spot or cable, the difference in impact of 75 grp of one versus the other may be quite minimal

Wednesday, July 23, 1997 #1377
Enjoyed learning from your answers. I have following questions. 1. Is there a rule of thumb for decising how much to spend on advertising vs. public relations? 2. What is the role of ad agency in determining advertising budget? Or is it determined primarily by the client? 3. How common a practice is it to perform a computerized analysis of media plan to determine the final impact in terms of reach, frequency, etc. 4. Is there a magic number in terms of grp's, or other ratings needed to convert a prospect to a buyer? If not how does one establish the optimum budget? Thanks so much. Raj

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 26, 1997 ):
1) Advertising vs Public Relations decisions are based on a complex mix of marketing issues. One advertiser, mostly concerned with establishing an image or with community relations may spend the majority of funds on PR and the next, seeing a simple need to move units of a basic impulse purchase low-competition, product, may do no PR at all.

2) Some clients merely tell the agency how much there is to spend. Others will go through a process of determining marketing goals with the agency and consider the agency's recommendation on the cost of accomplishing those goals. More often the budget will come from the client, based on issues other than marketing goals, and then be allocated in accord with achieving the goals within the budget.

3) Computerized media delivery analysis is common. Some small retail advertisers may just hipshoot media decisions, often because the geography is small enough to track directly.

4) No, there is no magic number of grps to convert prospects to buyers. The marketing issues in each case vary. It should be obvious that persuading you to order a 7-Up versus a Coke next time you go out to lunch, given your background knowledge of the products and benefits, and the consequences of the wrong choice, is quite a different proposition than persuading you to buy a Mercedes Benz, select a vacation destination, or in which hospital to have surgery.

Monday, July 21, 1997 #1376
GURU: I've been out of school, working for a large agency for about a year. I would like for you to help me with just one question: What is the difference between a grp and a TRP? I don't think there is a difference, but co-workers use TRP and I've learned it as a grp (Gross Rating Point). Please help with any word origin or history you may have. Thanks for your help,

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 21, 1997 ):
Until the late 70's, most TV advertising, especially for major package goods brands, was bought on a Household grp basis. As demographic targeting became more common, "Target Rating Points" (TRP) became a term distinguished from Household gross rating points, which was especially useful when a plan discussed both. Some people still use phrases like Women 18-49 grp when others would say TRP. Except that HH points are never TRP, there is really no difference.

What is important is consistency within any document and advertiser.

Friday, June 20, 1997 #1367
For TV planning, should we look at planning grps on a weekly basis or on a burst campaign basis? In our country, it can build reach very fast and easy.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 20, 1997 ):
Without knowing the country to which you're referring, the Guru can't comment on specifics. In various countries, due to consumer's media consumption habits, media availability, and product purchase behavior, the right way to plan continuity vs burst, pulses, waves or flights varies.

The worst mistake is to assume that what is right generally applies to every case. Just as in the US, Hispanic media must be planned completely differently than General Market media, because Spanish media's relative strengths and availability are different, so too, can each country have its own, best answers.

Thursday, June 19, 1997 #1366
Dear Guru, I have a set of urgent questions to ask of you. I have a meeting tomorrow, and need your help! 1. How is effective reach calculated? 2. Reach v/s Frequency -- when should one be given priority / importance over the other? 3. Is there any way of taking creative into account while analysing competition? If yes, can a system of weights be worked out? 4. How do you reconcile to the vast difference between reach/frequency deliveries from a Peoplemeter system as opposed to the Diary system? My client refuses to accept a 4+ reach of 30% being accustomed to levels of 70% for the same plan! Would greatly appreciate your immediate reply.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 19, 1997 ):
1) In any schedule of several commercials, some of the target group will see only one, some will see two, some will see three, some will see four, some five, etc, etc.

The actual measurement is based on tracking the cume of several different advertisers schedules in a single measurement period such as one month of the PeopleMeter.

A mathematical model that will match the measured grp/Frequency is calculated so that plan deliveries can be predicted. Going more deeply into the actual measurement, it can be determined how many people of each demographic group were exposed to each commercial in the schedule and a model calculated which will predict that performance for a plan.

For example, below is the typical output of a computer models' frequency distribution, showing what percent of the target saw exactly n commercials and what percent saw n+. (this example is from Telmar's ADplus):

                    Frequency (f) Distributions 
                                  % who saw
                          #seen exactly  at least     
                          ----- -------  -------
               Target:      f     rch    rch    
               P18-49      ---   -----  -----   
                            0     69.1  100.0   
                            1     11.5   30.9    
                            2      6.0   19.3    
                            3      3.7   13.4   
                            4      2.6    9.6   
                            5      1.8    7.1    
                            6      1.3    5.2   
                            7      1.0    3.9   
                            8      0.7    2.9   
                            9      0.6    2.2   
                           10+     1.6    1.6   
                           20+     0.0    0.0    

2) Reach vs Frequency: The determination of emphasis here can be a complicated analysis making up the greater part of a plan's documentation, under the heading of "communications strategy." A commercial so powerful that it's sell is overwhelming in one exposure might take the "Let's buy one spot in the Superbowl" route as did the Macintosh computer with the classic "1984" execution.

In more competitive situations, competitors' levels are taken into account, clutter in the media of choice, copy quality, etc. Obviously a balance must eventually be struck between reach and frequency based on judging all these factors.

3) There are several ways to take creative into account while setting up reach vs frequency goals;

The complexity or simplicity of the message

The number of commercial in the pool

how close your commercial is to the established "wear-out" level

The balance of :30 to :15

etc, etc. can all be assigned factors and totalled or averaged to give a reach vs frequency emphasis factor

a similar exercise can also set effective frequency thresholds

4) There should not be "vast" differences between effective reaches based on people meter and diary systems if schedule grp and other aspects are the same. 5 or 10% would be the range the Guru would expect.

A plan with a 70 reach at the 4+ level would be delivering in the range of 98% total reach. It sounds as if your client may be confusing a plan with 70 reach and an average frequency of 4 with 70 at an effective frequency of 4. Or perhaps confusing 4-week reach with a long term cume?

Friday, June 13, 1997 #1365
Dear Guru, Could you please give your opinion on what can be viewed as a recommended level of grp, frequency and effective frequency for a highly competitive advertising category on TV. As an example we can take a carbonated soft drinks' category. What should be the planning guidelines? When and why we should use flighting (pulsing) or what is the rationale for a continous campaign. Additionally to TV which other media should we use and why? Thank you in advance, Bob

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 13, 1997 ):
You are actually asking for the complete Objectives, Strategies and communications tactics of a full scale media plan, without offering enough background.

Nevertheless, here are some considerations:

One theory of competitive media planning calls for delivering a minimum of 10% more impressions than the key competitor, in head to head media. This assures beating the competition in grp, reach and effective reach.

Budget is a consideration. If there is not enough money to compete as above nationally, then selecting geography where the delivery advantage can be maintained should allow you to beat the competition, bit by bit, until you can afford national support.

When there are time-sensitive promotional issues, then pulsing can be an effective way to deliver more impressions over the crucial period. Recent media theory has emphasized the benefits of continuity, because "the impression delivered closest to the purchase decision is the most effective impression." In the soft drink category, where purchase decisions are constant, continuity may be generally preferable to pulsing.

In other, highly competitive, seasonal categories pulsing may be needed.

As far as recommending other media, that calls for more information, but please look at the Guru's Media Advertising Strenghths

Monday, May 12, 1997 #1343
Is there any model that relates advertisign awareness or brand awareness with media weight level? If there is no measurable coverage of the media, say computer magazine, what can we base our judgement on.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 12, 1997 ):
When there are published studies of this sort, the Guru can usually find them in the Advertising Research Foundation Library or in the Newsweek Media Research Index

There is, no doubt, a great volume of studies which are held proprietarily by advertisers.

There was a model the Guru once used, based on certain Agencies' many tests, which roughly assumed ad awareness would equal 91% of the existing awareness plus 3% of the previous week's grps (gross audience coverage).

It should be obvious that this model works best for brands with little or no going-in awareness and also dictates that anything less than 100 grp per week leads to declining awareness for brands with awareness above 35%

Media coverage can be estimated for print media: circulation is usually known; readers-per-copy and composition can be approximated by comparison to similar publications.

It should also be kept in mind that awareness is not a factor of media alone, but depends, to great extent on creative.

Saturday, March 15, 1997 #1303
Dear Guru. I have some questions about RADIO media-planning: 1. Could you recommend the book(s) which contains: a) definitions of the standard coefficients: grps, Reach, Frequency, Time Spend Listening (TSL), Average Rating b) Information about statistical models used for computing these numbers c) Sample outputs from radio media-planning software 2. I have download an educational software from University of Texas. Do you know any other places where can I import demo or edu software for media-planning 3. TSL is additive what means that: a) TSL for (say) 3 hours is a sum of appropriate 12 quater data b) TSL for a whole day is a sum of 12 x 4 quater values c) TSL for (say) three stations is a sum of appropriate three components But what is the behaviour of the Average Rating in these three, described above, cases?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 24, 1997 ):
Radio planning is covered in general planning texts, such as Sissors and Bumba, mentioned in the adjoining Guru answer. The booklet provided by the RAB (Radio Advertising Bureau) will give you the definitions you want. So would a technical reference manual from Arbitron. Since TSL, (time spent listening) is behavior expressed as a quantity and attached to one station at a time by one listener, the TSLs may be added together. This is different than ratings which are percentages and can only be combined or averaged with weightings according to the population groups projected.

Saturday, February 22, 1997 #1039
I am trying figure out the best way to calculate reach & frequency for the following:

Television Flight:
4 consecutive weeks (250 TRP's per week)
Then scaling back and running 175 TRP's per week - Every other week for the following 8 weeks.

How do you calculate R&F when your schedule runs on an every other week basis?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 24, 1997 ):
There is no basis for believing that an alternate week schedule of 700 total points (175 per week for 4 of 8 weeks) cumes to a different total than 87.5 grp per week for 8 weeks, as long as the scedules are otherwise identical in numbers of different announcements, and numbers of different episodes of the same programs.

It is true that if the schedules per week of activity were solarge as to exhaust reach potentials, the answer might bedifferent, but this is far below such levels

So the total schedule of the first four weeks at 250, plus the 4alternating weeks can be calculated as if there were lower levelconsecutive weeks.

Monday, February 17, 1997 #1043
When a planner has a small budget and it has been determined that television is the appropriate media vehicle, does it make sense to concentrate all of the grps in one or two dayparts? Example: late news and/or early morning for a business person 25-54?Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 21, 1997 ):
If geography is not a variable, then the question relates principally to the balance of reach vs frequency to be acheived. Daypart concentration may increase frequency at the expense of reach, daypart dispersion will increase reach at the expense of frequency. Low cume dayparts like the ones you mention may deliver less reach than a single high cume daypart like prime.

Comparing several possible schedules which are affordable within your budget for their delivery of plan goals is a better course than trying to make the decision based on a generalization of what "makes sense."

Monday, February 17, 1997 #1045
I am interested in obtaining research that explores effective consumer promotion television weight levels. A typical consumer promotion window may be 2 - 3 weeks. Most consumer promotions are planned in the neighbourhood of 300 grps / week. Is there any research that has measured effective levels. I am trying to identifity an optimal level, a level (or range) below which response/sales suffer and/or above which response/sales do not substanitially increase.Goal- avoid spending too little or too much against a given promotion.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 21, 1997 ):
There are so many variable beyond grp weight that the Guru doubts you will find simple answers.

Just a few are copy length, daypart mix, competitive arena, product interest, and commercial quality and wear-out status. Further, the Guru thinks that effective reach / frequency is a more useful quantitaive standard than pure grp.

Two places to look for relevant research would be Newsweek Media Research Index or Advertising Research Foundation

Tuesday, February 04, 1997 #1057
What is the best way to evaluate outdoor - qualitatively and quantitatively? Any available research?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 09, 1997 ):
In the US, outdoor is typically packaged in "showings" of 25 / 50 / 100 which generally mean 25 / 50 / or 100 grps per day, that is, a selection of locations with a total daily effective circulation equal to 25 or 50 or 100% of the adult population of the market. (demographic data is often very approximate).

Outdoor delivers very high reaches at low CPMs. Message lengths are of course quite limited.

Barring specific creative testing or pre-post attitude awareness and usage tracking, evaluation is very much a judgement call based on creative and your communications goals.

Monday, January 27, 1997 #1067
My client is requiring me to use adjustment percentages whencalculating grp's in print. I was always taught that reach x frequency= grp's. Now if I calculate the adjustment to my grp's, the formula no longer works. Is this correct, or do I have to do something else to my reach/frequency? Help!!!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 28, 1997 ):
There are various approaches. If the grp adjustment is just an index reflecting characteristics of the vehicles and their audiences, it may be sufficient to show R/F/grp/Adjgrp

If the adjustments are meant to change actual value of the grp, it is usual to recalculate reach from the new, adjusted grp. Since print r&f is usually calculated from actual schedules, via a "black box" algorithym, rather than from a grp "curve," this may be impractical. If your system allows you to enter factors for each publication before calculating reach, that may solve your problem.

Lastly, even with adjusted grp to represent some abstraction, the people reached would not be reached at a different average frequency, so one quick and dirty answer, if you must use adjusted grp, is just to divide them by the original frequency, to get reach.

It's similar to the concept of changing a spot coverage area, broadcast r/f to its national equivalent: The grps are weighted by the coverage area % and the frequencyremains constant, to calculate the reach.

Tuesday, October 22, 1996 #1120
I am a consultant to a TV station. Recently most agencies have adopted one or another Media Planning software. We have tried to undersatand what type of optimizers they have and what effect in their decisions may have. For example one that uses integer programming seems to benefit high grp programmes while others low cost and low audiences. How does the type of optimizer influence the plan? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 23, 1996 ):
Optimizers must be set to Optimize something. It may be pure reach, reach at a given level of frequency, reach within a specific budget,etc. Usually some form of reach is in the goal, because other considerations like cpm or grps are simple arithmetic, while reach involves more complex computer models.

The reach models must be based on some measurement of "actual" schedules to be worth anything at all. If each optimizer is merely based on some programmer's opinion of how audience accumulates, there is no way to predict results without owning a copy of the program.

When reach within budget is the issue, it is possible forlow cost/low rated programs to be preferred if theydeliver so much more gross audience that even at low rates of net accumulation, the total reach can be more than quicker 'cuming. high-rated schedules.

Monday, August 05, 1996 #1171
In regards to print advertising, what is a wear-out report? What data do I need to complete this report (reach, frequency, formulas)?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 08, 1996 ):
The Guru has discussed Wear Out previously (see below July 17 and May 7).

A wear out report would state the status of various print executions in your campaign in comparison to the wear out standard you have established.

Clients have a way of asking the wear out question without setting a standard or even being able to decide how to set one.

Essentially an ad is worn out when it loses all or most of its ability to accomplish its marketing purpose with its target. The purpose may be as simple as product sales, or lead generation in a direct response campaign, or it may be as difficult to define as building brand imagery or awareness of a specific product benefit. Since directly relating any of these to a specific ad would require custom research, it is typical to use whatever research has been done in the past as related to easily modelled media measurements, such as reach, frequency, grps or quintiles.

For example if in the past, a custom study showed the average ad was worn out at a time when the planners knew that 80% of the target had seen it 8 or more times, or when the frequency in the top 2 quintiles passed 30. (Don't use these examplenumbers). Naturally, different ads perform differently, but you will need to work on an average basis.

A wear out report then becomes a matter of reporting something like how many of thetarget have seen the ad at least "x" times, or that the frequency in the top 2quintiles will exceed the standard measure as of a certain month of the schedule, or"X" number of grps will have run for the ad by some date.

The key is knowing how one of these media measures relate to your wear out standard. Then the report is a simple task.

Wednesday, July 17, 1996 #1179
Do you know any research about how much average frequency is enough before the consumer turns against the advertised product. I mean before they are fed up with the ad. I would like some articles or tables about different product categories concerning this effect.Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 18, 1996 ):
There does not seem to be any definitive research on this. Planners dread the question "when is the campaign worn out" almost invariably asked without any definition of "wear-out." Certainly some ads are less enduring in terms of selling ability, which may have little to do with consumers being "fed up." Some advertisers use frequency in top quintiles as a guide, some just accumulated grp, others study the competitive environment and clutter of their usual advertising media.

The "propinquity theory" gaining in appreciation argues for lower frequencies and if it catches on generally, may change the concept of wear out. Probably the best source of published study and opinion would be the Advertising Research Foundation Library

Tuesday, June 25, 1996 #1191
In ranking radio station, should you rank thenagainst average quarter house rating or is it better torank against cume and why? Thank Media Guru

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 25, 1996 ):
Rankings are usually done against AQH ("Average Quarter Hour" -- there are no household measurements in radio ratings)

One reason is that these numbers have a correspondence with cost per point and cpm, which are other typical evaluation standards for radio buying.

Depneding on your overall goal rankings on cume may or may not be useful. If a particular station is trying to convince you to use cume rankings, it -- no doubt -- fares better on cume than rating.

However, if you are buying to a reach goal, buying stations in order of cume or cume/efficiency may be the best way to acheive your reach goal for the least dollars, rather than by amassing grp in order of cost per point. This is especiallytrue if you are planning to buy many spots on a station. In that case, the cume better reflects your reach potential. Conversely,if you are buying very few spots on a station, the AQH will betterreflect the situation.

Friday, May 17, 1996 #1213
Dear Guru,I have two questions which you might have heard before.
a)I do know that a :15s commercial on TV cost between 50% to 75% of a :30s depending on market etc. Is there any studies that show what the benefit of either length is (if any) in terms of reach, frequency, effectiveness, memorability, etc.
b)I have seen studies praising the advantage of multiple media usage above single media; in other words using TV and radio instead of just TV. Can you elaborate on that and update with new info about this topic. Reason being a client who would like to slash the budget down to just using TV for campaigns. I however feel that there is an added benefit in using multiple media.Please respond by Monday if you can.Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 19, 1996 ):
a) There is is no difference in reach and frequency between a :15 and a :30. In the same time period, they have the same audience, within the tolerances of research measurement.

On the other hand, a schedule using :15's in place of some or all the :30's will provide more reach and frequency, because it has more announcements, hence more grp, etc, for the same budget.

When :15's started to become popular several years ago, there was considerable research regarding effectiveness versus :30's. The general findings were that :15's had about 70 - 75% of the recall of a :30. At the time, :15's were typically a network option priced at 50% of :30's so the trade off of price vs effectiveness seemed favorable.

b) Multi-media plans chief benefit is in reach development, though the effects of the added reach have ripples in many directions.

Adding a new medium adds more reach than adding weight in the same medium: There are more likely to be different people in the audience of a different medium, over a given period of time. This applies to effective reach as well.

There are a variety of philosophical approaches to taking advantage of this.

One approach says to build reach up to a minimum effective level in the primary medium first, before adding the next medium. Another says build the first medium to the point where the reach curve flattens, then add the next medium to resume reach growth.

A newer, different line of thought, the "recency" theory, de-emphasizes reach in favor of delivering messages to the consumer closest to the point of making a purchas decison. This argues for continuity, to reach more people at all times rather than highest levels in sporadic flights. Again, multi-media will produce more reach, but other theories of minimum weekly levels may effect scheduling, ie radio bought to a minimum of 12x weekly when active.

Judgements must also be made regarding whether TV and radio is perceived as the same message by the consumer. Of course, this same judgement must be applied to different executions in the commercial pool of each individual medium as well.

Sunday, May 05, 1996 #1227
I'm trying to figure out how gross rating points are used to figure out gross impressions when it comes to using billboards to advertise?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 06, 1996 ):
As you may know, generally. . .

gross rating points as a decimal fraction (i.e. 50 grp = 0.50)multiplied by population (for the relevant demographic) =impressions.

The "trick" with billboards is that grp in outdoor are expressed in daily quantities. So a #50 -- or 50 grp -- showing means a total daily "circulation" equal to 50% of the population, or 1500 grp per month.

Wednesday, March 20, 1996 #1259
I am buying a radio schedule (100 grps/wk for A25-54) in a market that is approximately 28% black. The urban station in this market is relatively efficient, but is by no means a "must buy". In fact, there are about 10 stations with 9/10 of a rating point of each other (AQH rtg, M-F 6a-7p). This urban station claims that I must have at least one urban station on every buy or I will miss 28% of the market. I disagree. When buying so few points a week, I do not have the budget to buy as many stations as I like. A better use of the money would be to cover the various age cells in this broad demo and try to balance the male/female reach. My question is, What is your opinion on this subject? Is an urban station a "must buy" in this market any more than a country, rock, or news/talk station?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 22, 1996 ):
There are several levels at which this question can be considered:

The essence is determining the true value of that station: "should you buy it", not "must you buy it"

- If you ignored the fact that this is an urban station would you buy it, based on the general parameters of the buy? Rating/efficiency/rank, etc?

Are you having a negative reaction to being told you must do it?

Do you really miss 28% of the market just by not buying that station? To what reach level are you buying? At 100 grp / week you're not likely to reach more than 72% of the target in a typical 4 weeks, anyway. So if the station is the onlyone reaching its market segment, how much does it matter if that segementis the 28% you miss rather than any ther 28% of the market.

Is that station is the only one reaching its segment? It is likely that several other stations in a market with that high penetration of Black population also reach that audience, but perhaps with a lower audience composition. Check the schedule you will buy to see how its African-American audience reach compares to its general market reach. Perhaps it's comparable even without that station.

On the other hand, if that segemnt is important, reaching it in a culturally relevant program environment can substantially enhance selling opportunity.

Examine the product usage data about your client according to Simmons/MRI/Scarborough/MMR, etc. Perhaps the African-American consumer is far more valuable to your client as a prospective customer than is the general market, and that Urban station, with its good efficiency, is the first one you should buy, even if it does sell aggressively.

Friday, March 08, 1996 #1266
Guru:Is there a formula for calculating reach & frequency for trade vehicles.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 10, 1996 ):
There is no truly simple formula for calculating reach and frequency of any medium. The key datain print R&F are pair-wise duplication between different vehicles and between two or more insertions in the same vehicle.

As the number of insertions in a plan increase, the number of data elements to include in a formula increase. The number of possible pairings for just a 10 insertion plan is 45 ((n x n-1) / 2).

Telmar among others, offers software designed to quickly perform these calculations on defined schedules of media measured by SMRB, MRI, MMR, J.D. Power or others. Using measured media as prototypes, reach of various schedules you might want to consider could then be calculated. From these numerous calculations, you could, by regression analysis, develop a "simple" formula of the form y=ax+b to calculate frequency based on grp of typical plans of the sort you run in these media (y is frequency; x is grp; a and b are factors from the regression).

A formula of this kind is very specific to the audience dynamics of the media vehicles involved. Please understand, this is not a recommended technique, merely a response to your question.

Wednesday, February 21, 1996 #1755
Dear Media Guru- I have a two part question , both dealing with the same subject, tv sampling error. Suppose ER gets a 20% rating and Seinfeld gets an 18%, both off a sample of 1000 resondents. What are the odds of there being absolutely no difference between these two ratings? This is not as simple as looking up the standard error of each rating. I remember that it has something to do with the standard error of the difference, but I just can't recall the calculating process.Could you please explain? Then to complicate matters, I'm looking at the same phenonena on a grander scale. Suppose the estimated delivery in rating points for a tv schedule is 1000 grps and it underdelivers by 10%- ie. 900 grps. What is the likelihood that the difference had to do with pure chance ( sampling error) and how do I calculate that? I know this is more difficult since you have to account for buying many programs in the estimate and the actual. Naturally, we are assuming that the error differences are all due to sampling, and not the idiosyncrasies of the marketplace or the impurity of the sample. In this case I know the answer is going to be technical, but that is what I need. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 23, 1996 ):
The Guru loves this kind of stuff. The answer is technical but hopefully, in simple terms.

First, if ER has a 20 rating and Seinfeld has 18, with a sample of 1000 (for that demographic), then the ER 20 rating's standard error is +/- 1.265 while Seinfeld's 18's is 1.215 (See formulas in the Jan 25 18:23 Guru Q&A below).

Note that the absolute size of the error on the 20 is larger but it is relatively smaller. Also note that the range of these errors is such that they can make the two programs' ratings equal: 20 - 1.265 = 18.735 which overlaps 18 + 1.215 or 19.215.

There is a 68% probablity that these two ratings fall within this range. But the swing could go either way on either number. And could fall anywhere within the +/- range specified

There is a 90% probabilty that these two ratings fall within +/- 1.999 on the 18 and +/- 2.081 on the 20. The odds are 95% that they fall within +/- 2.381 for 18 and 2.479 for the 20.

These odds actually relate to reliabilty. That is, if you repeat the same rating study 100 times with the same actual facts existing, 68% of those studies will give ER a rating between 18.735 and 21.265.

Now the 1000 grp underdelivered by 10% is different As the beginning of the explanation showed, while there is a swing around any rating (a 5 would be +/- 0.689 in the same study), the odds equally favor underestimates and overestimates. This is the same as the reason why small samples don't necessarily underestimate ratings. So in 1000 grps made up of 500 spots with an average 2 rating, the sampling error on the individual ratings somewhat cancels out.

To calculate this in an Arbitron measured radio buy using a single survey and one station, for example, the formula is

grp x ((100 x #spots) - grp) / sample x Factor)))

"Factor" is from a table provided, specific to demographic and #quarter hours in the daypart of the buy.

So, if your 1000 grp were based on Adults 18-49 ( with a 1000 A18-49 sample), and a Mon-Fri, 6a-7p schedule, the calculation would be:

(1000 x ((100 x 500) -1000) / (1000 x 2.42)))

or +/- 143 grp at the 68% confidence interval. Obviously, if the average rating were higher, hence fewer spots or if the sample was larger the variance would be smaller. With an average 20 rating, the swing is about +/- 40 grp.

So, depending on average ratings and sample sizes, the 10% underdelivery could be within the range of standard error.

Friday, February 16, 1996 #1760
Dear Mr. Guru, Thank you for your last reponse on how to calculate grp's. You had mentioned that you had explained it fully except for Neilson's calculation methodology. I would be interested in hearing more about this method of calculation as well. Also, is there a "better" way to measure the actual "Impact" an ad campaign has had if you know the actual length of each ad, the frequency the ads ran and the channels(and shows) that they ran during. ie. frequency X length X Audience(rate for each time slot)?? This is obviously a simplified formula, but your feedback on this would be greatly appreciated. Lastly, for television advertising, what are some of the other accepted methods of measurement. Thanks (Again)

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 16, 1996 ):
It is Neilsen's survey methodology that wasn't covered. They would use the same calculation formulae. The full description of Neilsens methodologies for People Meter, household meter and diary would cover several pages. Contact Neilsen who will be happy to send you methodology booklets.

Regarding "impact" there are as many ways to evaluate this as there are advertisers.

Some advertisers use a factor for copy length based on norms from recall tests. For example, 75% of a :30 is a typical value for a :15.

Some use attentiveness by daypart.

Some use a combination of the two factors.

Some apply the factors to grp as an indicator; some apply to grps and then estimate reach from those adjusted grps as an impact indicator.

The frequency of a schedule, as discussed so far, refers to the average frequency of exposure for all pesons reached.

There are those who use "effective reach," counting only persons reached at least 3 times (or any designated minimum) when evaluating the impact of a schedule.

Thursday, February 15, 1996 #1762
What is the actual formula for calculating grp's

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 15, 1996 ):
There are various formulae, depending on from what data you are working:

grp = Reach x frequency


grp = Average rating x number of advertisements


grp = The sum of the ratings of all the advertisments in a schedule


grp =The total impressions delivered (i.e. audience among a specific demographic group, expressed in raw numbers of people X number of advertisements) divided by population universe for that demograpic.

Thursday, February 15, 1996 #1761
I would like to know a DETAILED calculation for grp's for Television advertising. I assume the frequency is the number of times the ad ran across all channels. But how do I calulate the Reach for a T.V. AD. Is it based on the rate cards of the networks?(if so, how) or is it based on direct audience measurement. As much detail as possible would be greatly appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 15, 1996 ):
Calculation of grp does not depend on knowing reach, though reach x frequency is ONE formula. Reach is the more complex calculation, grp is relatively simple (see other formulae in the adjoining question).

Reach has no relationship at all to rates, nor to commercial length, for that matter. Audience research surveys such as Nielsen can tell us the audience of individual programs. The net unduplicated audience, or reach, of actual advertisers' schedules, examined over time covered by a given survey period, typically four weeks, can be determined.

When many such scehdules, usually thousands, have been examined in that way, "curves" on a graph can be drawn representing the intersections of reach values with schedules' grps. The graph curves because each added announcement adds fewer new, unduplicated people toi the reach of the schedule.

The curve can be expressed as a formula y = ax+b, which then can be built into the computer model which media planners use to quickly calculate reach from given grps and sometimes other descriptive details of scheduling, such as average ratings, numbers of different networks or programs, etc.

The Guru is now nearly out of details unless Nielsen survey methodology is of interest.

Friday, January 19, 1996 #1781
I would like to know if in United State exist any research, about outdoor reaching people. If exist, could you give me an explanation, and any address to try to get more information. How an outdoor campaign is evaluated in U.S.? How many people reach, this kind of study. Thank you in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
There are measurement sytems and standards for outdoor media in the U.S. Outdoor (more generally called Out-of-Home media, to include buses, bus shelters, subways, etc) is measured in grps as are other media. Outdoor grp's are measured on a per-day basis, while broadcast media are more often thought of on a per-week basis.

Therefore if one buys 100 Adult 18+ grps of outdoor posters, the daily audience exposures (circulation) are equal to the Adult 18+ population of the market area. So a 100 grp buy is about 3000 grp per month (100grp per day x 30 days.

Typical reach systems will report that this level of outdoor delivers a reach in the 90% range with over 30 frequency. You may buy 50 grp or 25 grp, of course. Even at these levels reach is typically 80+.

Years ago we talked of "100 showing" or "50 showing" which was sometimes the plant operators rough estimate of 100 or 50 grp and sometimes just a pricing basis.

Outdoor sales companies, such as Gannett (212) 297-6413 can provide scehdule-specific reach analyses.

Wednesday, December 27, 1995 #1804
what is the difference between general media and direct response television media? and would I ever recommend to my client DRTV as an inexpensive way of getting exposure?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
General TV and DRTV are different in the way they are purchased and in key aspects of the copy used. To qualify for DRTV, the copy usually must be selling something through an 800 telephone number. Mail is also possible, but the immediate nature of telephone response is preferable (900 number ads are typically under a different rate structure).

DRTV rates are usually based on half of the going rate for the time period. The concept of "going rate" is hard to pin down with any certainty, unless you are buying the same schedule at the same time as "general media." These half price schedules are typically in remnant time or relatively undesirable times late at night or early in the morning or weekends. They are also instantly preemptible. You can't rely on delivering a schedule of "50 grp per week in prime and 75 grp per week in early fringe" through DRTV.

General TV schedules are used to build awareness through planned levels of reach and frequency or timely impressions delivery during specific promitions or campaigns DRTV schedules are opportunistic buys, with each airing anticipated to generate a certain quata of responses for a product ready to sell at all times without specific timing issues.. DRTV advertisers often track resonse minute by minute to associate each call with the specific commercial airing responsible. This is in clear contrast with the awarenes building aspect of general media.

When your client measures "exposure" in reach or effective reach terms than DRTV is not an efficient way to get exposure. Those remnant timeslots are not reach builders.

A DRTV advertiser is generally selling something worth the investment in inbound telemarketing expenses for each 800 number order, and assuming a certain minimum of orders per airing. (You cant make money if a $5 an hour operator has to spend 10 minutes taking address, size, flavor and credit card info to sell a $2 item, unless you add $3 shipping and handling). This means it doesn't work for toothpaste, floor wax, soap or cookies, unless you're selling the $29 bag-o-groceries special.

Saturday, January 28, 1995 #1876
Do on line services have a reported user count, minute by minute, to calculate interactive grps?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 28, 1995 ):
Most on-line services have the ability to capture minute by minute usage of their services since some of them bill customers by the amount of time they use. Some of them also have a profile of the user based on questions provied at the time of sign-up. So theoretically, they could produce average ratings or even minute by minute ratings on the demographics they capure and therby calculate Target grps. Some may even be able to capture what you viewed while on-line (program ratings) provided such viewing is on their server. Whether any of them would care to part with that information for a fee or otherwise is speculative at best.

Wednesday, January 18, 1995 #1878
How do I calculate grps?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 18, 1995 ):
Reach x Frequency = grps