Coverage and frequency objectives

Coverage and frequency: what they are and why these metrics matter when you’re busy putting together your TV plan. 

In order to gain the maximum benefit from your investment in a TV campaign, you will need to know how many of the target audience need to see your TV ad also the optimal number of times it needs to be seen to produce the desired change of behaviour or attitude in the consumer. This will mean determining Coverage and Frequency which in turn will dictate the number of TVRs (Television Ratings) that are required across the campaign.

  • Coverage = the % of the audience seeing the ad
  • Frequency = how often the ad is seen by your target audience 
  • OTS or Opportunity To See = the average number of times those reached saw the ad

These objectives may be across the campaign as a whole, or may be set on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to tie in with consumer purchase cycles. 

There are a number of ways of identifying the percentage of the target audience you want to see the ad at the effective frequency. It may be specified by the advertiser (defined by econometric modelling) or by determining the point of diminishing return in terms of coverage build per rating point. This is the point at which the price of increasing cover / frequency begins to move above the value of the response that you generate.

Coverage and frequency targets will therefore vary by brand and be dependent on the overall marketing objectives and other activity that is running.

By setting coverage and frequency targets the number of TVRs required can be established.

Below is a typical cover curve for a campaign delivering 400 ratings.


It is also worth bearing in mind that your campaign implementation will affect your reach or 1+ delivery (the number of people who have seen the ad at least once). 

For example, if you have a laydown that has a high peak percentage across all channels, you are likely to see a very high 1+ reach. 

However, if you have a campaign that is daytime only across smaller channels only, then inevitably your 1+ reach will be lower. 

Of course, the daytime campaign will be considerably cheaper than the high peak campaign so it’s always a trade-off.

planning_buying_objectives_slide2More on TV terminology

From our research study TV Response we found that the campaigns majority of response that a DR campaign (Link to what are you looking to do) generates comes within the first 2 exposures of the advert. For brand response campaigns, which are more focussed on building an emotional connection with a consumer and therefore have less of a call to action, the majority of response is generated within 4-7 exposures.

Response 2015 Slide 6Response 2015 Slide 7

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