When should you be advertising?

TV advertisers can develop strategies that focus on a particular hours of the day, days of the week, or months, depending on their product or service and the viewing habits of their target audience.

Seasonal considerations

Many factors influence the importance of different times of year to an advertiser.

Some markets have no seasonality like washing up liquid for example; however, other markets such as cars are extremely seasonally driven and might focus their TV activity around key registration periods 

Below you can see how perfume brands focus their TV activity in the run up to Christmas to target ‘gifters’, whereas hay fever remedies are only relevant in the spring and summer.


There are also significant variations in airtime cost by month, which might need to be considered when planning a campaign. Price is driven by supply / demand, so in periods of high advertiser demand such as the months leading up to Christmas this will force prices up. Other factors, such as major sporting events and Easter will also influence demand.

There tends to be slightly less TV viewing in the summer months due to good weather and people going abroad on holiday. For non-seasonal brands there is a real advantage to advertising in the cheaper months.

Below is an example of a ‘typical’ year and illustrates how the price of TV can differ dependent on the month you are on air.

Please note: this does change when there are big sporting events on TV such as The Rugby World Cup etc.


Day of week

Up-weighting activity on certain days of the week might be a worth-while strategy if you know your audiences shopping habits. Some advertisers only buy airtime on certain days of the week that are most efficient and many advertisers up-weight their activity on days when a larger proportion of their audience will be watching TV e.g. weekends.

There are also certain days when people are more likely to respond to an ad e.g. search online for more product information, and this can vary by sector. You can find out more about TV driving response in Thinkbox’s "TV Response: new rules, new roles" study.



Depending on your objectives, you might also choose to focus on or up-weight key dayparts.

Viewing is highest in peak and this is when the average TVR (Television Rating) is highest. Therefore it is the daypart that builds cover most efficiently. It is also the time when those members of the population who spend less time watching TV (light viewers) are most likely to be viewing.

Below are the different viewing dayparts:

Breakfast time
0600 - 0859
0900 - 1729
1730 - 2259 (Early peak: 1730-1959 and late peak: 2000-2259
Post Peak
2300 - 2429
Night time
2430 - 0559

There are also certain times of the day when people are more likely to respond to an ad e.g. search online for more product information, and this can vary by sector.

Below we can see an example of how Just Eat focussed their TV activity at key days of the week and times of the day, when people are most likely to be thinking about ordering a takeaway.



Audience profiles

Headline facts and figures for the key TV buying audiences, from their universe size to the average number of ads they view per day.


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