Flighting: How best to spread your ratings across a campaign

When buying a spot campaign, one of the things you will need to think about is flighting. Flighting means how you spread your ratings over the campaign period. TV campaigns can be laid down in a number of different ways.

It could be front weighted to support a launch, back weighted to support a crucial sales period, evenly weighted to give a constant presence or split into a week on, week off type of laydown to utilise adstock.

Adstock is the carry-over and cumulative effect of advertising. TV ads are particularly good at staying in people’s minds and advertisers can use this to their advantage.

When it comes to planning a spot campaign, there are three main ways to think about flighting.

  1. A burst
    This is when there is a reasonably heavy weight of spots over a short time period. A burst strategy is often used for a launch or when a brand wants to make a big impact quickly

  2. Always on
    This is when there is more or less continuous activity over a long period of time, usually at a lower weight. This strategy is used for brands in highly competitive markets, in low interest categories or where viewers need constant prompting throughout the year

  3. Pulse
    This is when the campaign runs week on week off.  As TV spots tend to live in people’s minds long after they have aired, brands can afford to alternate their weeks of activity with little impact on the overall effectiveness of the campaign. This strategy is most suited to brand building campaigns where the creative is more emotional and storytelling in nature. 

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