TV Slow in Summer? Hiatus It!

By: Paul Nelson

Last year due to the pandemic, advertising was flipped on its head. Normally, in late spring and summer until the fall, TV audiences fall back while the weather is nice. 2020 did not see that shift. Due to lockdowns, quarantines, and people just generally staying at home (despite the warm weather), TV audiences spiked. People were more bored than ever without sports, traveling and get-togethers. So, they watched TV and ordered products like crazy to quell their boredom.

This year it is back to business as usual. As COVID re-openings are sweeping the nation and the weather warming up at the same time, TV audiences are dropping. People are getting away from television. Due to that, I have had to set up specialized TV advertising patterns.

We have initiated a strategy referred to commonly as “hiatus weeks”. It means taking a week off of a TV buy to allow drag orders to come in and bring up the results to hit client KPI. Patterns can be as light as taking off 1 week a month, or as much as doing “1 on 1 off” meaning 1 week of advertising and the following week off.

This allows us to avoid having to cancel buys and instead find a pattern that can work even as results drop in the summer. The most typical pattern is “2 on 1 off” which is 2 weeks of advertising and 1 week off of advertising.

While it is not the most ideal situation for a Marketing Agency to have to take weeks off of advertising, it is the best solution to keep a TV program rolling for a client despite tough times.

Of course, cutting buys and lowering rates are also part of the equation. It is all a balancing game of seeing what works for each buy.

So next time you want to cut a buy or your client wants to cut their buy (or lower their rates), try a hiatus week, and see what happens.

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