5 Unusual Factors Impacting Ad Rates

It’s a little known fact that it’s better to buy ads during the cold months and after a presidential inauguration.  It’s strange, but true. Understanding marketing conditions and their impact on ad rates are an important part of creating a successful marketing plan. Consider these marketing conditions, when timing your ad buys:

 Seasons –

Four seasons collage: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.


Negotiate TV and radio spot deals in the winter and early spring. This is the first quarter of the year when demand is almost always really low. Third quarter, though, not as good as first quarter, is slightly better than the rest of the year.  Spring and fall are the busiest seasons, so you are less likely to get added value and low prices.


Political Climate –

American politics concept illustration of a donkey and elephant facing off. Symbols of Democrat and Republican two US parties. Could be for presidential debate, partisan politics, or just an election.

The second and third quarters of an election year are bad for inventory and prices. By law political advertising gets the absolute lowest station and network rates. Campaigns with big budgets can spend massively in swing states, leaving regular advertisers with considerably less inventory. To offset this, stations will sometimes bump up their remaining rates.

Wall Street:

Wall street sign

As the market goes, there goes the economy. There are two ways this benefits media buyers. The worse economic times are, the better ad buying usually will be. It’s not unusual to score prime space under cost because a big company had to cut their budget and pull ads. Plus sales reps wanting to make quotas are much more willing to play let’s make a deal when ad sales are down, which they tend to be in tough economic time.

Hemlines and High Heels:


Historically, studies have shown that the trend in hemlines and the height of high heels are economic indicators. The higher each are the better the economic outlook and higher you ad prices will be.


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