Flight Advertising Takes Media Strategy to New Heights

Marketers are often tasked with making a lot happen with a little bit of money.  Media buyers are often enlisted by marketers to review a company’s business goals. From there we help them develop cost effective solutions to reach them. A common strategy we recommend for seasonal businesses is flight advertising.

So What is Flight Advertising and Why is it Good Media Strategy?

Flight advertising is a strategy media buyers use for  create advertising schedules. It is also a way to allocate the budget for a company’s ad purchases. A flight is the block of time when your advertising airs or when it is published.

The media strategy behind flight advertising is simple. Spend more money in some months and less in others. Prioritize your spending  during or leading up to  when demand is at its highest. Or plan buys in the months when customers are making their purchasing decisions.

It is the same for seasonal businesses. There’s a reason we don’t see many  Pumpkin Spice Latte ads in the summer months. Or, there are often few amusement park ads in December. They buy media during periods when they are likely to reach their desired target.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Flight Advertising Media Strategy

No media strategy is fool-proof and that rings true for flight advertising. Here are a few things to consider:


  •        It helps marketers with limited budgets can buy and place more strategic ads.
  •        It prevents marketers from wasting their budget in slow or down-peak seasons.
  •        It works particularly well with seasonal businesses, products, and/or events.


We generally recommend a flight media strategy for products that are seasonal. For a year round product, service or event this may not be the best strategy. The lack of consistent advertising can result in a loss in brand awareness.  In those cases we recommend one of these alternatives:

  • Continuity scheduling: Divide your media budget by 12 and spend an even amount each month. This gets you regular frequency which keeps your product top-of-mind.
  • Pulse scheduling: Think of this as a hybrid of flight and continuity scheduling. Like continuity,  you can buy media throughout the year. The difference is, budget allocations can be adjusted to accommodate business demand and seasonality.

Here’s another workaround. Consider using backups during the slower months. Try running less expensive cable, radio, or digital spots here. You can also use this time to focus on your social media marketing. Depending on your business, this can generate lots of attention for little money.

So Here’s the Media Strategy 

  • Save money by blitzing the market with media during the months when demand is high. Also, during the months when purchase decisions are usually made.
  • Take a less aggressive approach during slower months. Compensate for slower months with less expensive options .

Consider a flight strategy for your media buys and get more bang for your buck.

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