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Advertise on Cable Without Breaking Your Budget


Not many small business have thousands of dollars to bank on a series of TV commercials. But less than $10 a day is a price you can't afford to pass up.

Cable advertising comes in many forms. Local breaks you see on channels like MTV, ESPN and Lifetime are the kind most people think of first. With fees to produce your commercial and air time rates, a series of commercials on cable can cost over $1,000 even in smaller markets.

However, there's good news for advertisers who want exposure to a variety of customers without handing over their wallet. There are other ways to reach cable subscribers that are often overlooked.

You've seen the scrolling text on news channels at the bottom of the screen. In TV, these are called crawls.

Any time you watch your local forecast on The Weather Channel, you'll see a crawl with local ads for businesses. These are some of the most affordable ads you could ever purchase.

Rates depend on your city's size. Ad rates on a Chicago, IL, cable system are going to be higher than ads on a Macon, GA, cable system because you have a larger viewership in Chicago.

Crawls run on the 8's of the hour during the local forecast. For example, 11:08, 11:18, 11:28, 11:38, 11:48 and 11:58.

The Weather Channel ad crawls have been advertising businesses for over 20 years. Surprisingly, though, ad rates for the crawls have remained very low.

  • Low Rates, High Amount of Viewers
    Some cable companies offer crawl advertising on The Weather Channel for under $10 a day. Monthly rates are offered at such a deep discount that you can advertise for around $100.

    Most ads will run at least 24 times in one day. Any time a viewer wants to check out the local forecast, they tune in on the 8th minute and there's your crawl.

  • Easy to Prepare Your Ad
    Another advantage of crawls is that you don't have to be a copywriting genius to prepare your ad for a crawl. You're given a certain amount of characters, just like for a newspaper ad.

    Keep it simple. A few words about your company, the company name, your phone number and Web site address can be very effective.

    Joe's Heating and Air. 24-hour emergency service. No extra service charge. Call Joe's Heating and Air. 555-4200 or visit www.EmergencyHeatAndAC.com

  • Convenient
    Not only are crawls very affordable, they're also convenient to change. Everything is handled through the computer at the cable company so changing a line in your ad is as simple as picking up the phone to call your cable sales rep and having them plug a few things into the computer. The changes take effect immediately without you having to wait.

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