If I am to assume that you are among the small to medium-size business or service owners contemplating an advertising run on TV, then your timing couldn't be better. With advertising revenues down everywhere, the time to get the best deals is right now. In fact, revenues are down because mainstream advertisers are reducing their exposure time, giving you the perfect opportunity to aggressively gain recognition while your competition scales back.

If you are also thinking that you couldn't possibly afford the expensive major broadcasting stations during prime-time, then you're thinking is sound. Now is the perfect time to concentrate your budget on the more reasonably priced cable offerings, where you will have the opportunity to take full advantage of all television's benefits without sacrificing any of its "show business" appeal.

With cable, you can target your audience with your selection of quality programming during the popular viewing hours (prime time), choose your geographic areas for viewership, and create the image you've always wanted to create without having to mortgage the farm to do it. But no matter how enticing it is to put your business on TV, you never want to do it to the exclusion of other media that should be part of your advertising mix.

TV continues to be this country's most popular media pastime. The average person is reported to watch at least 7 hours a day, and that may be even higher now that telecommuting has become so popular. Most families I know have at least 2 sets in their homes, and some even more. Remember that cable isn't free, so those subscribers usually have a higher income than those who do not, and statistically, sit and watch programming more. In fact, more than half of all American homes subscribe to a package deal on cable TV, and that's good news for you.

When you consider planning your budget, you'll probably take into account that producing and airing a TV commercial is very expensive, and plan accordingly. Actually, nothing is further from the truth. If planned correctly, producing a TV spot of some substance is relatively inexpensive and so too are the cable airtime charges. Extras like a jingle of your own and hiring a known spokesperson, although fairly reasonable, can add to the costs. However, if they are not absolutely essential, you can stick with the basic packages and keep the whole experience quite reasonable and still capable of delivering surprisingly rewarding results.

So if you're up to the task, have the money in your advertising budget, think that broadcast (including radio) will help your bottom line, go for it. You'll find it to be one of the most fun things you've ever done in business, or rather to say, "show business".

Barry Lee is the owner of the Cheap Ad Agency on line. If you run into a brick wall and want some help planning things out, shoot him an email at or check out his site at

The Cheap Ad Agency contact page lists his phone number if you'd prefer a one-on-one conversation. Don't hesitate; Consultation is always free at the Cheap Ad Agency, no matter how many times you use it.