How to Schedule TV: Exploit Learning from Hard Data

Simon Broadbent, BrandCon Limited and Jayne Spittler, Starcom Worldwide, describe a systematic approach to scheduling, based on the use of modelled brand data

At first sight, the debate about how to schedule TV seems to be only about bars on a media plan. How many TRPs in each week? Should they be in flights or bursts? Or should the schedule be as continuous as affordable, which recency theory suggests? Or is there a better pattern, matched to the brand situation and communication objectives?

However, the scheduling exercise is part of a wider consideration of what advertising is expected to accomplish for the brand. Each of the scheduling patterns described above is based on different ideas about the way the campaign will work. There are implications for the creative brief, the information required for planning and how the campaign is evaluated.