Glossary of Terms
This glossary defines terms that are used on the MCRC Web site or that may appear in communications from MCRC administrators in response to inquiries about ads or requests for ad cost information.
Advertisement or Ad
One advertisement available in the MCRC collection. An ad can be available in several formats, such as different print sizes or running times. Related ads can be grouped in a group of ads (often a series) and can be used in a campaign. All ads have a title, theme, and type defined; all other information is optional.
Delivery of a persuasive message about a product, service, or idea to a large group of people at a single time through the use of mass media.
Ads in Cycle
An advertisement is “in cycle” once the initial portions of holding fees, session fees, and other related talent fees are paid. Once an ad is in cycle, other organizations across the U.S. can add their local markets to the ad’s cycle at a much reduced cost, within the given expiration dates. Only ads that are produced under SAG/AFTRA union contracts qualify for this status.
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
Beta (also called Beta SP) Videotape
The videotape format most widely used for television broadcast and high-quality video production. Digibeta is a newer digital form of Beta tape that is increasingly being used.
A common name for outdoor signs located along streets and highways in either paper or vinyl.
The text within a print advertisement that helps qualify or further explains the headlines or subheadlines.
Bonus Weight Time
Extra commercial time that stations provide free of charge. Stations sometimes grant this time to new advertisers, public service/nonprofit organizations, or advertisers purchasing large media buys. The bonus time may be either during the same day part as the purchased time or may be fit in where time is available.
Television or radio.
A type of outdoor transit advertising designed for the outside of buses.
A type of transit advertising designed for the shelters at bus stops. Can also be used inside or outside train stations.
An ad, art, copy text, or graphic ready for inclusion in publications.
An advertising effort on behalf of a particular product, service, or issue that lasts for a specified period of time; is intended to generate specific outcomes or effects; and targets a relatively large number of people. A single campaign generally is based around a common theme and target audience and often includes ads in several media types. In addition to referring to the advertising effort, campaign can also refer to the set of materials used in a specific advertising effort and convey the message across several media types. Ads can be created specifically for a campaign or pulled together from existing sources.
For publications, the total number of copies that are distributed, usually a total of subscriptions plus single copies sold.
Ancillary material used to support and reinforce a media advertising campaign such as toolkits, tent cards, static clings (other promotional items like imprinted pens, mugs, notepads, table toppers, etc.), presentation charts, news releases, letters, films, catalogs, booklets, trade show exhibits, point-of-purchase displays, buttons, widgets, and other web-based materials, and annual reports.
Color or combination of colors used in an ad.
A unit of publication space 1 column wide and 1 inch long.
A short advertisement, message, or announcement recorded in an audio or audiovisual format, 3 minutes or less in length, intended for television or radio use, which may be either a public service announcement, a paid advertisement, or both.
Any text to be included in an advertisement.
A legal term referring to protection granted an individual or organization against the use of an original work without expressed consent.
Indication of whether an ad is provided free or at a cost.
Cost Per Thousand (CPM)
A cost-efficiency measure that indicates the cost of reaching 1,000 readers, viewers, or listeners through an advertisement.
Cost Range (Searchable)
Options to search for ads within a specific dollar range.
Any efforts or campaigns aimed at countering the advertising by the tobacco industry and other pro-tobacco influences. Counter-advertising seeks to replace these pro-tobacco messages and influences with persuasive, pro-health, anti-tobacco messages. This can take many forms including television, radio, print, billboard, theater, and other out-of-home advertising.
Refers to marketing and communications efforts aimed at countering the marketing efforts (including but not limited to advertising) of the tobacco industry and other pro-tobacco influences. Counter-marketing can include such efforts as media advocacy, media relations, in-school curriculum programs, and sponsorships and promotions, as well as paid counter-advertising.
The percentage of households or individuals in a designated area that have access to a specific advertising medium.
Newspapers that are published every day of the week.
Daily Effective Circulation (DEC)
The total number of people, regardless of duplication or their participation in your target, exposed to an out-of-home advertising message in 1 day.
The different segments of the broadcast day (e.g., daytime, primetime, and early fringe.
Date an ad was included in MCRC.
Year an ad was created.
The TV daypart that generally begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.
A brief synopsis of the advertisement.
Beta (also called Beta SP) is the videotape format most widely used for television broadcast and high-quality video production. Digibeta is a newer digital form of Beta tape that is increasingly being used.
Print advertising that usually includes illustrations, typography, colors, and design to attract attention, in contrast to classified advertising, which usually consists only of text.
The peak period for radio listenership. Drive time is normally between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., when people are driving to and from work.
The daypart between daytime and primetime, generally 5:00-7:00 p.m. EST.
Coverage of a story without payment for media placements. Such coverage is called “earned media” because it is achieved through development of materials (e.g., letters to the editor, op-eds, swiss cheese, etc.), working with reporters (e.g., by holding press conferences, proactively contacting reporters), and expending resources (although not directly for message placement in stories).
Race or ethnic group specifically targeted as an audience for an ad, or the specific race or ethnic group of an actor or model in an ad.
A specific advertisement. (Note: There may be several different executions with the same advertising strategy.)
Tone of an ad, such as hard-hitting, humorous, or serious.
A uniform charge for advertising space or time, with no discounts for volume or frequency.
A period of time during which a concentration of radio or television commercials are aired.
The average number of times an audience is exposed to a specific advertising message over a period of time—typically 4 weeks.
The overall improvement the program will strive to create.
Placement of a transit advertisement in every other car of the transit system. Also referred to as a half showing.
In paid broadcast and cable television advertising, fees paid to retain principal performers in commercials. These are paid in 13-week cycles, regardless of whether the commercials are actually aired. There are no holding fees for radio.
The date a print advertisement will appear in a publication.
In print advertising, a space reservation that indicates the insertion date, position, and size of the print advertisement.
ISCI (Industry Standard Coding Identification)
The standard codes used to identify radio and television ads.
Main idea an ad is intended to convey, such as the negative health effects of smoking or the benefits of quitting.
In artwork, an outline drawing of finished art to indicate the exact shape, position, and size for such elements as half-tones, line sketches, etc.
The expiration date of advertising materials. Kill dates notify media outlets that an advertisement should not be broadcast or placed after that date.
Language(s) in which an ad is available.
A TV daypart that follows primetime, usually from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. EST (or later).
The time period between when an ad is required to be submitted to the media outlet and when it actually runs.
Length of time, in seconds, for a video or audio ad. The length does not include tag time for identification and contact information.
Live Announcer Spots
A type of radio advertising in which the sponsor supplies a script to be read live on the air by the station announcer or radio personality.
Live Announcer Tag
A disc jockey or announcer from the radio station comes “on the air” and reads your tag, live, after the produced spot has played.
Substitute airtime that is given to the advertiser free of charge to make up for a commercial that did not air during a daypart that the advertiser had bought.
The deadline for a publication to receive print advertising materials, such as camera-ready art.
(Media) Campaign (searchable)
Media Plan or Media Buy Plan
A part of the communications plan that details how various media will be employed. Identifies the specific schedule of paid placements that have been negotiated for an ad or collection of ads, including the times and programs during which television and radio ads will run, the locations and sizes of billboards that will be placed, the publications and placement within those publications in which print ads will run, etc. The media plan also contains a summary of expected target audience reach and frequency.
A part of the marketing plan that specifies how media will be used to accomplish marketing objectives.
(Media) Type or Medium (searchable)
Presentation of an ad, such as television, radio, print, or out-of-home. Also referred to as media vehicle, media channel, or media outlet.
Composer or performer of the music heard in the advertisement.
In broadcasting, a group of stations affiliated by contract and usually interconnected for the simultaneous broadcasting of programs (e.g., ABC, CBS).
A quantifiable statement of a desired program achievement necessary to reach a program goal.
In print advertising, the highest rate from which all discounts are computed.
Recommendation on where or when an ad should be placed. Recommendations are based on factors such as an ad’s target audience or key message, and the media used to reach the target audience, such as a television show or billboard location. For example, optimal placement for an ad to target smokeless tobacco users might be television spots during a baseball game.
Unique code assigned to an ad image or script. For example, each size of a print ad has a unique order code. An ISCI code (Industry Standard Coding Identification for radio and television ads) is a type of order code.
Signs or billboards placed along streets and highways, in both painted and poster formats.
Printed ad that is displayed outside of the home, such as on billboards, taxis, bus shelters, and the sides of city buses, as well as in transit stations, airports, and malls.
Out-of-Home (outdoor billboard) standard dimensions classifications
- 30-sheet posters: standard copy size is approximately 9’.7” H x 20’7” W. Most common outdoor poster-type format for message exposure to resident, pedestrian, and commuter traffic; may be used for general or specific markets
- 8-sheet posters: standard copy size is approximately 5’ H x 11’ W. Best use for metropolitan neighborhoods or near point of sale/purchasing; to reach hard-to-get audiences that are infrequently exposed to other print media.
- Bulletins: standard copy area on most bulletins is approximately 14’ H x 48’ W. The largest out-of-home advertising, this format is usually illuminated—impact due to size, color, placement, and lighting.
Paid Advertising or Paid Media
Ads that you pay to place in any medium. Because they are paid, the advertiser controls the placement and content of messages, making them very useful in targeting specific audience segments.
A sheet containing a number of frames and the script from a television commercial.
The part of the page, page number, and section where an advertisement appears.
An advertising position within a publication or within a block of television ads for which the advertiser must pay a premium price.
A continuous period of time not less than 3 hours per broadcast day as designated by the station. Usually 8-11 p.m. EST, 7-10 p.m. CST, and 8-11 p.m. PST.
Print ad Dimensions Classifications
The standard sizes of print ads include:
- 8 ½” x 11” or 8 ½” x 11” spread (finish is 11” x 17”)
- 11” x 17” (tabloid size) or 11” x 17” spread (finish is 17” x 22”)
- Full Page 7” x 9”
- Half-page 5 ½” x 8 ½” horizontal or 8 ½” x 5 ½” vertical
- Quarter-page 5 ½” x 4 ¼”
Many ads can be adjusted somewhat for slightly different page sizes
Ad agency or organization that produced an ad.
Produced for (searchable)
Health or tobacco control organization that paid for or arranged for production of an ad.
Produced Radio Spot
Radio advertisement that has been prerecorded.
Produced (Recorded) Tag
A tag that is recorded in a studio and added to the end of a spot. (Note: if you plan to use this type of tagging, you will be responsible for producing the tag and providing it to the MCRC.)
A copy of an advertisement as it will appear once it has been produced or printed.
Public Service Announcement (PSA)
Any advertising intended for the public good that is placed free of charge. Usually refers to commercials intended for nonpaid placement on television or radio, in accordance with the Public Service Announcement/Government Agency Messages waiver provisions of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) Commercials contract. Also used informally for nonpaid placement on print and out-of-home vehicles.
A rating indicates the estimated percentage of population that has the opportunity to be exposed to the advertising message.
The number of people or households that will be exposed to a specific advertising message over a period of time, typically 4 weeks.
Information on users’ experience with the ad. This may include information such as amount of airplay, calls generated, or anecdotal information on public response to the ad.
Run of Paper (ROP)
Any location in a publication, in contrast to preferred position.
A media pattern of intense frequency over a relatively short period of time. Implies simultaneous achievement of wide reach and frequency designed to achieve maximum impact, coverage, or both.
A union representing actors, announcers, and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA was formed from two unions: Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).
Written text of a television or radio ad, such as character dialog, audio/visual effects, and stage directions.
A group of related ads that were produced to convey a specific message and are part of the same campaign.
Dimensions of a print or out-of-home ad. Ads can be produced in a number of standard and custom sizes. Each size is identified with a separate order code.
Sponsorship information on an out-of-home ad. Sniping usually consists of a sticker with an organization’s name, Web address, or telephone number, and is placed directly on an ad. The sniping information either covers blank space on an ad or covers existing information. Related term: Tag
An ad; a public notice published in the press or broadcast over the air.
A panel or series of panels on which a set of sketches or pictures is arranged depicting consecutively the important changes of scene and action in a series of shots for a television commercial. Often accompanied by the script.
Plan for communicating an ad to best effect.
Information identifying an organization sponsoring an ad or a local agency associated with a sponsor. A tag can include contact information such as a telephone number or Web site. Related terms: Sniping, Tag Notes, Tag Times
Tag Time (Tagging)
Any extra information relating to the tag for an ad. Related term: Tag
Primarily refers to actors used in advertising. Can also refer to voice performers, musicians, etc.
Target Audience (searchable)
Group of people an ad aims to reach and influence, such as teens or women.
Target Market Profile
A demographic and psychographic description of a target market.
Results from focus groups and other market research to gauge the potential effectiveness of a message, concept, or ad. Related term: Reactions
Subject or topic conveyed in an ad, such as youth access to cigarettes or prevention of youth smoking.
Descriptive general heading that identifies an ad.
(Media) Type (searchable)
Presentation of an ad, such as television, radio, print, or out-of-home.
Usage Recommendations and Restrictions
Recommendations for using print and out-of-home ads, for example when reduction or expansion is possible to accommodate different print materials; any restrictions on placement of a broadcast media ad, such as airing a radio ad only as a public service announcement.
For more information:
- Print ad dimensions classifications
- Out-of-home (outdoor billboard) ad standard dimensions classifications
In paid broadcast advertising, the fees paid to performers used in television commercials or radio spots. The fee is based on the number of airplays and the number and size of media markets in which the advertisement will air. Use fees are paid in addition to holding fees.
A recorded tag that is heard during the final few seconds of a spot. We don’t recommend this type of tagging because of the cost.
Edition of the MCRC catalog in which an ad was first available. Waves I and II correspond with Volumes I and II of the Media Campaign Resource Book.
- Page last reviewed: February 22, 2018
- Page last updated: February 10, 2016
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