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With all those choices, audiences are split in much smaller groups. TV outlets can't charge near as much for commercials as they did back in old days. In lots of markets TV ad prices are lower than radio's and far lower than daily newspaper's.
One place to get very effective and low-cost TV commercials is through your local public television station. It's an option that most of us overlook, but some savvy marketers are using with great results.
Public television is dealing with big cuts in their funding. Federal funds, which have always formed a small part of their budget, are drying up and stations are having to look elsewhere for money to buy programs.
It used to be that a program sponsor only got a very short, basic promotional line at beginning and end of program. It had to go something like "This program made possible through a grant from Jim Bakery, where bread is always fresh." Now FCC has relaxed those requirements allowing pubic TV sponsorship lines look more like full-featured commercials.
Call your local public TV station and ask about their sponsorship policies and opportunities. Because cost of your "ad" is seen as a donation, your promotional expense is tax deductible.
You also build awareness and goodwill in community when you support public broadcasting. You can bet movers and shakers in your town will notice. Public broadcasting's audiences are well education and high income.
As a final piece of advice, remember that a TV station's lowest prices probably aren't published. You will have to call sales manager at station to get them. Expect far lower prices when your ads run outside prime time or in packages of multiple commercials.
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