top 10 must know print advertising terms

Print advertising terms help you understand this form of marketing. It’s important to know what you are doing as you try to promote your company.

To help you understand the important print advertising terms, here is a list and an explanation of what they mean.

1. Above the Fold

When an advertisement is above the fold, it literally means that it is above the fold in a newspaper. Newspapers are divided into two types of styles: tabloids and broadsheets. Tabloid-style newspapers actually refer to the layout, and not the content. They are folded so that you can open them like a book and hold on to each side more easily.

Broadsheet newspapers, on the other hand, are often twice as large as tabloids. They open like a book, but are also folded again in the middle. The term above the fold refers to the fold in the middle. While most people will read the entire first page of a newspaper, there are still some that scan for headlines and only look at the top half of the first page.

If a story appears above the fold, it is deemed the most important as it is the story that most people will read. Advertisements that appear above the fold are equally important as they will be seen the most.

2. Ad Audience

The term ad audience is fairly straight forward. It is the number of people that are exposed to an ad. Note that it is not the actual number of people that will read or have read the ad. It is only the amount of people that could possibly be exposed to an advertisement.

3. Brand Awareness

The more familiar we are with a certain brand, the more likely we are to purchase it. Brand awareness measures just how familiar we are. It looks at a person’s ability to remember a brand, product, or service.

Brand awareness is one of the most important targets for any company. Take for example Kleenex. This brand has such a heightened public awareness that it is referred to more often than the type of product it is, facial tissue. The same can be said for Coke. In some places, Coca-Cola is actually a stand-in for soda pop in general.

4. Circulation

Whether it be a magazine or a newspaper, circulation is an important number to be aware of. It means the total number of copies that are distributed in a given time. Sometimes that number is broken down into even more specific numbers.

Newspaper circulation numbers may count the amount of copies distributed in a week. The numbers can be further broken down into Monday to Friday numbers and Saturday numbers as some people only purchase newspapers on the weekends.

5. Closing Date

It is important to be aware of closing dates as they mean the difference of having an advertisement printed and not. Newspapers and magazines have their own deadlines and as a company, you need to fit into their calendar, not the other way around. Closing dates are the final dates or times with which advertising spaces can be reserved.

6. Frequency Discount

It’s common practice that buying in bulk saves money. The same is true for print media. Frequency discount refers to a discounted advertising rate that is given to companies that advertise a lot. It may be hard to find the capital to purchase a bulk order of ads, but if you can you will save money in the long run.

7. Insert

An insert can be found in many print forms. Magazines will often have inserts promoting a subscription. Newspapers routinely have inserts advertising local store sales. Inserts are informative and an important part of print advertising.

8. Magazine Supplement

Magazines offer targeted information, but a magazine supplement allows for an even more specific topic. They are often found in newspapers and offer more in-depth information. They can be in the form of advertisements, stories, or non-fiction. A similar print advertising term is supplement.

9. Premium Price

For the most part, print advertising will have steady rates. However, a premium price refers to times when those rates will increase. This is due to higher readership because of a special event. If an ad is placed above the fold, then it will come at a premium price. The same is true of an ad printed before Christmas in a toy catalogue. If advertisers expect a boost in readership, then they will create a premium price for that opportunity.


10. Secondary Audience

When tracking readership numbers, it is important to look at the whole picture. Who buys a magazine or newspaper is important, but so is who will read the publication. A lot of times one newspaper can be read by multiple people, and so the ad audience multiplies.

Look at the rise of free daily newspapers that exist in most major cities. They are given out for free to public transportation riders. While the majority are recycled afterwards, many are left on the subway or bus to be read by other passengers. The same happens at coffee shops.