The advertising industry, like all industries, speaks its own language and uses terms in everyday conversations that most spell checks flag as incorrect. Here are a few of those terms defined by a media buyer/planner:
Spots and Dots schedule: This is a term that buyers use to refer to a schedule where the TRP goals are not as important as creating a schedule with a lot of spots in the dayparts being purchased. Buyers may use this to reach mass audiences when there is time sensitivity like an amusement park opening for the season.
Traffic: Advertisers use the term traffic to reference sending out creative elements and instructions to vendors. Traffic can used for all media platforms like TV, radio, outdoor, print, online, etc.
A Creative: Account executives and media people tend to call the copy writers and designers creatives. It’s just a quick term to distinguish the working rolls within the agency.
Specs: Probably out of sheer laziness, we have shortened the term mechanical specifications to specs. Basically, we need to let the creatives know how to size the ad properly for whatever medium is being used.
Stripped: Typically in reference to a broadcast schedule, this means that a buyer has put too many spots in a certain week during a certain time period. When this happens, it can be a gamble because if a spot gets bumped out of a day, the sales representative will not have the freedom to move the spot on another day within the week. Some buyers prefer to leave a little wiggle room in the schedule to account for such situations.
Heavy Up: It’s pretty self-explanatory, if a buyer deems a schedule is not substantial enough to be effective for the client, more spots or stations are purchased to increase the frequency, reach, and impressions. Thus, the buyer is bulking up the schedule or heavying up.
The next time you hear an advertiser talk to a creative about the specs for traffic in a spots and dots schedule, you’ll be able to decode the speak.