Active Programming vs. Passive Programming

October 18, 2009 / John Paul Strong / 0 Comments /

advertisingA dealer asked me the other day to check into college football games for his team on a specific network station. This led me to unload my rant on the difference in active programming vs. passive programming. It is a waste of precious ad dollars to buy one or two spots in a major college or pro football game. In the Atlanta Market alone, to purchase one spot in a Falcons game or Georgia Bulldogs game can range from $5,000 to $13,000. Think about the frequency that you loose when buying one spot for this versus 30 to 50 GRPs as part of a condensed merchandising schedule. Better yet – think about the return that $5,000 to $13,000 worth of direct mail can give your dealership.

Definition of Active Programming — programs that are watched intensely, football games / basketball / auto racing / contest of any kinds that draw fans who are keenly interested in nothing else than the outcome of said match. Events where supporters travel, spend money, time and effort to watch a particular event. Purchasing programs in these air breaks can be viewed a waste of money.

Definition of Passive Programming — programming that is consistent or in a series, weekday or weekend but married to a consistent time where talent, content and outcome seldom changes. These programs can consist of Local News, Cable Programs, or any other type that does not have a dramatic outcome or revelation coming at the conclusion of the show or series. This programming is aimed at people who are drifting in thought and attention during these programs and are easier and more cost effective to make a lasting and direct impression on for less money.


About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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