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The Role of Legacy Advertising in 2022 and Beyond


“The future is electronic. It’s radio, television, and the Internet; it’s not really newspapers anymore.” – Will McDonough.

In the past, legacy advertising methods such as television commercials, direct mail and radio spots were considered mandatory for businesses of all sizes. But in an age where digital marketing is ubiquitous, is there still a role for these traditional forms of advertising? This blog discusses the role television, direct mail, and radio advertising play in present-day marketing strategies. Let’s get started! 

What are legacy advertising mediums?

Legacy or Traditional media refers to communications sources that share news, advertising, and other information through long-standing channels such as radio, newspapers, magazines, television, billboards, and direct mail. While there has been a shift away from older advertising channels today’s marketing professionals know not to forget about traditional advertising channels and what they have to offer. 

Television Advertising

According to The Business Research Company, the global T.V. market grew from $92 billion in 2021 to roughly $96 billion in 2022, which is an increase of almost 5%. Many people view T.V. advertising as an antiquated way of promoting products. However, in 2022, T.V. still reaches large audiences and, in some cases, outperforms internet advertising.

Television reaches a broad range of demographics in the USA (IPSOS, 2021):

  • 39% of all viewers report watching more than 10 hours weekly, while another 9% report watching 10 hours.
  • 59% of Baby Boomers watch more than 10 hours a week, compared to only 17% of Gen Z and 26% of Gen XY.

The Impact of T.V. Advertising

Online brands acknowledge T.V. as being a crucial part of any marketing plans and the only reliable way to grow their market share. Unlike other advertising channels, the effects of T.V. Marketing campaigns can be measured through surveys, brand awareness studies, and sales metrics. This enables advertisers to know if campaigns are achieving their desired objectives.

Television advertising comes in many different forms, including:

  • Television Commercials (TVC): TVCs are the most common type of television advertising. TVCs typically run between 15 and 60 seconds and air during commercial breaks.
  • Infomercials: Infomercials are lengthy TVCs that usually run late at night or on weekends. These types of ads last about 30 minutes and usually include a call to action, such as a phone number to call, hashtag or website.
  • Overlay: Overlays are generally 10-second clips that appear on a T.V. screen during a T.V. show. They are used to promote future programs or products. 
  • Product Placement: Product placement is when a product or service is featured prominently in a T.V. show or movie.
  • Brand Integration: Brand integration occurs when a brand becomes part synonymous with a T.V. show. For example, when the T.V. program’s script focuses on a particular product or the brand offers items as prizes.

Television still has a role to play in modern advertising. For example, T.V. exposes products to a larger audience in a shorter period than online advertising. Further, T.V. advertising drives other channels, platforms, and mediums of brand promotion. Viewers often use multiple devices while watching TV. However, they are far from disengaged with the television content.

Direct Mail & Pamphlet Advertising

“If you want to build your online business, research shows that one of the best ways to do it is to use direct mail to drive prospects to your site. It’s the combination of direct mail with an online presence that packs such a powerful marketing punch. Even Google, probably one of the iconic internet businesses, sends out direct-mail campaigns.” – Craig Simpson. 

What is meant by direct mail advertising?

Direct mail marketing is any physical correspondence consumers receive to promote a brand or business. Direct mail is marketing material or products mailed directly to consumers’ homes or business buyers’ offices. Examples include postcards with an offer, catalogs that display goods, coupons, solicitation letters from nonprofits, or free samples sent by businesses.

Direct Marketing is Simple & Archives Results

Direct mail marketing campaigns are easy to assemble and execute. For instance, the only information required by direct mail marketers is something that identifies a potential customer or a business, an effective call to action (CTA), and a way for the customers to contact the business. Consider the following statistics reported by the Direct Mail Association (DMA):

  • 20% of modern-day advertising budgets are spent on direct mail by U.S. marketers
  • 77% of Americans sort through their mail immediately upon receiving it.
  • According to the DMA, the direct mail median household return on investment is 29%

Which demographic is responsive to direct mail?

Surprisingly older (Baby Boomers) and younger adults (Gen Z and Millennials) are the most responsive to direct mail advertising. Moreover, members of Gen X, are also interested in getting mail but are less likely to respond to CTA. 

How effective is direct mail advertising?

Direct mail is estimated to be a $44 billion industry that continues to grow rapidly each year. Direct mail marketing statistics show that the United States Postal Service (USPS) delivers around 80 billion pieces of mail yearly.

  • Direct mail receives a 5.1% response rate in the US according to a DMA study.

Studies have found that businesses also respond to direct mail. In a recent response rate report, the DMA found that 4.4% of B2B recipients respond to CTAs versus email, which receives a response rate of 0.1%. Additionally, social media has an advertising response rate of 0.4%.

The advantages of a direct mail marketing

Direct mail benefits small businesses by putting physical marketing materials directly into the customers’ hands. You’re sending them something unique, personalized, and branded. They’ll be able to engage with your mailer and open it when they want to. The following are some of the advantages of direct mail marketing:

  • Is less competition then other channels
  • Offers unique discounts to consumers
  • Advertisers can personalize ads
  • Customers can be targeted directly
  • Mail can be tracked.

Note: Direct mail marketing allows businesses to reach millions of individuals on a more personal level than most forms of digital advertising. 

“With radio, the listener absorbs everything.” – Bob Edwards.

Radio Advertising

What are radio advertisements?

Radio advertisements are called spots. The term “radio spot” means radio commercial. Most people hear radio ads when traveling by car. In general radio, advertisements are produced in short 15, 30, or 60-second spots. 

Is radio advertising still effective in 2022?

Most companies want to have low-risk, affordable, but high-impact advertisements. As a result, brands that use radio advertisements tend to make more money than their initial investment.

What ages listen to the radio the most?

AM/FM radio provides mass appeal among diverse audiences—across generations, ethnicities, and demographics. By generation, radio has the most extensive reach with Generation X (ages 35-54), with 80.5 million listeners tuning in on average per month.

What is the market size for radio advertising?

Radio advertising costs an average of between $200 to $5,000 per week depending on city, state, ad length, and the listening audience size. Producing radio commercials costs roughly $1,000 to $2,500.

  • The market size of the radio broadcasting industry is about $23.6 billion in 2022.
  • The market size is expected to increase by 1.5% in 2022-23.

Radio provides advertisers with inexpensive opportunities to get their messages heard – over and over— with the ability to trigger emotions and stimulate demand. Radio is still an active medium, even with today’s focus on videos. Radio can influence immediacy, for example, customers may be reminded of something they need and drive to specific stores and take action. 

Is radio advertising effective?

Traditional radio advertising is effective when it is used locally although this approach can limit the audience. On the other hand, streaming radio advertising offers a national or even global audience of segmented listener interests. Hence, advertising on internet-streaming radio shows allows marketers to target a wider audience, as listeners could be anywhere.


Television Advertising: Television advertising is still a powerful medium, but its role has changed. It is no longer the only way to reach large audiences. Nevertheless, it can be very effective when used correctly. T.V. ads must be short and engaging to hold people’s attention and feature a strong call to action. Additionally, they should be tailored to specific demographics.

Direct Mail Advertising: Direct mail advertising can be very effective. The most important thing to remember is that the recipient’s mailbox is cluttered with junk mail, so your ad needs to stand out from the rest. Use an eye-catching headline and colorful graphics, and make sure your offer is compelling. Test different offers to see which one generates the best response rate.

Radio Advertising: Radio advertising may seem like a relic of the past, but it can still be an effective way to reach customers. Like television ads, radio spots must be short and catchy for people to remember them. And since many people listen to music or podcasts while they commute or work out, radio advertising reaches a captive audience.

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