What’s the optimum advert display size?


This one’s always a bit of a poser!  Should you splash out and book a full page, or be more conservative and take a quarter?

Obviously your advertising budget is a major consideration, the best advertising for your business will generally be continuous repeat appearance over the long-term in front of your own local/regional audience.  When it comes to paper advertising, make sure you get the facts about circulation (not ‘readership’ or ‘ media opportunities’ which is waffle!).  The best plan is to research paper products that will give you the optimum exposure.  The most you can hope for is that there’s a local magazine that has solid circulation/print run (audited), which also contains good quality, interesting and relevant content.  Once you’ve done your homework, and found the right vehicle within which to advertise your business, then it comes down to several main factors:

  • Size of advert
  • Advert content (both the message and corporate image)
  • Advert placement (ideally this will be contextual)

All of the above factors are directly related, you ideally want your advert to appear next to content relevant to your business.  You then have to decide on the basic message you wish to push out to the public.  Finally, the advert size will need to be large enough to contain your message, in a clear and uncluttered way without wasting space unnecessarily.  Finally, your advert needs to make you appear professional and it also needs to carry all of your corporate colours and branding.

In terms of your marketing strategy, it’s unwise to put all your eggs in one basket – much better to have two 1/2 page adverts in 2 different magazines than one whole page advert in a single magazine – it’s about getting in front of as many people as possible.  Be wary of newspaper advertising, you may be able to buy a larger advert for the same money as a smaller advert in a glossy magazine, but this is usually a false economy because newspapers are in the bin within several days, whereas a high quality glossy magazine can last for weeks or months in the home (read more about why newspapers work out expensive here).

So the message is pick your pitch, decide on your message, refer back to your budget and finally decide on the size you can afford.   It’s often said that small adverts make your business look inconsequential and that large adverts make your business appear professional – there is a happy medium, so long as your advert’s uncluttered and stylish, and has a clear message.


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