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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.
What Does Btl (below The Line) And Atl (above The Line) Mean?
Posted by Anonymous on
2/26/2004 at 8:11 PM ET
What does it mean when a job advertisement says you have to have BTL (below the line), and ATL (above the line) experience?
2/26/2004 at 9:03 PM
From what I always undertood:
ATL (Above The Line) - Advertising/Marketing term for expensive media like T.V., Radio etc.
BTL ( Below The Line ) - Is commonly referred to print media such as direct mailers, flyers, brochures etc.
-Jett Enterprises Inc.
2/26/2004 at 10:22 PM
Hi Kristen - Jett has hit the nail on the head here. Another way to view it is 'concept' delivery versus 'tactile' delivery.
So a concept media is one where you transmit ideas but nothing concrete ever passes to your audience - radio, tv, billboards and even most newspaper ads.
Tactile delivery is giving the audience something they can actually touch - so coupons, direct mail, product samples.
ATL tends to be visual/auditory where as BTL usually excludes auditory but includes sight, smell, touch, and even taste.
If you are up for a job interview or dealing with an ad agency for the first time, knowing the difference is important and even if there seems to be a push towards say 'atl' stuff, ask the question if they link their atl stuff to a btl giveaway etc. That'll show you understand not only the difference but also recognise the importance of both streams to the marketing efforts.
2/27/2004 at 2:06 AM
In simple terms Above the Line is commission-baring advertising, while Below the Line is not.
A colleague of mine told me that the origins of the term refer back to the balance sheet – Above the Line advertising costs are part of ‘costs of sales’ and are deducted before Gross Profit is determined, non-commission baring advertising is part of the operating expenses and is deducted before Net Profit is determined.
A new term is Before the Line. Jeremy Sampson uses this to refer to a good brand strategy!
2/27/2004 at 2:21 AM
I guess you have got what you are lookjing for from the answers here. But, thought i should share this quote from the speech Lester Wunderman-The Father of Direct Marketing- made on creativity to let you know what others feel about the 'Line"
"It wasn’t too many years ago that Europe was separated by a wall than ran through Berlin. Ronald Reagan, then President of the United States, went to the wall and demanded that Mr. Gorbachev, the Russian leader, tear down the wall.
I now make the same challenge to the so-called line that separates much of our work from that of general agencies. It is: There is no line. We’re not above it or below it—we just deny that it exists. From this day forward, this is “the end of the line.” We will erase it, deny it, fight it with every resource we have--- until it is gone."
Just to let you know. :)
3/26/2009 at 2:14 AM
I guess it's just an imaginary line. That's it.
Whether it's ATL or BTL, it's all about creating a differential experience to the prospective customer.
Any takers on this?
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