Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Below the line (BTL) / Above the line (ATL) / Through the line (TTL)
In organisational business and marketing communications, Below the line (BTL) is an advertising technique. It uses less conventional methods than the usual specific channels of advertising to promote products, services, etc. than Above the line (ATL) strategies. These may include activities such as direct mail, public relations and sales promotions for which a fee is agreed upon and charged up front.
Above the line is a type of advertising through media such as TV, cinema, radio, print, banners and search engines. Below the line advertising typically focuses on direct means of communication, most commonly direct mail and e-mail, often using highly targeted lists of names to maximize response rates.
In addition, according to Kunal Bhardwaj,[citation needed] Above the line is much more effective, when the target group is very large and difficult to define. But, if the target group is limited and specific, it is always advisable to use Below the line promotions for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Say, for example, if a manufacturer of pen is going to promote its product, it may take the ATL route, but if a company manufactures computer UPS, it will certainly take the BTL route, as the target group is very limited and specific.
More recently, agencies and clients have switched to an 'Integrated Communication Approach.' BTL is a common technique used for "touch and feel" products (consumer items where the customer will rely on immediate information rather than previously researched items). BTL techniques ensures recall of the brand while at the same time highlighting the features of the product.
Through the line (TTL) refers to an advertising strategy involving both above and below the line communications in which one form of advertising points the target to another form of advertising thereby crossing the 'line'. An example would be a TV commercial that says 'come into the store to sample XYZ product'. In this example, the TV commercial is a form of 'above the line' advertising and once in the store, the target customer is presented with 'below the line' promotional material such as store banners, competition entry forms etc.
Promotion can be loosely classified as "above the line" and "below the line" promotion. The promotional activities carried out through mass media like television, radio, newspaper etc. is above the line promotion.
The terms 'below-the-line' promotion or communications, refers to forms of non-media communication, even non-media advertising. Below-the-line promotions are becoming increasingly important within the communications mix of many companies, not only those involved in fmcg products, but also for industrial goods.
Some of the ways by which companies do BTL (below the line) promotions are by exhibitions, sponsorship activities, public relations and sales promotions like giving freebies with goods, trade discounts given to dealers and customers, reduced price offers on products, giving coupons which can be redeemed later etc.
Below the line sales promotion
Below the line sales promotions are short-term incentives, largely aimed at consumers. With the increasing pressure on the marketing team to achieve communication objectives more efficiently in a limited budget, there has been a need to find out more effective and cost efficient ways to communicate with the target markets. This has led to a shift from the regular media based advertising.
A definition of below-the-line sales promotion given by Rohan Salvi:
'An immediate or delayed incentive to purchase, expressed in cash or in kind, and having only a short term or temporary duration'.
Methods of below the line sales promotion
1. Price promotions
Price promotions are also commonly known as" price discounting". These can be done in two ways:
A discount to the normal selling price of a product, or
More of the product at the normal price.
Alt Price promotions however can also have a negative effect by spoiling the brand reputation or just a temporary sales boost (during the discounts) followed by a lull when the discount would be called off.
2. Coupons
3. Gift with purchase
4. Competitions and prizes
This is an important tool to increase brand awareness amongst the target consumer. It can be used to boost up sales for temporary period and ensure usage amongst first time users.
5. Money refunds
Here, a customer receives a money refund after submitting a proof of purchase to the manufacturer. Customers often view these schemes with some suspicion – particularly if the method of obtaining a refund looks unusual or onerous.
6. Frequent user/loyalty incentives
7. Point-of-sale displays
Shopping habits are changing for the people living in metropolitan cities. People prefer big retail outlets like Big Bazaar to local kirana stores. Most of the decisions of buying are taken by the virtue of point-of-sale displays in these retail outlets.
Examples of BTL promotion
Most of the big brands are following the suit of BTL promotion because of rising prices of media based promotion, advertising clutter and increased impulse purchasing.
Some of the interesting examples are:
Most of the educational institutes like career launcher, Time and PT are holding informative workshops and free tests for students which give a direct interaction of these institutes with the target customer and hence a suitable platform to sell themselves.
Ring tones and music videos on cell phones are helping the entertainment industry to promote for a music video or a movie for dirt-cheap rate as compared to media promotion.
Various companies sponsor sport events to promote their brand, but nowadays media companies like Hindustan Times are holding weekly events through out the country in which companies can put up their stalls, display banners and posters and arrange for some fun activities. These events give the companies a platform at very low price to promote their brand and increase visibility among target consumer. These companies also give discount coupons to winners in the games, which in turn boost the sales of the products and ensure that first time users try these products as well.
Pepsi organized an inter school cricket event for 425 schools across 14 cities which did wonders for the company by promoting the brand amongst the right target customer for almost no cost.
Most of the pharmacy companies do BTL promotion by getting shelf space through doctors to display their products or by giving away free calcium tablets again through doctors, knowing that for a patient a personal advise from a doctor would hold more value as compared to a commercial advertisement.
Another interesting BTL promotion was by NIKE. An athlete dressed up in Nike sportswear could be seen jogging on an elevated treadmill for the whole day on National Highway 8, Delhi.
Tata Shaktee is a strong rural brand from Tata Steel, for roofing products, has BTL activity in the form of Haat participation. By having a stall at Haat, Tata Shaktee engages potential consumers in interactive games around differentiating attributes of the product. Also, discount coupons are given for interested buyers, with details of nearby retailers.
BTL promotions are gaining popularity among all big companies nowadays considering their effectiveness because of the "individual customer promotion" at a price, which is much lesser than the normal media promotions.
ATL - Above the line activites are those that the agency receive a income from the ( i.e. Commission) media company . E.g. : Advertisements on Newspaper, magazines , TV & RadioBTL - Below the line activies are the other type of acivites in the promotional mix Like : Sales promotoions , Personal selling .Direct marketing & PR activies

Will you please tell me in detail what is the meaning of ATL and BTL in advertising? Which one is better?
ATL and BTL stand for Above-the-line and Below-the-line respectively. ATL represents traditional marketing channels that strive to reach a mass audience with messages that reinforce the brand, communicate product information or incite an emotional response. BTL represents methods aimed at establishing a relationship between a brand and an individual consumer. The aim is to create relationships between brands and individual consumers.While there is some measure of crossover, ATL usually encompasses TV, Radio, Print Advertising, Outdoor Advertising, etc. BTL typically incorporates Direct Mail, Event Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Promotional Marketing, etc. to reach its targets. To say that one is better than the other would be remiss given the advances in technology and the trend towards more customer-centric marketing. Brand-oriented advertising was once a key driver of consumer behavior…today however marketers are increasingly honing in on the benefits offered by BTL marketing such as increased consumer engagement, interactivity and measurability. The line is becoming more and more blurred as marketers strategically blend traditional ATL mass media approaches with more direct, targeted and ROI-driven BTL approaches. Those touted successful are the usually ones who have struck an optimal balance between the two channels.


Raj@Rock-Star said...

Thanks For Given Right Defination & Meaning.
Regards - Rajeev

Ch. imran said...

This is the perfect definition of ATL & BTL activities.

Sachin R Ruparel said...

hey Thanks for detailing ATL & BTL ...

asbcommunications said...

Good Info on social media marketing. Your blog feature much of the same content that I have come to expect here.
integrated marketing solutions
Event Marketing Company


Really good explanation of ATL/BTL
Thanks & Regards.

nikhil_deshmukh said...

Thanks for providing a crystal practical thought giving more clearity.

HM Timalsina said...

thanks for information

Heena Gupta said...

Really many thanks for explaining exact meaning(ATL & BTL)and in easy way too.

Aakash Patel said...

a proper information & meaning of the term thanks

rajiv said...

very good information

Đỗ Nguyễn Hà Sơn said...

It just saves my life sir. Your example make everything clear both in theoretical and practical

Eashu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eashu said...

Very righteously explained the difference between BTL & ABL advertising.. Companies / Marketing Managers implements a calculated investment on both ABL & BLT advertising which depends on the product, market segment and competition in the market.

Here is an academic project related to BLT which will help you in better understanding of the concepts related to BLT and its importance in generating sales of the product(s).

Below the line Advertising Strategies DTH industry

All the best

Rajesh Kataria said...

Pretty Informative.......particularly the illustrations and examples...

kimani-long said...

Thanks for such an informative piece and straight to the point!

jayanthan swamy said...

Thanks for the info...

Dhiraj Kumar said...

The gorgeous post learned a great deal Thanks greatly!
Flipkart Coupon

Infra Ites said...

Wow, this is probably one of the coolest tutorials I’ve seen. Need to get into this ASAP!

mobile signal booster manufacturer in delhi

georgiapeace92 said...

Great Tutorial!! This was really informative and really explained the difference between BTL & ABL advertising. I came across an article on which really compliments this one as well. Straight to the point!

Rhythm Baroda said...

very gud briefing about promotional activities.thanks

Emy Watson said...

How do I explain Corporate Social Responsibility to gr. 8's?
promotional product

shweta srivastava said...

Thanks for all these information. If you are really concerned about the publicity of your business then you may take help from the free advertising online so as to make it more popular and profitable.

Varsha Singh said...

Your information is very good and helpful. thanks for sharing it with us.
Event Management In Lucknow

Allison SMITH said...

Great blog. Thank you for sharing these great suggestions, This is really a very helpful. Its really worth sharing.
point of sale materials printing

Shiya Priya said...

Nice Website...
Hey JOIN now and Increase Facebook Likes your profile and websites.
Increase Facebook Likes and check your website worth worth my websites
FB Likes and check your website worth Website Value Calculator
Hot Wallpapers seo tools website
its may be very beneficial for you also really

Adz Gateway said...

Thanks for sharing these details with everyone.

Banner Advertising Services in Delhi.

John Adam said...

Very informative site, i must bookmark it, keep posting interesting articles...

adityakumar voona said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
adityakumar voona said...

good job . well explained in indian context.

Ramachandran Gopalan said...

You are post a very nice blog. I got my infirmation through your blog. please keep it up.I like it.
social media marketing agency

A Kumar said...

Really ,This is a wonderful post.Thanks for sharing this important information.

PR Agency | Digitla Marketing Services | Languages Translation Services.

Joel smith said...

I think the things you covered through the post are quiet impressive, good job and great efforts. I found it very interesting and enjoyed reading all of it...keep it up, lovely job..point of sale materials printing

Jhon Marshal said...

Very informative site, i must bookmark it, keep posting interesting articles...
custom google cardboard

Jhon Marshal said...

Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog.
logo power bank

Sark Industries said...

SARK group offers a wide range of plastic components manufacturers in punjab to meet our customers’ most demanding applications and requirements.

Noble Publicity said...

Thanks for sharing this type of blog. i really liked it. Keep it up. Good job. Keep updating new blogs. Visit here:

Unknown said...

In the event that you need to discover how you can pivot your image or even examine thoughts on advancing your image you can visit

Animal Shelters Near Me said...

Thank you for posting such a great article! I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. Keep up the good work.
animal shelters near me

Hill said...

So great work for informing us of the possibilities and following a certain path.

I really appreciate your hard work an giving us some information and inspiring others to follow.

Thanks so much.

I hope for more post in the future.

digital marketing courses

Padhma said...

wow really superb you had posted one nice information through this. Definitely it will be useful for many people. So please keep update like this.

Back to Original Services Private Limited

Navya Kumar said...

This blog is having the general information. Got a creative work and this is very different one.We have to develop our creativity mind.This blog helps for this. Thank you for this blog. This is very interesting and useful.
Digital Marketing Company in Chennai

VIVAN Life Sciences said...

Thank you for sharing this awesome blog. Keep updating new posts. See here also :

Minal Kapoor said...

Valuable for information if there is any other regarding this kindly revert me back on this.
Seo Company in Nagpur

Saroj Mishra said...

Its very interesting information.Bulk Email Marketing In India

Unknown said...

Nice article you have shared. I like it. Thanks for sharing.Bulk Email Marketing Service In India

Prince Raj said...

Thanks for giving this information. your blog is good and I got so much knowledge thank you.

Digitla Marketing Company

Infinitydigital Solutions said...

Quality is the most important factor that has always enabled us to obtain the trust as competently as confidence of the buyers. We have been focusing later than insinuation to offering irregularity clear range including Flatbed Led UV Printer, Xis1624 UV Printer and more. Moreover, gone the declare happening of our sourcing agents, we source premium mood products at best price. Over the years, we have developed a huge vendor base. Owing to our unmatched sourcing capabilities and collaboration in the midst of renowned manufacturers, we are meeting growing requirements of the buyers. The vendors are chosen even if keeping in mind varied parameters such as:

UV Printers Manufacturers
Glass Printers Manufacturers
Laser Engraving and Cuttings Manufacturers
Heavy Duty Solvent Printers Manufacturers
Mobile cover printers Manufacturers
CNC Engraving Manufacturers

Shruti s said...

Thanks for sharing such informative post keep updating.
Snap on our tags to know more about us.
Web Design company in Hubli | web designing in Hubli | SEO company in Hubli

anubhavgupta said...

Its very useful information . Keep sharing..! SMS Service For E-Commerce

sukere said...

thanks for sharing this information Digital Marketing Training in Chennai

insafali737 said...

We provide service in United Arab Emirates (UAE). is the best Social Media & Marketing and video agency in UAE. To get more information visit us.

Social marketing agency

sukere said...

nice blog thanks for sharing this blog Digital Marketing Training in Chennai

Riya R said...

Blogging is excellent platform to make handsome income online. You can register in various channels like Google Adsense, Ad Choices, etc to make monetize your blog and make revenue.
SEO jobs in Hyderabad

sukere said...

nice blog thanks for sharing Digital Marketing Training in Chennai

surbhi jain said...

You have even figured out how to make it reasonable and straightforward to peruse. You have some authentic work ability. Much thankful to you.

SEO Interview Questions and Answers

raji said...

nice blog Digital Marketing Training in Chennai