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Premium Media

Premium Media – Are shiny placements always relevant?

January 11, 20244 min read

What is Premium Media? Most observers in the media world would settle on the general descriptor Premium Media implies Higher-Quality Inventory than is generally bought. 

The definition of high-quality is critical for advertisers. After all, Premium leads to cost implications. Fuel Media and Marketing witness many consequences of Premium expectations and what this all means. Our services for advertisers need to manage/interpret both sides of the different perspectives. 

The focus should be on advertiser agreements, both prospective within say, the detail of a pitch process; as well as in-campaign schedule delivery, which requires stewarding to ensure contract agreements are indeed delivered.

Context is everything in both cases. Fuel Media and Marketing’s role is to advise professionally, it is no flippant claim to state that premium almost always implies high price – high stakes.

So how should advertisers respond to their agency when the phrase “Premium Media” is floated? 

Why and How?

This is the first issue to address – why and how – Premium? Is there a need for Premium Media in any media schedule? To help you judge let’s look at two potential benefits:

  • Reach of rarefied audiences that are ordinarily very difficult to target without exceptional media treatment

  • An attempt to lift the general schedule content above the mass communication background into a premium standout 

Two directions that can be critical for an advertiser's requirements. 

If the advertiser/agency understanding of Premium and the implied vendor follow on negotiation is clear, the advertisers are unlikely to be disappointed. 

Definitions and intentions are key in all of this. For example, an agreement to provide a certain quantity of Premium Media should be interrogated against the two above descriptions. i.e. does Premium mean:

  • The reach of specific audiences?


  • Standout above the general advertising noise?

To demonstrate how Premium fits in to the plan we illustrate how it may work:

If the advertiser’s perspective and requirement of Premium differs from the agency’s offer there may be disappointment ahead. 

Let’s say for example that the agency commits in its pitch/appointment agreement to deliver 10% of all media as Premium and with that offer the added value (+10%) may be delivered through alternative routes, possibly as follows: each might contribute the 10% value increment : 

  • Part delivery by complementary positioning of OOH in prime locations. 

  • Premium break positions in a minor TV station’s main schedule.  

  • Super standout placement in a low priority channel (i.e. closed break)

  • Website homepage takeover 

Optimising these good intentions requires that the advertiser/agency agreement is rigorously managed and delivered consistently with the brief. 

Key to all this should be the avoidance of placements that are sourced from agency-controlled inventory that do not fit in with the overall objectives and strategy. This is not to say that inventory media is inherently bad, rather that shiny media placements delivered to make up the contractual agreement and deliver the agency a bonus should always align with strategic imperatives. The underlying message is competitive strategically consistent value

Fuel Media and Marketing recommended essential watchouts include:

#1 As with any purchase we need to make sure an inclusion of Premium fits in with your intended strategy.

#2 Avoid carryovers from campaign to campaign, or substitutes, into media channels that are clearly off brief.

#3 Value delivered digitally that involves communication other than the space in the brief (i.e. editorial or alternative space format or alternative website) may be beneficial. However, these strategic variations must be agreed upon before implementation.  

#4 If your contract itemises a specific appearance, i.e. the unique break format leading into the sporting event commencement/resumption or a homepage takeover and these are replaced with an alternative, then the deal is breached.

#5 The avoidance of confusion over audience targeting intentions and standout specials, or indeed poorly-defined descriptions of Premium is crucial.

In conclusion, make sure you and your agency are aligned on definitions and expectations, so that your company does not find it has agreed to buy a shiny piece of inventory that has little tangible value to your objectives. The Litmus Test is simply this: 

Unless a media choice gains special access to your designated target audience or brings heightened attention factors, or both, then the idea of premium for premium’s sake may not be for you. 

Fuel Media and Marketing is a leading specialist communications consulting company. Our teams advise clients in the field of media communications. To find out more on how Fuel can help, contact Oli on +44(0) 7534 129 097 or email [email protected] 

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