Agency Novelus Blog

The Differences Between ATL, BTL and TTL advertising

Posted by Andreja Mirkovic on Apr 16, 2018 11:20:37 AM

ATL (above the line) and BTL (below the line) are the two terms often used in everyday life of effective media buying and advertising. Do you know exactly what is the difference?


Above Or Below The Line Advertising

 In short, above the line (ATL) communication is intended for a wider audience, while below the line (BTL) communication is more targeted, either geographically, demographically, by interests, or when the target group is very niche.




Above the line advertising

When creating a media plan we think about the media reach we want to have.

In ATL marketing traditional, high-reach media is used. These mass media channels are: television, radio, print media, OOH and Internet.

Main purpose of ATL advertising is to reach out to customers, build visibility and brand awareness, promote a product or a service. So, ATL ads are mostly used to promote brands and reach out to the wider group of consumers. More specific segmentation, in most cases, is not possible.

As ATL advertising includes more conventional media, communication language and messages are created in that manner so that a wider spread of audience can understand them easily.

When media buying strategy includes ATL media, advertisers mostly try to rise brand awareness, inform and educate the customers about the products and services or they try to boost sales.


Below the line advertising

Below the line advertising is more personal and response driven.

BTL communication is targeted and focused on a specific group of consumers. It is using more direct advertising approaches. BTL advertising includes leaflets, brochures promotions, sampling, experiential campaigns, sponsorship, direct mailing, guerrilla projects, etc.

The budget issues can be a strong decision factor when deciding about advertising type.

In case of lower budgets, marketing departments could decide to use a BTL approach.  This could be a bad decision if a brand is completely new. Therefore, it is advisable to reach at least some level of brand awareness in public before using BTL ads.  

In cases of very niche target group, BTL advertising is a better and more cost-efficient solution.

BTL advertising strategies when very targeted usually bring nice conversion results.


Through the line advertising

Today, in the world of constant and rapid updates in communication technology, ATL and BTL can be considered as a bit outdated.

Digital is affecting the boundaries between ATL and BTL, connecting both approaches into  “through the line” (TTL) integrated approach.

Not only technology, also advertising clutter and competitive markets are encouraging this integrated approach - TTL advertising.

Differentiation from the competition, rising the relevance of the brand, effective media buy - these are the imperatives of today's marketing strategies.



TTL advertising is our specialty. As a full-service agency we are fully skilled to create and execute the successful integrated advertising approach.


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Tags: media buying