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19 March 20243 min.
Piotr Pawluczyk
Piotr Pawluczyk

ATL – what is it?

ATL – what is it?

Reaching a mass audience these days is somewhat of an art. For this reason, companies are using various techniques and exploring new possibilities. One of these is the Above the Line strategy, or ATL for short. Today we will take a closer look at it.

From this article you will learn:

ATL – definition

ATL, or Above the Line, or translated as Above the Line, is a marketing strategy that is used to reach mass audiences. In this case, advertisements can even be targeted beyond the target audience. Mass media are used to implement ATL marketing, which of course means television, newspaper or outdoor solutions. What distinguishes ATL is certainly the power of reach – and although it is impossible to be precise, it is truly enormous.

ATL is a marketing strategy that uses mass media to reach the largest possible audience.

Definition of ATL marketing

An ATL strategy will be a good option if you don’t want to target a specific audience or a well-defined target group (if your goal is a precisely defined audience, then it is better to go for a BTL strategy or focused marketing). This technique works well for brands that want to build a wide reach. These are usually companies that produce basic needs products that you will find on the shelves of any discount shop. They do not require a time-consuming decision-making process. Toothpaste or washing powder is bought by almost everyone.

ATL will therefore work well for brands that rely on mass production and can afford lower prices or a high advertising budget. These are usually companies that want their product to be associated well with consumers.

ATL marketing versus mass marketing

Both ATL marketing and mass marketing are strategies that aim to reach the largest possible audience. In both cases, universal products and services that are necessary for the vast majority of the audience are also promoted. So what is the difference between ATL and mass marketing?

Mass marketing is a broad category that can also include ATL. The main difference lies in the type of tools used. Mass marketing uses a variety of communication methods and channels. ATL marketing, on the other hand, focuses mainly on the use of mass media.

Tools used in ATL marketing

Advertising on a mass scale is demanding. Sometimes they cannot be realised without a huge budget. The methods and tools that ATL marketing uses include:

  • TV ads – this is one of the most popular ATL marketing tools; although it is not the cheapest solution, it can produce satisfactory results,
  • Radio adverts – messages are also a popular ATL marketing tool; broadcast on a selected radio station will effectively attract the attention of many audiences,
  • Outdoor advertising – many companies limit themselves to television or radio, yet there are even more possibilities, such as outdoor, i.e. placing advertisements in public space (e.g. in the form of billboards),
  • Newspapers – this is a very popular, but not as appreciated as television, medium for marketing activities; an advertisement placed in a selected newspaper or magazine attracts an audience and is not that expensive; its effectiveness, however, depends very much on the place you choose for the space for your advertisement.

Advantages of ATL marketing

ATL marketing is distinguished by a number of advantages that make it an extremely effective tool in brand promotion. Its main advantage is its ability to reach a wide, sometimes even international, audience.

Note that the nature of ATL messages, especially those based on audiovisual material, has an extraordinary power to influence audiences. This form of communication is capable of evoking a wide range of emotions.

Media advertising, which is a key element of ATL marketing, plays an important role not only in reaching potential customers, but also in defining a brand’s identity. It is through it that a company can present its values, goals and message, which is an important element in building brand awareness in society.

However, there is more to it than that. ATL marketing not only communicates the existence of a brand, but also shapes its perception in the eyes of consumers. Creative messages, often using high-quality audiovisual content, allow a company to stand out from the competition and build a unique brand image.


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