One-off slots during hugely watched sporting events such as the AFL and NRL Grand Finals cost even more, and are likely to rise even further in the near future.

Have you ever fantasised about advertising during prime time on TV or radio? Have you imagined what it would be like to see your business featured as part of a 'television event'?

Can you picture (or hear) your award-winning, edgy, revenue-boosting commercial as if it's 100 per cent real? Before you go too far, let's get some perspective here.

Advertising slots within prime time (roughly 8-11pm Monday-Friday for television) are prohibitively expensive to all but the best-resourced companies.

One-off slots during hugely watched sporting events such as the AFL and NRL Grand Finals cost even more, and are expected to rise even further in the near future.

According to some sources, the cost of a 30-second spot in the NRL and AFL grand finals, could cost advertisers about $130,000 and $175,500 respectively based on the new television rights deals signed between the networks. 

The question is how else could you spend that kind of cash on marketing? Rather than a 30-second, one-off advertising message, in which other directions could, say, $175,500 take you?

With that kind of cash, you could, for example, maintain a premium website with Sensis, which includes up to 30 pages of unique content, and up to 150 product pages, for a staggering 1770 months… that’s 147 years!

Or, while you wouldn't be able to afford a 28-day exclusive appearance on The Most Expensive Billboard in Australia (the iconic grain silos billboard overlooking Sydney's Anzac Bridge), you could share the massive Young & Jackson digital billboard, opposite Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, for four whole weeks and still have change left over.

But rather than do your dosh in four weeks, what about an ongoing presence to drive customers to your business with a listing in Yellow Pages. Given it attracts more than 107 million visits annually, it’s a wise investment and you’d have it for 1,340 months!

You could also buy up absolutely massive amounts of search advertising through Sensis with our team of search engine marketing experts ensuring your business is found at the exact time customers are looking for you – that’s 206 months or 17 years of people contacting you.

There’s always other options out there that may be trickier to measure. How about 4.4 million flyers at Officeworks? At four cents per one-sided, black and white A4 page (for any order over 5000), you could print out almost 4.4 million flyers or have more than 900 large A-frame banners made.

You could also order 8841 customised mouse pads, as many as 11,739 coffee mugs, or 44,430 keyrings!

Then there's options such as sky writing, celebrity endorsements, flash mobs, product placements and publicity stunts. Whatever you can think of, even the wildest idea, in the (desperate) hope of publicising their business, you can bet someone has thrown money at it!

Perhaps the best alternative, however, is to forget about any unlikely plans that might boost your business from SME to corporate giant in a massively expensive flash and instead, perhaps, concentrate on marketing that you can sustain, that you can afford, and which serves your target market best, one subtle step at a time.

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