Glossary of Advertising Terms


glossary of advertising terms

With new fields of advertising and terms created frequently in today’s digital age, it has become difficult to remember what everything means. At Media Place Partners, we’ve created a glossary of advertising terms that we think are most important in all fields of advertising.

Meet the glossary of advertising terms:

Broadcast TV Advertising Terms

Digital Advertising Terms

Display Advertising Terms

General Marketing Terms

Out-of-Home (OOH) Marketing Terms

Over-the-Top (OTT) Advertising Terms

Print Advertising Terms

Radio Advertising Terms

Social Media Marketing Terms

Broadcast TV Traditional Marketing Icon

Broadcast TV Advertising Terms

Addressable TV – When viewers in different households experience different advertisements while watching the same program.

Integrated Segments – A term used to describe when advertisers merge different segments by either preferences or behavior.

Product Placement – When an advertiser pays to put their brand in a television show or movie to promote their product.

Rating – Average audience per minute of a program.

Share – Used to describe the percentage of a target audience exposed to the media.

Scatter – The process of buying and selling TV inventory that has not been transacted in the upfront.

Spot Length – Used to describe the length of the advertisement.

Upfront – In the television industry, an upfront is a gathering at the start of important advertising sales periods.

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Digital Advertising Terms

Ad Exchange – A system in which advertisers, publishers, and networks buy and sell inventory.

Data Providers – Companies who build and maintain the profiles of users on the internet, this allows advertisers to use these profiles for targeting campaign targeting purposes.

Landing Page – The destination on which a user lands after clicking an ad.

Real-Time Bidding – The process of bidding by using automated actions in real-time. Bid uses the past performance of ads and other statistics to generate dynamically.

Specs – Is a term that refers to the file size and the ad server of your creative unit.

Static – Used to describe creatives that feature no animation.

Display advertising

Display Advertising Terms

Banner Ads – A form of advertisement which is a rectangular image-based ad. These ads stretch across the top, side, or bottom of a webpage.

Contextual Data – Information on the contents of a webpage that the user is viewing.

Display Advertising – Form of digital advertising where your advertisements are shown on various websites.

Dynamic Ads – Banners that change automatically to adapt content specifically for each user.

HTML5 – The current markup language of the internet. Stands for Hypertext Markup Language Version 5.

Opt-In – When a company is given permission by an individual to use data collected by them for a specific reason.

Retargeting – The act of targeting a user who has performed an action in the past and is more likely to do the same action in the future.

Rich Media – Banner ads that offer the ability of user interaction.

Run-Of-Network – Scheduling of online advertising across the sites an ad network represents.

Viewability – Used to measure whether an ad has been seen by the user (different from impressions).

full funnel hospitality strategy

General Marketing Terms

Action – A metric that measures how many times a listener completed an action following listening to an audio advertisement.  

Ad Servers – Advertising technology that is used by advertisers to manage campaigns.

Agency – Acts as an extension of an advertiser’s brand or marketing team.   

Call To Action (CTA) – A prompt for the viewer to act.  

Clickbait- Headline that is used to attract people to their website yet does not contain information that is relevant to the actual content.  

Click-Through-Rate (CTR) – Unit of measurement used to measure how many times users click on ads. Calculated by dividing impressions by clicks.  

Conversion – When a user completes an action that the advertiser desires on a page. For example, making a purchase, leaving a review, sharing products with a friend. 

Cost Per Thousand (CPM) – Cost of delivering a thousand impressions to the members of a specific audience.

Cross-Platform – Involves marketing music across multiple platforms and streaming services. 

Currency – When a media buy is negotiated between buyers and sellers.

Flight Dates – The start and end dates of an advertising campaign.

Frequency – The average number of times a listener has the opportunity to hear an advertisement in a given time.  

Impression – A unit of measurement for how many times an advertisement is presented to a user.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI) – A numerical goal that is set for a facet of your campaign that measures performance.

Lift – The amount of improvement that is the result of a new campaign. 

Reach – The total number of people who have seen a post.

Remnant – Any ad units that have not been purchased by an advertiser.   

Share of Voice (SOV) – Percentage of total advertising weight per brand in a competitive set.

Specs – The file size and the ad server of your creative unit.

Supply-Side Platform (SSP) – An advertising platform that is utilized by publishers to sell their available inventory space.

Visit – A metric that indicates the number of times listeners visit the marketer’s website following listening to the ad.

Out of Home Traditional Marketing

Out-of-Home (OOH) Marketing Terms

Ad Retention – A metric that measures the number of consumers who remember seeing the ad in an OOH display.

Copy Area – The viewing area of an OOH Unit.

Dwell Time – Used to describe an interval time when a consumer is near an OOH advertisement.

Exposure – The measure of actual eye contact with an OOH advertisement.

Illumination – The action of supplying or brightening a poster with light from above or behind.

Message Duration – Interval of time when a digital OOH advertising message is viewed.

Minimum Booking – Minimum period that a client can book a location or site.

Out-of-Home Advertising (OOH) – Any form of media and/or advertising which targets and impacts consumers when out of their home.

Snipe – An adhesive stripe that is used to cover up a portion of copy displayed on an OOH advertisement.

Tri-Vision – An OOH unit with a face that allows three different copies to revolve at different times.

OTT is digital advertising

Over-the-Top (OTT) Advertising Terms

Aggregators – Services that scan multiple video streaming publishers to list movies available on various platforms. 

Linear TV – Type of television that was available prior to on-demand programs. 

Over-The-Top Advertisement – Ability to bypass traditional TV providers that control media distribution.

Video on Demand – Video content that is available to watch whenever a viewer chooses to do so. 

Viewers – People who are watching streaming content.

Print Advertising

Print Advertising Terms

Above the Fold – When an advertisement can be read in a newspaper without opening it, making it more valuable for potential customers who do not even need to read the paper. 

Agate Line – A space one column wide and ¹/₁₄ inch deep.  

Circulation – The number of copies of an advertisement that have been made. 

Checkerboard – Advertising in magazines that use diagonal or half-page ads that alternate with the editorial. 

Double Truck – A newspaper ad unit that uses two facing full pages. 

Direct Response – Promotions that request the reader to directly reach out to the advertiser. 

Line Rate – Cost per agate line for newspaper.  

Placement – The purchase of space within a publication. 

Readership – Metric used to measure the number of readers per issue.

Readers Per Copy – Average number of readers per copy published. 

Split Run – Scheduling two or more appearances of an advertisement in alternate copies of a magazine’s circulation in an issue.

Traditional Radio Advertising

Radio Advertising Terms

Audience Composition – Used to describe the demographic profile of a station’s audience. 

Cluster – A group of stations in the same market under the same ownership or management. 

Companion Impression – A metric that indicates how many visual displays accompany the audio ad. 

Coverage Area – The geographic area that is covered by the signal of a station. 

Fixed Position – Commerical scheduled to run at a specific time. 

Gross Rating Points (GRPs) – Sum of all rating points achieved. 

Live Read – A specific type of commercial when the announcement is read live on-air by a station personality. 

Net Reach – Number of people who will hear the commercial at least once. 

Piggy-Back – When two commercials are scheduled to run back-to-back who are owned by the same advertiser.

Rating Point – the number of people who watch or listen to a television or radio program, expressed as a percentage of the total possible audience.  

Rotation – The process in which commercials are distributed across days and hours of a purchased time period. 

Sponsorship – Purchase of a radio program or a specific feature. 

Unit – Used to describe a singular commercial message regardless of length.

Social Media

Social Media Marketing Terms

Brand Hashtags – A hashtag that features the brand name or motto, used primarily for branding purposes. 

Dark Social – Area of social media where analytics are unable to be used. 

Engagement Rate – Metric that is used to measure audience engagement with content. 

Geo Tagging – A feature that is offered by social media networks for using location-based sharing. For example, taking a picture and then tagging your location. 

Influencer – A person who has significant influence within their fan base. 

Optimization – A process in which content is modified based on its performance.

Social Media Optimization (SMO) – Set of practices that are used to generate publicity throughout social media. 

Viral – A description used for when a piece of content’s popularity has grown rapidly across platforms.


Congrats! You’ve made it to the end of our glossary of advertising terms. Whether you’re a veteran or a newcomer to advertising, we hope you are more confident in your knowledge of common industry terms. There’s a ton more out there to know – if you have any questions over something we didn’t cover, don’t hesitate to reach out!

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