Types of media advertising, or as Lessing-Flynn (LF) often refers to it, media placement types, continue to grow in variety and scale as people absorb more and more media on an array of platforms. But what are all of these types of media advertising and how do you create a media mix that drives brand awareness, recall and most importantly a desired action or conversion?

While it is important to be able to identify these different advertising placement types, understanding how people are consuming media today is step one. Before I throw a bunch of stats at you, let’s call out the obvious! As we progressed through 2020, it changed the way people look for and consume content. 82% of U.S. consumers are regularly spending more time with at least one device since the beginning of COVID-19. When the world shut down, anything and everything digital went WAY up. Here is the proof.

  • Traditional print media ad spend peaked before the financial crisis in 2008/2009 but has hit new lows not seen since the mid 1980’s.
  • Radio has remained semi-flat since the early 2000’s.
  • Traditional TV spend matches the investment after the financial crisis.
  • Digital advertising types are anticipated to continue growing and account for over 70% of paid media spend by 2024.
  • CTV ad spend was anticipated to grow more than 25% in 2020 and digital video by 11%.
  • Programmatic ad buys were expected to increase by 6%, while non-programmatic was projected to increase by only 2%, showing the powerful shift to programmatic.

The marketing funnel

The marketing funnel shown below is often one of the first chapters in a marketing 101 book. Why? Because you can tie almost any product or service consumption to following these steps. Granted, there are some that are missed in the cycle, or some funnels that use different terms – but either way, this is a good staple to tie ad placement types too. As we walk through the different types of media advertising, you will notice we have mapped them to different levels in the funnel. This is a great tool to help ensure, as you are promoting your products/services, you are not leaving all the work at the top of the funnel. Your paid media investment is working to draw people down and through it. It then becomes the company’s job to build customer advocacy.



Types of media advertising

Connected TV (CTV)

Traditional TV spot style purchasing through the use of Smart TVs and streaming devices that are attached to TVs. Audience targeting is layered outside of typical programming or station targeting. Mobile and desktop devices are not included under the term CTV.

  • Funnel placement: Discovery
  • KPI: Impressions


Animated or static ads that are typically used to capture a user’s attention before navigating through the rest of a website. These ads are oftentimes bigger or intrusive.

  • Funnel placement: Discovery
  • KPI: CTR or action available within ad unit (ex. video view-rate)


An ad shown within an e-newsletter.

  • Funnel placement: Discovery
  • KPI: CTR and website sessions


An advertising tactic aimed at reaching a consumer on the go by targeting them outside of their homes. Billboards are typically known as the most common tactic of out-of-home advertising.

  • Funnel placement: Discovery
  • KPI: Impressions

Over-the-top (OTT)

Streaming media service (ex. Hulu) offered directly to viewers via the Internet. OTT bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms, the companies that traditionally act as a controller or distributor of such content.

  • Funnel placement: Discovery
  • KPI: Impressions

Video pre-roll / in-stream video

A sponsored video that appears before or during the video an individual is viewing. May be skippable or mandatory viewing.

  • Funnel placement: Discovery
  • KPI: Views and view-rate


The buying of radio commercials, frequently called spots, to promote a client’s products or services. Most commonly purchased in 15-, 30- or 60-second increments.

  • Funnel placement: Discovery
  • KPI: Impressions

Streaming audio

Audio ads that are run on websites, apps and platforms used to stream radio, podcasts and other forms of audio. Oftentimes in the form of 15-, 30- or 60-second spots and accompanied with a display ad.

  • Funnel placement: Discovery
  • KPI: Listens and listen-rate


The buying of TV commercials, frequently called spots, to promote a client’s products or services. Most commonly purchased in 30-second increments.

  • Funnel placement: Discovery
  • KPI: Impressions


Advertising focused on social networking sites, like Facebook, in which advertisers can use a variety of targeting options to ensure their ads are reaching an appropriate audience.

  • Funnel placement: Discovery and/or exploration
  • KPI: Dependent on ad type. Refer to variety of ad type KPI’s above and below.

Run of site / run of network (ROS/RON)

Display ads that run across an entire website (run of site) or network (run of network), meaning they could appear on any page within that site or network of sites.

  • Funnel placement: Discovery
    • When implemented as a retargeting tactic it hits the engagement level of the funnel.
  • KPI: Impressions and website sessions


An HTML message sent via email on behalf of the advertiser.

  • Funnel placement: Discovery or engagement
  • KPI: Open-rate and CTR
  • Stretch goal: Leads


A content-based ad that mimics its environment. Can include images, headlines, shortened teasers or fully hosted articles.

  • Funnel placement: Exploration
  • KPI: Time on targeted content page

Search text ads

Ads that are charged upon that click and serves said ad in search-engine results whenever someone searches for the services or products offered by the advertiser.

  • Funnel placement: Exploration
  • KPI: CTR, website sessions and pages per session

Targeted custom message

A form of communication, whether it be via email or text message, where the advertiser can interact one on one with their intended audience. Targeted custom messages typically use publisher data to reach the most accurate


  • Funnel placement: Exploration
  • KPI: Impressions

Text message

A text-based ad sent directly to an individual’s phone number from an advertiser. These are to be distributed as one of the following:

Multimedia message service (MMS): Text with accompanying video or image.

Rich communication service (RCS): Interactive communication similar to bot-style messaging.

Short message service (SMS): Text only.

  • Funnel placement: Engagement
  • KPI: Clicks (or other action dependent on ask/assets)


Now that you have the foundation of the various types of media advertising and how they relate back to the marketing funnel, check out a few more of our blogs that give great tips on implementing these media placement types into your annual media plan.