Above the Line (ATL Advertising) and Below the Line (BTL Advertising)
Below the line (BTL) is an advertising technique. It uses less conventional methods than the usual specific channels of advertising to promote products, services, etc. than ATL (Above the line) strategy, these may include activities such as direct mail, public relations and sales promotion for which a fee is agreed upon and charged up front.
Below the line advertising typically focuses on direct means of communication, most commonly direct mail and e-mail, often using highly targeted lists of names to maximize response rates. The term Below the Line is rapidly going out of fashion in advertising circles as agencies and clients switch to an Integrated Communication Approach. BTL is a common technique used for touches and feel products. Those consumer items where the customer will rely on immediate information than previously researched items. BTL techniques ensure recall of the brand while at the same time highlighting the features of the product.
Above the line (ATL) is an advertising technique using mass media to promote brands. Major above-the-line techniques include TV and radio advertising, print advertising and internet banner ads. This type of communication is conventional in nature and is considered impersonal to customers. It differs from BTL (Below the line), that believes in unconventional brand-building strategies, such as direct mail. The ATL strategy makes use of current traditional media: television, newspapers, magazines, radio, outdoor, and internet.