Nielson reporting in 2016 showed that several school districts we work in reached over 8x as many families as the single largest media buy in that market.
We had to double-check that. Look at the numbers a couple times and let it set in.
But it's true. So, what markets are they and where are their others?
We then looked at the cost of the major media outlets (billboards, radio, print, television) in those markets and found that most school district advertising was about half the price of a comparable media buy.
That makes sense: School districts don't have to bring in ad revenue to keep their lights on. It's a luxury of sorts. Sure it helps the school district fund programs and brings in non-traditional revenue but they don't have to overcharge to compensate for a decline in viewers/readers/listeners like many traditional media outlets.
It also makes sense that they reach a boatload more families since (we call them "advertising-friendly" markets because they have programs available and are zoned to cover an entire county,) there's often dozens of radio stations and a handful of television stations all competing for those same families.
So, we cross-referenced several markets and found the following trends:
Markets that have large school districts often beat traditional media (handily) and you can identify where the largest school districts in the United States are by clicking here.
We also found that those districts are widespread across the Southeastern United States and major media markets throughout the United States.
Start to think about the loyalty that comes in as well - nobody cares which radio station you support or what highway you post a billboard on but, support their community through school-based advertising, and there's big stats showing the loyalty (Turnkey Research claims it's the only area with a more devout brand loyalty than NASCAR sponsors!)
Factor in that many of these markets don't have professional sport teams and a divided college team alliance, and you are able to tune into the heart of a local community.