brand glossary: above-the-line communications

Marketing communications that involve traditional or mass media methods—such as television, radio, print and out-of-home media—in which results can be measured. The main aim is to build brand awareness and positioning. It is paid-for communication that tends to have a higher cost due to reach, and although it can be targeted, it can be seen by anyone outside this target, which means the method is less precise. Social media, if used to run mass campaigns, may be considered above-the-line, but integrated online marketing means the definition between above-the-line and below-the-line continues to blur.

See also: below-the-line communications