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Why Mall Advertising?

For over 20 years, Sullivan Media, Inc. / has had the privilege of assisting client entities of all sizes, from a wide array of industry types, and varying budgets with developing and implementing their mall advertising programs in over 1,700 malls across the United States.

This process encompasses understanding the clients’ goals, identifying their target audience, and creating an advertising program by utilizing in-mall advertising options that best reach that audience.

In the following, you will find information on a number of the important aspects when developing a mall advertising program.


What Is Mall Advertising?

Mall advertising encompasses a number of options.  The advertising can be “static” such as the banners one sees hanging in a mall, Table Tents in the Food Courts, Entrance Door Clings, and an array of other options.  Static mall options advertise a single advertiser 100% of the time.  Or, mall advertising may consist of “digital” options such as small to large panels in Food Court areas or floor-mounted panels located in multiple areas of a mall.  The digital options typically advertise multiple advertisers via 15-second video ads that rotate on a loop.


Types Of Mall Advertising

Mall Banner

There are several options for mall advertising programs.  Although a factor as to which option, or options, an advertiser selects may be based on budget, one should also keep in mind the purpose of the advertising. 

If an advertiser is wanting to create awareness of their product or service, the advertisement may require more text-type content.  Therefore, the advertisement should probably be placed on a mall advertising option such as a Backlit Panel or Standee that allows shoppers to easily read the product or service description as well as any company contact information listed on the advertisement. 

For advertisements that are focused more on reinforcing the product brand and require nominal text type content, large, high-impact mall advertising options such as Banners may be more desirable.

Below are examples of mall advertising options that advertisers have the opportunity to select from.  By working with an experienced mall advertising company and representative, an advertiser should be able to find a proper solution for both budget and advertising purposes.

Backlit PanelBannerFloor Cling, Door ClingElevator Cling/WrapEscalator Cling/WrapTable Tent/ClingEntrance Wrap.


Mall Advertising Rates

Most mall advertising options will have rates based on a “per 4-week” period.  With the per 4-week basis, there are 13 periods within the course of a full year.  Rates for mall advertising programs will vary based on a number of factors.  Some of those factors are the advertising option, the mall, the length of the advertising term, time of the year, the size of the advertising program, and the market/city/DMA of the mall.


Advertising Option

As to the advertising option, rates for the larger, more visible advertising options are typically going to be at a higher rate.  An example of this would be to compare a Backlit Panel rate, which may range from $450.00 per 4-weeks to a 14ft x 8ft Banner which may range from $3,500.00 to $15,000.00 per 4-weeks.


The Mall

Malls will vary by the store types they have as tenants, the areas they are located in within the city, the amenities they offer, such as valet parking, and other such factors.  Those malls that have higher-end type tenants, are in more affluent areas of the market/city, and offer high-end shopper amenities will most likely have higher rates for their in-mall advertising options.  These types of malls may also be more restrictive in the types of advertisers they allow to place advertising within the mall.


Length Of Advertising Term

As with most types of advertising, the per 4-week rates for mall advertising options will generally provide reductions for longer advertising terms.  As most programs will have a minimum of at least one 4-week period, this will also typically be the most expensive of the rates.  Generally, advertisers will see rate reductions at the increments of a 12-week program term, 26-week program term, and 52-week program term.  Please keep in mind that booking terms are based on consecutive weeks.  Advertisers are not allowed to book a 52-week program and divide those 52 weeks into smaller terms with breaks in between.


Time Of The Year

Most malls and/or mall programs will have rates that vary based on the time of year that the advertising is running.  Generally, the months of January through October are considered “Non-Holiday” and will have lower rates than advertising running in November and/or December which are periods considered “Holiday”.  Due to the increased demand for mall advertising space in November and December, rates during these periods may be 50% to 100% higher than Non-Holiday periods.


Size Of The Advertising Program

Depending on the overall advertising buy, advertisers may be able to negotiate discounts to the per 4-week rates.  As an example, if an advertiser is booking one Backlit Panel for one 4-week advertising period, it is doubtful that any discounts will be provided.  However, if an advertiser is booking multiple Backlit Panels in one or more malls for 12 or more weeks, they may be able to negotiate lesser rates.


The Market/City/DMA

Another factor that will affect mall advertising rates is the market/city/DMA where the mall is located.  Major media markets such as New York City and Los Angeles will generally command hired rates due to the demand for the advertising space.  In contrast, markets such as Omaha, NE may have a much lower advertising rate due to lower demand for the advertising space and general media costs for the market.  This is a factor that advertisers should really consider when planning a regional or national advertising program.  By focusing on secondary markets with lower rates, advertisers may be able to reach more shoppers for the same or less expensive than placements in top-tier markets such as Los Angeles and New York City.


General Advertising Rate Ranges

Below is a listing of rate ranges for some of the more popular mall advertising options based on non-holiday terms.  Again, these are ranges.  Some malls may be less, some may be more.  But this should provide you with some guidelines.  Also, these rates include the typical cost of printing, shipping, and posting the initial graphic for each option.

Backlit Panel:  $450.00 to $2,500.00 per 4-weeks

Standee/T-Stand: $1,000.00 to $3,500.00 per 4-weeks

Door Cling: $500.00 to $1,000.00 per cling / per 4-weeks 

(Most malls will require a minimum of 4 clings)

Table Tents: $25.00 to $50.00 per Table Tent / Per 4-weeks

(Most malls will have a minimum based on total tables available)

5ft x 9ft Banner: $1,500.00 to $3,500.00 per 4-weeks

8ft x 14ft Banner: $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 per 4-weeks

16ft x 14ft Banner: $7,500.00 to $15,000.00 per 4-weeks


Mall Advertising Tips

Mall Ads

There are a number of factors that help create an effective mall advertising campaign.

One, the appropriate mall advertising option.  Certain options lend themselves to certain advertising purposes.  As an example, hanging banners work well for “branding” type advertising programs.  The larger size allows advertisers to show their logo and quick message and/or photo type image on a large, highly visible format.  Typically, there is very little word content.  Other options, such as a Backlit Panel, work well for “informative” advertising as they allow advertisers to include more content to the ad.  Content such as contact information, description of services, QR codes, and other types of content.

Two, placement of the advertising is important.  There are areas within malls that receive more shopper traffic than other areas.  Locations such as Food Courts generally receive more shopper traffic than a mall wing hallway.  Also, if your advertising is demographic specific, it is important to place the ad near stores that cater to the demographic you are trying to reach.  If the advertiser, for example, is a dance studio for children, placement of the ad near a Disney Store, Children’s Palace, or other stores that attract parents and young children would help ensure that the ad is being seen by those that are most likely to be interested in that type of business.

Another important aspect is the ability to track the response to your mall advertising.  Tracking allows one to analyze the effectiveness of the ad and assist in ongoing marketing.  Some simple ways to track include using QR codes in the ad.  These allow shoppers to scan the code which can provide discount coupons, take the user to a specific webpage on the advertisers site, or other information.  QR codes can be specific to each ad so if an advertiser has multiple ads running at the same time, the QR code reports can show which locations are receiving the most and least traffic.  Advertisers can also list different and specific telephone numbers or e-mail addresses on mall advertising.  Again, this allows advertisers to track the number of calls, e-mails, or “traffic” off of each ad.   

One other tip, make sure that the ad layout is very visual.  In other words, the ad should include an image or photo that is very eye-catching and relates to the purpose of the ad.  If the advertising is for an auto dealer, the ad should encompass a picture of the type of car.  For a college advertising for new students, include a graphic of someone graduating.  The most effective ads tend to be those that are very visual with minimal word content.


How To Purchase Mall Advertising

When purchasing mall advertising the process is fairly simple.

  1. Identify the mall or malls where you would like to have advertising placed.  Again, mall advertising programs can be local, regional, or national.

  2. Decide which type of mall advertising is going to be best for your specific advertising program.  Keep in mind the aspects of your program and if it is a “Call To Action”, “Informative”, or “Branding” to help guide you to the best in-mall options.

  3. Request rate information.  Rates will vary by mall, advertising option, time of year, length of the advertising term, and other factors.

  4. Review and select the placement locations within the mall for your advertising placements.  Mappings of the mall(s) should be provided to you indicating the available locations for the mall option(s) you would like to utilize.  Select areas that have stores that cater to shoppers that match the target audience that you are wanting to reach.

  5. Contract the desired advertising space

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