Above The Line (ATL) and Below The Line (BTL) advertising are two terms that are bandied around a lot in the advertising world and often have the lay person confused as to what they stand for.
Above The Line (ATL) advertising is where mass media is used to promote brands and reach out to the target consumers. These include conventional media: television and radio advertising, print as well as internet. This is communication that is targeted to a wider spread of audience, and is not specific to individual consumers.
Below the line (BTL) advertising is more one to one, and involves the distribution of pamphlets, handbills, stickers, promotions, brochures placed at point of sale, on the roads through banners and placards. It could also involve product demos and samplings at busy places like malls and market places or residential complexes.