concept of advertising

Advertising is a powerful communication force and vital marketing tool helping to sell goods, services, images, and ideas through channel of information and persuasion. It is highly visible force in the society. All of us receive many advertising messages daily. It is essential to the success of any type of business and industry. Non-business organisation such as government, college and universities, and Public Service groups employ more and more advertising strategies. It is one of the parts of the marketing and communication process. Advertising convince people to buy products. All advertising contains both information and persuasion. Today we can say advertising is a communication, marketing, public-relation, information and persuasion process. Advertising reaches us through a channel of communication referred to as a medium. It is usually aimed at a particular segment of the population the target audience (Consumer and business).

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Basically it is a medium of dissemination of information and persuasion. It always creates a glamorous area. Today advertising covers almost every area of the thought process and action of society. It is considered to be a highly sophisticated communication force and powerful marketing tool. In other words we can say that it is a complete psychological treatment of the consumer and a very creative and glamorous area also.

Definition of Advertising:

The word advertising came from the Latin word’ advertere’ means “to turn the mind toward”. The American Marketing Association (AMA) recommends the definition, “Advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods and services by an identified sponsor”. The AMA points out that advertising is a tool of marketing along with the product and its packaging, price, distribution and personnel selling. Its task is to present and promote the idea or goods and services. According to this definition promotion is ‘non-personal’. It is directed “to whom it may concern”. If advertising is effective, it is because the audience is receptive to it.

AMA definition actually describes the four main following points of advertising: The phase paid form in the AMA definition is too restricted for many advertising professionals. The phrase was designed to distinguish between advertising, which is delivered through space, or time for which the advertiser has paid, and publicity, which is delivered without charge as part of the news and entertainment content of the media.

Paid form: When product or services are mentioned favorably in the media newspaper, magazines and radio or television- the item appears because it is presumed to provide information or entertainment for the audience. But this is publicity, and no payment is made by the benefited organization. Advertising on the other hand, is published or broadcast because the advertiser has purchased time or space to tell the story of a certain product or service.

Non-personal presentation: Personal selling takes place when a personal face-to-face presentation is made. Although advertising complements or may submit for, personal selling it is done in a non-personal manner through intermediaries – or media.

Idea, goods and services: From this point advertising is concerned with much more than the promotion of tangible goods. Most of the advertising is designed to help sell goods and services. It is being used increasingly to plead a cause of Social welfare

An Identified Sponsor: Advertising discloses or identifies the sources of the opinion and ideas. According to an identified sponsor, this point distinguishes advertising from propaganda. Propaganda attempts to present opinions and ideas in order to influence attitudes and actions. Advertising on the other hand, disclose or identifies the source of the opinions and ideas it present.

According to Mc Cann Erickson, Advertising is “Truth Well Told” Actually advertising is a paid publicity and silent salesmanship.

According to Seldon, “Advertising is a business force, which through printed words, sells or helps sale, build reputation and fosters goodwill”.

John V. W. expressed, “Advertising like salesmanship is an attempt to influence the thoughts and action of people”.

Canor and Wichart has given a definition that, “Advertising includes those visual or oral messages in magazines, newspapers, movies and letters, over radio and television and on transportation vehicles and outdoor signs which are paid by their sponsors and directed to consumers for purpose of influencing their purchases and attitudes”.

According to Britannica Dictionary, “A form of paid announcement interested to promote the sale of commodity or services, to advance an idea or to bring about other effect desired by the advertiser”.

Webster’s New World Dictionary has mentioned that Advertising is

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1. To tell about or praise (a product etc.) as through print media, audio and visual, so as to promote sale;

2. To make known; and 3. To call public to things for sale, for rent etc., as by printed or presented notice.

Another definition stresses the Idea that advertising is controlled, identifiable information and persuasion by means of Mass Communication. Such definition points to another distinction between advertising and other forms of promotion.

Albert Lasker, the father of advertising expressed that, “Advertising is salesmanship in print”. But he offered this definition long before television and internet, at a time when the nature and scope of advertising were very limited.

The London Institute of Practitioners in Advertising has given a definition that “Advertising presents the most persuasive possible selling message to right prospect for the product or service at the lowest possible cost”.

The above mentioned definitions include the element of payment for the sponsor. But the sponsor of the advertisement should not only make the payment for it, but should also identify itself in the advertisement. Finally we may consider the prevalent definition of advertising “As paid, non-personal communication through various media by business firms, non profit organization and individuals who hope to inform or persuade members of a particular audience“.

As also the definition given by Wright, Winter and Zeigler advertising is- “Controlled identified information and persuasion by mean of mass communication media”.

Information: The advertiser provides information to person who is seeking it. Surely, advertising is the most efficient means of reaching people with product or service information. ‘Presentation’ and promotion however hardly suggest an active attempt to influence people to action or belief by an overt appeal to reason or emotions.

Controlled: The word “Controlled” provides an important distinction between advertising and either personal selling or publicity. The content, time and direction of an advertising message are controlled by the advertiser.

Identifiable: This word is used in preference to such terms as “by an identified sponsor” to indicate that receiver of the advertising message is able to identify both source and purpose. The source is responsible for the message and recognizes or should recognize that its purpose is to persuade the receiver to accept the ideas or opinions it presents.

Mass Communication Media: It is designed to separate personal selling and advertising and also to convey the concept of multiple messages delivered to groups of people simultaneously.


Impact of Advertising:

Advertising creates and sustains an ideology of consumption and it is a social force affecting Indian homes today. Therefore, its impact should be analyzed.

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1. The first impact of advertisement is that the viewers have no choice of their own in making preference for the consumer goods they want to use in daily life. The advertisement imposes choices and preferences on the public mind through language, conversation, jingles, etc.

2. Advertising in India has created an incredible awareness among the people in the past decade growing into big industry. It was grown along with the press and today it has found its way into the other three media – Radio and Television and Internet.

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3. Advertising diffuses information about commodities, markets them and persuades the common man of their place in his life.

4. Advertising plays a role in social change. It celebrates change and internalizes change for those who become better by using a certain product/service. In short, advertising is the voice of technology; because of that it represents the intention to affect life.

5. Advertising, though originally used to market products, now, unfortunately, it seems to market feelings, sensations and styles of life; an astounding ‘revolution in manners and morals’. All this has been possible through an efficient communication network which has revolutionized changes.

6. Advertising in India has played a vital role in the development process by creating a demand for consumer goods and raising the living standards of millions. • Advertising has speeded the introduction of useful inventions. It has spread markets, reduced the price of goods, accelerated turnover and kept people in employment.

7. Advertisements of fertilizers, pesticides, farming equipment, cattle feed, etc. have reached rural market successfully.

8. A substantial amount of advertising expenses are utilized on advertisements of capital goods, intermediaries, consumer durables and services, most of which promote investment, production and employment.

9. Advertising which was originally an American concept, has found its place in a country like India, so much so that the number of commercials have doubled in the media. Television is the most sought after medium for advertising.


Types of Advertising


Advertising is the promotion of a company’s products and services carried out to drive up sales of the products and services. It is also done to build a brand image and communicate changes in old products or introduce new product/services to the customers. Advertising has become an essential element of the corporate world and hence companies allot a considerable amount of resources towards their advertising budget.

The reasons for advertising are as follows:

  • Increasing the sales of the product/service
  • Creating and maintaining a brand identity or brand image.
  • Communicating a change in the existing product line.
  • Introduction of a new product or service.
  • Increasing the buzz-value of the brand or the company

Thus, these are the several reasons for advertising. Similarly, there exist various media which can be effectively used for advertising. Mentioned below are the various categories or types of advertising.

1. Print Advertising (Newspaper, Magazines, Brochures, Files):

Print media has always been a popular advertising option. Advertising done via newspapers or magazines is a common practice. In addition to this, the print media also offers promotional brochures and fliers for advertising purposes. Often, newspapers and magazines sell the advertising space according to the area occupied by the advertisement or the position of the advertisement in the publication (front page/middle page, above/below the fold), as well as the readership of the publications. For instance, an advertisement in a relatively new and less popular newspaper will cost far less than that of an established newspaper that has a high readership. The price of print ads may also depend on quality of the paper and the supplement in which they appear. For example, an advertisement in the glossy (and popular) supplement of a newspaper costs more than one in a supplement which uses mediocre quality paper.

2. Outdoor Advertising (Billboards, Kiosks, Trad-Shows & Events):

Outdoor advertising is also a very popular form of advertising. It makes use of several tools and techniques to attract the customers outdoors. The most common examples of outdoor advertising are billboards, kiosks, hoardings, flex and also trade-shows organized by the company. Billboard advertising is very popular. However it has to be really catchy in order to grab the attention of the passersby. Kiosks not only provide an easy outlet for the company’s products but also make for an effective advertising tool to promote the company’s products. Organizing special events or sponsoring them makes an excellent advertising opportunity and strategy. The company can organize trade fairs, or even exhibitions for advertising their products. For instance a company that manufactures sports utilities can sponsor a sports tournament to advertise its products.

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3. Broadcast Advertising (Television, Radio & the Internet):

Broadcast advertising is a very popular advertising medium which constitutes several branches like television, radio or the Internet. Television advertisements have been very popular ever since they were introduced. The cost of television advertising generally depends on the duration of the advertisement, the time of broadcast (prime time/lull time), sometimes the show on which it will be broadcasted, and of course, the popularity of the television channel itself. The radio might have lost its charm due to new age media. However it remains the choice of small-scale advertisers. Radio jingles have been very a popular advertising medium and have a large impact on the audience, which is evident in the fact that many people still remember and enjoy old popular radio jingles.

4. Cover Advertising (Advertising in Movies):

Covert advertising is a unique kind of advertising in which a product or a particular brand is incorporated in some entertainment and media channels like movies, television shows or even sports. There is no commercial advertising as such in the entertainment but the brand or the product is sometimes showcased in the entertainment show.

5. Surrogate Advertising (Advertising indirectly):

Surrogate advertising is prominently seen in cases where advertising a particular product is banned by law. Advertisements for products like tobacco, cigarettes or alcohol which are injurious to health are prohibited by law in several countries. Hence these companies come up with several other products that have the same brand name and indirectly remind people of the cigarettes or alcohol of the same brand by advertising the other products. Common examples include Fosters and Kingfisher beer brands, which are often seen to promote their brand with the help of surrogate advertising.

6. Public Service Advertising (Advertising for social causes): 

Public service advertising is a technique that makes use of advertising as an effective communication medium to convey socially relevant messages about important matters and social causes like AIDS, energy conservation, political integrity, deforestation, illiteracy, poverty and so on. David Ogilvy who is considered to be one of the pioneers of advertising and marketing concepts had reportedly encouraged the use of the advertising field for a social cause. Ogilvy once said, “Advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest – it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes. Today, public service advertising has been increasingly used in a non-commercial fashion in several countries across the world in order to promote various social causes. In the United States, radio and television stations are granted to bidders on the basis of a fixed amount of public service advertisements aired by the channel.

7. Celebrity Endorsement:

Although the audience is getting smarter and smarter, there exists a section of advertisers that still bank upon celebrities and their popularity for advertising their products. Using celebrities for advertising involves signing up celebrities for advertising campaigns, which consist of all sorts of advertising including, television ads or even print advertisements. How effective these ads are, is something that each consumer himself can determine.

So, those were the most popular kinds of advertising used today. Each of the advertisement types mentioned has its own sub-types and rates of effectiveness. It is the job of advertising department to figure out which type of which medium is the best and the most feasible for the company.

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Reference Article:

  • Akanksha, S. (n.d.). A study of the impact of social advertisements. University.
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