What is Advertising?

What is Advertising

What is Advertising?

Advertising is science. It is constantly being researched by academics and companies.

For those involved in advertising, its definition is as specific as the definition of personality is for sociologists and psychologists. Thus, advertising is not easily defined. That is because the way the human brain reacts to various advertising stimuli has yet to be determined.

Some of the definitions of advertising are as follows:

Advertising is any communication that is intended to convince the consumer to take some action.

Advertising is a paid communication that aims to encourage or influence people to buy or try something.

Advertising is any communication designed to influence potential customers about products or services.

Advertising is a sponsor’s activity. The sponsor tries to draw public attention to an idea, product, or service through paid announcements.

Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade or manipulate the public to take some action.

Advertising is a form of communication that aims to provide people with information that they might be interested in or find useful.

Advertising is a paid form of presentation and promotion of products or services by a sponsor.

The word advertising derives from the Latin word “advertere” which means “to turn my mind toward”

Advertising is an expression of modern competition.

Advertising is of paramount importance in the survival or maintenance and development of a business.


The purpose of advertising

The purpose of advertising is:

  1. To enhance a company’s brand and increase product awareness in the market.
  2. To inform consumers about a product.
  3. To form a positive association or to improve a corporate profile.
  4. To increase the consumer’s trust in a product.
  5. To remove all doubt and any prejudice about a product.
  6. To cultivate a positive consumer attitude towards an already known product.
  7. To contribute to a better distribution of the product.
  8. To increase sales of the already known product.
  9. To positively influence consumers by testing a product.
  10. To remind consumers of the product’s special features.
  11. To promote an idea (social campaigns).
  12. To highlight the product’s sales locations.
  13. To convince consumers to make a test purchase.
  14. To remind consumers of a product’s usefulness.


Advertising goals

Taking the above-mentioned purposes into consideration, the advertising goals are classified according to their aim into:

1. Informative

2. Reminding

3. Persuasive


Advertising strategies

Some people use advertising as a form of persuasive communication.


Advertising can be categorized based on three different strategies:

-Push Strategy

This strategy aims to influence intermediate buyers (commercial buyers) regarding a product. It gives priority to sales promotion. It is usually applied when consumers’ trust in a product is low.

-Pull strategy

This strategy aims to influence consumers regarding a product. It puts the emphasis on the use of advertising.

-Profile Strategy

This strategy aims to influence all consumers in order to improve a company’s brand reputation. It gives priority to increasing awareness of a company’s brand.


What is an advertising plan?              

Before creating an ad, one should always design an advertising plan. An advertising plan includes the various components of an advertising campaign such as:

– The advertising goal (Inform – Remind – Convince).

– The product’s special features.

– The target audience. For whom is the product intended?

– The messaging strategy.

– The message’s format (visual, acoustic, etc.)

– The product’s placement in the market.

– What the long-term advertising plan will be.

– Which distribution channels (advertising media) will be used.

– How much the advertising budget will be.


Advertising and marketing

Advertising and sales promotion constitute the “promotional mix”, which is one of the most important marketing tools. When it comes to marketing, advertising means promotion. Marketing determines advertising goals and budget. It determines how and which part of an advertising message can be intensified without interfering with its copy. The creation and transmission of an advertising message belong to the marketing communication process. Marketing also evaluates the advertising campaign. As far as marketing is concerned, the customer is always right.


Advertising or sales promotion?

Advertising can help increase sales but is not solely responsible for them. An advertisement is not entirely responsible for a business’s decline in sales revenue. Advertising goals should not be set to increase sales. Advertising is not sales promotion.

There are many factors that contribute to increased sales such as sales promotion, product price, personal sales, distribution channels, public relations, promotional actions and more.

In recent years, sales promotion has gained significant ground in the promotional mix compared with advertising. Sales promotion has a direct effect on sales growth compared with advertising, the effects of which are mainly long-term.

By using this strategy, companies are dangerously drifting away from advertising, risking losing all the benefits that advertising would bring about in the future.


The advertising creative process

The advertising creative process is the most important and difficult part of advertising. Based on it, one can evaluate the abilities of an advertising agency. It requires research and data collection but above all inspiration and talented creative thinking. Although there are many in favor of utilizing data based on common sense, and who consider the creative process a standardized process, the truth is hidden in talent and inspiration.

There are several methodologies for the advertising creative process.

Wallas’s (English sociologist, 1926) four-stage model of the creative process consists of:

– Preparation

The collection of research data and the utilization of primary and secondary data in order to solve a problem.

– Incubation

The time that ideas need to develop and mature.

– Illumination

The process of problem solving.

– Verification

The testing that will confirm whether the idea will actually solve the problem.


The benefits of advertising

Some benefits of advertising are:

-It provides jobs to graphic designers, photographers, directors, editors, journalists, advertising companies, marketers and other related specializations.

-It strengthens a country’s gross national product.

-It is the foundation of media pluralism.


The advantages of advertising

Some advantages of advertising are:

1. Increases the sales of a business.

2. Fights off competition.

3. Introduces a new product or service to the market.

4. Expands the market.

5. Enhances product quality.

6. Increases living standards.

7. Facilitates sales.

8. Eliminates marketing intermediaries for small businesses.

9. Facilitates mass production and mass distribution.


The disadvantages of advertising

Some disadvantages of advertising are:

1. Creates a monopoly market.

Large companies have a competitive advantage over small businesses and monopolize the market.

2. Promotes unnecessary consumption.

Unnecessary products or services are promoted, causing national resources to be squandered.

3. Presents misleading claims.

It misleads consumers by luring them with false product benefits.

4. Creates social inequalities and contradictions.

Complexes of superiority, inferiority, jealousy, etc. are created.

5. Reduces moral values.

Some ads contain immoral features, obscene images and vulgar language.

6. Helps sell “bad” products.

Some of these are cigarettes, alcohol, etc.

7. Deceives children.

Children cannot discern reality and are easily deceived.

8. Makes noise.

The multitude of advertising messages and the advertising competition creates noise.

9. Encourages the sale of low-quality products.

Every advertiser promotes their products as being the best and impairs the consumer’s judgment.


The types of advertising

Since advertising can be defined in many ways, there are also a lot of different types of advertising.

Some of the most popular types of advertising are:

1. Selective Demand Advertising

Advertising that tries to inform potential consumers and convince them of a product’s special benefits and advantages over others. This type of advertising focuses on the product.

2. Primary Demand Advertising

Advertising that tries to positively influence consumers’ attitudes in order to increase the demand for a product or service. This type of advertising focuses on the consumer.

3. Brand Loyalty Advertising

Advertising that tries to increase consumers’ commitment or trust towards a product and withstand any comparison with the competition. This type of advertising focuses on the consumer.

4. Display Advertising

Advertising that tries to communicate a product to potential customers through promotion on most online and offline channels. It displays information such as its price, its utility and its competitive advantage.

5. Business to Business Advertising

Advertising that tries to communicate a product or service to other businesses or commercial buyers, mainly through exhibitions. It emphasizes the competitive advantage of a product or service.

6. Sales Promotion Advertising

Advertising that aims to increase sales through sales promotion campaigns. It informs potential customers about special offers and discounts.

7. Public Relationship Advertising

Advertising that tries to win over the public through public relations and by creating (brand) recognition – that is, fame. This type of advertising deals with the activities and issues of companies, institutions or organizations.

8. Cooperative Advertising

Advertising in which two or more companies cooperate in order to promote their related products, e.g. McDonald’s and a soft drink company like Coca Cola. This is the most expensive type of advertising because it requires large funds and its inefficiency can negatively impact a business.


Different types of advertising according to the target audience

Advertising can also be defined according to the target audience. There are different types such as:

-Political Advertising

This is aimed at voters and tries to promote political candidates.

-National Advertising

This is addressed to a country’s residents or target audience and tries to promote products or services within the country’s borders only.

-International Advertising

This is aimed at consumers outside the country’s borders and tries to promote products or services abroad.

-Professional Advertising

This is used to promote products or services to professionals; e.g. it promotes equipment and tools to doctors, engineers, programmers, electricians and others.

-Wholesale Advertising

This is addressed to wholesalers who, after purchasing products or services, resell them to consumers.

-Retail Advertising

This is the most popular advertising type. Either through promotion or through other techniques such as sales promotion, for example, retail advertising attempts to persuade consumers to buy a company’s products or services.


Other types of advertising

Other types of advertising include:

– Direct or indirect

– Black or gray

– Commercial or social

– Advertising for children

– Educational advertising

– Advertising of ideas


Advertising media

There are people who define types of advertising according to distribution channels.

What some people consider to be types of advertising are in fact advertising media.

Some of the most common advertising media are:

Offline Advertising

– Television

– Radio

– Newspapers

– Magazines

– Sponsorship

– Advertising gifts

– Advertising leaflets ((either through the post or not)

– Public transportation advertising

– Cinema advertising

– Ambient advertising (on tickets, graffiti, etc.)

– Outdoor advertising (in various parts of the city such as large signs, banners, sports fields, bright signs, etc.)

– Vehicle Advertising.

Vehicle Advertising is one of the most effective and expensive means of advertising and that is why only large companies can afford to use it.


Online Advertising

– Banners* on social media e.g. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

– Affiliate marketing platforms such as Clink Bank

– Guest posts on blogs and various websites

– Job search engines

– Online advertising platforms such as Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, etc.

– The integration of products into YouTube and TV channels

– Advertorial

– E-mail marketing

– Pop-ups


* Banners are differentiated into static, moving, interactive and live.

The effectiveness of advertising

There are various models and examples for the effectiveness of advertising in relation to its impact on the consuming public.

According to Barry and Howard (1990), when a consumer is exposed to an advertising message, he or she first goes through the cognitive stage, then the emotional, and finally the behavioral stage. It is best known as the “think – feel – do” scheme.

Also very popular is the A.I.D.A. model (Attention – Interest – Desire – Action).

According to Lewis (1898), the advertising message should first catch the consumer’s attention, then provoke their interest, then stimulate their desire, and finally that desire must be transferred into an action (that is usually a purchase).

In recent years, the effectiveness of image advertising has attracted the interest of scientists, academics and companies. Large companies use the standardization or adaptation/specialization strategy and prefer image advertising to verbal.


(Source: Belch, G.E. and Belch, M.A. (2009), Advertising and promotion: An integrated marketing communications perspective, 8th ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 156.)


The Effects of Advertising on the Consumer

The effects of advertising on the consumer are divided into several categories.

According to Mitchell, Moriarty, and Wells there are 6 categories:

– Perception (I see – I hear)

– Affective (I sense – I feel)

– Cognitive (I think – I understand)

– Association (I associate)

– Persuasion (I believe – I am motivated by something)

– Behaviour (I do – I act)


We will discuss more on the effects of advertising in detail in a future article.

(Source: Moriarty,S., Mitchell, N.D, and Wells W.D. (2012), Advertising & IMC: Principles and. Practice. 9th ed., New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 106-107)


Opinions differ about the effects of advertising in relation to its effectiveness. Some argue in favor of cognitive processing and believe that advertising should be informative. In recent years, however, scientists have been supporting emotional processing as demonstrating the effectiveness of advertising. Of course, many companies misunderstand this and create advertisements with sad songs during periods of global depression – such as the Covid-19 virus era. By contrast, members of the public have had beautiful and inspiring ideas that have been publicized and shared in order to satirize such a difficult situation. These were more effective than the paid creations of advertising companies, which not only infuriated the public but also wasted huge amounts of business capital.


Advertising and SEO

Advertising has great power. It doesn’t need SEO; it’s only the content that matters. Advertising creates SEO. That is common knowledge among large companies which possess a large amount of content and spend millions on advertising. As a result, they rank on the first page of search results without even complying with the rules of SEO.

Advertising x Content = Website promotion

Advertising x Content x SEO = Economical Website promotion



Small businesses hastily buy cheap banners and dream of a piece of the market. Unfortunately, they are unaware of basic advertising concepts, market research and SEO research, sales promotion, and marketing, etc.

Large businesses, after having invested in online advertising and spent a fortune on social media advertising without results, turn again to traditional media channels and place their trust in the power of television

Lack of knowledge on the subject of advertising and especially false knowledge not only destroys businesses but also alienates people by cultivating a negative attitude towards the utility of advertising.


  • Sinead
    May 2, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    Very interesting article, I have learnt a lot from it. It was very informative and an in-depth analysis of marketing.

  • Lucy Rohrer
    May 4, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    Thank you for this really informative post! It’s clear that advertising remains of vital importance despite the many enhancements that are possible with SEO. I’ll be sharing this with my marketing colleagues as we plan our strategy for the year ahead.

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