Advertising is paid, non-personal communication that is designed to communicate in a creative style, through the use of mass or information-directed media, the nature of products, services, and ideas. It is a form of persuasive communication that offers information about products, ideas, and services that serves the objectives determined by the advertiser. The word “advertise” originates from the Latin “advertere”, which means to turn toward or to take note of.
Advertising can influence customers in several different ways, but the primary goal of advertising is to increase the chances that customers exposed to an advertisement will behave or believe as the advertiser wishes. Thus, the ultimate objective of advertising is to sell things convincingly and creatively. The forms that advertising takes and the media in which advertisements appear are as varied as the advertisers themselves and the messages that they wish to deliver.
Advertising is pervasive and virtually impossible to escape. Newspapers and magazines often have more advertisements than copy; radio and television provide entertainment but are also laden with advertisements; advertisements pop up on Internet sites; and the mail brings a variety of advertisements. Advertising also exists on billboards along the freeway, in subway and train stations, on benches at bus stops, and on the frames around car license plates. In shopping malls, there are prominent logos on designer clothes, moviegoers regularly view advertisements for local restaurants, hair salons, and so on, and live sporting and cultural events often include signage, logos, products, and related information about the event sponsors. The repetitions of advertising and its creative elements are designed to make viewers notice the message.
Hierarchy of Effects model:
Advertising is a form of communication. Like all forms of communication, it has many different effects and these effects are often related to one another. The message in an advertisement, no matter how strong and persuasive, will have no effect if the consumer does not see the advertisement or pay attention to it. One practical structure for understanding the various effects and their interrelationships is known as the hierarchy of effects model.
The hierarchy of effects model identifies the various stages in the communication process. Effective communication begins by obtaining the attention of the customer. Then, the customer must process the information carried in the advertisement. Such processing of information may be followed by an assessment of the information, the source of the information, and finally the desirability of any actions recommended by the communication. This evaluation process may give rise to the formation of attitudes, the advance of intentions for future action, and, eventually, an action. Different characteristics of an advertisement have effects at different points in this hierarchy.
Role of Advertising:
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/service
Increasing the buzz-value of the brand or the company
Forms of Advertising:
Advertising can take numerous forms, including advocacy, comparative, cooperative, direct-mail, informational, institutional, outdoor, persuasive, product, reminder, point-of-purchase, and specialty advertising.
Advocacy Advertising –
The advertising campaign is designed to influence public opinion about a specific issue important in the public arena.
Comparative Advertising –
This method compares one brand directly or indirectly with one or more competing brands.
Cooperative Advertising –
It is a system that allows two parties to share the expenses incurred for advertising. Manufacturers and distributors, with a common interest of selling the product, usually use this technique.
Direct-mail Advertising –
In this method of advertising it is possible for a manufacturer to give a more detailed description of the brand or product and also personalize the message according to the type of customers. There are many options in this method. Some of the methods are catalogues, flyers, letters, and post-cards.
Informational Advertising –
Informational advertising is used when a new product is being introduced for the first time. The emphasis of the campaign is on promoting the product name, benefits, and its possible uses.
Institutional advertising takes a much broader approach, focusing on the benefits, idea, or philosophy of a particular industry. Companies often use it to promote image-building activities, such an environmentally friendly business practices or new community-based programs that it sponsors. Institutional advertising is directly related to public relations, since both are interested in promoting a positive image of the company to the public.
Outdoor Advertising –
Repetition is the key to a successful promotion and thus outdoor advertising is most effective technique. Bill-boards and messages painted on the side of buildings are common forms of out-door advertising. This method helps promote simple ideas very quickly.
Persuasive Advertising –
This is the second phase of advertising after informational advertising. The motive of this technique of advertising is to build a selective demand for a company’s product.
Product Advertising –
In this method of advertising, the focus is to promote a specific product but not the entire product-line of the company.
Reminder Advertising –
Reminder advertising is used in case of products that have entered the mature phase of the product life cycle. The advertisements are designed to remind customers about the product and to maintain the presence in the market.
Point-of-Purchase Advertising –
The primary objective is to attract customers to the display so that they will purchase the product. This method makes use of displays or other promotional items near the product that is being sold.
Specialty Advertising –
Specialty advertising is a form of sales promotion designed to increase public recognition of a company/brand. A company can have its name put on a variety of items, such as caps, gym bags, t-shirts, jackets, key chains, pen-drives, . The value of specialty advertising varies depending on how long the items used in the effort last. Sellsumerism is an evolving concept which is derived from the technique of specialty advertising.
Different advertising functions:
The primary objective of advertising is to persuade. This can be achieved in many different ways through different functions. The different advertising functions are –
Identification function – it means to identify a product and differentiate it from others; this creates an awareness of the product and provides a basis for consumers to choose the advertised product over other products.
Information function – this is to communicate information about the product, its attributes, and its location of sale.
Persuasion function – this focuses on inducing customers to try new products and to suggest reuse of the product as well as new uses.
Setting Advertising Objectives and Budget:
The objectives of an advertising campaign might be expanding the wholesale side of the business or developing a more affluent set of customers. This is done by taking into account the target market, sales message, images, and competitive environment. It is equally important to establish a realistic advertising budget. By rule of thumb, it should amount to three to five percent of the annual revenues. The budget should cover sponsorships (if any), as well as advertising in newspapers, magazines, yellow pages, internet, radio, television, direct mail and any other promotional techniques.
Types of Advertising:
The various categories of advertising are given below –
Print Advertising – newspapers, magazines, brochures, fliers.
Outdoor Advertising – billboards, kiosks, tradeshows, events.
Broadcasting Advertising – television, radio, internet.
Covert Advertising – advertising in movies.
Surrogate Advertising – advertising indirectly.
Public Service Advertising – advertising for social causes.
Celebrity Advertising – celebrities endorsing a brand.
In the digital era, advertising has gone a step ahead with advent of the internet. Newer trends and appeals are being tried and practiced. The latest methods of advertising include –
Web banner Advertising
Testimonials and Endorsements
Characteristics of good advertising:
For an advertising to be good and effective, there are certain attributes attached which are as follows:
Advertising should be an extension of the marketing communication strategy and the message should be consistent.
Advertising needs to be relevant to the customers’ needs, wants and values.
Breaking the clutter is another characteristic. Today, customers are subjected to numerous advertisements; also people try to block these messages. It is important to cut through and gain the attention of the customer.
The message should be true. It is important to be ethical because if customers feel they are deceived, the image of the company will go down and it is hard to change a negative impression once made.
The final outcome of the advertising efforts should be to sell the products, not to have advertisements that look amazing and win all kinds of awards. Awards for creativity do not sell the innovation or product.
Advertising is a tool of enormous complexity which supports marketing communication strategy with its power to create awareness, inform, and persuade. Much advertising does not have its intended effect. The reasons for this failure lie in the diversity and complexity of the effects of advertising. Like all successful communication, effective advertising is guided by careful understanding and a systematic approach towards its intended audience and how that audience will receive the intended message.
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