Advertising surrounds us. It is part and parcel or our existence which we take for granted. Wherever we go we see advertising, be it on hoardings or buildings, magazines and newspapers, shops and restaurants or on television and at the movies. In fact if you live in an urban area there is scarcely an area you can turn toward where you won’t be struck by an advertisement of some sort.
The Main Objective
The primary purpose of advertising is to publicize a company, product, concept, or service. There are many different advertising formats to choose from to build brand awareness and enhance product sales.
Before you can decide what advertising platform is right for your company you must define your target audience. Obviously your target would be the specific group which would use or buy your product. You target audience could be defined by demographics such as gender, age, education, and income level. If you were to advertise at a venue where such a group is focused, it is called target marketing, a key to effective advertising.
The Print Media
The print media enables you to reach a target audience of a specific customer profile. The print media includes brochures, magazines, and newspapers. Advertisements in this media comprises of text and graphics. Newspaper and magazine publishers have detailed demographic information about their readers which enables marketers to customize their advertisements to appeal to this specific audience.
Broadcast advertising is radio, TV, and internet messages. The conventional broadcast ad is the commercial shown before a movie or during a break in a television program. Product placement advertising is a subtle form of promoting a product where you highlight it by its presence, so in effect the product promotes itself. Product advertising is when you have to pay for a character in a program to use your product. Product advertising is a powerful tool because if a hero/heroine uses the product it implies acceptance and certification. Words or text are not required in product advertising because the message is implicit. For example, in a TV program or movie, if the hero eats or drinks a particular product it works as an endorsement. A classic example is in American Idol where Coca Cola cups are prominently displayed on the judges’ table. Product advertising is also known as covert advertising.
Internet promotion is arguably the most recent and most powerful advertising medium. Take flash advertising as an annoying example. This is when advertisements flash on your computer screen and can be difficult to close. Annoying yes, but they’ve made their point.
Outdoor advertising uses hoardings, signage, and billboards. Outdoor signage also uses promotional messages on cars, buses, trailers, boats, and even planes. Outdoor advertising is particularly evident in places like stadiums at popular sporting events, where an advertisement receives high visibility.