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Chapter Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Objectives
  3. Concept of Advertising
    1. Concept
    2. Objectives
    3. Function
  4. Classification of Advertising
    1. Classification based on function
    2. Classification based on region
    3. Classification based on target markets
    4. Classification based on company demand
    5. Classification based on desired responses
    6. Classification based on the media used to issue advertisements
  5. Let us sum up
  6. Answers to check your progress
  7. Further Readings
  8. Possible questions

SLMinto.png Introduction

By now you must already be familiar with the various aspects of journalism and mass communication. In the first course of PG Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication programme, we have had a discussion on the concept of communication, news, principles of editing etc.

You are exposed to a variety of advertisements day in and day out. You see advertisements in newspapers, in hoardings, listen to radio advertisements and also watch a host of advertisements in the television. There is also a variety of advertisements in the World Wide Web. Have you ever wondered how the world of advertisement works? What is advertisement? In this unit, we will discuss the concept, objectives and functions of advertising. We will also discuss the classification of advertising in an elaborate manner.

SLMobj.png Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you are expected to learn about:

  • define the term advertising in your own words;
  • explain the objectives of advertising;
  • outline the functions of advertising; and
  • categorize advertising using function, region, target market, company demand and media used.

Concept of Advertising

Advertisement has become an integral part in today’s marketing scenario. In earlier times, advertisement was not given as much emphasis as it is being given today. The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising defines the term as: “advertising presents the most persuasive possible selling message to the right prospects for the product or service at the lowest possible cost”. Here we have a combination of creativity, marketing research & economic media buying. Advertising may cost a lot of money but that cost is justified if it works effectively and economically.


The word advertising is a Latin word which means “to turn attention of people to a specific thing.” It is a paid publicity. According to Oxford Dictionary the word ‘to advertise’ means ‘to make generally or publicly known’, describe publicly with a view to increasing sales.

Advertising is thus, a mass communication tool, which is essentially in paid form by a firm or an individual and the ultimate purpose of which is to give information, develop attitudes & induce action, which are useful to the advertiser.

Advertising presents and upholds the ideas, commodities and services of a recognized advertiser, which provides as a communication link between the producer and the potential buyers. It gives the information to the would-be buyers who are interested in seeking the information about a product and the manufacturer. Advertising may be taken as the most efficient means of reaching people with product information. Advertising presents a mass persuasion apart from disseminating information to the prospective buyers about the product and the producer. While creating awareness and popularity, it seeks to persuade. It is a more effective and extensive and less expensive way of creating contacts.

Objectives of advertising

The purpose of advertising is to sell something - a product, a service or an idea. The real objective of advertising is effective communication between goods and clients and increasing awareness. Mathews, Buzzell, Levitt and Frank have listed some specific objectives of advertising.

  • To make an immediate sale.
  • To build primary demand.
  • To introduce a price deal.
  • To build brand recognition or brand insistence.
  • To help salesman by building an awareness of a product among retailers.
  • To create a reputation for service, reliability or research strength.
  • To increase market share.


A normal characteristic of advertising is to create primary demand for a product category rather than for a specific brand. It is believed that the product advertising must give stress on brand name.

Now, we are going to out line the functions of advertising.

  • To distinguish products from their competitors: There are so many products in the market. Sometime the same types of products are competing in one market.
  • To communicate product information: Through advertisement one company can send its product information to the target audiences.
  • To urge product use: Advertisement can create the urge within ourselves for a product.
  • To expand product distribution: When the market demand of a particular product increases, the retailer and distributor are engaged in the sale of that product.
  • To increase brand preference: There are various products with various bands. So we are getting the preference to choose the band of a particular product with the help of advertisement.
  • To reduce overall sale cost: Advertising increases the primary demand in the market. When demand is there and the product is available, automatically the overall price will decrease.

SLMact.gif Activity
1) Open today’s newspaper and identify the advertisements. Calculate how many advertisements are published in the paper and how much space has been covered.

2) Watch a television channel for at least one hour and calculate how many advertisements are carried and note down the duration of television advertisements you have watched.

3) Click and view Idea Cellular ad on 'what difference education can make. Give your comments on effectiveness of web advertisement.

4) View more web ads at

SLMsaq.gif Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) -1
1.What do you mean by advertising?
Answer within 50 words.

2. Give the correct answers (Yes/No) of the following –

i) Do you think advertising is a personal communication?

ii) Does advertising communicate the information of a product ?

iii) To make an immediate, sale is a main objective of advertising, Do you agree or not?

iv) Is advertising different from publicity?


Advertising is the paid, non-personal communication of information about products or ideas by an identified sponsor through the mass media in an effort to manipulate customer behavior. Advertising is non-personal because it's a fantasy created by a computer that selects one part of the target audience. It communicates information about products or ideas.

Advertising can be classified on the basis of Function, Region, Target Market, Company demand, Desired response and Media.

Classification based on function

Advertising performs some functions. (A) It can inform the customers about a product, service, or idea. (B) It can persuade the consumers to buy products, services, and ideas. (C) It can remove cognitive dissonance from the minds of the customers to reinforce the feeling that they have bought the best product, service, or idea and their decision is right. (D) It can remind existing customers about the presence of the product, service, or idea in the market till now. (E) It can dissuade the public at large from buying certain products or services that are harmful for them.

Let us discuss some important types of advertising based on the functional aspect of advertising.

Informative advertising This type of advertising informs the customers about the products, services, or ideas of the firm or organization. Examples: Vishal Megamart is offering 2 kg sugar for every Rs. 1,000/- purchase everyday.

Persuasive advertising This type of advertising persuades or motivates the prospective buyers to take quick actions to buy the products or services of the firm. Example: “Buy one, get one free”.

Reminder advertising This genre of advertising reminds the existing customers to become medium or heavy users of the products or services of the firm that have been purchased by them at least once. This type of advertising exercise helps in keeping the brand name and uses of the products in the minds of the existing customers.

Negative advertising This type of advertising dissuades target audience from purchasing such products and services which would not only harm them but also the society in general. Examples: Advertisements of various civic authorities against alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics.

Classification based on region

We can also classify advertising according to the region

Global advertising It is executed by a firm in its global market niches. Reputed global magazines like Time, Far Eastern Economic Review, Span, Fortune, Futurist, Popular Science. Cable TV channels are also used to advertise the products through out world. Supermodels and cinema stars are used to promote high-end products Examples: Sony, Philips, Pepsi, Coca Cola, etc.

National advertising It is executed by a firm at the national level. It is done to increase the demand of its products and services throughout the country. Examples: BPL (Believe in the best). Whirlpool Refrigerator (Fast Forward Ice Simple) etc.

Regional advertising If the manufacturer confines his advertising to a single region of the country, its promotional exercise is called Regional Advertising. This can be done by the manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of the firm. Examples: Advertisements of regional newspapers covering those states or districts where these newspapers are circulated. Eg. The Assam Tribune (only for the NE region) etc.

Local advertising When advertising is done only for one area or city, it is called Local Advertising. Some professionals also call it Retail Advertising. It is sometime done by the retailer to persuade the customer to come to his store regularly and not for any particular brand. Examples: Advertisements of Ooo la la, Gupshup (Local FM channels) etc.

Classification based on targeted markets

Depending upon the types of people who would receive the messages of advertisements, we can classify advertising into four subcategories.

Consumer product advertising This is done to impress the ultimate consumer. An ultimate consumer is a person who buys the product or service for his personal use. This type of advertising is done by the manufacturer or dealer of the product or service. Examples: Advertisements of Intel, Kuttons (shirt), Lakme (cosmetics) etc.

Industrial product advertising: This is also called Business-to-Business Advertising. This is done by the industrial manufacturer or his distributor and is so designed that it increases the demand of industrial product or services manufactured by the manufacturer. It is directed towards the industrial customer.

Trade advertising This is done by the manufacturer to persuade wholesalers and retailers to sell his goods. Different media are chosen by each manufacturer according to his product type, nature of distribution channel, and resources at his command. Hence, it is designed for those wholesalers and retailers who can promote and sell the product.

Professional advertising This is executed by manufacturers and distributors to influence the professionals of a particular trade or business stream. These professionals recommend or prescribe the products of these manufacturers to the ultimate buyer. Manufacturers of these products try to reach these professionals under well-prepared programmes. Doctors, engineers, teachers, purchase professionals, civil contractors architects are the prime targets of such manufacturers.

Financial advertising Banks, financial institutions, and corporate firms issue advertisements to collect funds from markets. They publish prospectuses and application forms and place them at those points where the prospective investors can easily spot them.

Classification based on company demand

There are two types of demand, as follows:-

(A) Market Demand: Advertising is the total volume that would be bought by a defined customer group, in a defined geographical area, in a defined time period, in a defined marketing environment under a defined marketing programme.

(B) Company Demand: It is the share of the company in the market demand. Accordingly, there are two types of advertising, as follows.

Primary demand advertising It is also called Generic Advertising. This category of advertising is designed to increase the primary demand. This is done by trade associations or groups in the industry. Primary advertising is done by many companies at the same time, but there is no competition. The idea is to generate a continual demand for the product.

Selective demand advertising This is done by a company or dealer to increase the company demand. The company would advertise its own brand only. The retailer can also advertise a particular brand. Examples: Titan wrist watch , Hero Honda bike , Sony television etc

Classification based on desired responses

An ad can either elicit an immediate response from the target customer, or create a favourable image in the mind of that customer. The objectives, in both cases, are different. Thus, we have two types of advertising under this classification.

Direct action advertising This is done to get immediate responses from customers. Examples: Season's sale, purchase coupons in a magazine.

Indirect action advertising This type of advertising exercise is carried out to make a positive effect on the mind of the reader or viewer. After getting the advertisement he does not rush to buy the product but he develops a favourable image of the brand in his mind.

Surrogate advertising This is a new category of advertising. In this type of promotional effort, the marketer promotes a different product. For example: the promotion of Bagpiper soda. The firm is promoting Bagpiper Whisky, but intentionally shows soda. They know that the audience is quite well aware about the product and they know this fact when the actor states, "Khoob Jamega Rang Jab Mil Baithenge Teen Yaar ... Aap ... Main, Aur Bagpiper").

Classification based on on the media used for advertisements

The broad classification based on media is as follows.

Audio advertising It is done through radio, P A systems, auto-rickshaw promotions, and four-wheeler promotions etc.

Visual advertising It is done through PoP displays, without text catalogues, leaflets, cloth banners, brochures, electronic hoardings, simple hoardings, running hoardings etc.

Audio-visual It is done through cinema slides, movies, video clips, TV advertisements, cable TV advertisements etc.

Written advertising It is done through letters, fax messages, leaflets with text, brochures, articles and documents, space marketing features in newspapers etc.

Internet advertising The world wide web is used extensively to promote products and services of all genres. For example Bharat Matrimony,, etc.

Verbal advertising Verbal tools are used to advertise thoughts, products, and services during conferences, seminars, and group discussion sessions. Kinesics also plays an important role in this context.

SLMact.gif Activity
1) Read today’s newspaper and identify the advertisements according to the above classification.

2) Search at least two direct action advertising. 3) Identify two advertisements informative and persuasive in nature..

SLMsaq.gif Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) -2
1)What is Surrogate advertising? Answer this question within 50 words.

2) Name two types of company demand.

SLMsum.png Results

SLMtest1.png Practice Test

1) “Advertising is a non personal communication”. is why it non personal? (Word Limit 200)
2) Write about the various types of advertising with suitable example. (Word Limit 800)
3) Why does a company or a manufacturer promotes surrogate advertising to popularize a product? (Word Limit 200)
4) Do you think advertising is important for development of a society? Justify your answer. (Word Limit 200)
5) Enumerate the objectives of advertising in your own words. (Word Limit 300)

SLMfeedb.png Answers to SAQs


1.Advertising is the non-personal publicity of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media.

2. The right answers are — i) No ii) Yes iii) Yes iv) Yes

SAQ-2 1. This is a new category of advertising. In this type of promotional effort, the marketer promotes a different product. For example: the promotion of Bagpiper soda. The firm is actually promoting Bagpiper Whisky, but intentionally shows soda. They know that the audience is quite well aware about the product and they know this fact when the actor states, "Khoob Jamega Rang Jab Mil Baithenge Teen Yaar ... Aap ... Main, Aur Bagpiper"). Another example is the advertisements of McDowell Apple Juice. Our society does not like products like liquor, cigarettes etc to be promoted in the media, but the firms manufacturing these products use the surrogate advertising technique to remind the audiences that such products are available in markets.

2) There are two types of demand, which are as follows:- (A) Market Demand: It is the total volume that would be bought by a defined customer group in a defined geographical area in a defined time period in a defined marketing environment under a defined marketing programme. (B) Company Demand: It is the share of the company in the market demand.

SLMref.png References and Further Readings

  • Advertising – Franc Jefkins, Mc Millan, New Delhi
  • Advertising – B. N. Ahuja, Surjeet, New Delhi
  • Advertising Management - Rajeev Batra, JohnGMyres, David A Aaker