Meaning of Advertising

Advertising, the most commonly used tool of promotion, is an impersonal form of communication, which is paid for by the marketers to promote some goods or service. The word ‘Advertising’ has originated from the Latin word ‘adver’ which means ‘to turn the mind toward’.

The dictionary meaning of the term is ‘to give public notice or to announce publicly’.

The American Marketing Association has defined advertising as “any paid form of non-personal presentation or promotion of ideas, goods or services, by an identified sponsor”.

Features of Advertising

(i) Non-personal presentation of message

 There is no face-to-face or direct contact with the customers. It is directed to the prospective buyers in general.

(ii) Paid form of communication

The manufacturer communicates with prospective customers through different media like, newspapers, magazines, radio; television etc. for which he has to pay certain amount for using some space or time in those media.

(iii) Induces to buy product, service or idea

There is a message regarding a particular product, service or event or an idea to make people aware about the product and induce them to buy it.

(iv) Identified sponsor

The identity of the manufacturer, the trader or the service provider who issues advertisement is always disclosed.

(v) Use of media

There is always use of certain media : one or multiple.

Objectives of Advertising

  1. To apprise people about the new product and to create their interest in the product.
  2. To extend active support to personal selling and to make the process of sale easier.
  3. To increase the volume of sales and to reduce the selling expenses.
  4. To create and maintain permanent demand for the product.
  5. To reduce the number of middlemen and establish a direct link between the producer and consumer.
  6. To enhance the goodwill of the concern whose products are advertised.
  7. To create confidence in the minds of the people with regard to quality of the product.

Importance/Merits/Functions of advertising:

  1. Mass Reach:

Advertising is a medium through which a large number of people can be reached over a vast geographical area.

  1. Enhancing Customer Satisfying and Confidence:

Advertising creates confidence amongst prospective buyers as they feel more comfortable and assured about the quality and hence feel more satisfied.

  1. Expressiveness:

With the development in art, computer, designs, and graphics, advertising has developed into one communication. With the special effects that can be created, even simple products and messages can look very attractive.

  1. Economy:

Advertising is a very economical mode of communication if large number of people is to be reached. Because of its wide reach, the overall cost of advertising gets spread over numerous communication links established.

  1. Less Forceful:

Advertising is an impersonal form communication. It is less forceful than the personal selling as there is no compulsion on the prospects to pay attention to the message.

  1. Lack of Feedback:

The evaluation of the effectiveness of advertising message is very difficult as there is no immediate and accurate feedback mechanism of the message that is delivered.

  1. Inflexibility:

Advertising is less flexible as the message is standardized and is not tailor made to the requirements of the different customers groups.

  1. Low Effectiveness:

As the volume of advertising is getting more and more expanded it is becoming difficult to make advertising messages heard by the target prospects. This is affecting the effectiveness of advertising.

  1. Increases standard of living:

Advertising helps in making available the best quality goods at reasonable prices to the consumers and making possible to use the latest products, thus raising their standard of living.

  1. Increases goodwill:

It helps the business to increase the goodwill among the consumers and general public.

Objections/Demerits/Limitations of advertising:

  1. Adds to Cost:

The opponents of advertising argue that the advertising unnecessarily adds to the cost of product. Which is ultimately passed on to the buyers in the form of high prices?

  1. Undermines social Values:

Another important criticism of advertising is that it undermines social values and promotes materialism. It breeds discontent among people as they come to know about new products and feel dissatisfied with their present state of affairs.

  1. Confuses the Buyers:

Another criticism against advertisement is that so many products are being advertised which makes similar claims that the buyers gets confused as to which one is true and which one should be relied upon.

  1. Encourage Sale of Inferior Products:

Advertising does not distinguish between superior and inferior products and persuade people to purchase even the inferior products.

  1. Some Advertisements are in Bad Taste:

Another criticism against advertising is that some advertisements are in bad taste. These show something which in not approved by some people say advertisements showing women dancing when not required or running after a man because he is wearing a particular suit or using a particular perfume are certainly not good.

Different types of Advertising Media

 The term ‘media’ refers to the means through which the advertising information is communicated by the advertiser to the prospective customers.

  1. Newspaper

The newspapers are one of the most popular print, mass media available to the business.

Advantages of newspaper

  1. Due to large circulation average cost per reader becomes very low.
  2. Message given in newspaper tend to be more reliable by customers.
  3. Newspapers allow flexibility in message and design etc.

Drawbacks of newspaper

  1. The advertisement of newspaper has very short life of one day only.
  2. Through newspaper firms can reach literate customer only.
  3. The print quality of newspaper is not very fine.
  1. Magazines

Magazines are another set of print media which focus target group.

 Advantages of magazines

  1. The life of advertisement is longer, so long as magazine is retained.
  2. Magazines add credibility to the message.

Disadvantages of magazines

  1. Magazines have less frequency.
  2. Magazines offer less flexibility in message.


The television is the most effective and popular medium of mass communication.

Advantages of Television

  1. Great dramatization of advertisement is possible to make it attractive.
  2. It has high reach and large area of coverage.
  3. This medium uses the combination of sight, sound and motion.

Disadvantages of Television

  1. It involves high cost.
  2. The advertisement is shown for a short span only.


This medium of advertising has been very popular till the middle of last century because of is mass reach and again it is becoming popular.

Advantages of radio

  1. Message can reach the remotest area.
  2. Cost per listener is low.
  3. Useful for attracting illiterate people also.

Disadvantages of radio

  1. It has only audio effect so less attention is grabbed.
  2. It has short message life, so less effective.

Outdoor Media

This medium includes banners, hoardings, billboards in open spaces, and are usually seen around traffic signals, highways, busy market places etc.

Advantages of outdoor media

  1. Offer benefits of repeated exposures.
  2. High visibility and lower cost.

Disadvantages of outdoor media

  1. Can lead to accidents, so socially undesirable.
  2. Short attention span.


It is the most recent interactive advertising medium as it can deliver message effectively.

Advantages of internet

  1. It is not very expensive.
  2. Message dramatization is possible.

Disadvantages of internet

  1. It has limited reach.
  2. Being a new medium the users are very few in number.

Selection of a Suitable Media

 The key points to be considered while selecting suitable media are as follows:

  1. Nature of Product.
  2. Nature of market circulation of media.
  3. Type of audience.
  4. Advertising Objective.
  5. Availability of funds.
  6. Life of Advertisement.

Advantages of Advertising

 Advantage to Manufacturers

  1. It creates demand for new products by informing people.
  2. It promotes increased sales by maintaining the present demand.
  3. It creates goodwill by making the name of manufacturer.
  4. It creates steady demand for products by smoothening out the seasonal fluctuations.
  5. It increases labor productivity by encouraging employees to produce better quality of goods.

Advantage to consumer

  1. It facilitates purchasing by educating consumers to select correct brands of commodities.
  2. It paves the way for better standard of living as consumers come to know about the new and latest products available in market.
  3. It increases the utility of commodities. Consumer comes to know about the proper and diverse use of commodities through advertisements.
  4. It ensures good quality of products.
  5. It reduces the possibility of being cheated.

Advantage to salesmen

  1. It creates proper base for the salesmen by acquainting more people, in a shorter time.
  2. It educates salesmen and increases their confidence.
  3. It reinforces the sales points and simplifies work of the salesmen.
  4. It reduces the effort of the salesmen as they can reach the right prospects with the least effort.
  5. It increases the remuneration of salesmen by supplementing their efforts to increase sales.

Advantage to Society

  1. It uplifts the living standard of the people.
  2. It generates gainful employment opportunities.
  3. It provides new horizons of knowledge.
  4. It provides regular source of income to newspapers.
  5. It transforms culture of a nation.
  6. It acts as a barometer of a nation’s economic growth.

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