What is advertising? What are its important dimensions? First,
advertising is a paid form of communication, although some forms of
advertising, such as public service announcements, use donated space
and time. Second, not only is the message paid for, but the sponsor is
identified. Third, most advertising tries to persuade or influence the
consumer to do something, although in some cases the point of the
message is simply to make consumers aware of the product or company.
Fourth and fifth, the message is conveyed through many different
kinds of mass media reaching a large audience of potential consumers.
Finally, because advertising is a form of mass communication, it also
non-personal. A definition of advertising, then, includes all six features.
Advertising is paid non-personal communication from an identified
sponsor using mass media to persuade or influence an audience.
The content of communication is composed of signs, symbols, and
signals. The Nissan Frontier television advertisement consisted mainly of
symbols and signals, with symbols dominating.
For this discussion, signs will be described as words. The signs in
the ad were the Nissan: Shift Logo with the company's words "toughness,
power, capability, tradition, and utility" flashing at the bottom. Due to
the heavy weight of visual stimuli in this ad shots, words were not as
much emphasized to help with the context, as symbols were.
"Symbols are motivated, which means that some element of
perceived reality is reproduced in simplified form" (Adams). All of the
eight objects described in the "The Ad" section, an anvil, mask, steak,
"biker's leather jacket", sword, two large brass balls, a knife, and an
antiqued cannon, are symbols. The anvil, used in shaping metals,
symbolizes form, shape, toughness, and innovation. A cast of a warrior's
mask symbolizes war, violence, courage, and strength. The steak is
notorious to be a man's food, thus portraying masculinity. Attitude, bad,
rough, and tough guy are communicated by the leather biker's jacket.
The sword and brass balls together were to symbolize the male genitalia,
thus masculinity displayed in a physical/biological sense. The large,
100% brass balls, side by side are symbolizing the obvious: a "real man"
has "big balls." The knife, Swiss Army, is a multi-purpose tool,
communicating the versatility and "ruggedness" of the truck. The other
"weapons" demonstrate power, strength, and self-reliance. The cannon
symbolizes both a phallic symbol, therefore representing "masculinity,"
and also aggressive, explosive, and danger. The very setting of the
advertisement, a foundry, symbolizes building and innovation, yet also
tough, dirty, hot, and dangerous. All of these things melted create the
Nissan Frontier; therefore the Frontier symbolizes all of the above
The ideas that if you drive this truck, then you will have adventure;
and if you drive this truck then you have brass balls and are really a
manly man, are signals. The ad signals the consumer to buy to product
so that the consumer will attain the portrayed characteristics.
Functions of advertising:
Even though each ad or campaign tries to accomplish goals unique to its
sponsor, advertising performs three basic functions:
Provide product or brand information:
Although many ads are devoid of information, providing the consumer
with relevant information that will aid decision making is still the main
function of advertising. The information given depends on the needs of
the target audience. In the case of purchasing a new suit, needed
information might simply include price and outlet location. The American
diary tells us to "drink milk". For technical products, the information is
likely to be very detailed.
provide incentives to take decision:
In most instances, consumers are reluctant to change established
behavior. Even if there are somewhat dissatisfied with the current
product or service, a habit has been established and learning about a
new product is deemed difficult. Advertising provides the consumer with
reasons to switch brands by presenting reasons through copy or
graphics. Convenience, high quality, lower price, warranties, or a
celebrity endorser are all possibilities.
provide reminders and reinforcement:
It’s amazing how much advertising is directed at current customers.
Consumers forget why they bought a particular brand of microwave or
automobile. Advertising must remind the customer constantly about the
name of the brand, its benefits, its value, and so forth. These same
messages help reinforce the customers decision. Most television
advertising seems to provide this function.
Types of Advertising:
Advertising is a form of selling. It tries to make consumers buy
goods or services. Advertisers must be aware of the factors that influence
people's buying habits and then use advertising strategies based on this
knowledge. Advertising can be classified in number of ways. According
to one such way there exist four basic categories: lifestyle, testimonial,
informative, or repetitive.
Advertising may also be classified on basis of public relations
practice as in-house ads, public service announcements and institutional
advertising used for issues, advocacy and identity. Three other types are
used less often, but do occur: specialty, cooperative and professional
advertising. One should note the fact that these classifications are not
distinct and may overlap each other. Let us look each individual category
In- house ads
In- house add is what an organization prepares for is in its own medium
or in another medium controlled by the same owner. For instance, a
newspaper that is a part of a chain of print and broadcast media might
promote a special subscription offer or announce a new "lifestyles"
section by running an add or promo o the chain's television stations. No
money is exchanged, although space allotments or “budgets" are
Public service announcements
Psas are sales or promotional pieces - not news stories - in the form of
announcements. Generally, broadcast stations give unsold airtime for
psas, which are prepared just like commercials, from organizations such
as the united way, the American heart association.
Print psas are generally, but not always found toward the back of
magazines and occasionally in newspapers. Leftover space is made
available for free display ads.
Commercial parternership with non profits are not new, but they have
increased dramatically as advertising costs have accelerated while the
ability to reach audiences has dropped. The intent is to serve the public,
but the commercial partnership takes the message statement out of the
realm of public service announcements and into the area of cooperative
advertising and promotion.
The objective of some institutional advertising is to convey a particular
message. Issue ads are used by an organization as a forum for its views
on a topic or problem.
Companies seeking public support for corporate policies and programs
have begun to invest more in advocacy advertising. Advocacy ads are a
form of lobbying to influence public opinion. They go beyond offering a
general comment on issues to urging support for a position that benefits
the organization specifically.
Corporate advocacy advertising often looks like editorial copy, although it
may be clearly identified as an ad. Some corporate advocacy is done in
partnership with nonprofit organization and becomes a form of
Specialty advertising: without looking can you recall the company whose
name is on the pen you use or on your desk calendar? Advertising
specialties are useful, inexpensive items, such as pens or calendars,
imprinted with an organizations name, logo or message. These are given
away to customers or perhaps as souvenirs to those who attend a special
cooperative advertising offers almost as many advantages as advertising
placed by a single organization. When one advertiser shares a message
with other - such as when cheese dip manufacturer combines with a
potato chip manufacturer to buy advertising space and time - it also
shares the production and space / time costs. This enables each to
participate in both the production and the exposure.
Advertising by professionals
Both advertising agencies and pr firms are now learning to deal with
advertising by lawyers, dentists, doctors, and other professionals, who
used to be prohibited by their professional codes of conduct from
engaging in such commercial activities. As these professional codes of
conduct from engaging in such commercial activities. As these
professionals began putting their names in print and their faces on
television, a new market for public relations practitioners opened.
Lifestyle advertising is used extensively
Attractive people are featured doing enjoyable or interesting things that
either involve a particular product or service or somehow relate to it. For
example, a television advertisement might open with a skiing scene -
healthy; good-looking people dressed in the latest ski styles and using
the best equipment, swooping down a scenic mountain. Then the camera
cuts to a soft drink nestled in the snow at the foot of the hill- the real
star of the advertisement.
There are many variations of this type of advertising but the suggested
message is basically the same: Use this product or service and you too
will enjoy life as much as the people in the advertisement do.
Smart consumers are not taken in by the unrealistic expectations these
ads are designed to arouse.
Testimonial advertising uses celebrities, such as movie or television stars
or professional athletes, to endorse products or services. The intention is
to leave you with the impression that the item must be good if these
famous people endorse it.
Sometimes testimonial advertising features people whose appearance
gives the impression of authority on a subject. For example, a woman in
a white lab coat talking about a headache remedy could be assumed to
be a doctor. Another variation of testimonial advertising involves ordinary
people, interviewed at shopping malls or in their homes or workplaces,
who claim that a certain product or service is better than competing
Institutions also sometimes endorse products. Ads for toothpaste, for
example, might feature a statement by the Canadian Dental Association.
Some advertisers purchase the right to display the five- circle world
Olympic symbol in their ads, which signifies endorsement by the Olympic
Informative advertising presents practical, and usually detailed,
information about a product or service, such as prices, guarantees,
ingredients, and applications of the product. Sometimes this type of
advertising involves a lot of text in a printed advertisement or television
program that runs for half an hour or more. A toll-free number is usually
provided for placing orders, since many of the products and services
promoted are not available through retail outlets. Called infomercials,
when used on television, shorter versions of this type of advertising
(usually 15 or 30s) are used to promote every imaginable type of product
Repetitive advertising involves the frequent repetition of a product or
business name or of the advertisement itself during a program. The
advertiser's goal is to implant that name firmly in your. Mind. Companies
that offer items that differ little from their competitors' often use
repetitive advertising to "help" you remember their particular brand
Comparison between television
advertisement and print advertisement
It is a type of advertising done through television. In today’s time
television has become most popular media of advertising. It has become
medium of common man entertainment. Television advertisement can be
done in two ways that is in between the programmes or through
sponsored programmes having duration of 30 minutes to 1 hour. Its
advantages and disadvantages are explained below.
It has wide coverage through television advertising. Message can be given
to millions of people at a time.
Demonstration is possible
In television advertising demonstration as possible. A person can see
effects and advantages of the product.
Audio visual effect
It has audio as well as visual effects. People can see as well as hear the
message. Due ton this advertisement remains for the long period in the
mind of the prospects (customers).
It is attractive specially when in colour. It attracts the prospects and
creates the demand for the product.
It is interesting type of advertisement as it can be telecasted as adding
song, music, dialogues etc. it makes the people in the position to listen to
In today’s modern world television is most popular medium of
entertainment. Every producer wants to advertise his product through
It is very costly medium of advertising. All the producers cannot afford to
advertise their products through television.
Sometimes advertisement is an interruption in the entertainment of the
people. Especially at the time when they are watching their favorite
Television advertisement is repeated number of times in a day on
different channels. This creates boredom for the people.
Clash of timings
There is clash of timings as every producer wants to advertise his
products during the programme which are more popular. Due to which
we have to pay more money to the authority.
Not suitable for industrial goods
Television advertisement is not suitable for the goods used by the
producers like machinery, parts of machine etc. it is only suitable for
Results cannot be known
Results of the television advertising cannot be known. It is very difficult
to know that how many people or customers become ready to buy the
goods on seeing the television advertisement.
The final product may appear in poster or magazine form. However, it
may be no smaller than 8X10. The print must be clear & professional
looking. There can be no spelling or grammatical errors. Your final
product must have at least a one inch margin on all sides & must
include no less than two of the three elements of appeal. The
advertisement must have aesthetic appeal. It may include reverse
lettering, illustrations, the use of color, etc. Your final product must be
accompanied by a type written paragraph stating the name of your book
& its author. In addition, the paragraph should include a detailed
explanation of your project & the way you attempted to successfully
complete it. The presentation must reflect your adequate knowledge of
the book you read. The conclusion of your presentation should motivate
us to read your book.
It has wide coverage as newspapers and magazines are published
throughout the nation. Message can be sent to millions of people through
popular newspapers and magazines.
It is an economical mean of advertising. Cost of advertising is less if done
through local newspapers.
It is more attractive on colour paper in the newspaper or magazine. This
attracts the attention of the readers.
Suitable for all products
Press advertisement is suitable for all products. Whether producer goods
or consumer goods. Detailed information can be given about the product.
Results can be known
If advertisement is done through newspapers or magazines, it is possible
to know the results of the same.
It is flexible type of advertising. It is easy to change, reduce or add the
matter. It can be given at any place as per the deal.
Not suitable for illiterate persons
Press advertising is not suitable for illiterate persons. Such persons
cannot read the message given in the newspapers or magazines.
It is costly if done through popular newspapers or magazines. Especially
when it is colour. Hence, it is not affordable by all the sellers.
It is not attractive as quality of paper may not be good. An advertisement
when in black and white form does not attract the people.
It is not interesting as there is a dry message about the product given in
the newspaper or magazines. There cannot be addition of songs,
dialogues, expressions etc.
Not suitable for busy people
This type of advertising is not suitable for busy persons as they are
interested in reading the headlines or the topic of their interest.
If the advertisement is given through local newspapers, it will reach
limited number of persons only.
The Future of Advertising
You've waited all day to come home and relax. You're sitting on the
couch watching your favorite football team with your feet propped up on
the coffee table (just like mom told you not to do). Life is good.
Then a little i pops up on your screen. What's that? It's interactive
television and it's a whole new ball game for advertisers.
You've seen commercials for Clorox and Purina Puppy Chow. But
now you can see those commercials and get coupons at the same time.
The interactive screen provides you with options to accept or decline an
advertiser's special offer. And it doesn't stop there.
ITV has several incentives over a PC. You can play along with game
shows, vote in live polls, learn trivia tidbits, get game stats and purchase
items just by pushing a button on your remote control.
Some skeptics aren't buying the smart TV concept, though. They
say an advertiser's going to follow their audience and interactive
television isn't one of their destinations.
Recent numbers disprove the claims that there's not a market for
ITV. For example, during a Melissa Etheridge concert, 46 percent of
viewers clicked through to learn more about a CD now.com discount.
Critics also say there's a digital divide - a gap between levels of
income and their spending dollars. In the past, high-income families
were the only ones to have access to the latest technology.
But tech costs are down and that digital divide is dissolving. In
fact, the number of Internet users with an annual household income
under $25,000 has grown almost 25 percent in the past year alone.
Studies show low-income families usually have more of a disposable
income. They have more purchasing power because they don't have
major bills like a mortgage or an expensive car payment.
Research from the Institute of Information Policy at Pennsylvania
State University consistently finds that the poor use five times more
telephony and cable services than suburban families. Also, female head
of households dominate as low-income subscribers to cable TV.
Many believe the growth of cable TV is so parents can keep their
kids at home with them. Supporting this theory would mean as more ITV
programs are added, the switch to interactive television will increase.
WebTV is doing their best to speed up that switch. They recently
introduced their new Click-To-Video ads. When a WebTV subscriber
clicks on a banner ad, they view a full-screen, full-motion commercial for
the advertiser's product and are then taken to that company's Web site.
Advertisers can submit their current banner ads and TV commercials
and WebTV Networks converts their materials to the advertising product.
Some of the current Click-To-Video advertisers are Ford, Maytag,
Hewlett-Packard and Volvo Cars of North America.
These new services are designed to attract both low- and high-
income families. While the future of this new advertising medium
remains to be seen, the digital divide seems to be taking a hit.
The critics have their doubts. The true believers that this is a
revolutionary product for advertisers and consumers are die-hard. As
you form your own opinion, keep in mind, Xerox sold the rights to
Windows because company execs didn't see a use for them in the
Analysis of a Print advertisement of
It’s an advertisement to introduce Hyundai Sonata in the market.
It signifies the fact that Hyundai aims at being perfect at anything that
they do. The advertisement also emphasizes that the car is targeted
towards upper middle class and above income category. It implies that
the Hyundai Sonata is a work of art, designed to perfection. It also
motivates the prospect to take a test drive at the nearest showroom. The
copy reinforces the image communicated by the visual. The copy also
provides details of product attributes. For eg. 2.0 litre, 16 valve DOHC
(Dual Overhead Cam Shaft) RISIUS – II engine. Double wishbone
suspension and gas shock absorbers insure precise steering and optimal
road handling. The plush leather upholstered interior and cutting edge
NVH (Noise, Vibration And Harshness) technology with multiple location
insulation and hydraulic. Mounted engine insure a relaxed ride. You are
further embraced in the lap of luxury by features like fully automatic air
conditioning, with air purifier, Cd-charger. Hyundai and its
communication to the customer are consistent with the brand image that
it portrays. Hyundai as a brand has stood for safety and security that it
provides to all its customers. This is evident from the copy of the
advertisement i.e. ABS (anti-lock brake system), SRS (supplemental
restraint system), driver airbag and TCS (Traction Control System. The
advertisement also provides information on the contact points with the
help of the web site addresses and the contact telephone numbers of the
The purpose of this advertisement is to introduce a new Hyundai
Sonata to its prospects and it has been successful in communicating the