What is Advertising?
What is advertising? The question is highly subjective! Also, if you are trying to find answers for your mid-semester exams, this blog will be of limited use. However, as diligent apprentices of advertising, this blog will cater to people who get stuck ‘Above the Line’ or ‘Below the line’. Also, those who actually know about the lines and everything between them!
Okay, so let’s begin with the most common and obvious question – What is Advertising?
Advertising is the non-personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through various media.
Factually, the above statement defines advertising brilliantly. However, practically, this is the most insignificant definition for the process. Before you question our stand, let us clarify that we are not saying that the definition is incorrect. It is just that we don’t find it to be apt in the current scenario. Advertising (which aims at culling competition) has always been synonymous with ‘cut-throat competition’.
History of Advertising
The roots of advertising can be traced to ancient civilization. The use of papyrus for attracting potential customer was prevalent in ancient Egypt. Oral advertising by means of poems, music was regularly practiced in ancient Chinese culture. Other means of advertising in the ancient world were Wall/Rock painting, poems, plays, calligraphy etc. The 20th Century ushered a new dawn in the field of advertising. From newspaper to magazines, the advent of technology has helped advertising to transcend physical barriers. In the 20th century, it grew rapidly with new technologies, such as direct mail, radio, television, the Internet, Social media and not to forget, smart phones.
The Purpose of Advertising
‘First impression is the most crucial, make it last!’
The purpose is simple, it is the fore and the most powerful tool for delivering messages to customers and prospects. Convincing an individual/organization to avail a company’s products or services, augmenting the perception of a company, pin-pointing the need for company’s services or products, improving customer retention and announcing newer products. In most cases, advertising is the first sales pitch to a prospect. Therefore, it is imperative that advertising should be potent and unique.
Advertising Channels & their Significance
In the present time, anything can be used as a channel for advertising. Commercial channels of advertising can include: – wall paintings, billboards, street furniture components, bus shelters, printed flyers and rack cards. Radio, Cinema and Television commercials are amongst the many more. Also, internet has open new avenues with Google and Facebook advertisements, banners and popups. Internet marketing is better in terms of engagement and client targeting. Sponsorship, in-flight advertisements on seatback tray tables or overhead storage bins, taxicab doors, roof mounts and passenger screens, musical stage shows, subway platforms and trains are some of the channels. However, special care should be taken while choosing the channel to ensure maximum benefit.