Business | January 27, 2021

What is Advertising? Everything You Need to Know + Examples

Antoine Bechara

Advertising is a powerful way to market your products and reach your target audience to enhance conversion rates. 

Advertising has increased at an exponential rate in the last few decades, and digital ad spending is expected to reach over $375 billion by the year 2021

It must be important – right? 

In this article, we’ll look at the concept of advertising, the importance and objectives of advertising, and also discuss some of the finest examples. 

Let’s begin. 

What is Advertising?

Advertising is a way to communicate with your target users by defining your goals, segmenting your audience, and creating effective ad campaigns. 

It is an attempt to influence the buying decision of the customers by using persuasive selling communication. Advertisements often highlight the USP and share incredible offers that are hard to resist. 

Here is an example of an ad from meal delivery service, Blue Apron. The ad highlights its USP and has a clear call to action.

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The primary objective of advertising is attracting new customers. You can choose to advertise your offerings via several online and offline channels. 

The most prominent channels of advertising include the internet, press, radio, direct selling mailers, sponsorships, and television. 

The decision to select the relevant advertising channel should be made wisely by keeping the goals of your advertising campaigns in mind. 

Advertising Vs Marketing

People often get confused between the two commonly used terms – advertising and marketing.

Marketing is a process to identify the needs of the customer and determine ways to meet those needs most appropriately and efficiently in order to turn a profit. 

Advertising is a process to promote either the brand itself or the offerings of the company through several paid platforms or channels. 

Objectives of Advertising 

The primary objective of advertising is to launch a product in the market and to carry out communication between the business and the customer. 

Advertising is a link between product manufacturers and consumers. The core objectives of advertising are:

1- Introduce A Product 

This can either be done by an existing brand or a new brand. The main benefit of advertising your new product is to educate the people about the features and how it can help solve their pain points. 

One of the best examples of introducing a new product in the market is Apple iPhone. Whenever it brings a new model or an upgraded version of the existing phone, it smartly plans its advertisement campaigns. 

Apple’s advertising competitiveness lies in its simplicity. Before launching a new iPhone, it creates a buzz about the phone and never leaves a chance to flaunt their unique selling proposition. 

Here is an example of an Apple iPhone ad that cleverly highlights the USP of the product. 

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It showcases the new addition as more than a product, leading to an excellent response and even pre-bookings. 

2- Create Awareness 

Advertising is primarily used to attract the attention of the target audience so that they become familiar with your business offerings. 

Here is an example of an Amazon Kindle Facebook ad that is offering a limited-time subscription to new users.

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The ad is fantastic for improving brand awareness because it is inviting users to enjoy Kindle for three months for free. When people develop the habit of reading regularly on Kindle, they are more likely to continue it, resulting in an increased paid subscriber base for Amazon. 

In the year 2011, Coca-Cola changed the packaging of the product when it came up with an advertising campaign “Share a Coke” which gave the message of “Sharing is Caring”. The campaign was hugely successful and was replicated in different countries. The idea was unique because it focused on giving a social message while raising product sales.

3- Highlight The Benefits 

Merely advertising your products and creating awareness is not enough. You have to primarily focus on or emphasize the benefits of your offerings in a way that compels the buyer to take action. 

An excellent example of this can be Whirlpool. It is one of the leading manufacturers of household materials. The primary product category is washing machines. 

Recently, Whirlpool introduced “Load & Go” technology for both its front load and top load washing machines. This feature simply allows you to fill the detergent suspenders that can go up to two months, once filled completely. 

The company created a video commercial to promote its new feature. The ad video showcases a couple who use the washing machine at different times of the day or night. They never skip washing clothes, but they can skip adding detergent to their washing machine.

4- Help Illustrate The Differentiation of The Product

A critical aspect of advertising is to show factors that differentiate your offering from similar products (which can be determined by internal or external factors). 

If you are not able to come up with unique features every time, then here are some other ways to distinguish your product:

  • Offer exceptional customer service
  • Personalize your products by giving options for customization.
  • Increase the size or quantity of your product for the same price.
  • Change the packaging of your product to make it more attractive. 

5- Make A Case For The Purchase

Great ads leave a psychological impact on the minds of the viewers. The ultimate goal should be to be known as the first-ever company your viewers remember from your industry. I know, it may sound complicated and challenging, but it’s excellent for the long run. 

Your advertising campaigns should be so impactful and robust that the only option for prospects is to buy your product (or at least learn more about it).

One of the fantastic examples of creating ads that create impacts and kicks in the urge of making the purchase is of Charmin toilet paper. 

They created a hilarious advertisement that depicts how soft and long-lasting their toilet papers are. 

The differentiating feature of Charmin toilet paper is that it does not leave any residuals behind and feels soft on the sensitive skin. 

The company cleverly depicted the USP through a comic advertising campaign.  

The result – around 32.64 million Americans used a minimum of 10 rolls of Charmin toilet paper in the year 2020.

 

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6- Acquire Customers

Acquiring new customers while retaining the existing ones is one of the critical objectives of advertisement. 

Your advertisements should be compelling and stimulating enough for your target audience to leave your competitors and buy your products. 

The easiest way to do this is by sending out a positive brand image or the benefits your customers will get if they buy your products. 

The best example is of telecom service providers like US Cellular. 

I love how they bring in several new plans as per the needs of the customers and are always compelling them to leave their current cellular data operators and get their number ported. 

US cellular advertisements never fail to provide data/calling plans for even the ones who don’t need much of these, and also for the ones with heavy data/calling usage. 

In 2020, they launched an ad that leveraged the consumer psychology of FOOP (Fear of overpaying) and offered new customers a free Samsung Galaxy S10e and iPhone XR – AND a guaranteed $200 for a qualified trade-in. 

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7- Increase Revenue By Building Brand Loyalty 

Advertising is about increasing your revenue. You put all your efforts to improve your return on investment. You can say advertising is an investment that will fetch you lucrative outcomes or results if done right. 

For instance, brands like Bosch & Siemens, have invested a lot in advertising their offering and unique features, resulting in them staying at the top, irrespective of whichever segment they deal in. 

Here is the twist – Increased revenue is not the ultimate aim of advertising, but building loyalty amongst the customer base is what keeps companies going. 

Bosch generated over 77.7 billion euros in the year 2019. And the figures are enough to speak up for themselves. 

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Importance of Advertising

From all the objectives mentioned above, the need and importance of advertising must be clear to you. But it is not restricted to what you are thinking. Advertising is essential for manufacturers, customers, and society. 

1- For Manufacturers 

Manufacturers are either the individuals or the companies that transform raw materials into finished goods.The final product is then sent to wholesalers, distributing agents, and several other elements of the supply chain. 

Here are some ways advertising helps manufacturers: 

  • Assists in increasing sales. You must have heard that no matter how excellent your product is, it won’t be able to be sold on its own unless people are aware of its features. 
  • Aids in maintaining existing markets, along with an opportunity to explore new ones. 
  • Helps standardize product prices. This way, the retailers aren’t able to overcharge the MRP from the customers. 

2- For Consumers 

Consumers are the ultimate user of the products. In other words, the consumer is an individual for whom the product was initially designed for. 

Advertising can help consumers in different ways, like:

  • Promotes quick decision making. The markets face cut-throat competition, and sellers are in the process of establishing their products as the best. Advertising helps the consumers by facilitating them with an option to compare the price, quality, functionality, and other features of the products to determine the best options for them. 

3- For Society 

Irrespective of who you are or what you do as a business or a company, you have to think about the repercussions of your deeds on society. 

Advertising can be helpful for society in the following ways: 

  • Consuming great quality products and getting excellent value for money will ultimately lead to improved quality of living. 
  • It increases the consumption of certain goods which leads to lower production costs because of economies of scale. 
  • Advertising assists in generating employment within society. 

Examples of Advertising 

Advertising activities are further classified into five main categories based on the mediums used to advertise the offerings. 

The five main types are print advertising, outdoor advertising, broadcast advertising, product/brand integration, and digital advertising. 

Let us understand each one of them with the help of relevant examples. 

1- Print Advertising 

Fast-food giant KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) collaborated with a new fried chicken retailer in the year 2018 and ended up having stock shortages. 

This resulted in the temporary shutdown of over 900 stores in the UK and led to criticism from the locals. The unfortunate incident forced the company to issue a public apology. 

The company chose the print media to apologize to the audience. 

They printed an ad with the letters “FCK”. The original brand name is KFC, but in the public apology notice, it was mentioned as “FCK”. This was clever and creative copywriting at play.

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Audiences appreciated this act of public apology and were more willing to wait for the company to resume normal operations. 

2- Outdoor Ads

One of the primary examples of outdoor advertising is McDonald’s Billboard. 

Mcdonald’s come up with a unique sundial billboard that represents several delicacies offered by them at different hours of the day. For instance, a cup of coffee in the morning to start your day, and as the day grows, the dial begins representing other meals. 

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3- Broadcast Advertising 

You can seek the help of broadcast advertising in many ways, namely radio, advertising films, slides, and cable TV ads. 

Writing catchy slogans or taglines on the streets or billboards is again a way of broadcast advertising. Here is an example of a Nike billboard ad:

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The primary purpose behind the ad was to increase brand visibility so that people remember the brand and gain motivation from the brand motto. 

4- Product Or Brand Integration 

Integrated marketing is a combination of online, traditional, and modern advertising methods to promote and kick-start the success of your business. 

One of the most prominent examples of product or brand integration is GoPro. In the year 2010, GoPro started a new ad campaign called “be a hero”.  

The company hired many stuntmen and sent them on an adventurous journey with a GoPro camera. They recorded the best of their experiences on the cam and curated video advertising.

It depicted the message that you can easily be the hero of your own life and record all the special moments on GoPro. 

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5- Digital Advertising 

All the advertisements that you see on Google, Facebook, Instagram, other online platforms are forms of digital advertising. 

Digital has undoubtedly taken over the traditional ways of advertising. The ultimate example of digital advertising is American Eagle. 

American Eagle possesses the first-mover advantage of adopting digital marketing advertising forms. 

With the right strategies and techniques, they improved the efficiency of the advertisements and reduced the cost of acquisitions of consumers dramatically. 

Here is an example of an American Eagle Google shopping ad for the keyword “red t-shirt”.

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Digital advertising helps businesses to improve branding and acquire more customers at a fraction of a cost as compared to traditional advertising platforms. Besides, you can measure the performance of your campaigns and effectively control your budget. 

Conclusion

Advertising is a business necessity. It has the power to change the perception of the audience towards your brand. It can fetch you excellent results in almost no time. Moreover, you have the creative freedom to come up with advertisements that leave a long-lasting impact on the minds of viewers to stimulate powerful brand recall. Start advertising today, and see the difference it can bring to your business. 

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