Advertising agencies are outside companies that provide for the marketing and advertising needs of other businesses and organizations. They offer a full range of advertising services and advice based on market studies, popular culture and advanced sales techniques. Because they are independent from the client company, they can be objective about a client's promotional needs.
Advertising agencies produce logos, creating effective and attractive color schemes to draw the consumer's attention to their clients' ads. They also prepare slogans and brochures, and write descriptive copy for sales materials. They may produce public service announcements for charitable organizations and social programs as well, and issue press releases for new programs, events, and products. Advertising agencies use assorted forms of media to promote their clients' businesses or organizations, including magazine advertisements, newspaper ads, radio and TV commercials, websites, and even infomercials. Some also plan events, provide booths at conventions, and give away promotional items.
The way advertising agencies work is by getting to know their clients' product or service well and determining which demographic provides the best audience for promotion. If a company sells designer handbags, an ad agency would likely try to position the company's TV commercials during women's programming or on a channel geared toward women. The look and tone of an ad campaign is also dependent upon demographics. If the company's target audience is mature adults, design elements should be more traditional than if the target were a younger generation.
There are several associations that advertising agencies may belong to, such as the Ad Council, the American Advertising Federation, the International Association of Business Communicators, and the American Association of Advertising Agencies, or AAAA. When deciding between agencies, it is a good idea to see if they are members of any associations and to check them out with the Better Business Bureau. Also helpful is asking an ad agency for examples of their work. You may find that they are responsible for well-recognized ad campaigns that have helped establish other companies. Such agencies may be expensive and you may have to wait some time to join their list of clients, but an agency that can make your product or service a household name is worth the wait and the cost.