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What are Advertising Agencies?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated May 16, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments
By anon271565 — On May 27, 2012

DVD recorders with digital tuners have been taken off the market due to pressure by subscription channels. Most recorders are used for time shifting. TV advertising is losing out because time shifting allows for double the commercial exposure for the same cost.

By anon112079 — On Sep 19, 2010

I joined as an Account Manager (advertising agency). Can someone help with good format of MIS report? Many thanks for your assistance. --Francis

By sunshine31 — On Aug 09, 2010

Cafe41- I always check Advertising Age and Ad week to see the list of leading advertising agencies. These magazines also list the most successful campaigns as well as the Clio award winners.

The Clio awards are offered to the most innovative and effective advertisements in the world. The advertising agencies from New York City usually dominate the Clio awards.

By cafe41 — On Aug 09, 2010

Greenweaver- Creative advertising agencies really understand the client's product or service.

They know the target demographic and design advertisements to constantly entice buyers in that particular market segment.

Some of the advertising could be in print, online, television, Billboard, or radio. The client's budget combined with the target audience determines which advertising Avenue the agency will take.

Usually media advertising agencies develop a set of theme-based advertising called campaigns so that the viewer can remember the product. Often these campaigns involve slogans or jingles to make the product more memorable.

By GreenWeaver — On Aug 09, 2010

Moldova- I have heard of Alloy Media and Marketing. They tend to specialize in nontraditional markets. They perform a variety of services for their clients.

They can provide website design, market research, public relations, in store demonstrations, loyalty type programming, and collateral design for their marketing materials.

By Moldova — On Aug 09, 2010

Many of the best advertising agencies are said to be in New York City. Most of the well known creative advertising agencies are located on Madison Avenue in Manhattan.

A list of advertising agencies located in New York City include Alloy Media and Marketing, BBD0, Deutsch Inc, Grey Global Group, Young and Rubicam and Roberts and Tarlow to name a few.

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