The different types of corporate advertising include image advertising, opinion advertising and investment advertising. Determining the purpose of an advertising campaign is often the easiest way to distinguish between the different types because the labels applied can often be inconsistent. Marketing for corporations is different from product advertising and is concerned with messaging that affects the entire company, or the company's overall brand.
When people think of advertising, the first thing that comes to mind is often the consumer advertising that attempts to convince the public to buy a company's product. In this context, advertising type tends to equal the advertising format, such as whether the ad is in print, on the radio or on television. Corporate advertising, however, is a different category of advertising altogether. It is comprised of the advertising campaigns that a company runs to signal its position in the marketplace. Instead of focusing on one product or product class, the advertisement talks about the company generally, addressing broad issues such as strategic initiatives, financial strength or corporate philosophy.
Corporate advertising comes in three different types. Image advertising is a type of marketing that attempts to improve the company's reputation or increase the acknowledgment of its importance in relation to its competitors. It is the type of ad that educates the public about the company's leadership and market position in an attempt to show the company as a primary reason a particular industry is prospering or beneficially impacting consumers.
Opinion, or advocacy, advertising is corporate advertising that is primarily concerned with influencing public opinion on issues of importance to the company. The ad is educational, and may not even mention the company in a major way. These types of advertisements tend to give the impression that the corporation is doing a public service by bringing important concerns to the public's attention. Often, the ad does provide some public benefit, but it is also tied to the company's interests and bottom line.
Investment advertising is another type of marketing that is designed to attract investors. It focuses on the financial strength of the company, and the benefits of owning the company's securities. These ads typically appear in financial publications and other media sources that target the financial industry. Instead of presenting information on the corporation's products or its overall philosophy, investment advertising uses financial information, ratios and historical returns to make a case why investment in the company is safer and more profitable than other investment options.