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What is Advertising?

Advertising is the art of capturing attention and persuading audiences to act. It's a blend of psychology and creativity, used to promote products, services, and ideas. Through various media, advertisers aim to inform, entice, and connect with potential customers, shaping desires and driving consumer behavior. How does advertising influence your choices? Join the conversation and share your thoughts.
Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

Advertising promotes a product, service or event to its target audience. A target audience is the portion of the general public that products, services or events were created for to fill a desire or need in the marketplace. Advertising is written by advertising copywriters and finished with artwork by graphic designers. The channels advertising is run through to reach its target audience includes Internet, print, broadcast, outdoor and point of purchase (POP).

Point of purchase advertising materials are located in stores and often consist of large cardboard displays located in the aisle in which the product is stocked. This type of advertising is designed to grab the attention of the shopper and direct him or her to the promoted product. There may be a coupon to further encourage a purchase. Outdoor ads are those on buses and bus shelters, benches, billboards and other outdoor locations. They have to compete with their surroundings to get the attention of passers-by and must be simple, eye-catching and straight to the point.

Newspapers are a popular source of print advertising.
Newspapers are a popular source of print advertising.

Broadcast ads are television and radio commercials. While television commercials draw attention to the promotion of products and services by the use of pictures and sound, radio ads must reach the target audience solely through the power of sound. Direct response television commercials don't just promote a brand for consumers to look for next time they go shopping, but rather have a direct call to action message such as "Call 555-4321 NOW to receive your gift-boxed deluxe set of Mr. Sharpe Custom Edge Chef's Knives for the amazing price of only $19.99! The first 200 callers will also get the Professional Quality Chef's Knife Sharpener absolutely free, but you must call right NOW at 555-4321 to qualify for this amazing, time limited bargain offer!"

Sandwich boards can advertise daily specials.
Sandwich boards can advertise daily specials.

Print advertising refers to ads in printed form such as those in magazines, newspapers and fliers. The copy and artwork must work together to hold the reader's interest. Advertisers advertise their products or services in publications that are read by their target audience — that is, the people most likely to want, need and buy their particular product or service. Print advertising can also include community directories such as those published by a city's chamber of commerce, posters designed to advertise and promote an upcoming event and direct mail promotions mailed to consumers' homes.

Outdoor advertising includes billboards.
Outdoor advertising includes billboards.

Internet advertising includes ads on websites, whether these are the small click-on types or the colorful banner advertisements at the top of a website. Internet marketing is the use of websites to market products or services to consumers or other businesses. Email marketing reaches potential customers through emails containing product information and special offers.

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Discussion Comments


@abiane Calling promotional products and giveaways the "second most effective means of advertising and marketing" is a little much. Can you name one company that made it big with this sort of advertising?

Some small businesses might benefit from this, but I would hesitate from advising all businesses to spend money on printed pens. It might work for a real estate agent, or a local plumber, but not for all businesses.


Thanks for your comments, abiane. Article marketing is what you're mentioning in the first part of your post, while the second refers to specialty advertising. I focus on these topics in the articles, "What is Article Marketing?" and "What is Specialty Advertising" that you can find on this site.

Thanks again.


Advertising has taken off in two major ways in the past decade or so: promotional products and internet connections. Sites like Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook aren’t what I’m talking about, though. I’m talking about a company who outsources to freelance writers for SEO content and even mass distributes SEO related articles to article directories; this is an extremely efficient and effective means of advertising that cost very little to say the least.

Aside from that, promotional products and giveaways are the second most effective means of advertising and marketing. Mainly this method is effective because it’s cost efficient: spend a few pennies for some logo printed pens, pass them out, and let the business come to you.

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    • Newspapers are a popular source of print advertising.
      By: Feng Yu
      Newspapers are a popular source of print advertising.
    • Sandwich boards can advertise daily specials.
      By: robepco
      Sandwich boards can advertise daily specials.
    • Outdoor advertising includes billboards.
      By: David
      Outdoor advertising includes billboards.
    • Advertising promotes products and services to target audiences, through media such as television.
      Advertising promotes products and services to target audiences, through media such as television.