An advertising theme is a central, repetitive message that promotes brand awareness and is meant to provide an impact beyond just individual or disconnected ads. Generally, such an advertising campaign utilizing a theme may not only use that theme in television advertising, but also in radio, print, and Internet ads as well. Themes may be readily recognizable as promoting a certain emotion, such as fear or patriotism, but they can also be strictly humorous in nature.
The most important thing about an advertising theme is that it creates an association with the brand nearly immediately. Many companies use animals to do this, but others may use celebrities, objects, or even certain types of jokes. Frogs, dogs, and even geckos are just a few of the animals used in more recent advertising campaigns that created awareness for a certain company or product that the company may be promoting. In some cases, advertising themes can be so successful that they create a secondary merchandise market.
Advertisers often use music to associate a message with a certain product or brand. The music may be a well-known song, or a jingle that plays with every, or almost every, ad that is broadcasted on television or radio. The lyrics of the jingle may even appear in print advertising, bringing what would likely be a familiar song to mind. That could lead to expanded thoughts about the product being offered.
Some advertising theme campaigns use prestige as a way to entice people to take a look at a product. Certainly, this is a common theme for some automobile manufacturers, especially when promoting certain models of cars. This advertising theme may also create a dramatic effect when used in conjunction with a product that is not commonly associated with luxury or prestige, such as mustard.
Another popular advertising theme involves that of being comforted. This is a favorite of those promoting things such as bath products, household products, and certain types of foods. Using this approach, advertisers hope to show how using the product could make a person's life a little easier or more pleasant.
While an advertising theme does not have to be logically linked to the product it may be promoting, creating an artificial link is important. Otherwise, an advertiser risks creating a memorable campaign, but one that may not include much brand or product awareness. In such cases, consumers may remember the commercial, but have difficulty recalling the product the ad was promoting. While that may mean a memorable campaign was created, it ultimately means the advertiser failed to achieve the objective.