Meaning – The term advertising is derived from a Latin word ‘advertere’ , which means to turn attention towards a specific thing. The dictionary meaning of the word advertising is to announce publicly or to give public notice . In other words , it may be interpreted as to attract the attention of the people concerned to a Specific message which has been announced by the advertiser . In this way , advertising is turning the attention of the people towards products , services , ideas by an identified sponsor .
Features of Advertising
(1) Paid Form – Advertisement is never free of cost . The company issuing ad has to make payment to the media used for advertising . The payment can be large or small depending on media – circulation , type of media and media – popularity . Media having wider circulation , more viewership , more popularity charge larger amount in comparison to media with less circulation , less viewership and less popularity . Payment to media also depends upon the time when ad is shown e.g. if ad is shown in prime time or alongwith popular- serial then its cost will be more . If ad is given is newspaper or magazine , then payment is made on the basis of space taken , and in case of TV . , radio , payment is made on the basis of time taken by ad.
(2) Non – Personal – In advertising there is no face to face communication . Here message is transmitted to the target – audience not by salesmen but with the help of mass – media like – television , newspaper , magazine , radio , internet etc . In advertising a large group of individuals is contacted at the same time . Because of its non – personal feature , advertising is distinguished from personal selling . In personal selling person to person presentation is made but in advertising target audience is contacted through mass – media . Advertising is very cost effective method of communicating with large audience because of its non – personal feature . Because of non – personal nature , immediate feedback from audience is not possible and message cannot be adjusted or moulded according to the reactions or expressions of target audience .
(3) Any Form – Advertising is used to create image , preference for a company or brand . For this , any form of presentation can be used , it can be in the form of a sign , symbol , message in printed form , commercial on TV / radio , pamphlet , banner , signboard , sky balloons , etc .
(4) Goods , Services or Ideas – Advertisements are to inform , persuade and remind the prospective buyers / users about products and services . Most of the ads are for promoting products or services but sometimes ideas may be advertised. For example , idea of blood donation , eye donation , national integration , communal harmony , gender equality , etc . are also advertised .
(5) Can be Used by Any Organisation – It can be used by any type of organisation . It is done by commercial , charitable , political , educational , social organisations , etc . So , any type of organisation can avail services of advertising.
(6) Speedy Communication – Advertising is the fastest mode of communicating with the target audience . This method is faster than personal selling as here information can be passed to lakhs of consumers at one point of time . If the company is to contact thousands of consumers through personal selling it will take along time for the salesmen to contact them , but in case of advertising the company can pass on the information to thousands of persons by issuing an advertisement in newspaper or television . For example , if a Company has to give some urgent massage to the public , then by releasing the ad in next day ‘ s newspaper , company can communicate the message to lakhs of people in one day only .
(7) Mass Communication – It means communicating with a very large group of persons at the same time . Media like television, newspaper, magazines, websites ( internet ) pass on information to the thousands and lakhs of persons at the same time . Because of mass communication in advertisement , cost of contacting per person is low , although in absolute terms it is very costly .
(8) Audio / Visual / Written Advertising Message – Can be Audio , visual , written or combination of two ; like audio – visual , written – visual , etc . In print media like newspapers , magazines , etc . and in outdoor media like banners , pamphlets , etc . written and visual message is given . In radio audio message ; in television audio – visual message is given . Thus , in advertising all written , visual , audio messages can be given .
(9) Advertising is an Art – It is an art because the creative function of advertising very much depends upon the creativity of individual who is designing ad . The creation of ad copy includes message designing , appeal designing , layout , use of pictures , symbols , colours , illustrations , etc . It is the art of advertising on which the success or failure of advertising campaign depends . So advertising is an art .
(10) Not an Exact Science – Sales are affected by a number of factors such as competition , price level , product features , fashion , consumer taste , stage of business cycle , stage of product life cycle , effective advertising campaign , brand awareness , brand preference , brand loyalty , media used in advertising , etc . These factors cannot be controlled like a physical scientist can control his experiments . Moreover , principles of advertising are not as exact as the principles of physical science . Hence advertising is not an exact science .
(11) An Important Element of Promotion Mix – It is an important element of the promotion mix , along with personal selling , sales promotion and publicity . Advertising has been considered as the most effective method of promotion as it creates demand , and communicates the message to target customers quickly and effectively and helps to stimulate sales . Advertising is a method of mass communication while personal selling is face to face communication .
(12) Motivates and Inspires – All advertisements carry message which motivates and inspires customers to purchase a particular product . The print media , audio and video media are used together by the advertisers to carry the advertiser ‘ s message . The advertising message is persuasive and informative so as to motivate potential customers .
(13) Controlled – Message , time and place of advertising are controlled by the sponsor to make advertisement effective . Selection of media is carefully done to achieve the desired results in economical way . Whole process of advertising is controlled and directed by the sponsor in a way that helps advertiser to achieve pre – determined advertising objectives . In this regard , advertisement is different from publicity which is not always within the control of sponsor .