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An Introduction to the Advertising Industry

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 4932 words Published: 31st May 2017

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Advertising is a creative and fast-paced industry that uses various media outlets to motivate people to buy products and services and change their attitudes.

Advertising does not have to aim only on to convincing people that they should buy a particular goods or services but it also aims at raising money for charity, for gaining support for political parties, or encouraging some actions, for e.g. leading youth campaigns in order to address education about aids or drugs . In today’s highly competitive world, advertising plays a significant role. A career in advertisement can be not only be glamorous but at the same time very very challenging .There are more and more agencies opening up every day, today, hence, there is room for many creative minds.If you have to communicate with and target the mass audience be it brands, personalities , companies or even voluntary or religious organizations, all have to use some or the other form of advertising.

“A good basic selling idea, involvement and relevancy, of course, are as important as ever, but in the advertising din of today, unless you make yourself noticed and believed, you ain’t got nothing”.

Leo Burnett


Advertising is not the means of informing but also a way of influencing the commoners ,to buy available products or services .The message can be visual or oral. In order to create awareness in the minds of buyers, products or services need to be advertised. And the most commonly used media for for this are newspapers, magazines, bill-boards, hoardings, T.V., radio, Internet , websites, mobile phones etc. Economic liberalization and the changing social trends that are happening today is making the advertising industry’s growth rapid . Advertising, in its non-commercial guise, is a powerful educational tool capable of reaching and motivating large audiences.

“Advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest-it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes.” Attributed to Howard Gossage by David Ogilvy.

One of the aspects of mass communication,it is nothing but brand-building, which is the identity of a specific product, service, or business. A brand can be a name, sign, symbol,color combination or slogan. When legally protected , the brand name becomes a trademark,. through very very effective communication. It is essentially a service industry and forms the basis of marketing because it helps in creating demand, there by promoting a marketing system and thus boosting economic growth.

The salaries that can be earned in advertisingcan be quite high and if you have the knack for it and the climb for one to reach the top is gauranteed. It is not only an ideal profession for a creative individual who is more than willing to handle work-pressure and odd working hours.

Today, new areas within advertising are catching up, like Event management wherein events are marketed, Image management wherein a a particular profile of an individual or an organization is projected or Internet marketing has also brought about a lot of changes in advertising as Internet means that one is catering to a select group of audience rather than a mass audience etc etc.

Advertising today, handles management of huge national campaigns using film, television, radio, direct mail and the press, to small advertisements in local newspapers. With the impact of digital technology, a massive change has taken place in the world of advertising forcing minds to rethink of many more creative approaches ,today,for advertising.

The activities within the industry are equally varied. On the technical side graphic designing, printing, photography and film making,are covered and as far as the business end is concerned they look into market research, campaign planning and its management, development of new products and its promotion and marketing.

Literature Review

How can you reach to a mass amount of people – through Mass media.

Wth the rise of mass production modern advertising has changed in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Commercial advertisers only seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through branding, which is nothing but the repetition of an image or product name so that in the brand gets etched in the minds of the consumers. Different types of media are roped in to deliver these messages, be it traditional media – as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor or direct mail; or new media – as websites and text messages.

Political parties, interest groups, religious organizations and governmental agencies who spend money to advertise items other than a consumer product or service are called Non-commercial advertisers. Non profit organizations-NGO’s also use them for modes of persuasion.

In an survey in 2007, revenue spent on advertising was estimated at more than $150 billion in the United States and $385 billion worldwide.

“Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product that they do on advertising and they wouldn’t have to advertise it.” ~Will Rogers

People living in remote villages to the ones living in vast cities are all today under the impact and influence of Advertising. As one employer brochure states, ‘advertising tries to make a single minded proposition come alive in a compelling way’.

The advertising industry thus can be seen having these three broad sectors:

  • organisations that buy advertising;
  • owners of media who sell advertising space/time;
  • and advertising agencies.

Types of advertising

Promotion of a company’s products and services with the sole intention of driving sales of the products and services building a brand identity thereby communicating any new changes or new product /services to the customers, is what is advertising.In the corporate world the companies allot a considerable amount of revenue as their advertising budget,since . Advertising has become an essential element of their need today.Some of the several reasons for advertising are:

To Increase the sales of the product/service;

  • To Create and maintain a brand identity or brand image;
  • To Communicate a change in their existing product line;
  • For Introduction of a new product or service;
  • And to Increase the buzz-value of their brand .

There are thus several reasons for advertising and various medias through which can be advertised. Various categories or types of advertising are:

Print Media Advertising – in the form of Newspapers, Magazines, Brochures, Fliers

The print media have always been a very popular medium. newspapers or magazines is a common media that is used for advertising over the years-

Newspapers come either daily or weekly, and reachs nearly all of the reading public, aprox about 85-90 percent of the total population. It is difficult to target a specific audience with this media ; however, newspapers are effective in increasing awareness of a product and services in a specific geographical area. Types of ads placed in newspapers include: display ads, classified ads, public notes, and preprinted inserts. They can be flexibile in their size – can be of small box size or that which take up only a small portion of a page, while others might span one or two full pages but newspaper ads can only use limited special effects, font size and color. It is not a very expensive form of advertising compared to other medias .The quick turnover of newspapers also allows the same ad to be inserted over a number of time in order to reach its target audience.

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Magazines can focus on a specific target audience. As the Small Business Administration pointed out in “Advertising Your Business”: “Audiences can be reached by placing ads in magazines which have [a] well-defined geographic, demographic, or lifestyle focus.” Magazines allow elaborate graphics and colors, which give advertisers more creative options than newspapers., it is important to include important product information to the consumer, such as how the product works, how it benefits the consumer, and where it can be purchased from. They are more expensive form than newspapers but can reach more specific audiences.

Brochures and Fliers can be put in both Newspapers and Magazines and are also not a very expensive mode of advertising but with it one can reach the targeted audiences.


Mailing lists with the names of those people who are most likely to purchase the advertiser’s products or services,can be sent to people with product details. Direct mail however is not always very cost effective. Business experts and surveys show that direct mail does tend to generate more purchasing responses than does television, and they observe that the products of many small businesses are often more suited to a direct mailing campaign than to indirect, image advertising.

Yellow Pages

The Small Business Administration stated in “Advertising Your Business” that a yellow page ad is often used to “complement or extend the effects of advertising placed in other media.” Such an ad has permanence and can be used to target a specific geographic area or community. Mostly, a yellow page ad gives the consumer whatever information he needs in order to make a purchase of product desired.

Outdoor Advertising – Billboards, Tradeshows and Events

Avery popular form of advertising, is Outdoor advertising .It uses several tools and techniques to attract the consumers . Outdoor advertising usually comes in two forms: billboards and transit posters. It is mostly or usually used to support advertisements placed in other medias. Consumer often have only fleeting exposure to billboards and transit posters, hence the messages on them have to be brief with the ability to communicate ideas at a glance; for which an efficient use of graphics and headings are required. Billboard advertising is very popular It has to be catchy in order to grab the attention of the passers by. The billboards have to be on signals where there is much traffic and in areas where more crowd . Mobile vans with billboards are also a very effective way of advertising.They can be stationed in one place or be moving around town.

By Organizing several events or sponsoring them makes for an excellent way of advertising thereby showcasing the companies product or services . The company organizes trade fairs, exhibitions and advertises its products. Or the company can organize several events which they are closely associated with , for eg a company that manufactures sports utilities can sponsor a sports tournament ,thereby it gets an opportunity to advertise its products.

Broadcast advertising – Television, Radio , Internet , Mobile phone – Sms

Broadcast advertising – a very popular advertising medium having several branches like television, radio Internet and smsing service .

Television advertisements very popular ever since they have been introduced, are so even today.It can be very expensive though .The cost ,however , often depends on its duration , broadcast time ie prime time/peak time ,on which soap or seriel/programme, how many times it will be repeated and of course the popularity or rating of the channel on which the ad will be aired .

The radio today may have lost its charm but still remains to be the choice of the small-scale advertisers. The radio jingles very popular as an advertising media and also have a large impact on the audience.

Internet advertising can be very expensive but is catching up now and a targeted section of the audience can be reached out at.

Also is the case in smsing on the mobile phones where it is not so expensive and a targeted section of the audience can be reached out at.It is catching up today.

Covert Advertising – Advertising in Movies ,TV shows , Soaps etc

Covert advertising is a unique method of advertising where a product or a particular brand is incorporated in movies, television shows or even sports. There is no commercial ad to showcase it but the product is showcased. To name a few famous examples for this sort of advertising is a Nokia mobile which Tom Cruise uses in the movie Minority Report , or in the movie Matrix Reloaded , Cadillac cars are used etc etc.

Surrogate Advertising – Advertising Indirectly

Surrogate advertising can be seen in cases where advertising of a particular product is banned by law for eg cigarettes or alcohol which are injurious to heath are prohibited by law in many countries and hence these companies have to come up with several other products that might have the same brand name and indirectly remind people of the cigarettes or beer bottles of the same brand. For eg Fosters or Kingfisher beer brands, use surrogate advertising.

Public Service Advertising – Advertising for Social Causes

Socially relevant messages about important matters concerning society and social welfare causes like AIDS, energy conservation, political integrity, deforestation, illiteracy, povertyect uses Public service advertising as a technique for effective advertising . David Oglivy who is considered to be one of the pioneers of advertising and marketing concepts had reportedly encouraged the use of advertising field for a social cause. Oglivy once said, “Advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest – it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes.”. Today public service advertising is being used many a times in non-commercial ways in several countries across the globe for promotion of various social causes.

Celebrity Advertising

Many advertisers still take celebrities as they feel that their popularity will help in advertising their products. Using celebrities for advertising involves signing up celebrities for advertising campaigns,appearances , performances etc in all sorts of advertising medias and can be very very expensive.

Eligibility and Reguirement for the Course Area in this Field

Educational requirements for recruitment for candidates is a formal management or advertising/mass communication qualification and Preference is given to qualified MBA’s for posts in the market research department , media planning departments and client servicing departments too.

As far as the creative department is concerned, an ordinary BA with a command of and over the language of communication with an knowledge of designing packages and computer graphics like Photoshop, coral draw or fine arts is essential.

Specialised courses in advertising/mass communication at diploma level and post graduate levels are available for which you need to be a graduate. Advertising is also offered as a subject in many graduate degree courses like mass communication in some institutions for which a 10+2 is needed. In addition to these there are also certificate courses for which a 10+2 is needed.

Personal attributes for making a successful career in this field will be creativity , flair for writing or ability to translate ideas into a visual format .An insight into the interests of people from all walks of life, ability to work as part of team,team sprit, mental and physical toughness to be handle high pressure along with criticism, friendly ,sociable with calm temperament are a must. To be in Market and media research field you should have an analytical and logical brain. Those working in the creative field should possess artistic abilities whereby they can make the ads appear appealing to the masses.

“Advertising is speech. It’s regulated because it’s often effective speech. “

Jef I. Richards

Career Prospects

Advertising field offers a range of lucrative, interesting careers. The jobs in this field can be of two types , executive and creative.

The executive department understands client needs, find new business along with retaining existing business, selects the appropriate media, analyses timing and placement of advertisements and negotiate the financial aspects of the deal.

Executive side-

Client Servicing

Media Research

Market Research

Creative department creates the advertisement copy. They verbalises and visualises the specific need of the client.

As ad films are also a part of film making career options of film are related to this field.

Creative side –






Future Prospects

Career opportunities in advertising include openings in private advertising agencies; advertising department in private or public sector companies; in advertising sections of newspapers, journals, magazines; commercial section of radio or television; market research organisations etc. One can also do freelancing.

Alternative Career Paths

The activities today within the advertising industry are varied. They don’t only want to convince people to buy goods or services but want to raise money for charity, get support for political parties, etc . on the technical side they cover graphic design, printing, photography and film making. At the business end they involve market research, campaign planning and management, new product development, sales promotion and direct marketing.

What is the kind of work can one do here ?

There are 3 types of fields where one can look at work options here –

In Advertising –

Professionals are often employed in advertising agencies. They take in specialists from different disciplines like advertising, digital, design, branding, direct marketing and PR, where their work often includes:

creating and managing integrated advertising campaigns;

client and supplier liaison;

planning, research and evaluation;

new business development.

In Marketing –

It is all ‘in-house’ and will, therefore, exclusively deal with one organisation’s marketing – usually incorporating advertising and sometimes PR. The work includes:



media relations;

product development;


market research.

In PR –

Opportunities exist ‘in-house’ or in consultancies/agencies and the Work activities include:

interacting with the media;

writing and editing;

planning, research and evaluation;

event management.

The PR sector also looks into Public affairs and lobbying which involves persuading policy makers and/or conveying particular viewpoints to influential people like MPs.

What’s it like working in this industry?

Its fast, exciting, innovative, highly creative and varied but stressful as you have to meet tight deadlines under lot of pressure.

depending upon the specialism, level of experience and geographical location, Salaries vary .

Senior positions command a very high salary.

Working hours – long , irregular

Building and maintaining relationships is important hence Networking and socialising with clients very crucial.

the gender split in ratio is 51.9% male and 48.1% female employees.

at senior management level ,83.8% male and 16.2% female employees ratio is found (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) , 2008).

more women work within marketing and PR departments

Men occupy senior management posts.

Advertising is a young industry

nearly half of employees in this industry are aged under 30 (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), 2008).

Impacts of Advertising

A fiercely mooted topic in today’s times , Advertising has many positive ,negative, social,cultural, moral , religious and economic impacts on our society.

For eg to name a few , advertising when looked upon as a public welfare is a positive social impact whereas exposing women as sex tools has negative sides to it. As far as economic factors are concerned, the major examples would be funding for the media and stimulating an active and competitive economy.

The chief unfavorable judgment for advertising is that it comples the people to buy products that they are not really needing. It plays with human emotions encouraging people’s thinking that buying and spending are the ways of living.

Advertisers also think that there are positive impacts of advertising on our society and cultural too .In other words, it also acts as an educator and educates people about what is good and what is bad for them and helps in putting an end to the harmful products and practices like smoking ,drinking,drugs ,free sex etc.

Advertising, provides revenue for commercial mediums like the various types of media, including newspapers, television and radio which would never be so strong had it not been for these ads .

The biggest economic negative aspect of advertising is that it boosts up the price of goods and services,which have to be paid by the consumers.

The impact of advertising on our society,can to a certain extent be seen in a jumble form, depending on the functions and implementations of numerous campaigns.society and the marketing of many products depend heavily upon advertising. The companies have become so dependent on advertising that even its negative impacts can never outweigh the many positive social and economic effects it can have.

a) Economic Benefits of Advertising

Advertising can play an important role in the process by which an economic system guided by moral norms and responsive to the common good contributes to human development. Its thus easy to say then that advertising can be a useful tool for sustaining honest and ethically responsible competition that contributes to economic growth in the service of authentic human development.

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Advertising informs people about the availability of rationally desirable new products and services and improvements in existing ones, helping them to make informed, prudent consumer decisions, contributing to efficiency and the lowering of prices, and stimulating economic progress through the expansion of business and trade. this creates new jobs, higher incomes and a more decent and humane way of life for all. It also helps pay for publications, programming and productions.

But along with supporting and assisting the working of the democratic process, ads can obstruct it too. for example, the costs of advertising limit political competition to wealthy candidates or groups, or require that office-seekers compromise their integrity and independence by over-dependence on special interests for funds.

“Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless. “Sinclair Lewis (1885 – 1951)

b) Benefits of Political Advertising

Political advertising can make a contribution to democracys. political advertising can help politicians and parties by informing people about the ideas and policies of parties and candidates,also including new candidates not previously known to the public.

Along with helping it can obstruct it too. for example, advertising costs can limit political competition to wealthy candidates or groups

Such obstruction are there when instead of being a vehicle for honest expositions of candidates’ views and records, political advertising seeks to distort the views and records of opponents and unjustly attacks their reputations.

c) Cultural Benefits of Advertising

media depends on advertising for its revenue, thus the impact advertising has can be a positive influence on decisions about media content. This they do by supporting material of excellent intellectual, aesthetic and moral quality presented with the public interest in view ; advertising can contribute to the betterment of society by uplifting and inspiring people and motivating them to act in ways that benefitentire society. lives simply can be brighten by ads being witty, tasteful and entertaining.On the other hand Advertising also can have a corrupting influence upon culture and cultural values.for eg the way advertising treats women; in a frequent, deplorable abuse.

d) Moral and Religious Benefits of Advertising

Today many benevolent social institutions, mostly of a religious nature, use advertising to communicate their messages – of faith, of patriotism, of tolerance, compassion and neighborly service, of charity toward the needy, messages concerning health and education, constructive and helpful messages that educate and motivate people in a variety of beneficial ways. Ads can be morally uplifting, but can also be vulgar and morally degrading. Mostly and deliberately they appeal to motives such as envy, status seeking and lust. And some advertisers consciously look into shocking and titillating by exploiting ads of a morbid, perverse, and to some extent even of pornographic nature.Some religious organizations also use ads to convey certain messages to groups or community.

The shortcomings of Advertising

Billions of dollars each year are spent by Companies on their advertisements; some become great hits while some are useless failures. across the globe these companies strive hard to earn good respect in markets, but many goof-ups are made , bringing to light the negative effects of advertising, which will help broaden our horizons on taking some decisions towards ads in the near future :

HIDDEN COSTS are always involved, even after proper planning and implementation which will burn pockets deep as Advertising, costs companies’ lots of money . So when you buy a product, you don’t only pay for the product. There are lots of expenses already included with it .

Some companies make FALSE CLAIMS to the customers, which in the beginning, sounds good but later on gives wrong impression to the consumers.

Companies give different images and false claims to sell their products and people start believing in them blindly. With passage of time people get addicted which then may lead to SOCIAL DISCRIMINATION and insecurity especially in the younger generation.

Advertisers always look for a particular audience to cater to. their ads are aired on a specified channel or a medium, catering to a particular age group of people. So often we notice our entertainment schedule going for a toss because we see long and boring commercial breaks.

the major negative effects of advertising is the LOSS OF CREATIVITY. Advertisers look only at selling their products in a manner in which it sounds beautiful to the consumer. The actual art of selling the products is rarely seen or found in the modern marketing strategies


The blame is not only on the advertising experts ,but on all people involved ,who are concerned of selling their products anyhow. The advertisements, they have lost their way somewhere due to temptations to give lesser efforts. Advertisements are truly supposed to be for the consumers to understand the product well rather than luring them in to buying it.

“Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.” Will Rogers quotes (American entertainer, famous for his pithy and homespun humour, 1879-1935)

There is nothing completely good or completely bad about advertising. It is nothing but a tool, an instrument:which can be used well, and used badly.

It mostly does have, beneficial results such as those just described, it also can, and often does, have a negative, harmful impact on an individuals life and society.

Communio et Progressio contains this summary statement of the problem: “If harmful or utterly useless goods are touted to the public, if false assertions are made about goods for sale, if less than admirable human tendencies are exploited, those responsible for such advertising harm society and forfeit their good name and credibility. More than this, unremitting pressure to buy articles of luxury can arouse false wants that hurt both individuals and families by making them ignore what they really need. And those forms of advertising which, without shame, exploit the sexual instincts simply to make money or which seek to penetrate into the subconscious recesses of the mind in a way that threatens the freedom of the individual … must be shunned.”13

“What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising? Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public.”

Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879 – 1962), “Discovery”, 1964


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