What is Advertising? Definition and 6+ Examples

Complete Guide on Advertising

All you need to know about advertising

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All you need to know about advertising

Advertising is a very topical subject since it is the very basis of the business model of certain companies such as Google and Facebook. Without them, these companies would simply not exist and would not offer the services we all know today. So it is very important to understand what advertising is nowadays but also how to use it properly in a marketing operation.

Which advertising to choose?

The answer to this question depends on what you have to promote and what you want to achieve. Analyze your target and advertise where it is. Depending on whether it is digital, on television, in newspapers, you will get very different results depending on the audience you are addressing. It is therefore advisable to plan your actions and identify the receivers of the message you want to convey. You can also turn to an advertising agency if you need help.

Advertising is omnipresent in our modern society and in all its forms.Every company must have a communication budget to make itself known and make an impression on the minds of the public. Advertising is an indispensable sales weapon for the development of a business!

Advertising has the power of influence to provoke purchasing power. Communication must be of quality to attract the attention of the target audience and create needs.

In conclusion: what is the role of advertising?

Initially, advertising was more common in the culture of the Western world. Eventually it found its way into the Eastern world. The period of the 20th century was not conducive to advertising, which was never really considered. It was only in 1960, during the profound transformation of the industry, that everything began to change.

Marketing makes its appearance and advertising quickly finds its place in this great whole. A new wave of advertising is on the march and it catalyzes the economic liberalism, the free competition of markets and the technological advances of the time. There were many great changes at that time:

  • A strong overall growth in purchasing power,
  • Much larger markets
  • Fierce competition between producers and industrialists.

Society is no longer just about production, it must also bring some form of satisfaction and pleasure to the end consumer. From that time to the present day, advertising has grown in power to become a totally indispensable tool.

Killing three birds with one stone by achieving objectives

The results of the campaigns are to be sought on three precise axes:

  • Highlighting a good, a product, a service...
  • Work on brand awareness and image
  • Pushing the target audience to buy

When a new product is launched on the market, advertising plays an important role in half of the sales!

What are the different types of advertising?

If the objective of advertising is to influence the consumer to make a purchase, not all techniques to achieve this are the same. There are therefore different types of advertising that are important to know: display advertising, online advertising, digital advertising, etc.

Display advertising or Google Ads

It is any communication intended to be displayed on a screen via an image or video as opposed to print advertising which requires physical printing on a medium.

Informative and persuasive advertising

The most common form of advertising is to promote a service that happens to be better, more reliable, more efficient in a pragmatic way. It is therefore based on tangible and quantitative information.

Here, the objective is first of all to capture Attention, to provoke Interest, to initiate a form of Desire and finally to push to Purchase. This strategy is called AIDA, like the initials in capital letters of the words to remember.

Because human beings are not always rational, this approach has its limits. Indeed, the consumer can decide to buy on the basis of his feelings, to do as everyone else does or simply because he thinks he has a need to satisfy.

Mechanistic advertising

Here, the message must force its way into the consumer's head. The ads are designed to be easily recognizable and memorable with a distinctive logo, an easy-to-remember slogan and an audio jingle. Repetition and ubiquity are still widely used strategies in cultural media advertising campaigns. You've inevitably come across a Fortnite ad without playing video games. This advertising format is designed to appear everywhere, long and regularly.

Suggestive advertising

Less present today because of the context, suggestive advertising associates the consumer's desires with a product. One example is promoting a shower gel by showing women with perfect plastic to use it. This type of advertising campaign, regardless of the audience, is in sharp decline today because it is associated with a sexist and misogynistic view of individuals. This is an interesting example of what companies need to do as a change to maintain a good brand image.

What's a good ad?

Creating effective advertising is not an easy task. Between the message to be conveyed, the budget to be respected, and the constraints of distribution, you have to think twice before getting started. According to Sortlist, a good put must allow you to build a relationship of trust with your customer while highlighting your services. It must be :

  • Percussive
  • Original
  • Easy to remember

KISS or Keep It Simple and Sexy

You will only have a few seconds of attention when your target sees your ad. It is therefore impossible to convey complex messages or to include too much information in your mass communication operation.

Include in priority what is useful to achieve your objective and necessary to make yourself understood. Your client, whatever the medium, will surely have seen advertising before yours and may be confronted with it afterwards. The simpler your message is, the easier it will be to remember. One objective, one message, quite simply.

  • A framework that brings all the elements together can help you. Don't hesitate to prepare one. It's like the whole vision of your ad.

Tell your target what they need to do.

It may seem trivial, but some high-impact advertising does not engage the customer. The reason? The client doesn't know what to do. Can he buy? If so, how? These questions shouldn't be a problem in your advertising. It must remain clear and understandable about the expected action. Don't hesitate to write clearly what the customer can do by adding details: pre-order with a discount, download for free, get a quote.

Be creative

Good advertising does not take over existing codes without changing anything. Add your personal touch to be easily identifiable. It can be the way you address the target, the aesthetic aspect of your ad, the sound, or anything else that sets you apart. If you want to stand out from the crowd, don't be like everyone else.

However, take the time to have your ad validated by different people. Some symbols, images, colours have different meanings for different people. It is therefore important to make sure that no one will be offended by your advertisement for the wrong reasons.

What is the difference between advertising and marketing?

Advertising is a marketing tool. Marketing is a long-term approach with a strategy and stakes for the company. Advertising is a promotional tool designed to achieve marketing objectives.

The definition of marketing

Marketing consists of analysing the market and positioning your product. Effective digital marketing knows its target audience and its needs by heart and has the ideal positioning. This positioning is defined by specific criteria of use:

  • Uses
  • The price
  • The target

A company like Apple releasing a technically advanced product would not hit a target that prefers the stability and serenity of its uses rather than being able to do many different things that involve a longer learning phase. This target is used to the brand's prices which are often much higher than the competition. For the target that sees its purchase as an investment, this is not a problem. It is the only one that really meets the expectations formulated by the Apple customer.

It is therefore more a question of following market trends and the evolution of the target's needs than actually promoting something. A company's marketing is well managed if it manages to explain its value proposition quickly to influence the target that will make the purchase.

What is marketing advertising?

A simple definition of advertising

Advertising means communicating massively with the intention of reaching a specific target to influence its behaviour and lead it to carry out a specific action. This target can be a customer, a user, a consumer, a voter. The specific action may consist of a purchase, a vote, a subscription to a media, a service or a newsletter.

Indeed, advertising or advertising marketing does not only concern classic consumer goods or services. It is about promoting someone, something, a behaviour to adopt, a place or even an event.

How important is advertising?

Why advertise? The first answer that comes to you concerns the development of the company, its visibility and its financial health. Nevertheless, the stakes of advertising are very varied and depending on the company's situation, the approach and the stakes will change radically. There are four main objectives in this sector.


If your business is starting up, it may not necessarily have a customer base to build on. In this case, it will have to convince its target audience of the merits of its proposal. The products put forward are certainly of quality, but the target does not know it and therefore will not give it importance. They may not even be aware that you exist and that you could meet their needs.


Once you've convinced your customer base, it's important to do some retention so they won't be tempted to go to the competition. What do you have to offer them to encourage them to stay? It's not necessarily a question of organizing large-scale operations, but of building a lasting relationship where your customers always have an interest in coming back to see you. This may be because they have a new need that you can cover, but also for the information and advice you provide. If, in addition, your commercial services are competitive from a price point of view and the quality of your offers is high, you have all the keys in hand to build loyalty with your target.


Once you have acquired your target heart, you will need to expand and continue to grow. This is done by seeking customers from your competitors. This switch depends on your offer and the loyalty of customers to a brand or product. For some consumers, it will be difficult to switch brands of game consoles, cars or mobile phones. On the other hand, competition is tougher in the food sector, which has to constantly renew itself to offer new experiences. Identify the needs of your competitor's target and see if you can offer them something they don't already have or something you do better.


Maybe you lost customers and they went to the competition. In this case, you can opt for a win-back strategy through advertising. Alongside promotions, discounts, sales, changing your image, communicating differently and offering a different experience plays a key role in how your customers perceive you. If they have left you for a competitor, it's up to you to analyse the reasons for this departure and make the appropriate adjustments.

The importance for the customer

You're not the only one who cares about publicity. The client benefits, too. The main thing, as we have seen, is to be informed of the products available on the market. By communicating through advertising, you help the customer choose the best product for his needs. By knowing the product ranges, a customer can compare and make the choice that is best suited to his situation.

Importance for the seller or producer

Naturally, advertising helps to sell better. Customers already have the information and come to buy a product they already know. Part of the work has taken place, the salesperson takes care of guiding the customer to the purchase.

For a company, advertising is a way to keep a watchful eye on things. The products offered by competitors remain secret until they are released and it is important to remain alert on the offers available and the actors behind them. Everyone can position themselves and adopt the best possible development strategy.

When a company launches a product, advertising will help it obtain the visibility and notoriety necessary for its success. The end customer will be more sensitive to the product and will want to try it themselves.

Finally, advertising gives a company a form of indirect legitimacy. Its ability to communicate and be visible is already a proof of success.

Advantages and disadvantages: what about advertising?

Advertising can convey useful information to the consumer, drawing people's attention to important causes or issues. It also stimulates the economy by encouraging consumption.

Advantages of advertising

Promoting something involves communicating information to a target. Advertising is therefore a means of informing as well as promoting. This information can have a definite added value and be useful for the target. Without it, the target will not be informed about something that may potentially interest them.

With the multiplication of advertising media, this sector is a real gateway for creative people. Depending on the brands, products and means, it is possible to create very artistic advertisements, some of which still have an impact today. It is therefore a creative space in its own right.

Depending on the context, advertising can be used for something other than commercial purposes such as :

  • Preventing a form of abuse
  • Highlighting a person or group of individuals
  • Reporting a situation
  • Conveying values and giving hope

All these advantages are roles that advertising can also play. We see this in particular in prevention spots against tobacco or alcohol, road safety, physical or moral abuse. These spots are important because they convey information on a large scale to people who may really need it.

As such, cultural institutions, events and venues rely on advertising to gain visibility. On a large scale, advertising makes it possible to :

  • stimulate the economy
  • generate revenue
  • actively participate in the health of the trade sector. Many jobs are thus preserved and consumption has a virtuous impact on the income of this sector.

Finally, the media and information sector also benefits greatly from advertising. Magazines, newspapers, television, on a large or small scale, advertising is synonymous with income that is indispensable to their existence and the smooth running of their organization.

The disadvantages of advertising

Advertising is a tool that is sometimes used for deceptive purposes. For example, the target is encouraged to carry out an action or purchase a product without obtaining the desired results. It is a breach of trust that can have serious repercussions on the advertiser's image but also on its activities.

To achieve their ends, advertisers often rely on identified cognitive biases. By creating new needs, pushing to over-consumption and exploiting emotions rather than the target's reason, advertising can have a negative impact on society.

Weaker or more fragile individuals are sometimes the target of dubious advertising campaigns. Children, teenagers and the elderly are audiences regularly targeted by aggressive and destabilizing advertising approaches.

The over-representation of advertising around us creates an intense mental load on a daily basis. Billboards, logos, jingles, flyers, various banners are omnipresent in our environment and sometimes saturate our attention span. Broadcasting advertising while viewing or listening to a medium also greatly alters the quality of the target's experience.

Advertising is the sector of activity of very large companies like Google, whose primary business is IT. The companies in question acquire a strong power of influence with users. The same is true for the press, which, in the event of a disagreement with a client, can be sanctioned if the latter decides to no longer include its advertisements in publications.

Finally, let's look at the social stakes of advertising, during election periods for example. Depending on the candidates' budgets, not all candidates will have the same visibility and their message will not be considered with the same seriousness by the target audience. This is the case with Instagram or Facebook advertising, which appears directly in users' private news feeds.

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