Meaning, Definition, Objective and Functions of Advertising


Advertising is nothing but a paid form of non-personal presentation or promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor with a view to disseminate information concerning an idea, product or service. The message which is presented or disseminated is called advertisement. In the present day marketing activities hardly is there any business in the modern world which does not advertise. However, the form of advertisement differs from business to business.

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Advertisement has been defined differently by different persons. A few definitions are being reproduced below:

According to Wood, “Advertising is causing to know to remember, to do.”

According to Wheeler, “Advertising is any form of paid non-personal presentation of ideas, goods or services for the purpose of inducting people to buy.”

According to Richard Buskirk, “Advertising is a paid form of non-personal presentation of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor.”

According to William J. Stanton, “Advertising consists of all the activities involves in presenting to a group, a non-personal, oral or visual, openly sponsored message regarding disseminated through one or more media and is paid for by an identified sponsor.”

The above definitions clearly reveal the nature of advertisement. This is a powerful element of the promotion mix. Essentially advertising means spreading of information about the characteristics of the product to the prospective customers with a view to sell the product or increase the sale volume.

The main features of advertise are as under:

  • It is directed towards increasing the sales of business.
  • Advertising is a paid form of publicity
  • It is non-personal. They are directed at a mass audience and nor at the individual as is in the case of personal selling.
  • Advertisement are identifiable with their sponsor of originator which is not always the case with publicity or propaganda.

Objective / Functions of advertising

The purpose of advertising is nothing but to sell something -a product, a service or an idea. The real objective of advertising is effective communication between producers and consumers. The following are the main objectives of advertising:

Preparing Ground for New Product

New product needs introduction because potential customers have never used such product earlier and the advertisement prepare a ground for that new product.

Creation of Demand

The main objective of the advertisement is to create a favorable climate for maintaining of improving sales. Customers are to be reminded about the product and the brand. It may induce new customers to buy the product by informing them its qualities since it is possible that some of the customers may change their brands.

Facing the Competition

Another important objective of the advertisement is to face to competition. Under competitive conditions, advertisement helps to build up brand image and brand loyalty and when customers have developed brand loyalty, becomes difficult for the middlemen to change it.

Creating or Enhancing Goodwill: Large scale advertising is often undertaken with the objective of creating or enhancing the goodwill of the advertising company. This, in turn, increases the market receptiveness of the company’s product and helps the salesmen to win customers easily.

Informing the Changes to the Customers

Whenever changes are made in the prices, channels of distribution or in the product by way of any improvement in quality, size, weight, brand, packing, etc., they must be informed to the public by the producer through advertisement.

Neutralizing Competitor’s Advertising

Advertising is unavoidable to complete with or neutralize competitor’s advertising. When competitors are adopting intensive advertising as their promotional strategy, it is reasonable to follow similar practices to neutralize their effects. In such cases, it is essential for the manufacturer to create a different image of his product.

Barring New Entrants

From the advertiser’s point of view, a strongly built image through long advertising helps to keep new entrants away. The advertisement builds up a certain monopoly are for the product in which new entrants find it difficult to enter.

In short, advertising aims at benefiting the producer, educating the consumer and supplementing the salesmen. Above all it is a link between the producer and the consumer.

Benefits or Importance of Advertisement

Advertising broadens the knowledge of the consumers. With the aid of advertising, consumers find and buy necessary products without much waste of time. This speeds up the sales of commodities, increases the efficiency of labor in distribution, and diminishes the costs of selling. It is an accepted fact that without market stimulus of heavy advertising, consumers might have waited another sixty years for the product evaluation that took place in less than ten years – it took after all over sixty years from the invention of the safety razor before the first acceptable stainless steel blades appeared in the market. These words are more than enough to testify the potentialities of advertising in the field of modern marketing system. The main benefits of advertising may be narrated as follows:

Benefits to Manufacturers

  • It increases sales volume by creating attraction towards the product.
  • It helps easy introduction of new products into the markets by the same manufacturer.
  • It helps to create an image and reputation not only of the products but also of the producer or advertiser. In this way, it creates goodwill for the manufacturer.
  • Retail price, maintenance is also possible by advertising where price appeal is the promotional strategy.
  • It helps to establish a direct contact between manufacturers and consumers.
  • It leads to smoothen the demand of the product. It saves the product from seasonal fluctuations by discovering new and new usage of the product.
  • It creates a highly responsive market and thereby quickens the turnover that results in lower inventory.
  • Selling cost per unit is reduced because of increased sale volume. Consequently, product overheads are also reduced due to mass production and sale.
  • Advertising gives the employees a feeling of pride in their jobs and to be in the service of such a concern of repute. It, thus inspires the executives and worker to improve their efficiency.
  • Advertising is necessary to meet the competition in the market and to survive.

Benefits to Wholesalers and Retailers

  • Easy sale of the products is possible since consumers are aware of the product and its quality.
  • It increases the rate of the turn-over of the stock because demand is already created by advertisement.
  • It supplements the selling activities.
  • The reputation created is shared by the wholesalers and retailers alike because they need not spend anything for the advertising of already a well advertised product.
  • It ensures more economical selling because selling overheads are reduced.
  • It enables them to have product information.

Benefits to Consumers

  • Advertising stresses quality and very often prices. This forms an indirect guarantee to the consumers of the quality and price. Further large scale production assumed by advertising enables the seller to seller product at a lower cost.
  • Advertising helps in eliminating the middlemen by establishing direct contacts between producers and consumers. It results in cheaper goods.
  • It helps them to know where and when the products are available. This reduces their shopping time.
  • It provides an opportunity to the customers to compare the merits and demerits of various substitute products.
  • This is perhaps the only medium through which consumers could know the varied and new uses of the product.
  • Modern advertisements are highly informative.

Benefits to Salesmen

Salesmanship is incomplete without advertising. Advertising serves as the forerunner of a salesman in the distribution of goods. Sales is benefited the advertisement in following ways:

  • Introducing the product becomes quite easy and convenient because manufacturer has already advertised the goods informing the consumers about the product and its quality.
  • Advertising prepares necessary ground for a salesman to begin his work effectively. Hence sales efforts are reduced.
  • The contact established with the customer by a salesman is made permanent through effective advertising because a customer is assumed of the quality and price of the product.
  • The salesman can weigh the effectiveness of advertising when he makes direct contact with the consumers.

Benefits to Community or Society

  • Advertising, in general, is educative in nature. In the words of the late President Roosevelt of the U.S.A., “Advertising brings to the greatest number of people actual knowledge concerning useful things: it is essentially a form of education and the progress of civilization depends on education.”
  • Advertising leads to a large-scale production creating more employment opportunities to the public in various jobs directly or indirectly.
  • It initiates a process of creating more wants and their satisfaction higher standard of living. For example, advertising has made more popular and universal the uses of such inventions as the automobiles, radios, and various household appliances.
  • Newspapers would not have become so popular and so cheap if there had been no advertisements. The cheap production of newspapers is possible only through the publication of advertisements in them. It sustains the press.
  • It assures employment opportunities for the professional men and artist.
  • Advertising does provide a glimpse of a country’s way of life. It is, in fact, a running commentary on the way of living and the behavior of the people and is also an indicator of some of the future in this regard.

Various media for Advertising

Advertising media are the means to transmit the message of the advertiser to the desired class of people. Channels or vehicle by which an advertising message is brought to the notice of the prospective buyer:

Types of Media

There is no dearth of media today. It may be direct or indirect. Direct method of advertising refers to such methods used by the advertiser with which he could establish a direct contact with the prospective hand involve the use of a hired agency for spreading the information. Most of the media are indirect in nature, e.g., press publicity, cinema, etc. The various media that are commonly used are being explained here under:


Newspaper (Hindi or English) (morning or evening editions) are bought largely for their news value as such they are most appropriate for announcing new products and new development of existing products. The choice of a particular news paper for advertising depends upon many factors i.e., circulation of the newspaper, the type of readers it serves, the geographical region in which it is popular, the costs of space and general reputation of the paper etc.


Another medium under press publicity is magazines and journals. They also offer good facility because magazine are read leisurely when the reader is mentally prepared to receive advertisements.

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