Advertising messages make up most of the promotion mechanisms.

What are advertising messages?

An advertising message or advertisement is a type of message transmitted through graphic, audiovisual or auditory supports, generally of short duration. Its objective is to publicize a product, service, institution, or topic, usually for commercial purposes.

They are popularly known as “commercials”, “advertising”, “ads” or “propaganda”.

Advertising messages make up most of today’s promotion and communication mechanisms. They have a huge presence in the urban environment, the media (print, radio, and audiovisual), and also on the Internet.

They generally apply convincing strategies that operate at a rational, emotional, and subjective level.

This type of advertising is controlled by state law and is considered an economic activity in itself. Those who study and develop advertising messages are called advertisers.

The function of advertising messages

In the first place, its objective is to make a product, service, or theme visible, thus bringing it closer to its consumer or interest audience.

Its ultimate purpose is to motivate the purchase, convincing the public to buy the product, want it, or need it.

Types of the advertising message

Definition And Characteristics  Of  Advertising Messages

Mixed ads usually include both text and photos.

Advertising messages can be classified according to the medium they use to promote themselves:

  • Textual. They consist of compositions with written text, using typographic styles and other verbal resources, such as jingles, clever phrases, narrations, etc.
  • Mixed. Typical of billboards and print newspapers, they display still images ( photographs, illustrations, etc.) and text, to express an existing relationship.
  • Audiovisuals. They take advantage of modern technology to use sounds and moving images, such as on television.
  • Radials. Auditory pieces are transmitted by radio.
  • Digital ads. Specific to the Internet, incorporating the digital possibilities offered by networks to all the previous variants.
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Effect on consumers

The effect of advertising on consumers is always unpredictable, even for specialists in the field.

Generally, the advertising message seeks to arouse sympathy, stick in memory or highlight the benefits of the product, as well as convince the eventual buyer that it would be better for him to buy it. Ideally, this is what happens.

However, there have been numerous cases of advertising messages that have the opposite effect: they offend the buyer or distance him from the product, offend feelings or transmit the wrong message regarding what is offered.

Elements that make up the advertising message

Definition And Characteristics  Of  Advertising Messages

A referential image reflects the emotional tenor of the ad.

Advertising messages generally have the following elements:

  • Shot. From bullet (“bullet”) in English, it is a short, striking phrase that illustrates or condenses the message.
  • Referential image. They are images that reflect the emotional tenor of the advertisement, whether they are of the product itself, or images that allude to it more or less directly, that provide sensations or suggest emotions that may be associated with the product: models, famous actors, celebrities, imaginary characters, etc.
  • Text. The words, phrases, or typographical elements that provide the specific information.
  • Call to action. It is a final sentence in which the viewer is invited to act in a certain way, generally emphatic: “Buy it!”, “Look for it now!”, etc.
  • Slogans. Playful, witty, or catchy phrases that are associated with the product serve to give it a certain personality of its own.
  • Contact. The data are necessary to contact advertisers or manufacturers. They are usually the last thing to appear.
  • Music and accompaniment. Applies only to audiovisual or radio announcements, giving the message a memorable tone, feeling, or rhythm.
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Structure of the advertising message

It generally has a structure of four areas or lines:

  • Headline or heading. The top and most visible part of the ad, usually in the center, is where the viewer’s attention is captured.
  • image body. The set of photographs, images, or drawings (or sequences of them) shape the advertising message, and are usually central to the message, without overshadowing the headline.
  • Body of text. It is the textual content of the message, that is, what it has to say. It usually occupies a secondary region within the advertisement, once it has captured the attention of the viewer or reader.
  • Signature. The last thing that is perceived, is the “personalized” elements of the company being advertised: contact details, logo, slogan, or other elements that constitute its corporate image.

Advertising Message Styles

Definition And Characteristics  Of  Advertising Messages

Rational messages appeal to logic and rationality.

By styles we refer to the way of persuading or attracting a message in question, that is, the strategies used to fulfill its mission. Thus, we have:

  • emotional messages. Those that appeal to the emotion or emotionality of the public, that is, to move them through their feelings, and not with logical or rational arguments. Among them, the exploitation of sex and desire is extremely frequent.
  • Rational messages. Those that appeal to the logic and rationality of the consumer, providing him with information, data, reasoning, or arguments in favor of his position, frontally, although not necessarily frankly.
  • Subliminal messages. Those that hide information or content in inner layers of the message, that cannot be perceived by the conscious human mind, but that is fixed in the depth of the mind. They are normally prohibited by law.

Advertising History

Advertising is an invention of the consumer society, but it existed as a mostly government function since ancient times. For example, the kings communicated their edicts or new laws through messages posted (or recited) on public roads.

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The Industrial Revolution caused the growth of markets and the invention of new and more powerful written and audiovisual media.

This made it possible to satisfy a growing need among producers and marketers: to make themselves visible and attract the public to their brands. This is how the promotion of products, goods, and services was born, and it evolved to become what it is today.

Marketing or marketing

Definition And Characteristics  Of  Advertising Messages

Marketing departments often have creative people.

Companies have marketing departments (also called marketing) that are made up of specialists in the advertising world.

They are responsible for creating messages in the most competitive way possible. To achieve this, they take into account factors such as the local culture, the target audience, the messages of the competition, etc.

In addition to the data they consult, these departments often have people with a creative component. In this way, creative commercial promotions are achieved.

Analysis of the advertising message

The analysis of advertising messages can occur at various levels and involve different techniques or knowledge.

The aspects analyzed can be strictly commercial or contextual, such as the colors associated with the product or the company, the positioning with respect to the competition, etc.

But the more semiotic (of the cultural meaning), anthropological or sociological features can also be included. They can discover the deepest layers of meaning within an apparently innocent advertising message.

Examples of the advertising message

Some examples of advertising messages are:

  • Skittles, sweets:
Definition And Characteristics  Of  Advertising Messages
Pula, Croatia – January 23, 2016: Closeup of Skittles candy made by Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company isolated on white background


  • Coke



  • Nike a sports apparel brand

Definition And Characteristics  Of  Advertising Messages