Definition And Characteristics Of Advertising

Definition And Characteristics Of Advertising
The limits of advertising are marked by law. 

What is advertising?

Advertising is understood as the forms of written, visual and multimedia communication that seek to generate in the public a particular interest in a specific brand of consumer products or services.

This is achieved through positioning or visibility of the brand in its competitive market, according to a strategic and pre-established promotion plan, which resorts to feelings, identifications, and other psychological and cultural resources in the viewer.

Advertising, similarly, can aspire to forge unfavorable opinions or feelings regarding a product or service (the competition, for example), disfavoring its consumption or alerting the public regarding its characteristics. Of course, the context of what is permitted and what is considered ethical within the framework of advertising messages is normally regulated by law.

Advertising is currently considered one of the most present sources of daily messages in the life of human beings, and there is a constant debate regarding the limits that should be imposed on advertising or the mechanisms of responsibility that should be attributed to its users. creators.

Advertising concept

Definition And Characteristics Of Advertising

Propaganda advocates an ideology or pattern of thought. 

Advertising as a concept must be distinguished from propaganda, even though the latter also seeks to persuade the public in some precise sense.

They are distinguished in their field of action, while propaganda advocates (or attacks against) an ideology or a specific pattern of thought, advertising tries to affect the consumption patterns of the population, regardless of their specific way of thinking.

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Advertising function

The main function of advertising is to persuade, to convince that a product or service is better than another, that there is a need to buy it, or that it is something new or original that will improve the lives of the consuming public. This is achieved through various strategies, which can be summarized as:

  • Create an identification between the product and its consuming public.
  • Provide testimonials and arguments in favor of the purchase of the product.
  • Establish key differences regarding the product or service compared to its commercial competition.
  • Generate the need to purchase the good or service by warning of possible risk scenarios without them.
  • Make the existence of a product or brand visible in the midst of those that make up your market or competition.

Types of advertising

Definition And Characteristics Of Advertising

Brand advertising focuses on showing a specific product. 

There are types of advertising according to their mechanisms and purposes, which can be:

  • Branded. It focuses its efforts on the visibility of a brand in general, instead of a specific product.
  • Local or retail. It focuses its information on the potential buyer’s environment, creating a distinctive image of a store or business premises contained in a specific geographical area.
  • Direct response. Focused on generating a specific sale, going straight to questioning the potential buyer.
  • Business to Business (B2B). “Business-to-business” advertising, stimulates commercial interaction between two companies or a company and a store, etc.
  • institutional. Also called “corporate identity”, it does not seek to enhance a product or have a direct impact on sales, but rather to promote the values ​​​​of the company or the store and distinguish it from others in the industry.
  • Nonprofit. Advertising of NGOs or other types of non-commercial organizations, which are promoted among the interested public for their causes and altruistic motivations.
  • Public service. That which intends to spread a message of public interest among the people of the community, instead of inciting a specific commercial transaction.
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Differences between advertising and propaganda

The distinctions between propaganda and advertising lie in the fact that the former seeks to influence the ideology and way of thinking of the population, for example, trying to convince concerning an electoral decision or even implant certain norms of conduct in the population or eradicate some considered harmful.

Advertising, on the other hand, ignores the way of thinking of the possible public, since it is only interested in promoting the purchase of a product or in making visible the values ​​of the company that manufactures it.

Advertising Structure

Definition And Characteristics Of Advertising

Advertising agencies carry out sociological studies of the target audience. 

The commercial advertising chain operates based on the following elements:

  • Advertisers. Those who wish to make use of advertising to make their work visible or promote it to the public.
  • Advertising agencies. They are responsible for conducting a sociological and psychological study of the target audience of the product or service to be sold and then proposing an advertising strategy to achieve the objective of positioning the brand.
  • Media agency. Agencies in charge of managing the advertising already produced to the media that broadcast it, and that specialize in the listing and management of these spaces.
  • Media. Different mass communication devices are available for broadcasting advertising.
  • Consumer. The target audience of the advertising.

Personalization of advertising

One of the trends in advertising over the years has been hyper-personalization, that is, directing your ads in an increasingly less general and broadway, and more towards an objective audience or target, based on their specific consumer needs.

Types of media

Definition And Characteristics Of Advertising

Visual advertising combines text with photographs, drawings, or sculptures. 

Advertising uses numerous means to reach the target audience, through written, visual, sound, or audiovisual advertisements. We can distinguish them as follows:

  • writings. Like press releases, flyers, posters, etc.
  • Visuals. That combines the text with photographs, drawings, or sculptures of various kinds to capture attention.
  • sound. Typical of radio transmission.
  • Audiovisuals. Like the advertisements that appear on television or the Internet.
  • Experiential. Free product trials, person-to-person promotion, etc.
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advertising ethics

There are codes of advertising ethics sanctioned by law, which establish the direct responsibility of advertising creatives and their agencies concerning broadcast advertising. It is estimated that this should not be offensive or discriminatory towards any social sector, that it should not be deceitful (openly lying about the product), and that it should not incur in breaches of public morals of any nature.


“ Jingles ” are known as clever and catchy phrases that advertising often uses to identify a product, sometimes as labels, songs, or simply repeated phrases that stick in the public’s memory and bring up the product.

Principles of advertising

Definition And Characteristics Of Advertising

Advertising must be eye-catching to capture the attention of the public. 

There are numerous advertising theories, but one of the best known is the so-called AIDA, which establishes the following elements as the basic steps of any advertising campaign:

  • Attention. Advertising would have to be eye-catching and catch the public’s attention, or it will be ignored and ineffective.
  • Interest. You must then generate interest in what is offered, or the captured attention will be immediately lost. It must be convincing.
  • Wish. It must arouse a desire for acquisition or consumption in the public.
  • Action. It must exhort the reaction, that is, it must mobilize the public toward the purchase.


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