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Advertising : Features, Merits and Demerits

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What is Advertising?

Any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of goods and services by an identified sponsor is known as Advertising. It is one of the most popular tools of promotion. Information or details regarding benefits, price, and availability of the products and services are provided with the help of advertising. The main aim of advertising is to increase the demand and sale of goods and services. Newspapers, televisions, magazines, etc., are common modes of advertising.

According to David Ogilvy, “If you are tiring to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it means to me you should use their language, the language in which they think “.

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

According to the American Marketing Association, “Any paid form of non-per­sonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods and services, by an identified sponsor. The medium used are print broadcast, and direct”.

Importance of Advertising

Advertising is important because of the following reasons:

1. Informing and Educating Customers: Advertising serves as a pivotal tool for informing potential customers about various aspects of products, services, promotions, and special events. By utilizing this platform, firms can effectively communicate essential information such as availability, price, product function, and unique qualities.

2. Promoting Products and Services: The significance of advertising lies in its role as a catalyst for promoting products and services. This function is instrumental in enabling businesses to compete effectively for the attention of buyers in a competitive market. Through advertising, businesses can create brand awareness, attract potential customers, and establish a compelling presence in the marketplace.

3. Boosting Employee Morale: Effective advertising extends beyond customer outreach and can have a positive impact on the internal dynamics of a business. A well-crafted advertising campaign can enhance the overall reputation of a business, subsequently boosting employee morale.

4. Increasing Brand Exposure: Advertising plays a pivotal role in significantly increasing a brand’s exposure to the target audience. This increased visibility can directly impact sales and revenue for businesses of all sizes. By reaching a broader audience and ensuring the brand is in front of the right people, advertising becomes a powerful tool for acquiring new customers and expanding market reach.

5. Enhancing Sales: Advertising is not just about creating awareness but also driving tangible results. By strategically showcasing product qualities and benefits, advertisements can influence consumer behavior, leading to increased sales. This is especially powerful when combined with compelling calls to action that prompt immediate purchases.

Features of Advertising

The features of Advertising are as follows:

1. Paid Form: It is a paid form of communication, as the sponsor has to bear the cost of advertising. So it is commercial in nature. It involves a huge cost and is never free of cost.

2. Impersonality: As there is no face-to-face contact between the customer and the advertiser, it is considered to be an impersonal method. Since it is a one-sided communication, a monologue is created, not a dialogue. 

3. Identified Sponsor: It is always undertaken by an identified sponsor, who bears the cost. The name or the identity of the advertiser is disclosed in the advertisement.

Merits of Advertising

 The merits of advertising are as follows:

1. Mass Reach: Advertising has a mass reach as it can reach a large number of people at a time. For example, advertisements by the government to get vaccinated against Covid-19 reached mass through advertisements in newspapers, televisions, radio, etc.

2. Enhancing Customer Satisfaction and Confidence: A product that is publicly advertised gets authenticity as there is a proof for it. The products which are advertised widely are preferred more by the customers as they feel more comfortable.  Advertising wins the confidence and trust of the customers about the product and they feel more satisfied.

3. Expressiveness: Advertising has become one of the most prominent mediums of communication as it uses the latest techniques, graphics, and media. Modern advertising makes products more attractive, appealing, and expressive.

4. Economy: As advertising targets mass, it is economical. The total cost of advertising is spread over a large number of people and because of this, the per unit cost of reaching a prospective buyer is less as compared to other promotional techniques.

Demerits/ Limitations of Advertising

The demerits of advertising are as follows:

1. Less Forceful: As there is no direct contact between the buyers and the marketer, it is less forceful. The messages conveyed through advertising are impersonal and buyers sometimes do not pay attention to them.

2. Lack of Feedback: Evaluation of the effectiveness of the advertisement cannot be done easily, as there is no immediate and accurate feedback from the customers. It is one-sided communication.

3. Inflexibility: Advertisement is inflexible, as it cannot be modified as per the requirements of different target groups. It uses standardised messages to communicate with people, and once an advertisement is made, it is very difficult to change it, as it involves a lot of costs.

4. Low Effectiveness: Advertisement has low effectiveness as in this fast-changing world, advertisements are increasing in numbers and it has become very difficult to make the advertisement heard by the target group. Further, there is no scope to clear the queries and doubts of the target groups due to a lack of two-way communication.


Last Updated : 19 Feb, 2024
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