Advertising is the most common way of matching a brand offering with the needs of a specific group of consumers, called target group. Advertising is supported by marketing, which is the discipline that identifies or creates consumer needs, then supplies them with product benefits, supported by product features. In order for this process to be applied in real life, marketers make use of various forms of advertising to communicate their messages to the consumers and to determine them to try the products.
Developing an advertising strategy or even a single advertising campaign is not as easy as it may seem at first glance, therefore it is usually handled by specialized advertising agencies and media agents who work in close relationship with the client's marketing executives.
Types of AdvertisingAdvertising can be Above the Line (ATL) or Below the Line (BTL). ATL advertising comprises TV, magazines and newspapers advertising, while BTL covers outdoor billboards, printed flyers, product placements, special events, product launch celebrations, sampling, in store tasting and many other similar activities.
Apart from this classical forms of advertising, there are two other types that gained an important momentum over the past ten years: internet and e-mail advertising.
The Characteristics of Good AdvertisingThere are many schools that bring to the table their own definitions of what a good advertising campaign is. One of the most popular models is AIDA, which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action, and which basically states that a piece of advertising is good when it manages to attract consumers' attention, to raise their interest in the promoted product, then to induce them the desire to buy it, and in the final stage to determine them go out and buy the respective product.
Another model, the ABC, stands for Attention - Branding - Communication, trying to captivate the attention of people exposed to the advertising, then to make them establish a clear link between the respective advertising and the brand, and finally to communicate them what are the benefits of the product.
Advertising Rules and RegulationsBecause advertising may have such a big impact on people, the advertising industry together with governments agreed that commercial advertising should be forbidden for those categories of products that might be dangerous such as prescription drugs. For some other categories, special rules must be applied when running an advertising campaign. For example, for OTC drugs (those drugs that can be sold without medical prescription), advertising needs to be approved by an FDA commission. Tobacco advertising is also restricted in many countries, a general consensus not being yet established at international level.