Tag Archives: Advertising

 

The father of modern advertising, David Ogilvy, starts his book on advertising by saying: “I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.” Indeed that rings true in my ears, even as an advertising student years ago, my mentors often stressed the fact that advertising is not only about beautiful creation, it is not fine art but rather an exquisite form of communication.

Today, we will trace back the origins and use of advertising in ancient civilizations.

The Role of Advertising

The Role of Advertising

Advertising exists to bring the right solution to a communication problem. A client that has a product to sell wishes to make the potential market aware of the product, they then seek the services of an advertising agency. A full-fledged advertising must be able to:

  • Meet the client
  • Interpret the needs of the client by listening to the client and asking the right questions
  • Transmit the information to the creative team
  • Present the right solution to the client and rationally explain the reason behind the solution proposed
  • Choose and publish the advert in the right media
  • And in some cases, measure the impact of the advert or advertising campaign.

Above is the typical workflow in the advertising industry. David Ogilvy continues in his book: “I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative’. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.” In the end, advertising is about selling; selling a product, a service, an ideology in the case of social adverts initiated b NGOs.

Advertising is required by a plethora of sectors, not only commercial, but practically anyone who has something to communicate to a group of people.

Historical Perspective

Historical Perspective

In order to understand the origin and evolution of advertising, it is good to start with a retrospective on the primitive forms of advertising to capture the essence of the concept of advertising itself.

The Role of Egypt – 2000 BC: 1st Form of Outdoor Advertisement

If we consider that advertising is a form of communication used to encourage, persuade, or direct an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to take action, then advertising can relate back to as far as 2000 BC, when Egyptians invented the 1st primitive form of outdoor advertisement when they carved public messages on stelae (stone slabs).

Greece – 79 AD: 1st Audio Advertisement

In 79AD, the Greeks invented the first audio advertisement, more precisely the first sonic logo, more commonly called a jingle today.

Europe – Middle Ages: Town Criers, Signs and Symbols

In the middle ages, when towns and cities began to grow and trade was common, town criers could be considered a form of audio advertising. Also at that time, signs were widely used to represent specific trades such as ‘cobbler’, ‘miller’, ‘tailor’, or ‘blacksmith’. Those could be considered as the first logos or symbols designed for commercial purposes.

France – 1631, French Newspaper: 1st Classified Ads

Thereafter, Gutenberg invented metal type printing in 1140 which popularized the use of paper for various publications. It was much later in 1631 that the French newspaper La Gazette published the first ‘classified ads’. These early line ads were predominantly informative, containing descriptive, rather than persuasive language.

Modern Perspective – The Break From Passively Informative to Aggressively Commercial Messages

Modern Perspective – The Break From Passively Informative to Aggressively Commercial Messages

Advertising as we know it today in its structured form has started to take shape in parallel with the Industrial Revolution period, that is, the mid-1700s. t advertising was born as a solution to the possibility of an economic disaster. From there on however, the role of advertising has become so important that it affects society culturally, socially and economically.

In the next article, we shall learn more about the role of advertising in the contemporary society.

 

In today’s world, it is pretty impossible not to know the essence of advertising, especially when you’ve got the responsibility of a company on your shoulders.

So, today we’ll start by exploring the different media used in advertising to disseminate messages that companies want the public to grasp.

Different Modes of Advertising

There are a vast number of options on how a company can get its message across to its market and they can be categorized as follows:

• Above the line

• Below the line

• Through the line

• Online

Above the Line Advertising (ATL):

Above the Line Advertising (ATL):

Above the line advertising is a technique used to communicate to the mass, thus the term mass media. When a client wants to reach the population at large for a nationwide campaign, the agency must go for ATL channels. If you take Toblerone, for example, it is a very famous chocolate brand appreciated by people all around the world, irrespective of age group. Suppose if Toblerone has added new flavors in its product line. To make the population aware of it, they will use a combination of billboards placed in various regions, newspapers (all the newspapers with highest readerships, of course) and magazine adverts. They will also use and radio channels to spread their message. The list of ATL modes are:

• TV

• Radio

• Outdoor (Billboards, buses, bus shelters, waste bins, posters, signs)

• Magazines

• Cinema

• Newspaper

Now, let’s examine some benefits and drawbacks of these modes.

1. Newspaper

Advantages:

  • With newspapers, you have a potentially large coverage area. Newspapers are published on a daily basis. One can also choose to advertise in different newspapers to cover maximum potential consumers.
  • Flexibility – you can choose the size of the ad you want to publish thus, you control your budget.
  • Access to many socio-economic groups
  • Visibility of the product – that is, through pictures

Disadvantages:

  • The print quality of newspapers isn’t always the best, especially for photographs.
  • Short shelf life. Right a day after a newspaper is published, it becomes history.

2. Radio

Advantages:

  • A universal medium. It can be enjoyed at home, at work, and while driving.
  • Multiple exposures. The audience gets to hear the advert several times. The bigger your budget, the more times you can air your ad.
  • Possible high entertainment value of the ad. Can be creative with sound effects or well-written script.

Disadvantages:

  • Listeners will never be able to refer back to your ads to go over important points.
  • Radio is claimed to be a mere background medium meaning that most listeners are doing something else while listening.
  • Members of the audience often switch to other channels when ads are aired.

3. TV

Advantages:

  • Allows you to reach great numbers of people on a national or regional level.
  • Uses both visual and auditory stimulants.

Disadvantages:

  • Can lead to high creative and production costs.
  • Most ads are ten or thirty seconds long, which limits the amount of information you can communicate.

Below the Line (BTL):

Below the Line (BTL)

On the other hand, Below the line strategy concerns promotional activities where the business has direct control over the target or intended audience.

Let me propose another example. Suppose company A is a new company that sells boats, from the entry-level inflatable models to high end fully equipped spacious speed boats. This type of product is not meant for the general population since the price range might be exceeding what an average individual can afford.

For such a product, an advertising agency would advise to communicate essentially to the targeted audience by designing and printing catalogs, brochures, send direct mailings to selected targets and in specific regions such as those living in the north to the west coast. Budget wise it makes more sense and the message is more relevant to the niche market. There are many methods of below the line advertising, including:

• Sales promotions

• Direct marketing (Brochures, newsletters, flyers, direct mail)

• In store promotion (banners, display stand in supermarkets)

• Personal selling

• Sponsorship

If you want to learn more about through the line and online advertising techniques, stay tuned for part 2.

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