Advertising is a non-personal form of promotion that is delivered through selected media outlets that, under most circumstances, require the marketer to pay for message placement. Advertising has long been viewed as a method of mass promotion in that a single message can reach a large number of people. But, this mass promotion approach presents problems since many exposed to an advertising message may not be within the marketer’s target market, and thus, may be an inefficient use of promotional funds. However, this is changing as new advertising technologies and the emergence of new media outlets offer more options for targeted advertising.
Advertising has evolved into a vastly complex form of communication, with literally thousands of different ways for a business to get a message to the consumer. Today the advertiser has a vast array of choices. The Internet alone provides many of these, with the advent of branded viral videos, banners, advertorials, sponsored websites, branded chat rooms and so much more.
Online Advertising (aka Digital): If you see an advertisement via the Internet (World Wide Web), then it is classified as online advertising. For most other websites one visits, ads are the primary revenue driver for the Internet. Another avenue of online advertising is "Native Advertising," which is the digital variation of the old print advertorials. And, sponsored content is growing by leaps and bounds. From ads on Facebook and SnapChat, to partnerships with Buzzfeed and Reddit, the fastest, easiest way to reach millions of potential customers is online.
Print Advertising: If an advertisement is printed on paper, be it newspapers, magazines, newsletters, booklets, flyers, direct mail, or anything else that would be considered a portable printed medium, then it comes under the banner of print advertising. This was once the big driver of sales, but as print gives way to digital formats, it is slowly taking a back seat.
Guerrilla Advertising: Also known as ambient media, guerrilla advertising (or marketing) has become prominent over the last 20 years. It is a broadly used term for anything unconventional, and usually invites the consumer to participate or interact with the piece in some way. Location is important, as is timing. The driving forces behind guerrilla advertising or marketing are creative ideas and innovation, not a large budget. Quite often, you will ask for forgiveness rather than permission with these campaigns, and they will spread via word of mouth and social media.
Broadcast Advertising: A mass-market form of communication including television and radio, broadcast advertising has, until recently, been the most dominant way to reach a large number of consumers. Broadcast advertising has really taken a beating over the last few years, especially with the rise of DVRs and "ad skipping" technology. However, it is still a popular way to reach millions of people, especially when the Super Bowl comes around.
Outdoor Advertising: Also known as out-of-home (OOH) advertising, this is a broad term that describes any type of advertising that reaches the consumer when he or she is outside of the home. You will know it as billboards, bus shelter posters, fly posters, and even those big digital boards in Times Square.
Public Service Advertising:Unlike traditional commercials, Public Service Advertisements (PSA) are primarily designed to inform and educate rather than sell a product or service. PSAs traditionally appear on TV and radio, but are also being heavily promoted online these days. *Product Placement Advertising:In a nutshell, product placement is the promotion of branded goods and services within the context of a show or movie, rather than as an explicit advertisement. If you have ever seen a movie and wondered "wow, they sure are driving a lot of Ford cars in this scene," or "does everyone in this TV show drink Pepsi?" then you are noticing product placement. It's a way that these films and shows get funding, and is a great way for advertisers to reach a targeted demographic.
Cell Phone & Mobile Advertising: A relatively new form of advertising, but one that's spreading rapidly, uses cell phones, iPads, Kindles, Nooks, and other portable electronic devices with Internet connectivity. Current trends in mobile advertising involve major use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Right now, this is the toughest nut to crack. This kind of advertising is not only disruptive, but can leave the customers with a lot of ill will. If you do it, do it right.