Advertising is a type of audio and / or visual marketing communication that uses sponsored and impersonal messages to promote or sell a branded product or service.


Through this impersonal communication, advertising tries to persuade you to buy a product, service or brand, make it known or convey an image about it.

That is, advertising serves to influence your behavior by giving you information about something, which can be a good or service in general. In this way, the aim is to get more buyers or followers.

Therefore, we could summarize all this in that we speak of advertising as a communication with a clearly commercial intention that seeks to stimulate the consumption of a product. It is one of the many tools that marketing has to attract the attention of future customers.

Advertisers or sponsors are organizations that want to promote their products or services. So they try to seek the greatest possible scope and the greatest possible effectiveness. To do this, you need to be targeting your target audience and target market. Advertisers or sponsors can be a company, an NGO or any official entity.

The media used by advertising are very diverse, from the oldest such as television, radio, magazines, newspapers, direct mail or outdoor advertising, to advertising in web search engines, on blogs and web pages, email or messages of text.

It is important to distinguish advertising from other activities aimed at influencing people such as public relations, propaganda or marketing.

History of advertising and its origin

The origin of advertising as a discipline emerged in the 18th century with the development of the Industrial Revolution and the outbreak of the French Revolution. It is true that until that date, there are varied examples of commercial announcements. An example of this is already found in the first civilizations such as Sumeria, where it was common for merchants to shout to attract buyers by informing them about the merchandise they were selling.

However, according to experts in the history of advertising, they are just ads expressed in different ways. And, therefore, the beginning of advertising cannot be considered as a field of study.

Thus, after the primitive evolution of advertising, it would be in the nineteenth century when the discipline would take hold. Since it is in this century when the first globally recognized brands are created. For example, Coca-Cola was founded in 1886, the pants brand Levi’s Strauss in 1873, and the popular brand of toothpaste began operating in 1806. Although, all is said, the latter began selling soaps and candles. That is to say, from that moment on, brands begin to be valued as a guarantee of the purchased product and the first advertising agents in history are also made known.

In this summary of the history of advertising, it should also be noted the moment when brands began to advertise in the media of the time. At the end of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century, the importance of advertisements in media such as the radio or the paper press.

In this evolution, another milestone was the growing importance of television. The birth of video, television commercials, recorded spots and economic growth led to a time of great growth for advertising.

Of course, nothing can compare with the exponential growth of the Internet. Advertising undergoes a unique and very important change as we enter the 21st century. And it is that for the first time, during the second decade of the 21st century, the investment in advertising in digital media exceeds the investment in advertising in traditional media.

What are the goals of advertising?

Advertising aims to highlight the strengths of the product to create a feeling of need in the consumer, interest in purchasing it or simply its memory. In other words, the function of advertising is to be noticed, to generate impact.

We can distinguish two types of advertising according to its objective:

  • Call to action: Its objective is to persuade to buy the product or service or for the customer to take some action that brings him closer to this purchase.
  • Branding: It is the process of creating a brand. It refers to all the marketing strategies used to build the identity of a company.

To achieve the objectives set by this definition, communication must be carried out using the media and other information channels that are increasingly numerous and varied due to the exponential digital growth that we are experiencing.

Through the Internet there has been a notable change in the way of carrying out advertising campaigns, hand in hand with the traditional work of agencies or advertising contracts. And along these lines, the advertising media used have also evolved.

Advertising features

The most important characteristics of advertising are:

  • Investment in advertising is very important for companies, as it depends on making their product known.
  • It should not be confused with marketing. Advertising is the actions carried out by marketing.
  • It must be planned. Not all advertising techniques and strategies will work equally well for all products and / or companies.
  • It is closely related to design.
  • It is a discipline with a high creative component.
  • Its main objective is to persuade or convince the consumer.
  • It not only has a commercial function. Some non-profit institutions also use advertising strategies to increase the scope of their mission.
  • It can be digital or face-to-face. Or in other words, online or offline.

Types of advertising

So far, we have seen an introduction, a summary of the history of advertising and the main features. However, as you may have seen, it is not a precisely small discipline, so within it there are many types.

The main types of advertising that we can highlight are the following:

  • Online advertising.
  • Print advertising.
  • Word of mouth.
  • Advertising in the radio medium.
  • Television advertising.
  • Billboards.
  • Telemarketing.

Although the type of advertising that is invested the most is digital or online advertising, remember that you must study the case of each company or business well. Since there are businesses in which advertising online does not generate a notable impact on sales. On the other hand, it should be borne in mind that advertising does not always seek to have a direct impact on sales. Sometimes, brands, companies or institutions use advertising to transmit an image or certain values.

To see each of these types in detail, you can access the following article:

Advertising techniques

Advertising encompasses multiple techniques for studying and analyzing people’s behavior, on a psychological or sociological level. The results obtained with them are useful when conducting market research and creating effective advertising messages for each type of target audience.

Obviously, there are many types of possible actions when carrying out or organizing a campaign, such as direct marketing, promotions, propaganda or event sponsorships among other mechanisms.

If you want to know more about the main advertising techniques, go to the following link: