In this article we will discuss about:- 1. Meaning and Definition of Advertising 2. Characteristics and Nature of Advertising 3. Objectives 4. Media Selection.

Meaning and Definition of Advertising:

Advertising is very important in marketing. No business in foreign market can survive without advertising. So advertising is a must. The aim of every business is to earn profit and this aim can usually be achieved by selling goods at reasonable prices in the foreign market. The sales are possible only if the target audience knows about the availability of goods and they are persuaded to buy them. All this is possible through advertising which is a deliberate action to popularise the product or service.

Thus advertising is commonly understood as communicating about a product or a service. Actually, advertising includes all the activities performed by an enterprise to present the goods and services to the consumers and to motivate them to buy these goods and services. In general term, advertising is to announce publicly. Advertising is derived from a Latin word ‘adverto’, ‘ad’ means towards and’ verto’ means I turn. Thus, advertising means to turn attention towards a specific thing.

In other words we can say, “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 an advertisement, and is disseminated through one or more media and is paid for by the identified sponsor.”

In this era of mass production and mass distribution, where the firms land up with similar kind of products, they face intense competition. To face competition, they need to widely publicise their products and try to portray their products as superior to that of the competitors. And this is possible through advertising.


According to American Marketing Association, “Advertising has been defined as any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of goods, services or ideas by an identified sponsor.”

According to Mason and Rath, “Advertising is a salesmanship without a personal salesman.”

According to Carl Rechard Grear, “Advertising is a general term for any and all forms of publicity, from the cry of the street boy selling newspapers to the most elaborate attention attractive device. The object always is to bring to public notice some article or service; to create a demand, to stimulate buying, and in general to bring together the man with something to sell and the man who has means or desire to buy.”

According to Dr. Jones, “Advertising is a sort of machine-made mass production method of selling which supplements the voice and personality of the individual salesman.”

According to Dr. Burden, “Advertising includes those activities by which visual or oral messages are addressed to the public for the purpose of informing them and influencing them either to buy any merchandise or to act to be inclined favourably towards ideas, institutions or persons featured.”

According to Wheeler, “Advertising is any form of paid non-personal presentation of ideas, goods or services for the purpose of inducing people to buy.”

According to Sheldon, “Advertising is a business force, which through the printed words, sells or helps sale, builds reputations and fosters goodwill.”

According to Frank Presbrey, “Advertising is printed, written, spoken or graphic salesmanship. Advertisements are designed to sell the products of the advertiser and to influence favourably the public mind individually and collectively with respect to the interests of the advertiser.”

According to Boiling, “Advertising can be described as the art of creating a demand for an article or a service.”

According to Starch, “Advertising may be defined as the presentation of a proposition usually in print, to the people in such a way that they may be induced to act upon it.”

It is clear from the above definitions that advertisement is an art about the product or utility of service and concerning its effect on people. An advertisement gives information. Today all the means are included in the definition of an advertisement by which the customers are given full information about newly manufactured products. Moreover, demand for the old products is not allowed to fall and there is constant increase in its sale and the goodwill of business is established.

According to Late President of America Mr. Roosevelt, “This brings real information to the maximum number of people about useful products. Basically it is a form of education and progress of civilization depends on education. An advertisement is not designed for only commercial institutions, political parties, social institutions, educational institutions and other public institutions also take the help of advertisement to provide public information and to impress people with their ideas.”

Characteristics and Nature of Advertising:

“Advertisement is printed, written or spoken or graphic salesmanship. Advertisements are designed to sell the product of the advertiser and to influence favourably the public mind individually and collectively with respect to the interest of the advertiser.”

On the basis of above definitions the main characteristics and nature of advertising are as under:

1. Mass Communication:

It is a unique means of mass communication announcing the sale of goods or services. It can help to introduce a new product quickly in other countries also. Thus if any manufacturer requests for purchase of a product at a time and there are only one or two customers, it cannot be said an advertisement. However, it will be called advertising if a uniform information is accessed to a number of persons at the same time.

2. Non-Personal Presentation:

The advertising is non-personal salesmanship performing similar functions like personal salesmanship. It is silent but forceful non-personal salesmanship.

3. Informative:

The message which is to be delivered to the public should be decorated with colours, words and pictures and the information given to the consumers should be totally clear. There should be no room for doubt in the advertisement.

4. Buying Motive:

An advertising inspires the consumers for purchase of a product. It lures the consumers for the purchase of the product by raising passion in their heart.

5. Advertising Expenses:

Money is incurred on advertising and such expenses are incurred by the advertiser. The dissemination of information regarding service on the product without such expenses cannot be an advertisement.

6. Marketing Tool:

Advertising is a tool of marketing and it is a part of sales promotion.

7. Identified Sponsor:

It is an openly sponsored sales message regarding any product or service, i.e., the sponsor can be identified.

8. Commercial Objects:

The main aim of advertisement is to bring up new consumers and to make the old customers permanent members. The aim is to earn profit through increased sale. It increases the business of manufacturer.

Objectives of International Advertising:

The purpose of advertising is nothing but to sell something—a product, a service or an idea. The real objective of advertising is effective communication between producers and consumers. According to E.F.L. Breach, “The purpose of advertising is to reduce percentage costs of production and distribution.”

Due to present information technology, the different countries of the world have come very near to each other and hence, entire world has become a market. Japanese toys are liked very much by Indian children and Indian tea and spices are being used by the whole world. Various products are produced in different countries according to their geographical convenience and mineral resources. But they are needed by the various countries of the world.

So the product is sold not only in the manufacturing country but also in other countries. In order to sell the product in various countries it must be advertised in those countries and its demand must be generated. The volume of advertising required in the foreign countries is more than that required in the mother country. It is not easy to advertise in the foreign country. For this the social matters, language, government controls, education, tradition, customs, beliefs etc., of different countries are to be considered. International advertising is very important in present marketing.

Important objectives of advertising are discussed below:

1. Creation of Demand:

The main objective of advertising is to create a favourable climate for maintaining or improving sales mainly in growth and maturity stages of product life cycle in foreign countries. Customers are to be commonly reminded about the product and the brand.

It may induce new customers to buy the product by informing them of its qualities since it is possible that some of the customers may change their brands. Thus in other words, advertising may bring new areas and customers to the company’s product thereby increasing the company’s share in the total world market.

2. To Support Salesman:

Advertising creates awareness about the product and convinces the prospective buyer by telling about product’s features and benefits. Thus, it assists the salesman in his work.

3. To Give Information of New Product:

The aim of advertising is to inform the people about new products and services and to inspire them to purchase the product. When a new product is manufactured that product can be advertised through the medium of advertisement and people can be informed about that and by motivating them the demand of that product is increased.

An advertisement provides information to the businessman about the manufactured product and its utility and inspires the common man to purchase that product. The television advertisement of Vicco Turmeric Vanishing Cream with flavour of turmeric and sandalwood has been a successful advertisement.

4. Helpful in Facing Competition:

One purpose of advertisement is to end the feeling of competition. The products which are advertised, have generally fixed prices and the buyer will have to pay the same price to any seller. Sometimes the collective advertisement puts a complete end to competition. The customer can buy the product from any advertised seller and the price will be the same.

5. To Increase Goodwill:

Large scale advertising is often undertaken with the objective of creating or enhancing the goodwill of the producer company. This, in turn, increases the market receptiveness of the company’s product and helps the salesmen to win customers easily.

6. To Reduce Marketing Cost:

Due to advertising the demand for product is increased and it acts as an incentive to manufacture the goods on large scale. As a result of this, cost per unit of product is reduced. The middlemen too become ready to sell the product on lower rate of commission because of sale in bulk quantum.

7. To Increase Standard of Living:

The object of advertising is also to increase the standard of living of the public. Advertising informs the consumers about various products available in the market and encourage them to use these new products.

8. To Save From Risk:

Advertising reduces the risk of manufacturers. Whenever a producer produces a new product, advertisement helps in creating a demand, helps in increasing the demand for existing products, thus eliminating risk.

9. Informing the Change to Consumers:

Advertisement informs the consumers about the change in product. Whenever changes are made in prices, channels of distribution or in the product by way of any improvement in quality, size, weight, brand, packing etc., they are informed to the public through advertisement.

10. Barring New Entrants:

Advertiser builds an image through repetitive advertising. It helps keep new entrants away from the market. The regular advertising builds up certain type of monopoly in the market.

As per William J. Stanton, “It is a sole objective of an advertisement to sell a product or service.”

The following are the general objectives of advertising:

(i) To introduce a new product by creating interest for it among the prospective customers.

(ii) To generate demand for the product and services and capture the market.

(iii) To build company prestige and goodwill.

(iv) To introduce a new product by creating interest for it among the prospective customers and to teach them how to use the product.

(v) To support personal selling programme.

(vi) To enter a new market or attract a new group of customers.

(vii) To fight competition in the market and to increase the sales.

(viii) To enhance the goodwill of the enterprise by promising better quality products and services.

Media Selection in International Advertising:

There are various media of advertising available in international market, out of which every business and industrial enterprise selects a particular medium of advertising for its products. This is the decision upon which the success or failure of the enterprise depends to a large extent. Therefore, the media of advertising must be selected very carefully and only after considering all the relevant factors.

Some important factors affecting the selection of an advertising media may be summarised as under:

1. Market and Advertising Object:

Media of advertising depend upon the nature and status of customers also for whom the advertising is being made. If the customers are illiterate, Outdoor Advertising and advertising through Radio and Television may be effective media. If the customers of a product are educated, Press Advertising and Direct Mail Advertising may be adopted. In addition to this, the media must be selected after considering economic status, religious feelings and attitudes etc., of customers.

2. Nature of the Product:

Nature of the product determines the media of advertisement. Consumer products like tooth paste, cold drinks, soaps etc. which are used widely by masses need wide coverage through radio, television, news­papers, magazines etc. On the other hand, industrial products like raw materials, machinery, tools etc. need focused coverage and can better be advertised through trade, technical and professional journals or mail advertising.

3. Nature and Size of the Market:

The number, geographic location and purchasing power of potential customers also affect the choice of media of advertising. If the number of customers are large and scattered throughout the country, newspapers, general magazines, radio and television will be effective media. On the other hand, if number of potential customers is very small, direct mail advertising may be adopted.

Besides the above factors, selection of advertising media in international market is closely linked with the creative strategy. Creativity is one of the most prime factors for media availability. In world, every country has some or the other kind of mass advertising media in the form of press, Radio, Television, Cinema etc. But, these mass advertising media have some problems due to their availability at a particular time, coverage and cost.

The above said problems are mentioned as under:

1. Availability of Media:

The availability of advertising media differs very much from country to country. Generally media availability is closely related to the socio-economic development of countries. Some countries have few advertising media while others have too much of it. In some countries, government does not allow advertising through certain media, specially television and radio or some media are not allowed to advertise certain products. For example, advertising of products like cigarettes, wine etc., are prohibited in many countries.

In many developing countries the quality of print media, for example, is poor in terms of printing paper. Many bilingual or multilingual countries have bilingual and multilingual newspapers and magazines or radio and TV programmes. For example, in India newspapers are published in more than 20 languages, T.V channels are also available in more than 20 languages. Media availability in a foreign country, therefore, is an important factor. The international advertiser has to take this into consideration in planning the advertising strategy in a foreign country.

2. Coverage of the Advertising Media:

The media coverage implies the number of people who are collectively exposed to different media like the newspaper, magazine, television, cinema or radio, available in a country. This is, how many people read newspapers or magazines and watch television or listen to radio, how many people see movies in cinema halls and so forth. This provides an estimate of the proportions of total population in a country who are exposed to different media.

However, advertisers are more interested in individual exposure rather than collective exposure. In other words, how many people read a particular newspaper or magazine, watch particular television programme or listen to particular radio channels which broadcast commercials and in which language.

In addition, the advertisers are also interested to have socio-economic profiles of different media audience to make an assessment of qualitative coverage of the advertisement. Apart from the traditional types of advertising the new forms of electronic media like internet and satellite TV are creating larger audience in so many countries. They have the ability to create supranational audience. The cable T.V. segments the audience by region, by life­style and by special interest groups. Cable T.V. is able to appeal to special and narrow segments of the society.

Similar trends have also set in for print media. News magazines and newspapers are published which appeal to specific interest groups. Also, most of the leading magazines and newspapers have their internet editions as well. In India also some magazines and leading newspapers like the Hindu, Hindustan Times. The Times of India etc. are available on internet.

Although the international media scene is not uniform, the international advertiser needs to keep himself in touch with the availability of advertising media in each country of his interest and select media mix for most effective and economic coverage of the country.

3. Cost of Advertising Media:

Cost of advertising media is perhaps the most important factor while selecting a particular media or media mix for international market. The advertising media cost involves the cost of space in the print media and the cost of time in electronic media which vary according to special positions and special time segments. The media prices are normally quoted by the individual units of media but prices are negotiable specially between the media owners and advertising agencies.

It is to be noted that the price of individual media unit is determined on the basis of the coverage potential of the media. For example, the cost of space in newspapers and magazines is based on the calculation of cost per thousand circulation or readership of the newspaper of magazine concerned. Therefore, a particular medium of advertising must be selected only after its cost and ability of the advertiser to bear it.