15 General Characteristics of Advertising

Advertising is a form of marketing communication used to sell, publish or promote a product or service. According to Jaiz (2014), advertising itself is interpreted differently by experts based on certain viewpoints such as communication, marketing, advertising, and psychology. Viewed from the communication point of view, advertising focuses on the process of delivering messages from the communicator to the communicant.

Meanwhile, from the perspective of advertising, advertising focuses on the process of delivering messages that are creative and persuasive through certain media. Whereas based on the marketing point of view, advertising is interpreted as a marketing tool to sell products or services. And finally, from a psychological point of view, advertising focuses more on the persuasive aspects of the message.

Thus, what is meant by advertising? To find out more about advertising, here are some definitions of advertising according to experts.

  • Big Indonesian Dictionary, what is meant by advertising is news of orders to encourage, persuade the general public to be interested in the goods and services offered. Advertising can also be interpreted as a way to inform the public about goods or services being sold, placed in mass media (such as newspapers and magazines) or in public places.
  • The Indonesian Advertising Council(2014) is a form of communication about products and / or brands to the target audience, so that they provide responses that are consistent with the advertiser’s goals. Also included in the definition of this ad are various advertisements such as corporate advertisements, program promo advertisements, brand communication , events , public service advertisements and merchandising .
  • The American Marketing Associationdefines advertising as any form of non-personal presentation of an idea, product, and service made by a clear sponsor.

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From the above definitions of advertising, it can be concluded that advertising is an impersonal or non-personal communication about messages that contain ideas, products, and services originating from organizations or companies (sponsors) to existing target groups and potential consumers through various a variety of media with the aim of educating and influencing them to do things the way the message sponsor wants them to do.

The messages in question can be in the form of written or oral messages, audio or visual or audio-visual, paid for by the sponsor. Based on the above definition of advertising, contained several advertisement characteristics that are often used until now. The nature of advertising in general is as follows.

  1. Advertising is communication

Every advertisement that we see or hear through the mass media actually tries to bridge the gap between the sender of the message and the recipient of the message. This bridge is called communication. Therefore, the ad must be able to communicate something to anyone who sees or hears the ad.

  1. Impersonal or non-personal

Advertising is a message communication that is impersonal or non-personal. The meaning of impersonal or non-personal is the message originating from the sender of the message delivered through various communication media to the recipient of the message and not done face-to-face. In other words, the communication that exists between the sender of the message and the recipient of the message is not two-way communication but one-way communication because the two do not interact directly.

  1. Mass communication

Mass communication is the basic goal of advertising. Advertising does not only convey information to one person but to a much wider audience who are expected to be willing to buy articles. Mass communication media such as radio, television, newspapers, or magazines are used for advertising purposes . If in the century of mass communication the media used for advertising purposes was mass media, in the millennial era the media used also included the internet as a communication medium .

  1. Fill in messages about ideas, products or services

In general, advertising messages contain the types of information about ideas, products or services that are things that are purchased by consumers or recipients of messages as expected or desired by advertisers. In other words, most advertisements are designed to help sales of goods and services and that’s why the contents of advertising messages focus more on information and not on the promotion of countable items.

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  1. Advertising messages are informative and / or persuasive

Among the various functions of advertising for marketing is to provide information and persuade the audience to buy the advertised product or service. Therefore, advertising messages can be both informative and persuasive. Advertising messages are informative when they contain information about the benefits to be gained by buyers when buying certain products.

Information presented in advertisements must be complete and correct. Meanwhile, advertising messages are persuasive when aiming to persuade the audience to buy the product or service offered. Persuasion is an important factor in advertising. Therefore, if the ad does not persuade the audience, the advertisement message is only in the form of information.

  1. A clear sponsor

Advertising messages are sent by clear advertising sponsors. Ad sponsors can be individuals or organizations or companies that pay for advertisements. Legally, the sponsor must identify himself as the sponsor of an advertisement. This is intended to prevent consumers from misunderstanding the idea of ​​advertising or advertising content.

Sponsor ads that have a good reputation can certainly increase sales of a product or service. Products or services can also have a good market because of the good reputation of the advertising sponsor. If an advertisement is not known who is the sponsor, the public will accept the ad only as news about the product or service and is not an attempt to persuade the audience to buy the product or service advertised.

In addition, the public will also think and believe that the ad in question is a competitor’s ad. This is certainly a waste of time, creativity, and the costs that have been incurred to create advertisements.

  1. Paid

Advertising is a form of paid communication. In a sense, in order for advertising messages to be published or broadcast in mass media or other media, advertisers must pay a certain amount of money to the ad makers. This payment is a form of compensation related to the space and time of the media used to display advertising messages.

  1. The media used is varied

Advertising messages are communicated to the target audience through various media such as mass media, outdoor media, or other non-mass media. Which includes the mass media according to experts including newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the internet. Meanwhile, including outdoor media, there are billboards.

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Meanwhile, the mass media including posters. Generally, advertising agencies will direct their clients to choose the media that is most suitable for communicating advertising messages. This is because each media has advantages and disadvantages in conveying the message to the recipient of the message.

  1. Target audience

What is intended with the target audience is the recipient of advertising messages. Every advertising message sent by the sender of the message is addressed to the mass audience and also the mass class with the aim of promoting sales. Therefore, the recipients of advertising messages are those who have the potential to buy products or services advertised in the future.

Advertising messages are also aimed at users of similar products that are competitors so that it is expected that the target audience can replace or exchange the use of previous products or services with the advertised product or service.

Thus, the target audience of advertising messages can be classified into three categories, namely as follows.

  • Consumers are reminded and influenced to continue and improve the pattern and volume of their purchases.
  • Consumers who buy and use a competitor’s brand products or services. They are persuaded to buy advertised brand products or services.
  • Consumers who do not use similar products or services are therefore persuaded to buy the advertised product or service.
  1. Mixed marketing communication elements

Advertising is one important element of the promotional mix. The promotion mix itself is one component of the marketing communication mix . From various studies conducted by experts, it shows that advertising is an excellent tool for selling goods and services. Some large organizations or companies are even willing to spend their coffers just to spend on advertising in order to help sell their goods and services.

  1. Promotion mix

It has been mentioned before that advertising is one of the important elements of the promotion mix besides personal selling, sales promotion , and publicity . Advertising is also one of the most effective promotional methods. This is because advertising can create demand for products or services, stimulate sales, and reach consumers quickly and effectively. Advertising is mass communication, while other promotional media are face to face communication or interpersonal communication or interpersonal communication .

  1. Control element

According to the theory of advertising effectiveness , so that advertising can effectively achieve the goals set it is necessary to supervise the time, place, message and direction of the ad that has been set. Media selection, message formulation, and the right time must be done carefully in order to achieve optimal results.

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  1. Easy to recognize

Ads that are displayed in various media should be easily recognized by consumers. Generally, an advertisement can be recognized through the point of view of the sponsors as well as the point of view of the audience.

  1. Advertising is an art, a science and a profession

Advertising is called art because true advertising is a manifestation of creativity. Meanwhile, advertising is referred to as science because it contains an organized body of knowledge. Whereas what is meant by advertising as a profession is because advertising is done by professional people who are bound by advertising ethics or ethical codes. To understand advertising ethics, you can read an article called the theory of advertising ethics .

  1. Elements of creativity

According to advertising management theory , a good and successful advertising campaign is the fruit of the campaign planning and implementation process. A good advertising campaign actually involves a lot of creativity and imagination. When the message delivered by the advertiser matches what is expected by consumers, a successful campaign will be realized. In other words, creativity in advertising is a way to achieve an effective campaign.

Benefits of Studying the Nature of Advertising in General

Studying the nature of advertising in general can have several benefits, including the following.

  • We can know and understand the meaning of advertising according to experts.
  • We can know and understand some of the characteristics of advertising in general.

Thus a brief review of the nature of advertising in general. Hopefully it can add insight and our knowledge about advertising related to the understanding and nature of advertising in general.


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