Basics of Advertising

In continuing the discussion on marketing and advertising, I would like to dig into basics. When it comes to advertising, one needs to remember the “who, why, what, where, and when.” Remember that the audience reads a specific magazine, because it addresses issues that they are interested in and offers information about products and services that they need to do their business on a daily basis.

The ‘who’ and the ‘why’

The “who” is the audience or target market. Are the ads reaching the people who are buying your products and services? Do they know about the product or service? What has the company done to let them know about its product or service?

There are two main types of advertising: brand and product. The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”

“Brand Advertising: Branding your company, product or service is a long-term commitment that brings awareness of your product, service, or company over time. When doing a branding campaign you may not see immediate results, this type of advertising is meant to consistently stay in front of your audience with a regular message. The more that they see you the more likely they will remember you come their next buying cycle.”

“Product Advertising: Promoting a product or service is a short term commitment where you would be looking for a quick or immediate response from doing a special offer type ad, i.e. 20% off next purchase. When running this type of advertising make sure to have plenty of contact information in the ad, website address, phone number, and email where your target audience can quickly gather the information they need to make a quick purchase.”

The ‘what’

When advertising there are several things to consider, including size and color. The message and budget, will determine what is best for a company.

Bigger is not always better. Depending on the budget, a company may want to try different sizes to see what works best. Consider consistency when planning to advertise: i.e., five quarter-page ads in five different months vs. one full-page ad one time.

Color stands out more than black and white. Remember the body or copy of the article is in black and white and an ad should stand out, not blend in. Colors can also determine how people feel, so keep that in mind when choosing colors. Here are some common emotional attributes of colors:

White: pure, clean, youthful.

Black: power, elegant, secretive

Red: passion, excitement, danger

Orange: vibrant, energy, play

Yellow: happy, warm, alert

Green: natural healthy, plentiful

Purple: royalty, wise, celebration

Blue: loyal peaceful, trustworthy


The ‘where’

Placement of the ad is just as important as the ad itself. The two sections of magazine advertising are “display” and “classified.” The display advertising runs through-out all the pages of the magazine and can be seen by all the readers, potentially exposing your product or service to a larger portion of the audience. Classified advertising is in the back of the magazine and grouped with other classified ads on the same page. Classified ads are meant to target readers who are looking for a specific product or service, i.e., used equipment.

The ‘when’

When to advertise depends on the company. Advertising can act as an extra sales person to promote and sell a product, increasing sales by reaching a large audience. Things to consider:

1) During slow sales months, keeping advertising in front of readers will give them a sense of stability when purchasing your product or service, reassuring them of your company’s presence in the industry.

2) There is no such thing as magic advertising that will guarantee sales. While advertising is a great way to bring awareness to your product or service, there is no guarantee that someone will purchase from you because of advertisements.

3) Last but not least, keeping a clear and precise message will keep readers’ attention, giving more opportunity to be seen and making the advertising more effective.