Advertising Advantages And Disadvantages Essay Sample

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Advertisements: advantages and disadvantages of advertising

Posted Date: |Updated: 15-Apr-2011 |Category: General|Author: Vivek chowdhury|Member Level: Gold|Points: 50|

The article explains the meaning of advertisements and the other sales promotion techniques. It also gives the advantages and disadvantages of advertisements in today's world. It also states the benefits of advertisements for consumers, business firms and society.After reading the article, you shall know why advertisements are important today. The various features, characteristics,merits and demerit of advertisements are well explained.

What are advertisements?

The term, 'advertising' has been derived from the Latin word Adverto which means to drive the attention towards something.Advertising involves the preparation of written or oral messages and their dissemination through paid media without personal contacts fro the purpose of making people aware of and inclined towards the use of a particular product of that firm or company.

Features of advertising

The main characteristics of advertisements are as follows:

  • Advertising is a non-personal from or presentation because there is no face to face contact with the consumers of the product.

  • It is a paid form of communication as the advertiser has to pay for the space or time hired by him for the purpose of advertising.

  • It is done by an identified sponsor. It is always done on or for the behalf of somebody called sponsor.

  • It can be oral, written or visual.

  • It is done through medias such as press, video, television, cinema, internet etc.

  • The basic function of advertising to is to raise the demand for the particular product.

  • Advertising is a basic form of mass communication as the advertisements are aimed at the large number of people.

  • Advertising id different from publicity as it takes place throughout the life time of a firm or the product.

    Objectives and functions of advertisements

    The ultimate objectives of advertising is to sell something- a product, a service or an idea.

  • To create demand: Advertising is aimed at stimulating a demand for a particular product by making people aware of the new products and the existing uses of the old products. It attracts attention, creates interest and arouses desire among the consumers.

  • To face competition: Advertising is designed to face new competition. it seeks to develop loyalty towards the advertised brand and to build up permanent customers. it wins over the confidence of the customers in the quality of the advertised products.

  • To build goodwill: Well planned advertising programs build goodwill for the enterprise and its products. Advertising enhances the image and prestige of the advertiser by highlighting the benefits of the products and services.

  • To support salesman: Advertising creates awareness about the merits and demerits of advertised products. By describing the unique features and use of products, repeated buying is encouraged. Advertised goods enjoy a ready market and little sales efforts is required for them. Dealers are always willing to deal in such stocks of goods.

  • To educate customers: Advertising provides useful information about the uses and features of the products. it educated customers in buying better functional goods.

  • To eliminate middleman: Advertised products enjoys recognition and acceptance from public. A direct link is created between the producers and the customers. Advertising reduces the need of an middleman for selling goos that reduces the retail price of that commodity.

  • To improve living standards: Advertising creates a better desire for a better living.It stimulates hard work and improve th standard of living of the people. If you are aspired to buy a nano car, you shall definitely work hard towards it to achieve your goal.

  • To introduce new products: Advertising is very helpful in launching a new product and making it popular in the market. It helps to convince the consumers about the superiority of a new product over the competitive products already existing in the market.

    Importance of advertising

    Advertising plays a vital role in the modern business. Role of advertising in the business cannot be compromised with. It creates employment and improves the living standards of the people. Advertising has become an indispensable function due to cut throat competition among the traders and producers.

    Benefits of advertisements for the business

  • Meeting competition: Since, today a number of products on the same need of the consumers are available in the market, it is obvious that no company can make profits for a long time if the consumers keep on changing their brands. Hence, advertisements attract the consumers towards a particular product and urges them to stick to that brand.

  • Steady demand: There are certain products that have only a seasonal demand. For example, umbrellas can be used only in rainy season but the advertising ask us to use it in summer to prevent ourselves from the direct rays of the sun. Hence, the firms does not need to close itself during the off-season.

  • Higher sales volume: Advertisements help the producers to reach out to the consumers quickly and improve their sales. If we are influenced by products, we buy the products which we do not need at that instant. Obviously, we are also influenced by the timely offers that the producers advertise.If the offers last only for a certain time, we show our hurry to buy that product as soon as possible.

  • Introduction of new products: The producers find it very easy to communicate the release of new products to the consumers in a very efficient and cost-effective way through advertisements. It simplifies the work of a salesman and also allows the customers to reach out to other products.

  • Economies of scale: Advertisements also allow the producers to increase the volume of production which in turn increases the benefits they get from production in large scale. It is a fact that if we buy th things in bulk, we get it a cheaper rate. The same thing is also applicable in production process. We can also eliminate middleman such as wholesalers that reduces the cost for the consumers by reducing the profit margin. Commercial Banks also grant loans to such firms whose products are advertised.

  • Goodwill: If a particular cosmetic company uses an actress or actor to advertise the products of its brand, it shall definitely develop a reliability for its products. The public shall trust that company and its products which in turn shall increase the valuation of the goodwill and the image of the firm. It helps the firm to face strict competition during the business conditions of depression when all the consumers develop a mistrust against a particular product.

  • Employee morale:When the employees know that the products if a firm are advertised and have developed sufficient trust in the public, they shall be assured that their jobs are safe and they shall receive bonuses on account of profits made by the firm. It also enhance the qualities of a good salesman.

    Benefits of advertisements to the consumers

  • Convenience : When we know that we have to buy the product of a particular brand name, we shall not waste our time in searching out for the best one. We can make a choice even before we go to the market.

  • Education of the consumers: Advertisements help us to become aware of the uses of a new product ad the functioning of the electronic items. If there are no advertisements, we shall never be able to know about the new companies that enter the market or the introduction of new and better products in the market.

  • Fair prices: Advertisements reduces the cost of the product by providing the firms with the advantages of economies of scale and the elimination of the middleman .As a result, customers get goods at lower prices.< Many expensive products of yesteryears have come within the reach of the common masses due to continuous advertising and consequent reduction in prices. Prices of widely advertised products tend to be stable during adverse business conditions such as depression.

  • Better quality: As said earlier, the producers always try to retain their old consumers and make new ones by introducing some special changes in their product to make them differentiable from the others.Manufacturers are forced to maintain better standards of the commodity to retain consumers.

  • Contact between producers and consumers: Advertisements provide links or contact numbers of the product or th service so that the consumers can report their grievances against the use of certain products so that the quality can be bettered. Hence, it brings the consumers and the producers closer to each other.

    Benefits of advertisements for the society

  • Generates employment:Advertisements provide employment to the people all round the world who are concerned in every field. Since, through advertisements producers increases the sales and reach out to the consumers quickly, it increases the employment level in the country as more labor will now be required to boost up the production.

  • Standard of living: Advertisements help in improving the quality of the products and allows the firms to introduce variable and different types of products with some special features. Hence, it improves the standard of living of people by allowing them to purchase goods relating to the current standards.

  • Sustains the press:We all get the newspapers at a nominal cost of Rs.2 to Rs.4 but there are so many costs involved in its production. Hence, to make it affordable for the lower class people, newspapers sustain themselves by publishing advertisements on every page. Similarly, many of us write articles in this site as we all get paid through advertisements displayed by Google.

  • Stimulates research and developments : If you have seen the cost sheet of any firm, you will notice that huge amount of money is spent on the research and development of the product. Every firm try to convince its old consumers and make new customers by developing some new types of products or improvement in the existing product.

  • Promote art and culture: Advertisements have promoted the art of our country by showing the customs and traditions of old tribal and rural people. It also act as a source of entertainment for the people, not all the ads perform this work but a few such as the Zoo-Zoo ads of the Vodafone.

    Criticisms of advertising

  • Higher prices: Advertisements today involve huge expenditure thereby increasing the cost of distribution. Manufactures and traders charge higher prices from the consumers to cover up their cost.

  • Artificial living: Advertising amplifies the need of people ad encourages wasteful consumption. It persuades people to buy which they do0 not need or cannot afford. People are even encouraged to buy products that are harmful for their health like cigarettes, alcohols etc.

  • Misleading: Advertising is often deceptive and misguides consumers. Exaggerated and false claims are made in the advertisements. Bogus testimonials and other questionable means are used to sell goods. Here is where the joint stock companies spend huge amounts on advertising to kill new and potential concerns.

  • Wastage of national resources: Role of industries in Indian economy is incomparable. Manufacturers create trivial and artificial differences in the products to develop brand loyalty through advertising. The natural resources, capital requirements and labor that go into production amount to wastes as these could be better employed in the creation of new industries. Here, the public enterprises help the economy to save the natural resources as there is very less competition between the public enterprises.

  • Unethical: Many advertisements are highly objectionable because they undermine values and ethics. Vulgar advertisements like that of Axe offend public decency and encourage materialism in the society. It is also shocking that the television ministers allow such advertisements to be published. It is definitely an example of Corruption in India. We should thank god that soon the Jan Lokpal bill will come into force.

  • If you are ready to get the word out about your business, one of the steps that you need to do is to select the right advertising medium where you will promote your small business.

    For a small business, every dollar is precious. Small businesses do not advertise for the sake of advertising. Instead, they want to get the most return for their investment. Your advertising campaign should translate to greater sales, more profits and healthier bottom line.

    While there are a number of venues where you can promote your business, you need to ask three important questions:

    • Where are my target buyers?
    • What is the best medium to reach them?
    • Can I afford to launch an effective campaign using this medium?

    An important step to developing your sales and marketing plan is to select the right media to send out your message. There are no hard-and-fast rules as to which media is better. The right media for one business may be wrong for another.
    >> RELATED: The Truth about the Different Types of Advertising
    Below are the relative advantages and disadvantages of the various advertising medium used by small businesses:

    Pay Per Click Advertising (Search Engines)

    As the Web becomes a must-use daily medium today, pay per click (PPC) advertising has grown by leaps and bounds. PPC advertisement is a form of advertising where ads are run and shown in search engines (including their partner sites). PPC ads allow advertisers to pay for visitors on mostly cost per click basis, though some options for cost per impressions are available as well.

    Advantages of Pay Per Click Advertising

    • Pay only for results (clicks)
    • Ability to select where your ads will be shown, giving a better chance to reach target audiences
    • Can generate immediate visibility, as ads go live immediately
    • Ads can be easily modified, adjusted even deleted instantaneously depending on the results
    • Allows for quick, easy tracking of the effectiveness of the campaign allowing you to better analyze the return on your investments (ROI)

    Disadvantages  of Pay Per Click Advertising

    • Broad match, the default option where the ad is shown and automatically matched against a broad array of related queries, can result in ads that are irrelevant to the intended search.
    • Bid price inflation as more advertisers compete for the keywords and bid the prices up for the terms
    • Bidding war could also result where competitors can bid a higher amount than your bid, lowering the position of the ad and decreasing its visibility
    • Click through fraud where users maliciously click on the adverts, from disgruntled competitors to website owners who earns from ads shown on their pages
    • Requires constant monitoring; otherwise, outsource to a PPC management company which in turn will increase the cost of your advertising campaign

    For more information, read the following:

    Social Media Advertising

    As Web has evolved into a medium that fosters social connection, social media has experienced an astounding growth in the last few years. Social media consists of both social networking sites and social bookmarking sites and includes blogs, video sharing sites such as Youtube, microblogging platform Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon and the like.

    Advantages of Social Media Advertising

    • Social media sites are great for building customer relationship and offers an incredible reach and the opportunity to connect with customers in an entirely new way
    • Offers a wide reach, with its potential for viral marketing
    • Traffic generated can be extremely targeted
    • Social media tools are relatively inexpensive

    Disadvantages  of Social Media Advertising

    • Targeting is so low because of the diversity and breadth of audiences, resulting in low ROI as visitors do not convert
    • Visitors mainly go to social media sites to socialize, and are not interested in advertising
    • Traffic is typically in the learning stage of the buying process; hence it is more important to inform and teach than sell outright
    • Social media can be a hard branding tool for small businesses, and it is not easy to build awareness, create appeal and generate traffic

    For more information, read the following:

    Banner Advertising

    Banner advertising is one of the dominant forms of advertising online. It entails the display of a graphical advertising unit, with the typical size the 468×60 banners. However, it also includes buttons, leaderboards, popups, popunders, interstitials, and flash banners. Banner advertising can be run for cost per impression, cost per click or even cost per action.

    Advantages of Banner Advertising

    • Prices (CPM and CPC rates) have gone down through the years
    • With good placement and design, banner ads can deliver above-industry average click through rates
    • Banner ads are good branding tools
    • Easy to track with the available ad serving tools and tracking tools
    • Banner ads can bring in targeted traffic interested in your offerings

    Disadvantages of Banner Advertising

    • Some types of banner advertising — e.g. flashing banners, popups, popunders, interstitials — are often seen as annoying and highly intrusive
    • Growing usage of popup and ad blockers that prevents users from seeing the ads
    • Click through rates have significantly declined, due to poor banner design to accumulated bad experiences of web users
    • Oversaturation of banner ads leads to ad blindness

    For more information, read the following:

    Direct Mail

    Direct mail, often called direct marketing or direct response marketing, is a marketing technique in which the seller sends marketing messages directly to the buyer. Direct mail include catalogs or other product literature with ordering opportunities; sales letters; and sales letters with brochures.

    Advantages of Direct Mail Advertising

    • Your advertising message is targeted to those most likely to buy your product or service.
    • Marketing message can be personalized, thus helping increase positive response.
    • Your message can be as long as is necessary to fully tell your story.
    • Effectiveness of response to the campaign can be easily measured.
    • You have total control over the presentation of your advertising message.
    • Your ad campaign is hidden from your competitors until it’s too late for them to react
    • Active involvement – the act of opening the mail and reading it — can be elicited from the target market.

    Disadvantages of Direct Mail

    • Some people do not like receiving offers in their mail, and throw them immediately without even opening the mail.
    • Resources need to be allocated in the maintenance of lists, as the success of this kind of promotional campaign depends on the quality of your mailing list.
    • Long lead times are required for creative printing and mailing
    • Producing direct mail materials entail the expense of using various professionals – copywriter, artists, photographers, printers, etc.
    • Can be expensive, depending on your target market, quality of your list and size of the campaign.

    For more information, read the following:


    Newspapers are one of the traditional mediums used by businesses, both big and small alike, to advertise their businesses.

    Advantages of Newspaper Advertising

    • Allows you to reach a huge number of people in a given geographic area
    • You have the flexibility in deciding the ad size and placement within the newspaper
    • Your ad can be as large as necessary to communicate as much of a story as you care to tell
    • Exposure to your ad is not limited; readers can go back to your message again and again if so desired.
    • Free help in creating and producing ad copy is usually available
    • Quick turn-around helps your ad reflect the changing market conditions. The ad you decide to run today can be in your customers’ hands in one to two days.

    Disadvantages of Newspaper Advertising

    • Ad space can be expensive
    • Your ad has to compete against the clutter of other advertisers, including the giants ads run by supermarkets and department stores as well as the ads of your competitors
    • Poor photo reproduction limits creativity
    • Newspapers are a price-oriented medium; most ads are for sales
    • Expect your ad to have a short shelf life, as newspapers are usually read once and then discarded.
    • You may be paying to send your message to a lot of people who will probably never be in the market to buy from you.
    • Newspapers are a highly visible medium, so your competitors can quickly react to your prices
    • With the increasing popularity of the Internet, newspapers face declining readership and market penetration. A growing number of readers now skip the print version of the newspaper (and hence the print ads) and instead read the online version of the publication.


    Magazines are a more focused, albeit more expensive, alternative to newspaper advertising. This medium allows you to reach highly targeted audiences.

    Advantages of Magazine Advertising

    • Allows for better targeting of audience, as you can choose magazine publications that cater to your specific audience or whose editorial content specializes in topics of interest to your audience.
    • High reader involvement means that more attention will be paid to your advertisement
    • Better quality paper permits better color reproduction and full-color ads
    • The smaller page (generally 8 ½ by 11 inches) permits even small ads to stand out

    Disadvantages of Magazine Advertising

    • Long lead times mean that you have to make plans weeks or months in advance
    • The slower lead time heightens the risk of your ad getting overtaken by events
    • There is limited flexibility in terms of ad placement and format.
    • Space and ad layout costs are higher

    Yellow Pages

    There are several forms of Yellow Pages that you can use to promote and advertise your business. The Web version of Yellow Pages (and its many competitors online) have been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years, with many foregoing the traditional Yellow Pages supplied by phone companies. But you can also check out specialized directories targeted to specific markets (e.g. Hispanic Yellow Pages, Blacks, etc.); interactive or consumer search databases; Audiotex or talking yellow pages; Internet directories containing national, local and regional listings; and other services classified as Yellow Pages.

    Advantages of Yellow Page Advertising

    • Wide availability, as mostly everyone have Yellow Pages
    • Non-intrusive
    • Action-oriented, as the audience is actually looking for the ads
    • Ads are reasonably inexpensive
    • Responses are easily tracked and measured
    • Frequency

    Disadvantages of Yellow Page Advertising

    • The Internet has led to the decline in the usage of the Yellow Pages, as users find the Web to be an easier, faster and more comprehensive
    • Pages can look cluttered, and your ad can easily get lost in the clutter
    • Your ad is placed together with all your competitors
    • Limited creativity in the ads, given the need to follow a pre-determined format
    • Ads slow to reflect market changes


    Advantages of Radio Advertising

    • Radio is a universal medium enjoyed by people at one time or another during the day, at home, at work, and even in the car.
    • The vast array of radio program formats offers to efficiently target your advertising dollars to narrowly defined segments of consumers most likely to respond to your offer.
    • Gives your business personality through the creation of campaigns using sounds and voices
    • Free creative help is often available
    • Rates can generally be negotiated
    • During the past ten years, radio rates have seen less inflation than those for other media

    Disadvantages of Radio Advertising

    • Because radio listeners are spread over many stations, you may have to advertise simultaneously on several stations to reach your target audience
    • Listeners cannot go back to your ads to go over important points
    • Ads are an interruption in the entertainment. Because of this, a radio ad may require multiple exposure to break through the listener’s “tune-out” factor and ensure message retention
    • Radio is a background medium. Most listeners are doing something else while listening, which means that your ad has to work hard to get their attention


    Advantages of Television Advertising

    • Television permits you to reach large numbers of people on a national or regional level in a short period of time
    • Independent stations and cable offer new opportunities to pinpoint local audiences
    • Television being an image-building and visual medium, it offers the ability to convey your message with sight, sound and motion

    Disadvantages of Television Advertising

    • Message is temporary, and may require multiple exposure for the ad to rise above the clutter
    • Ads on network affiliates are concentrated in local news broadcasts and station breaks
    • Preferred ad times are often sold out far in advance
    • Limited length of exposure, as most ads are only thirty seconds long or less, which limits the amount of information you can communicate
    • Relatively expensive in terms of creative, production and airtime costs


    Telephone sales, or telemarketing, is an effective system for introducing a company to a prospect and setting up appointments.

    Advantages of Telemarketing

    • Provides a venue where you can easily interact with the prospect, answering any questions or concerns they may have about your product or service.
    • It’s easy to prospect and find the right person to talk to.
    • It’s cost-effective compared to direct sales.
    • Results are highly measurable.
    • You can get a lot of information across if your script is properly structured.
    • If outsourcing, set-up cost is minimal
    • Increased efficiency since you can reach many more prospects by phone than you can with in-person sales calls.
    • Great tool to improve relationship and maintain contact with existing customers, as well as to introduce new products to them
    • Makes it easy to expand sales territory as the phone allows you to call local, national and even global prospects.

    Disadvantages of Telemarketing

    • An increasing number of people have become averse to telemarketing.
    • More people are using technology to screen out unwanted callers, particularly telemarketers
    • Government is implementing tougher measures to curb unscrupulous telemarketers
    • Lots of businesses use telemarketing.
    • If hiring an outside firm to do telemarketing, there is lesser control in the process given that the people doing the calls are not your employees
    • May need to hire a professional to prepare a well-crafted and effective script
    • It can be extremely expensive, particularly if the telemarketing is outsourced to an outside firm
    • It is most appropriate for high-ticket retail items or professional services.

    Specialty Advertising

    This kind of advertising entails the use of imprinted, useful, or decorative products called advertising specialties, such as key chains, computer mouse, mugs, etc. These articles are distributed for free; recipients need not purchase or make a contribution to receive these items.

    Advantages of Specialty Advertising

    • Flexibility of use
    • High selectivity factor as these items can be distributed only to the target market.
    • If done well, target audience may decide to keep the items, hence promoting long retention and constant exposure
    • Availability of wide range of inexpensive items that can be purchased at a low price.
    • They can create instant awareness.
    • They can generate goodwill in receiver
    • The items can be used to supplement other promotional efforts and media (e.g. distributed during trade shows).

    Disadvantages of Specialty Advertising

    • Targeting your market is difficult.
    • This can be an inappropriate medium for some businesses.
    • It is difficult to find items that are appropriate for certain businesses
    • Longer lead time in developing the message and promotional product
    • Possibility of saturation in some items and audiences
    • Wrong choice of product or poor creative may cheapen the image of advertiser


    Recommended Books and Products on Advertising:


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    Lyve Alexis Pleshette is a writer for She writes on various topics pertaining home businesses, from startup to managing a home-based business. For a step-by-step guide to starting a business, order the downloadable ebook “Checklist for Starting a Small Business” from


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