An advertising campaign is a series of advertisement messages on the same idea and theme which constitute consistent, seamless, one-voice Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). The global advertising industry is a large and growing one which uses virtually every type of media and promotional opportunity available. Advertising campaigns require a thorough process, from the setting of objectives to campaign evaluation. Although most advertising is for commercial purposes, an increasing amount of advertising campaigns are designed to serve non-commercial purposes. Advertising itself is a controversial activity which many have come to view as detrimental to society, and as such, industry regulation has become necessary.
Keywords Advertising; Advertising Agency; Advertising Approach; Advertising Campaign; Advertising Campaign Theme; Advertising Frequency; Advertising Objective; Copy Testing; Frequency Goals; Integrated Marketing Communications; Marketing; Media; Media Impact; Media Timing; Promotion; Reach
Marketing: Advertising Campaigns
Advertising is the paid promotion of a cause, idea, opinion, product or service by an identified sponsor attempting to inform or persuade a particular target audience through a non-personal medium. Advertising also refers to the profession and the business of designing and writing advertisements, along with any related techniques and practices. An advertising campaign is a series of advertisement messages on the same idea and theme which constitute consistent, seamless, one-voice Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). As a marketing tool, advertising can be combined with other marketing tools, such as sales promotions, branding, personal selling, publicity and public relations.
Advertising has become a ubiquitous phenomenon in modern society. In some countries, a single individual can be bombarded with between 5,000 and 30,000 advertising messages each day (Story, 2007; OSR, 2013). Industry, companies, nonprofit organizations and individuals all use advertising media such as the print media, broadcast media, electronic media, direct mail, logos on products, promotional items, product placement on television shows, and outdoor advertising (via wall paintings, billboards, posters, automobiles, subway trains, skywriting, bus stop benches, town criers, roof mounts and so on). These media are used to communicate messages that are meant to influence the behavior and/or thought patterns of a specific target audience.
Advertising expenditure in the United States alone reached $1.6 billion in 2012, while worldwide advertising spending was expected to reach more than $500 billion in 2013 (ZenithOptimedia, 2013). It is not surprising, therefore, that advertising is the most important source of income for many of the world's media organizations today.
The firms that generate advertising are mainly profit-making corporations, with the largest group being the automotive industry, fast-food companies, and the pharmaceutical industry (Richards, n.d.).
Advertising can be traced back to ancient times, when means such as rock paintings, wall paintings and human criers were used to advertise events and products for sale. In those days, political campaign displays, papyrus wall posters, and even papyrus lost-and-found announcements were in use. As the centuries progressed, technological advances made more media available for advertising. In the 15th and 16th centuries, for instance, the development of printing paved the way for handbill advertising. Subsequently, in the 17th century, newspaper advertisements began. As national economies grew toward the end of the 19th century, advertising grew significantly, to the extent that this period is said to have marked the beginning of modern advertising.
Other forms of advertising were developed, such as classified advertising and mail-order advertising. A major milestone was achieved in the late 1880s, when manufacturers began to advertise their own branded products themselves, after taking packaging and branding away from the wholesalers.
The advertising agency sector also underwent its own developmental changes. Initially, the first advertising agencies were established in the 19th century to serve as brokers for newspaper advertising space, but by the early 20th century, the advertising agencies were handling the production of advertising messages, including, among others, copy and artwork. As the number of advertising agencies grew, more advancements were made in areas like copywriting and research.
Thanks to the new technology of broadcasting, radio advertising was thriving by 1930, and television advertising was also introduced in the 1950s. Cable and satellite television were introduced between the late 1980s and early 1990s, carrying new broadcasting channels wholly devoted to advertising.
Internet advertising bloomed in the 1990s, creating novel advertising opportunities in various forms, such as popup, flash, banner, advergaming, email advertisements, "embedded" advertising, and so on. In the twenty-first century, Internet advertising has taken over as the most ubiquitous form of marketing. Interactive advertising allows advertising to be tailored to individuals' own interests. Other recent advertising innovations include "guerrilla promotions," which employ sensational and unusual tactics like expensive product giveaways and staged encounters in public places. As the Internet has evolved, advertising has increasingly been dotted with niche and targeted advertisements. Consumers are increasingly able to choose which advertisements they come into contact with.
The Advertising Campaign Process
The advertising campaign process consists of five main stages. These are:
- Objective setting.
- Budget preparation.
- Selection of the right advertising approach.
- Copy testing.
- Evaluation of the campaign's effectiveness.
Every advertising campaign must have an objective, stating what the campaign should accomplish with specific customers over a particular time frame, and there must also be a campaign theme, which is the central message to be communicated through the campaign.
The advertising objective is usually selected on the basis of a product's stage in its life cycle. It should address four key points:
- The basic message to be delivered.
- The target audience to whom the message is to be delivered.
- The intended effect of the advertising campaign.
- The specific criteria to be used later on to measure the campaign's effectiveness.
Types of Campaigns
There are various types of advertising campaigns, each with its unique objective. They include the following:
- Informational Advertising Campaigns: These are used to introduce a new cause, idea, product, or service, placing emphasis on promoting its name, benefits, and possible uses.
- Trial Advertising Campaigns: These are used to encourage customers to make an initial purchase of a new product.
- Persuasive Advertising Campaigns: These are used to generate sales within a particular target market after a product has already been introduced to the public.
- Continuity Advertising Campaigns: These are used to keep existing customers using a particular product, building customer loyalty by typically providing new information about a product.
- Brand Switching Advertising Campaigns: These are used to convince customers to switch from competitors' brands, usually by comparing price or quality.
- Comparative Advertising Campaigns: These are used to directly or indirectly compare one brand with one or more of its competitors.
- Reminder Advertising Campaigns: These are used to remind customers and maintain awareness of products that have entered the mature stage of the product life cycle.
- Switchback Advertising Campaigns: These are used to get back former customers, by highlighting new product features, price reductions, or other important information.
- Advocacy Advertising Campaigns: These are used to persuade the public on a specific economic, political or social...
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