Function of Advertising

Function of Advertising

The main task of advertising is to establish awareness, create favorable attitude towards the idea, product or service and stimulate demand for it among potential consumers, thereby providing the most suitable environment to effect sales. This task has been identified as the five basic roles of advertising, coded “AODCA” that is to,

(a)  Attract Attention

(b) Arouse Interest

(c)  Stimulate Desire

(d) Inspire Confidence/Credibility

(e)  Promote Action

In addition to the above, advertising performs many and varied other functions. These maybe classified as marketing or corporate communication, education and social functions.

Anasta Mikoyan, veteran among Russia’s old-guard leaders and die-hand communist once admitted, that “its value is to create new demands, to cultivate new tastes and requirements, to promote the sale of new kinds of goods and to explain their uses to the consumer”.

To this effect, poists Nicholl, “the best advertising aims for, and is organized to achieve nothing more or less than the gospel truth”. Therefore, for advertising to achieve its goals, it should be

(a)  Informative

(b) Instructive

(c)  Distinctive

(d) Relevant to consumer needs;

(e)  Truthful

(f)   Persuasive.

It should appeal not only to objective reasoning or rationality, but also to the consumer’s emotions, the degree of each appeal being dependent on the nature of the product or service.

By ensuring wider market for a product, advertising ensures that the product becomes more profitable to make and cheaper to buy which in turns ensures larger turnover and expansion. This is consequently, increase jobs while making a variety of goods and services available to consumers. In a free market economy, advertising guarantees consumers their “right to choose”.

Advertising is a catalyst for economic development and industrial growth. It helps to speed up innovations in industry, the introduction of new products and the improvement of the current product lines, thereby enhancing brand loyalty while encouraging the build-up of store traffic.

Generally people advertise to sell ideas, goods, or services. However, some people advertise for one or a combination of the following varied reasons

(a)  To educate consumers on product use

(b) To compliment the effort of the sales force and stimulate trade

(c)  To announce distribution names and location of outlets or available after-sales services

(d) To announce trade results

(e)  To announce dates of shareholders’ meetings

(f)   To effect ancillary statutory announcements

(g)  To announce a company’s contribution to community development, and

(h) To lend support to charitable, development and other non-commercial ventures


Large-scale production, mass distribution nd accelerated forms of communication make advertising a necessary part of the marketing economy. Because of constant competition for the consumers’ discretionary income, information about products, services or ideas must be constantly directed towards potential buyers.

1. Advertising is important to the manufacturer whether he sells locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. He must inform the public about the advantages of his product. It, therefore, helps to establish a direct constant between manufacturers and consumers.

2. Advertising makes the consumer aware of the large choice of available goods and services. It improves his knowledge and may also minimize, time-consuming shopping.

3. It arouses latent interest in products and services

4. Selling cost per unit is reduced because of increased sales volume and the competition it engenders. Consequently, product overheads are also reduced due to mass production and sale.

5. It makes almost universal reception of radio and television possible subsidize the cost of newspapers and magazines.

6. It reinforces the consumers’ satisfaction with purchases.

7. It helps to create an image and reputation not only of the product but also of the advertiser. In this way, it helps to create goodwill for the manufacturer.

8. Advertising gives the employees a feeling of pride in their job and to be associated with an organization of repute. It thus inspires the executives and workers to improve their efficiency.

9. It encourages large-scale production, thereby creating more employment opportunities to the public directly or indirectly in various jobs

10. It provides a glimpse of a people’s way of life. It is, in fact, a running commentary on the culture of the people and an indicator of some of the future trends in this regard.


Advertising has long been target of adverse criticism. These are mostly those directed at the business of advertising and not necessary at the advertisement itself. There are such criticisms as;

1. Many advertisements are competitive in nature. As such, they merely stress minor differences in products and brands, which serve the same purpose and are essentially the same.

2. It causes consumers to want and presumably to purchase what they would not desire if they were not exposed to the advertisement.

3. Advertisement is the art of how to improve on the truth without actually lying.

4. It makes goods advertise cost more than they would be the case, if they were not advertised.

5. Some advertisement are in poor taste and offensive to the public

6. Many advertisements are false and misleading

7. Many advertisements are factious, pointless and only casually related to the products involved.

8. Many economists consider advertising as manipulation of consumers and a form of brainwashing. However, sociologists and psychologist disagree. These argue that for brainwashing to be effective, the propaganda must be delivered under intense pressure, protected against any country propaganda and accompanied by total external control of life and its rewards. This obviously is not the case with advertising.

9. Advertising encourages what is popular rather than what is good.

10. It fosters material rather than spiritual values.



There is, however, nothing mysterious or magical about advertising. It will not do the impossible. It will not, for example sell a bad product more than once or sell goods or services that are not in adequate distribution or that people do not want. It will not change the fortunes of an organization with an untidy store, discourteous service or n impossible location.

Before advertising can work efficiently, there must be a good product or service to sell and a pleasant place in which the customer can buy it. If the product is right, advertising will work for the advertiser and increase his profit. Without these right attribute, advertising will work against him exposing the weakness of the product or service to an increased number of people. Any organization embarking on advertising must note;

(a) It is not enough just t advertise the name and address of a business. That is not enough reason for anybody to buy anything from it. Tell what you have for sale, what it will do for customer, what it costs and emphasize its unique selling point

(b) Advertisements used most effectively, inform prospective customers of the availability of and/or the beauty and quality of the product or service. It does not create demand in the overall sales. Demand depends on people’s desire to buy as well as the ability or means to buy it.

(c) Advertising s an ingredient in marketing mix, cannot all by itself sell a product or service.

(d) Advertising cannot physically force a consumer to buy goods or services. It purposes is to create a state of mind favorable to purchase successful levers of communication.

(e) Advertising on its own, cannot sell a good product overnight. Business takes time to build. Consequently, the essence of advertising is to keep the business going through increase patronage. Therefore, coasting is very important for advertising effectiveness. This means that advertising must be used continuously for successful results. It is a course of treatment, not a shot in the term.


Advertising plays a vital role in shaping consumers decision to buy goods of all kinds in such ways as;

(a) Advertising Structures the world – When we start watching such things as the television or listening to radio, we are beginning to be influenced by advertising long before we know how to read. It is our first knowledge of the world and helps shapes our orientation. We see pictures of new cereal products. We are informed that other people eat them too. This orientation is carried through life, in many details.

(b)Advertising Helps in Growing Up – It represents a course in education. When one decides to buy a product, e.g. furniture, one opens one’s ear for advertising materials. The result of the procedure is training – learning to recognize important values in the field of furniture. The consumer also learns to distinguish between good and bad furniture since advertising provides him education in taste.

(c) Advertising Helps To Make Critical Judgment – It teaches people to rely on their judgment. For example, bout six or more brands of cigarettes may be advertised on the radio or television and each of these could claim to be milder, to contain less nicotine and posses better filter than the others. It is then up to the consumer to make the comparison that would enable him discard other claim and finally settle on one board.

(d) It is the Soul of Products – It facilitates contract between people and products. It helps to discover the soul of many materials and objects e.g. When a copywriter attempts to describe the beauty of a shirt or an elegant pair of shoes, he probes deep for the rare emotional nucleus of the product. In a sense, he acts as a novelist, a dramatic and a poet of objects. But for advertisements, the emotional communication with things will be poorly covered. It is only in advertisements that objects and other things in general take the center state.

(e) Advertising Creates Images – The word images or the personality of a product has become a by-word in modern advertising. We buy the promise of continued quality, the reputation of a manufacturer and consumer experience.

In a sense, we have re-established the contract consumer formally enjoyed with the maker of an object-the master builder. Thus, a particular brand of a product is composed of the signature of the man who designed it, both of which the manufacturer presents to the buying public.

(f) Advertising creates Constructive Discontent – If people would simply be satisfied and content with their present possession and status, then the need to motivate them towards new and better life and towards progress etc. would be distinctively lessened.

Life is a continuous fight between wanting on the one hand, going back to the womb or doing something great on the other. Advertising portrays to the mind other forms of discontented with our present situation in life and always want to move to the next.


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