A manufacturer or a trader can make use of the following advertising media to spread his message to the people : (i) Press advertising, (ii) Outdoor advertising, (iii) Film advertising, (iv) Radio advertising, (v) Television advertising, (vi) Direct mail advertising, (vii) Display advertising, and (viii) Speciality advertising: The merits and demerits of these media are discussed below.
1. Press Advertising or Print Media
Press advertising, i.e„ advertising through newspapers, magazines, journals, etc. is commonly used by modern businessmen- It may be noted that advertising is an important source of finance for the press or print media. Because of advertisements, the subscribers get newspapers and periodicals at subsidized rates.
Newspaper Advertising. Newspaper reading is a common habit among most of the educated people. Besides daily newspapers, there are bi-weekly and weekly newspapers also Newspapers reach almost every place and are read by all kinds of people. Therefore, newspaper can be used as a medium of advertisement with great advantage. While selecting a newspaper for this purpose, an advertiser has to take into consideration the strength of circulation, the class of readers it serves, the geographical region over which it is popular, and the cost of space.
Advertising through newspapers has the following merits :
- A newspaper has large circulation and a single advertisement in a newspaper can reach a large number of people-
- Continuous advertisement is possible because newspaper is published daily. Art advertiser can repeat his advertisement either daily or weekly,
- Newspapers provide flexibility in advertising in the sense that advertisement campaign can be initiated and stopped quickly One day’s notice is sufficient for this purpose- Similarly, advertising message can be changed promptly whenever needed.
Newspaper advertising has the following limitations :
- The life of newspaper advertisement is very short. Moreover, people devote only insignificant part of their day’s time in reading the newspaper. Thus, advertisement: are likely to draw the reader’s attention only casually or marginally.
- Newspaper advertisement is successful only when the people to be communicated the message are literate.
- Newspaper is scarcely used for coloured advertisement. The advertisements are generally printed in black and white. This makes the identification of products more difficult.
Magazine Advertising. Magazine or periodicals are an excellent medium of advertisement when a high quality of printing in colour is desired. Magazine advertisements can be directed towards a particular class of people. . Thus, marketers can avoid wasteful expenditure on advertising.
Magazine advertising is considered to be superior to newspaper advertising because of the following merits :
- Magazines are read more carefully and at greater leisure. Advertising through magazines is more effective.
- The life of the magazine advertisements is longer. Magazines are preserved for a long period of time and are read time and again.
2. Outdoor Advertising
Outdoor advertising has gained wide popularity these days. Its purpose is to attract the attention of the people at busy roads and markets. It includes the use of poster displays, bill board displays and electric or electronic displays.
- Poster Displays. Posters are fixed on walls of buildings, bridges, and other public places. It is also quite common to write slogans and other message about the products in bold letters on the walls to arrange the attention of the people even from a long distance. That is why, it is also known as `Mural Advertising’ . Mural advertising is frequently used to advertise fans, fertilizers, tonics, beauty aids and other consumer items
- Bill Board Displays. Painted or bill board displays involve the advertisements directly painted on the boards meant for this purpose. They are quite big in size and are fixed at outstanding locations like busy markets and crossings. They are also erected on tops of bridges and important buildings.
- Electrical Displays. Electrical display involves the use of electric electronic lights or neon tubes to attract the attention of people, particularly during night. Generally, a short message is illuminated in tubes of different colours so that it is conspicuous and attractive. Electrical displays are fixed at heavy traffic consumer centres.
Vehicular Displays. It has become a fashion these days to use modes of public transport for advertising.
Outdoor advertising has the following merits ,
- Outdoor advertising is highly flexible and is a low cost medium.
- It is very useful for advertising consumer products because posters, etc. can be displayed at various crowded centres.
- Outdoor advertisement attracts quick attention and requires very less time and effort on the part of the readers. A complete picture of the product can be shown through outdoor displays.
Out door adverting is criticized on the following grounds :
- It can’t carry long messages as posters, hoardings, etc. are read bv the people at a glance,
- It has a low retention value because people don’t devote special time to read the message
- It distracts the attention of the passers-by and may even c accidents on busy roads.
3. Film Advertising
Films are an important medium of advertisement. Business concerns usually get a short motion picture prepared and distribute it to different cinema houses for displaying it before the commencement of the regular shows or during the periods of intermission. Such films are accompanied by running commentary to explain the features, uses and superiority of the product But film advertisement, can be adopted only by the well-established firms. Since it involves high cost, small business firms can get cinema slides prepared for display in the cinema halls.
The merits of film advertising are as under :
- Film advertisement is very effective since it combines spoken words and visual presentation of picture.
- It helps in selective advertisement. A trader can advertise his products in the areas from where he wants to attract the customers.
The demerits of film advertising are as under :
- It is usually ignored by people when they are busy in talking.
- Its effectiveness is limited as only a few people are present in the hall before the start of the feature film and during the interval.
4. Radio Advertising
Radio advertisements are gaining greater popularity these days. Advertisements are broadcast from the transmitting stations of the commercial service of All India Radio and FM Radio and picked-up by the receiving sets owned by the public. Radio advertisements are normally broadcast along with popular programmes of music. Even the sponsored programmes of music, interviews and plays can be broadcast over the radio.
Radio advertising has the following merits :
- Radio advertisements carry an effective appeal and cover numerous listeners of different tastes.
- Radio advertisements reach the illiterate people who cannot read the newspapers and magazines.
- Radio provides selectivity (i.e. market segmentation) to some ex-tent because advertisements can be included in different programmes meant for different types of people.
- Radio advertisements are very much suitable for the promotion of mass-scale consumer goods.
The demerits of radio advertising are as under :
- Detailed message can’t be announced over the radio, people may not remember the message.
- It is non-visual. Thus, the usual impact of illustrating the products not possible.
- Sometimes, the message is not understood properly by the listeners. Many people switch off thei radio sets when it is the time for commercials or advertisements.
5. Television Advertising
Television is the fast growing medium of advertisement because of huge expansion of electronic media and cable network. It makes its appeal through both the eye and the ear. Products can be demonstrated as well as explained as in film advertisement. Advertising may take the form of short commercials and sponsored programmes.
T.V. advertising has all the merits of film advertising. It has greater effectiveness as the message is conveyed at their homes to the people. Selectivity of message can also be achieved. Commercials may be given during that time period when the prospective buyers are supposed to watch television programmes.
T.V advertising has got all the demerits of film advertising. Television is a very costly medium of advertisement and can be made use of by the well established companies only. Another limitation of television advertisement is that once it is presented, its back reference is not possible.
6. Direct Mail Advertising
Direct mail is probably the most selective of all the advertising media. It is used to send the message directly to the customer. For this purpose, the advertiser has to maintain a mall list which can be expanded or contracted by adding or removing names from the list. But a severe limitation is posed by the difficulty of getting and maintaining a good mailing list.
Advertisements that are sent by direct mail maybe in the form of circular letters, leaflet folders, calendars, booklets and catalogues. Circular letters are sent to the prospective customers to inform them about the merits of the product and to create their interest in the product. Booklets and catalogues contain the information about the products advertised. Information about the terms of sale and prices of different varieties of the product is given to the prospective customers through catalogues.
Merits of direct mail advertising are as under:
- Mail advertising has a personal appeal since it is addressed to a particular person.
- It maintains secrecy in advertising. The competitors do not get the information about the advertised material.
- It gives flexibility in advertising. The message can be changed whenever the need arises. The mailing list can also be revised whenever the need arises.
- It gives an opportunity to the advertiser to provide detailed and illustrated information about the product to the prospects.
- It is the most selective medium of advertisement. The advertiser saves money also by directing his advertisement to the selected people.
Demerits of direct mail advertising are given below:
- The coverage of direct mail advertisement is limited.
- It is not possible to get the names and addresses of all the prospects when the advertisement material should be sent by mail.
- Its effectiveness is doubtful as it does net create a mass appeal.
7. Window Display
Window display is an on sight method of advertising. Goods can be exhibited in artistically laid out. windows at the shop fronts or at important busy centres like railway stations and bus stops. Large show rooms are organized by big manufacturers and wholesalers in the main markets to advertise their product; and attend to the queries of the prospective customers. The retailers also organize attractive display of goods in the windows of their shops. Window displays are very popular with the retailers since it helps in informing the customer. about the types of goods available with them.
The main objective of window display is to draw the attention of the public and arouse their interest in the. products displayed. Almost all the manufacturers insist that their products should be displayed at the retail shops. If a product is displayed properly at the point-of-purchase (FOP) by the customers, it can attract many customers. Many people having no preference for a particular brand may discover a particular brand quite appealing and attractive and may purchase it. Thus, window display creates the demand for the product. Window display acts as silent salesman. In order to achieve the purpose of window display, cleanliness and a well-furnished appearance for the window are essential. Articles should be arranged in a systematic way and if possible price tags should also be attached with the articles. It is better if window displays are changed regularly to make the customers look at the displays every time they visit the shop.
8. Speciality Advertising
Many business firms (like Raymonds, Vimal, etc.) offer speciality articles to the present and prospective customers. These articles may be diaries, pen holders, desk trays, key chains, purses, paper weights, cigarette cases and calendars. The name and address of the advertiser is printed in or inscribed on the speciality items. They also bear the brand name of the firm. Since these articles are of daily use, they have greater capacity to remind their users about the brand name of the firm offering such articles.
Choice of Advertising Media
For the purpose of choosing the appropriate medium or media or advertisement, following factors should be taken into consideration.
- Nature of Product. Nature of the product to be advertised has an important bearing on the medium of advertisement. Products should be classified into two broad categories, namely, consumer and industrial goods. Consumer goods can be advertised in newspapers, magazines, radio and television and through outdoor displays, But industrial goods can be advertised profitably in the specialized trade, technical and professional journals.
- Nature of Market. Nature and extent of market can be determined by various factors like geographical region, size of population and purchasing power of the population. The market may be either local or national. Film advertising and outdoor advertising are more suitable for local products. Newspapers are the most suitable for advertising products which can be sold throughout the country.
- Objectives of Advertising. The objectives of the advertising programme are very important to determine the choice of advertising media. The objectives may be introduction of new product, to increase demand of an existing product, or to avoid competition by the rivals. If advertising is not to be carried on a mass scale to have big impact in the short and long run, a combination of various advertising media may be chosen. Sometimes advertisements are inserted in the newspapers and magazines to complement the readers in order to enhance the goodwill of the advertiser.
- Circulation of Media. If the media have greater circulation, the message of the advertiser will reach a larger number of people. It may be mentioned that newspapers have the widest circulation, but other media have limited circulation.
- Financial Consideration. The cost of advertising media is an important consideration and it should be considered in relation to (a) the amount of funds available, and (b) the circulation of the media. In the first instance, the amount of funds available may dictate the choice of a medium or a combination of media of advertisement, and secondly the advertiser should try to develop some relationship between the cost of the medium and its circulation. The cost-benefit analysis will enable the advertiser to take right decision in regard to selection of the advertising media.
- Type of Audience. If the message is to be conveyed to illiterate or less literate people, radio, television and cinema advertisement will serve the purpose in a better way. Newspapers, magazines, displays and direct mail may be used to convey the message to the educated people, Since different languages are popular in different regions, advertisements in different languages may be given to popularize the product.
- Life of Advertisements Outdoor display and magazines and direct mail have sufficiently longer life but the life of newspaper, radio and television advertisements is very short unless they are repeated regularly. Therefore, the advertiser should also take into consideration the duration for which he wants to create the impression in the minds of the prospective customers.
- Media used by Competitors. The choice of advertising media also depends upon the media used by the competitors. If a product is being advertised in a newspaper, the producers of its substitutes will find it better to advertise them in the same newspaper. This practice has become more common these days in order to fight competition in the market.