The term national advertising has a special connotation that it is not confined to any geographic area within the nation. This type of advertising is undertaken mostly by the marketer of a branded product or service sold through different outlets in the distribution channel, wherever they may be located. Apparently the term national advertising conveys mass marketing effort. In reality this does not necessarily mean that the product is sold nationwide. The objective of national advertising is to inform or remind consumers about a company or brand. The ad may intend to communicate brand features, benefits, advantages or uses and to create or reinforce its image so that the consumers will be predisposed to buy it. This type of advertising is done by a manufacturer and is in contrast to that done by a retailer whose objectives are totally different.
National advertising often identifies a specific target audience and attempts to create an image for the product. For example, the ad for Mercedes-E class is targeting a specific segment in the Indian market. When a new manufacturer with lesser money muscle, limited production capacity and limited distribution know-how, etc., appears on the business scene, he does not usually decide for national distribution. Instead, he tries to sell his output in limited markets and then gradually with improved conditions, gradually spreads in the remaining markets. Even well established companies often introduce new products in some selected markets only.
National advertisers realize that, under some conditions, it is better to advertise in regional or local media rather than mass media. As more and more national advertisers are able to identify and reach narrowly defined market segments there would appear more regional or local advertising. For example, they may select regional/local newspapers, television stations, radio, or outdoor media because of differences in the regional language. The advertiser would still be classified as national advertiser as the purpose of the ads is to encourage purchase of the advertised product at any outlet carrying the item. In the short-term, however, national advertising will continue to introduce new brands and emphasize brand loyalty to established ones. In effect, the message in national advertising says, “buy our brand.”