Everything you need to know about the types and classification of advertising media. Advertising is an instrument of marketing which is applied in practice both as a science and an art generated by creative devices.

The growth of an advertising process in a socio-economic environment is one of the most significant achievements in contemporary business era. Thus, advertising is identified as one of the most visible aspects fabricated with the values in the modern society.

Advertising is a form of mass communication. It is paid for by a sponsor (seller) who wants to communicate about his product or service to his customers.

The sponsor wants to persuade and induce the readers, viewers or listeners to take some action, viz., to buy the advertised product so that the advertiser can have profitable sales.


Some of the types of advertising media are:-

1. Television Broadcasting  2. Radio Advertising  3. Print Media  4. Newspaper Advertising  5. Magazine Advertising  6. Interactive Media

7. Online Advertising  8. Press Advertising  9. Broadcast Media  10. Print Media  11. Outdoor and Transit  12. Direct Mail.

Types and Classification of Advertising Media: Broadcast Media, Print Media, Outdoor and Transit Media and a Few Others

Types of Advertising Media – Television Broadcasting, Radio Advertising, Print Media, Newspaper Advertising, Magazine Advertising and Interactive Media

An advertiser uses a particular media form, broadly classified, as broadcast media or print media, to reach the target audience. Television and radio are the types of broadcast media which allow audio visual or only audio exposure of an ad in an intrusive manner. Audience receives the information in a passive manner without getting actively involved in the information search.


Newspaper and magazine, the print form of media, on the other hand are high involvement media where the reader exhibits an initiative for information search and ad exposure occurs in a more controlled manner as per reader’s intentions. Majority of advertising takes place through these traditional media forms.

As a matter of fact media industry generates large advertising revenues, to the extent of Rs. 10,000 crores. Of that, almost 90 per cent is accounted for by the television and print media. The rest is from outdoor, cinema, internet and radio. But the opening story is a case in point which rightly indicates towards the changing scenario.

The non-traditional media forms which have lately been explored as advertising media include internet, point of purchase, in-cinema advertising, outdoor advertising, in store advertising, and promotional products. These are now used not just as a support media to traditional media forms and their share in the pie is gradually increasing.

In mid 90’s, media departments of various companies showed their creative skills to innovate in media forms. Media innovations were carried out both in terms of exploring of new media forms as well as use of existing media to the benefit of brand communications.


Let us look at some such media innovations to try to understand the role of these innovations in making of success story for a brand:

I. Grey’s media department plastered ads for Johnson and Johnson antacids on the dabbas that Mumbai ubiquitous lunch deliverers took to work places, as a method to reach to its target audience.

II. Leo Burnett made innovative use of print media by sticking two pieces of cloth to leading national dailies. One of the cloth pieces was washed with the detergent to give housewives the feel for difference made by Ariel.

III. Akai made itself recognized brand name when they took over hoardings lying vacant after the stock market crash. The company paid just nominal sum to paint its brand name on billboards. This was done along with its generous buy back offer.

IV. An innovation for Kodak won O&M a gold media Lion when the media category was first introduced at Cannes. The use of freeze-frames during the broadcast of a film at an award show was branded as Kodak moments.

Type # 1. Television Broadcasting:

Television is considered as the most ideal form of advertising medium and has exhibited the most rapid growth among other advertising mediums. Its ability to combine visual images, sound, motion, and colour presents the advertiser with the opportunity to develop the most creative and imaginative appeals of any medium.

In recent years there has been a significant growth in the use of this medium by varied organizations which deal in a variety of products. Ranging from high tech to low tech; from durables to non-durables; from tangibles to intangibles, from social goods to personal goods, from product of consumer use to business use, television medium is considered as a prime choice of advertisers to reach out to everyone who may have an influence on decision making process.

In India, advertising on television is booming. There are nearly 220 channels and close to 3600 brands that are advertised on television every month. It is attracting new categories of products and services. Deregulation of insurance, telecom and petroleum has led to market growth in advertising by these players.

The new product categories justify advertising on a national scale – such as cellular services, cellular handsets, fairness creams, moulded furniture and mouth fresheners which have become significant contributors to ad spend. There is new wave of classifieds on television such as for resale of motorcycles and cars, for preventive maintenance and annual maintenance contract service providers for a host of product categories including PCs, water purifiers and so on. These are usually shown as tickers running during the programmed at the screen’s lower end.


In the year 2004 the national literacy campaign conducted by ‘Rashtriya Sakshara Mission’ and Union Ministry of Human Resource Development were the big spenders and topped the list at No.1 and 2 with respective advertising spend of Rs. 2.43 crore and Rs. 2.31 crore. Locally, television expenditures are made by retailers including restaurants, food stores, department stores, furniture stores, schools, other educational institutions and many more. Television is considered as a means of competition because of the increased trend towards off-price and discounting among retailers.

Ad rush on television is partly due to competition in the booming product market. The cost effectiveness and impact of visual medium is further adding value to its use. Television generates excitement and high impact, which permits its users to stand out from their competitors, particularly at the local level. The channel proliferation allows reach to specific geographic areas with specific content and language. Therefore, the small advertisers targeting small segments are also get attracted to advertising on small screen.

Advertising Options on Television:

There are a number of options available to advertisers to use television as a part of their media mix. Advertisers can buy media time on national, regional or, local basis. For national level, advertisers buy airtime in national networks and ads are placed during specified hours for programming.


In place of or in addition to national networks advertisers use spot advertising and negotiate for television time purchased directly from individual TV stations. All non-network television advertising done by national advertiser is known as national spot advertising, as television time is purchased on a market-to-market basis rather than through a network.

Network advertising involves simplification of purchase process, high degree of programme viewership and mass reach. Spot advertising, on the other hand, offers flexibility in adjusting to local market conditions and requirements. Depending upon the kind of benefits that a national advertiser is seeking for, the advertising options on television medium are planned and combined accordingly.

Local advertising, also called local spots, involves airtime being sold to local firms such as retailers, banks, restaurants and auto dealers. Geographically, local markets are confined to those areas where the business is done and so the advertisers make use of local channels to advertise.

Much of local advertising consists of spot announcements and much of it is cooperative advertising sponsored by the retailer but paid for it by the manufacturer. In case when local business is large enough in size, the advertisers make efficient use of television advertising.


In addition to the decision about transmission of message in a network or non-network mode, on national or a local basis, the advertiser needs to decide on the amount of time to be allocated for message delivery. Here, advertiser may decide whether to sponsor an entire programme, participate in a programme, or use spot announcements between programmes. Programme sponsorship and participation are available either on network or local market basis, whereas spot announcements are available only from local stations.

When advertisers sponsor a particular programme, they undertake the entire responsibility for the content as well as for the advertising. Despite the high cost and risk involved, advertisers adopt sponsorship arrangements to capitalize on the prestige of a high quality programme to enhance the image of the company and its products. Also, sponsorship provides a higher control over the number, placements and contents of the commercials.

Participation is the method of dividing up the cost of advertising time among various partners so that each one purchases a number of minutes of a particular show. An advertiser can participate in a certain programme once or several times either on a regular or an irregular basis.

This method provides continuity as not only the expenditure can be adjusted to buy any number of participation spots that fits within the budget, but also the budget can be spread over a number of programmes thereby providing for a greater reach in the media schedule. Participation can be purchased both on network and spot arrangements.

Spot announcements are not the same as spot advertising. The former refers to individual messages interspersed in television programmes, while the latter relates to the geographic area where the message originates. Spot announcements allow advertisers to spread their money over a wide variety of time spots and markets, but with lesser control on programme content.

Certain advantages that the use of television medium offers to the advertiser irrespective of the arrangement for message transmission and the amount of time allotted for message delivery.

Type # 2. Radio Advertising:


Radio is the other broadcast media which presents programmes and sells airtime in a manner similar to television. National network, spot and local ads are the broadcast options for radio advertising. Unlike television which combines sound with both sight and motion, radio depends entirely on sound. Therefore, it is usually not the media of choice for many advertisers.

However, with the spurt in radio listenership, particularly after privatization and advent of new FM channels, advertisers are creatively exploring radio as an advertising medium in order to reach very specific audience groups. There are a number of other advantages that radio advertising offers to the advertiser as compared to other media options.

Type # 3. Print Media:

Print Media is the age old media available to advertisers for the purpose of message delivery. The term print media is generally used to refer to newspaper and magazines. It is considered as a high involvement media because it involves active learning on the part of a reader.

Unlike television and radio which are capable of delivering lots of information simultaneously, print media offers information on one by one basis as the message is read out gradually and personally. The deliberate search of information primarily involves the use of print media.

Advertising constitutes a major revenue source for print media houses and enables them to offer in turn numerous print capabilities for developing advertising message and its delivery. We will first discuss the potentials of newspaper as an advertising medium followed by a discussion on the benefits of magazines to the advertisers.

Type # 4. Newspaper Advertising:

Newspaper widely competes with other forms of media in terms of its audience size and advertising revenues. Over the years newspaper industry has responded to market requirements and introduced changes such as the introduction of various newspaper additions catering to the requirements of geographic region, profession, business, age and so on. Addition of new features and content are some other innovative changes which have taken place over time to provide a suitable environment for advertising.


On the basis of use there are four categories of newspaper advertising namely display, classified, specials and inserts:

i. Display Advertising:

This is the most dominant type of newspaper advertising which can be placed anywhere in the newspaper except the editorial page. Display advertising is the most rigorous form of print advertising and it involves extensive planning and preparation to creatively develop various elements including headlines, body copy and illustration.

Display advertising is developed either as national advertising or local advertising. As compared to local advertising, national advertising carries higher rates and, therefore, requires extensive budgets and careful selection of media.

The rate differential is a significant feature of display newspaper advertising and advertisers try to deal with it through certain alternative arrangements. Co-operative advertising is one such arrangement which national advertisers carry with local advertisers to avail of the benefits of rate differential.

ii. Classified Advertising or ‘Want Ad’:


This is the professional type of advertising which is arranged according to readers’ interest. Usually, such advertising carry no headlines, no illustration and are of single size throughout various advertisements. Classified advertising generally constitute the sizeable portion of advertising revenue for a newspaper.

iii. Special Advertising:

This includes general notices, public notices, legal notices, political and government reports and financial reports. These are charged at higher rates than display advertising and to make them appear different from news or story the word advertisement is written on the top.

iv. Inserts:

These are the newspaper supplements which are not placed next to editorial contents. Inserts appear throughout the week, especially in Sunday edition of the newspaper. Inserts are printed by the insert publishers and are delivered to newspaper vendors to be inserted in specific edition either by machine or by the newspaper carriers. Due to their low cost and high readership inserts are a widely used advertising medium.

Type # 5. Magazine Advertising:

As a rule newspaper advertising reach most of the people in the market, but most magazines reach to only particular segments in the market. Magazines, like Reader’s Digest, provide the most specialized media among all forms of advertising media which are targeted to very specific audience. There are some generalized magazines too which appeal to every type of consumer irrespective of their demographic and psychographic differences.


Advertisers have wide options to advertise in magazines of various types. The selection depends upon the type of audience, geographic coverage, and editorial content. The audiences are consumers, or business houses (including trade patterns), professionals or industries.

Physical characteristics of the magazine like its size, quality of paper used, quality of printing, the pattern of magazine distribution and circulation are some other considerations on the basis of which an advertiser selects the magazine type for the purpose of message delivery.

Type # 6. Interactive Media:

Interactive technology is the new form of advertising media which allows for selectivity and reaches to mass audience group. Unlike radio and television, the interactive technologies provide for two way communications and the receiver has more control over the processing of information.

Internet is the most widely used form of interactive media and advertising through internet takes place in various formats. Web pages delivering the selling messages, banner ads, sponsorships, popups, interstitials, push technologies, and web links are the common forms of internet advertising.

According to a study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Price water house Cooper, internet advertising hit a record $8 billion in the first six months of 2006, fuelled by a 40 per cent growth in search related advertising. Online classified advertising was also sharply higher, as the internet continued to draw advertisers away from print advertisements.

Types of Advertising Media – Indoor Advertising, Outdoor Advertising, Direct Advertising and Promotional Advertising

1. Indoor advertising (Press, Radio, TV, Handbills)

2. Outdoor advertising (Poster, Displays, Leaflets etc.)

3. Direct advertising (Sales letter, Store publications)

4. Promotional or display advertising (Window display, Exhibitions etc.)

1. Indoor Advertising:

When advertising is made through newspapers, magazines, radio, TV programmes etc. so that people can get the message at home is known as indoor advertising.

2. Outdoor Advertising:

It passes the message to those people who are moving audience. Generally, almost all the people go out on some purpose or other, e.g., office, walk, sight-seeing etc. This is one of the best type of advertising as its permanent, low cost and always attracts viewers, because of its style and colorful appearance.

Types- Posters, Advertising Boards, Vehicular Advertising, Electric Display, Leaflets (Handbills) etc.

3. Direct Advertising:

The object of direct advertising is to create a direct contact with the customers. The advertiser can keep a close touch with the customer or the public, who are supposed to, have interest in his product through mail advertising. In this written form of communication, i.e., letters are used. Its merit is that a personal relationship with the customers can be maintained.

Types- Sales letters, Circulars, Booklets and Catalogues etc.

4. Promotional Advertising:

The object of promotional advertising is to increase the sales. These are also known as display advertising. In this the products are systematically kept in a place so as to attract the attention and notice of the onlookers. It is beneficial as it attracts the onlooker and the whole shop looks attractive. It is flexible and consumers can study the product and its functions at leisure.

Types- Window Display, Indoor Display (glass closed up board), Showrooms and Exhibitions etc.

Types of Advertising Media – Top 10 Types: Mural Advertising, Press Advertising, Film Advertising, Radio Advertisement and Television Advertisement and Few Others

(1) Mural Advertising:

Mural or outdoor advertising has long life. It has a general and wide appeal. It can attract attention of many people. It is good to remind prospects. An advertiser has ample scope to use his skill and art in advertising.

However, outdoor advertising has certain limitations. It cannot have a long message. It is not useful in selective advertising or for specialised products. It has a low retention value. Its effectiveness cannot be accurately measured and it may also lead to considerable wastage. Bill boards and hoardings are not welcome today on the highways due to adverse public opinion. (They spoil the natural beauty and environment).

(2) Press Advertising:

Newspapers have a general and wide appeal. It is a very common method of publicity. Newspapers are flexible and timely. Repeat advertising is possible. Periodical change in size and contents is also easy. Selective advertising to some extent is available. Effectiveness of advertising can be estimated by having keyed advertisements. Newspapers offer promotional assistance. They are the best source of market information.

Newspapers are truly a way of life to most of the literate people. They have short closing times. Closing times refer to the period before publication when the copy must be submitted. For newspapers, this period is only 24 hours. The adage ‘seeing is believing’ is applicable to press advertisements. It offers greater prestige and believability.

However, newspapers have short span of life. Waste in advertising is considerable. Illiteracy affects its utility. Magazine and trade journals are other means of press publicity. They are best for coloured and attractive advertisements. They have longer life, greater retentive value as well as reference value. Selective appeal is possible.

We can approach particular market segment. Waste can be reduced. However, they need advance planning, do not facilitate repetitive advertisements. They have limited circulation. They have higher unit cost per contact.

(3) Film Advertising:

It has a wide appeal. It can overcome language barriers. Audio­visual (sound and sight) technique has maximum impact on audiences. Sound and sight both are employed for communicating our message. Repeat advertising is possible. However, both cost of production as well as cost of distribution of slides and films are quite high. Selective advertising is not possible. Effectiveness cannot be measured. Waste in film publicity can be considerable.

(4) Radio Advertisement:

Of all the media, radio has the shortest closing times: Radio uses only an audio (sound) signal. The copy can be submitted up to air time. Announcement can be made very quickly. It can secure dealer support. It has a very wide appeal. It is suitable even for illiterate people. Repeat message is quite common. Spoken word has greater impact than written word. However, radio cannot permit selective advertising.

It cannot give detailed information. It has low memory value. People remember far more of what they see than of what they hear. Its cost is high. It may not be very effective as listeners may not like it. Many a time, they are bored by repeat messages. The length of time media is momentary. The message may be lost, if the radio is not tuned.

(5) Television Advertisement:

Television uses both video (sight) and audio (sound) signals. Television has all the advantages of radio, namely, sound and explanation, plus the additional advantages of sight. It can appeal through ear as well as eye. Product can be demonstrated with explanation. Television reaches the audience almost like personal face-to-face contact.

To that extent it is just like personal salesmanship. Full opportunity exists for product demonstration and the amplification of selling points with audio presentation. It is really a wonderful means of mass communication for creating a market. Television combines all of the elements of communication- (1) Illustration, (2) Music, (3) Spoken words, (4) Written words.

We can have short commercials as well as sponsored programmes combining entertainment with advertisement. It represents typical combination of salesmanship and advertising.

However, television has limited market coverage. Advertising in TV is expensive. In addition to time costs, the costs of producing TV shows are considerable. Both radio and TV messages have no life span like the messages in printed form. TV cannot have a long advertising copy.

(6) Transit Advertising:

Transit advertising consists of car-card advertising, which is located within buses, subways, railways and outside displays, which appear on the fronts, sides, and backs of buses or other public transport and at transportation terminals. Transit advertising is the lowest cost media. It gives geographic selectivity and seasonal selectivity. It has high readership.

It can reach pedestrians and travelling public. However, non-riders are not exposed to car-cards located inside the vehicle. Car-cards have small size and they can carry only short copy. Transit advertising is limited in quantity by the number of public vehicles in operation.

(7) Direct Mail:

Direct mail is any advertising sent by mail (postal transmission) including sales letters, folders, pamphlets, booklets, catalogues and the like. Direct mail is the most personal and selective media. It reaches only the desired prospects. It has minimum possible personal features copy can be very flexible.

It has maximum possible personal features even without personal contact. It can provide detailed information about the product or service, creating lasting impression. Its effectiveness is measurable. It can be timed as per advertiser’s will. It has maximum personal appeal. It can take any size, shape or form permitted by the post office.

It is not in direct competition with the rival’s matter. Extensive testing can be done on the product, price, appeal or other factors before the entire mailing is sent out. The results of direct mail advertising can be checked by means of an offer incorporated mailing. However, direct mail is costly. We may not have proper mailing list. Receiver may consider it as junk mail as it may not have entertainment value. It is not a good means of mass communication.

(8) Advertising Specialities:

These include a wide variety of items, such as calendars, books, matches, pens, pencils knives, key rings, diaries, memopads, cigarette lighters, blotter, paper weights, purses, rain hats and so on. They are given to advertising targets without cost or obligation. Advertiser’s name, address, phone number, a short sales message are imprinted on the item.

The advertiser can choose from among 500 specialities in the market. Advertising specialities are reminder type promotion. It is hoped they will lead to customer’s orders and re-orders. However, they have limited space available for sales message. They are also costly.

(9) Point-of-Purchase Advertisement Material:

It really represents sales promotion devices. It covers the display material used in advertising programme. Such point-of-purchase material may include advertising on the package, window banners, shelf-talkers, merchandise tags, package stuffers, information folders and booklets and such other displaying materials.

(10) Leaflets, folders etc. are used in the case of industrial goods.

Types of Advertising Media – Top 5 Advertising Media: Broadcast Media, Print Media, Outdoor and Transit, Specialty and Direct Mail

Various advertising media are available to marketers:

(1) Broadcast Media

(i) Radio

(ii) Television

(2) Print Media

(i) Newspapers

(ii) Magazines

(3) Outdoor and Transit

(4) Speciality

(5) Direct Mail.

Type # 1. Broadcast Media:

Advertisers use two types of media to reach target consumers over the air waves – radio and TV.

(i) Radio:

Advertisers using the medium of radio may also be classified as national or local advertisers. The radio is a prominent vehicle of advertising in our country, and accounts for a large sum of the total advertising budget.

The radio serves principally local rather than national or large regional markets. Many small advertisers use the radio. So do some large organizations.

When TV became a factor in the advertising scene, some indus­try observers felt that radio advertising might become insignificant or even disappear.

This has not been so, for radio operators have res­ponded to the challenge by offering programmes that feature music, etc., which appeal to local audiences. Consumers have responded very favourably to this approach. Moreover, TV does not have much coverage in our country.

The advantages of radio advertising are immediacy, low cost, flexibility, practicality, low-cost audience selection, and mobility. The radio is an extremely mobile broadcast medium. It reaches virtually everyone, either in their homes, cars, or elsewhere (because of porta­ble receivers, such as transistor radios), providing a means of reaching a mass market.

It is selective enough to provide opportunities for reaching market segments, and many stations focus on particular interest groups. The marketer may achieve selectivity by choosing particular hours of the day and days of the week that are the best for his commercials. The radio is an inexpensive medium for many organizations.

Marketers may purchase commercial time. It is, moreover, a very flexible medium and it has the latest deadlines for the submission of commercial material. Others, such as magazines, often require that advertisers submit their messages months before they are to be presented to the public.

The disadvantages of the radio include fragmentation, the un­availability, of the advertising message for future reference, and less research information. A message on the radio lasts only for a short time. If the consumer is not affected during that period, the entire effect of the commercial is lost.

Moreover, the radio appeals only to the sense of hearing. The medium cannot take advantage of the visual means of communication, as TV and the print media do. It is extremely difficult to estimate the audience for an individual radio commercial. The radio is a mass medium, but no single station or programme reaches more than a small fraction of the total audience. In fact, it is a very selective medium.

Different stations aim their programmes at different audiences. Radio messages may be prepared or changed on short notices. The advertisers therefore have great flexibility in the timing of radio advertising.

(ii) Television:

Of late in India, a growing class of advertising media has been the TV. In our country, commercial advertising on TV is severely limited because broadcast timings are only in the evenings. The TV is a unique combination of sight and sound, and achieves a deeper impact than the other media do. This is particularly advantageous for advertisers whose products require demonstration.

TV advertising offers advantages of impact, mass coverage, repetition, flexibility and prestige. In our country, not everyone has a TV set; therefore it does not reach everyone.

Moreover, in rural India where 80 per cent of our population lives, there are hardly any TV sets, except at the com- unity centres, and that, too, at the places where electricity is available. Moreover, TV programmes in our country do not offer much selec­tivity. The transmission is limited, and many centres do not have TV towers.

TV appeals to both the senses of sound and of sight. As a result, it combines the two to produce high-impact commercials. Finally, the fact that a product or service is promoted on TV may build a prestigious image of the product and its sponsor. The pleasure derived from watching TV is at least potentially transferable to the advertising messages delivered through the medium.

The disadvantage include relinquishing control of the advertising message to the telecaster (who can influence its impact), high cost, high mortality rates for commercials, some evidence of public distrust and lack of selectivity. Only a limited message is possible because of the limitations on time.

It is not as selective as some of the other media. Consumers may easily ignore commercials by leaving the room where the set is located to attend to other matters. TV time is expensive, and it is not easy to get prime time.

Quite apart from the cost of TV time, the cost of producing commercials is very high. Production costs include the fee for such items as talent and filming, which must be borne by the advertiser. Commercial TV announcements are, however, in their infancy in our country, though they are fast catching up.

Type # 2. Print Media:

The print media carry their messages entirely through the visual mode. These media consist of newspapers, magazines and direct mail.

(i) Newspapers:

A sizable share of the total advertising budget is spent on adver­tising in newspapers. Newspapers in our country virtually reach most of the homes in the cities and many members of the family read them.

Their messages can be longer than those on the radio and TV and the message may therefore be more complex and lengthy. Since newspapers are local, marketers can easily use them to reach particular markets.

This selectivity is easily available. The closing times for ads in newspapers are not rigorous. Some are in the twelve-hour range. From the viewpoint of the advertiser, newspapers offer several advan­tages – they are local in content and appeal, and provide opportunities for direct communication between a product and its local dealers or distributors.

Because newspapers supply news, they offer an atmosphere of factual information and of currency that may be favourable for some advertising situations. Advertisers can reach a very broad audience through newspapers, which offer great flexibility.

The advertiser may- choose the specific areas to be covered, and the advertisement can be placed in newspapers at very short notice as compared with other media

Much of the advertising carried by newspapers is local promo­tion by retail stores, cinemas and other local organizations.

A disadvantage of using newspapers is that the cost of reaching a national or large regional market may turn out to be high. In addi­tion, the printed copy does not reproduce the ad as finely as a magazine does.

Further, consumers do not keep the issue for long periods of time, nor do they pass it on to others, as they often do with a magazine. Finally, in the eyes of consumers, newspapers do not have the prestige of TV and some magazines.

(ii) Magazines:

Magazines are a means of reaching different markets, both region­al and national, and of general and specific interest. An organization may approach national markets through such publications as the Dharmayug, the Business Week, and Femina.

Sports Week, and Film/are Regional magazines are available for those marketers who do not want a national coverage. Some marketers divide their markets on the basis of such variables as age, educational level and interests. They are likely to be concerned with special interest magazines.

Magazines are divided into those that serve business, industrial consumers, ladies, sports, etc. The diversity of magazines is tremendous. Some offer news or other “general interest” content to huge audiences. Others are highly specialized, technical or even exotic. In general, magazines offer advertisers the opportunity to reach highly selective audience.

The primary advantages of magazine advertising are- selectivity of market targets; quality reproduction; long life; the prestige associated with some magazines; and the extra services offered by many publications. The quality of magazine reproduction is usually high.

Consumers sometimes keep individual copies for long periods of time, reread them, or pass them on to others. Some magazines have prestige value. The marketer can cover national or large regional markets at a low cost per contact (per individual reached). Magazines generally offer high-quality printing for advertisements.

The paper used and the presses employed in magazine printing make possible the reproduction of the right colour, sharp details, etc. Another feature of potential interest to the advertiser is the mood or atmosphere created by some magazines.

Advertisements may be read more carefully and with greater depth of interest in a magazine than elsewhere, both because magazines tend to be kept longer and some­times read repeatedly, and because of the specialized character of their contents.

The primary disadvantage is that magazines lack the flexibility of newspapers, radio and TV. Another disadvantage is the high cost. Because of the high cost factor, many small advertisers do not employ this medium.

Another problem is waste circulation, that is, individuals who are not target consumers are exposed to the advertising. Finally, magazines have long closing periods, sometimes as long as a month.

Business publications, popularly called trade journals or trade magazines, are also used for advertising. Business publications may be classified as general or specialized. Generally, they are specialized and have specialized appeals.

Advertisers hope that their advertise­ments will be more carefully and thoroughly read than those in consumer magazines. Additionally, the nature of many business publications is such that their editorial content is often relevant or related to the advertisements that are carried.

On occasion, editorial comment may be directly devoted to the specific products that have been adver­tised, especially to new products or processes.

The advertising rates of business publications are generally low – but their smaller circula­tion indicates that the cost per reader is high. From the adver­tiser’s viewpoint, however, the latter is offset by the fact that these journals are meant for very specific audience groups such as doctors, engineers, etc.

Type # 3. Outdoor and Transit Media:

These reach consumers at points other than in their homes.

(i) Outdoor Advertising:

Outdoor advertising involves the use of signs and billboards, posters or displays (such as those that appear on a building’s wall), and electric spectaculars (large, illuminated, sometimes animated signs and displays). The marketers may purchase billboards on the basis of showings.

A showing indicate the percentage of the total population of a particular geographic area that will be exposed to it during a one month period. The highest showing is 100. Here, the number of billboards is as would attract approximately 90 per cent of the local population about 20 times during a month. Signs are usually smaller than billboards and are erected and maintained by the marketer rather than by the advertising media.

This form of advertising has the advantages of communicating quick and simple ideas, of repetition, and of the ability to promote products that are available for sales. Outdoor advertising is parti­cularly effective in metropolitan and other high-traffic areas.

An­other advantage of outdoor advertising is that the advertiser can use this medium to bring the product to the attention of consumers; or to remind them of the product, while they are on shopping trips or are disposed toward shopping.

Consumers see the billboards or signs many times as they drive to and from work, shop, and run errands. Advertisers may utilize this medium to economically reach a large mass of people or small-local markets.

The medium is “disadvantaged” by the brevity of its message and by the public concern over aesthetics. Usually, the message is short, not over eight words, otherwise those who drive by would not have time to read it. Also, the future of the industry is subjected to some doubt. The public’s adverse reaction to what it considers to be the clutter of signs and billboards is fairly strong.

Finally, auto-drivers and passengers are confronted with numerous distractions, including other cars; scooters, scenery, other billboards, and conversation inside the vehicle. Thus, many consumers do not perceive the advertisements clearly. Signs are common that specify the name and nature of the business and that promote merchandise (window signs), especially at the retail level.

Some are distinctive and are useful in generating interest in the establishment and in aiding consumers in locating it. Marketers should design signs that can be easily seen by passerby and that stand out from other signs. The sign should be easily visible from a block away and contrast nicely with other nearby signs that are in different colours.

Window signs are a possible means of generating consumer interest in particular items. The products that are on sale or that are new lend themselves to special promotion efforts. Signs indicating that a new product is available, or that some products are on sale, or that additions to the stock have been made might be of special interest to consumers.

(ii) Transport Advertising:

Transport advertising appears on the inside or outside of taxis, buses, railways, streetcars, and other modes of passenger transporta­tion. Marketers may use transit advertising to attain high exposure to particular groups-commuters on their way to and from work, and tourists.

Repeat exposure is possible, for a majority of the people in our country use public transport on a recurring basis. Transport advertising is useful in reaching consumers at an advantageous point in time -while they are embarking on a shopping trip. This medium is a low cost medium.

A disadvantage of transit advertising is that the message conveyed must be short. The marketer who has a long and complex set of communications to transmit, should seek another medium. Transport advertising reaches only that segment of the population who are passen­gers or in the vicinity of the vehicles as they move by (where the message appears outside the vehicle).

Finally, only a limited amount of advertising space is available. The would-be sponsor may well find that adequate space cannot be had.

From the advertiser’s standpoint, outdoor advertising is often viewed as supporting his advertisements in other media. Billboards can reach large numbers of people at relatively little cost, and they serve as reminders, a means of emphasizing ideas, or as prompters of impulse purchases. Messages communicated via outdoor advertising are obviously restricted to a very brief and easily understood content.

The most familiar types of advertising are car cards, displays, and posters found in or on buses and other means of mass of trans­portation.

Transportation advertising is sold by specialized firms, and the rates are generally based on the number of Vehicles on which, or the other locations in which, the advertising is to be shown. Transporta­tion advertising is often coordinated with outdoor advertising, making use of the same or similar pictures and messages.

Type # 4. Speciality Advertising:

It involves placing the sponsor’s name and, often, a short message on novel or useful articles. These include calendars, pens, pencils, desk pads, paper weights, ash trays, drinking glasses, diaries, personaliz­ed business gifts of a modest value, shopping bags, memo pads, balloons, yardsticks, key rings, and hundreds of other items.

Ordinarily, marketers use speciality articles to reinforce messages carried by other media, they do not employ them as the prime thrust of their advertising programmes.

This medium is low in cost. It provides the advertisers with an opportunity to remind target consumers of the products offered by him. Consumers are exposed to the message quite frequently (every time that they pick up their pens or look at their calendars.

Finally, the marketer can be selective in directing speciality articles to specific target consumers. Waste circulation can be kept to the minimum, sales persons may be instructed to pass out speciality items only to those prospects who are likely to become good consumers.

Type # 5. Direct Mail:

It is one of the most important classes of advertising media. The concerns that employ direct mail brochures, sales letters, postcards, leaflets, folders, booklets, catalogues and house organs, etc. In a sense, the advertisers act as their own media.

The direct mail offers the advertisers a maximum of selectivity and flexibility. They do not generally use advertising media, such as TV or magazines. Direct-mail advertising is generally much more expensive than advertising in other media, because of the high costs of delivering messages individually.

It also suffers from a lack of prestige- unhappiness with junk mail is widespread. Some prospects consider direct-mail materials to be a nuisance and simply deposit them in a waste paper basket without reading the contents. Marketers often experience difficulty and incur high costs in obtaining a list of good prospects and in updating the list as new prospects appear and old prospects disappear. Further, the cost per contact can be high in relation to other media.

The advantages of directs mail include selectivity, intensive coverage, speed, format flexibility, complete information and the personalization of each mailing piece. Direct mail purchasers also tend to be consistent buyers by mail. There is minimal waste circula­tion, for the mailing list consists only of those who are likely prospects for the product or service in question.

The marketer can keep down the cost of a direct mail campaign by using a mailing list of limited size (although the cost per contact is then high). There are no media closing dates.

The only restriction as regards time is the time needed to obtain the mailing list, design and reproduce the direct mail pieces and forward them to the prospects. Moreover, direct mail is free from many of the distractions, such as editorial material and other advertisements that appear in the media.

Finally, marketers can tailor the quality of the production work to their exact needs. The quality may range from fliers printed on inexpensive paper to impres­sive brochures and personalized letters. These cost time. The effect­iveness consideration makes direct mail an ideal medium.

A disadvantage of direct mail is its high cost per reader. Direct- mail advertising is, moreover, dependent on the quality of the mailing list.

Types of Advertising Media – Print Media, Electronic Media, Direct Mail, Outdoor Advertising, Point Of Purchase Advertising, Digital Interactive Media and Few Others

Type # 1. Print Media:

It is a media through which people at places and of all types can be reached. Depending upon the circulation, readers, geographical area, cost of space and reputation the selection can be made out of newspapers, magazines and journals. Newspapers are dailies where magazines and periodicals are published periodically for professionals.

Type # 2. Electronic Media:

This consists of radio, T.V., and cinema advertising. Radio and T.V., are also known as Broadcast media. These are transmitted through radio and television stations. Now, there are All India Radio, FM Radio, number of TV channels. Cinemas, the slides and trailors can be used before the show and in the interval time.

Type # 3. Direct Mail Advertising:

In this media, advertisements literature and materials are sent directly to target group of customers. Business organizations prepare a mailing list and a set of materials are forwarded to them. These include pamphlets, brouchers, price list, catalogues, folders sales letters etc.

Type # 4. Outdoors Advertising:

In this media, the advertisers use posters, billboards, neon signs, electrical displays etc. The posters are posted at various places, bill boards or large hoardings are fixed on busy roads and streets, sign boards are used in vehicles and railways, noen signs are put up at bus shelters railways stations and high rise buildings etc.

Type # 5. Point of Purchase Advertising:

In this media, there is a chance of keeping, pasting and putting the banners, stickers and posters inside the retail shops. Now, the big bazaars and malls make use of this media and influence the customers instantly. In case of any doubts, the customers can consult the salesmen working inside the shops.

Type # 6. Digital Interactive Media:

Now a day, the internet facility has revolutionized the advertisement media. Wide across the globe, the internet has become a common media for advertisement. In this media, the banners and advertisement clippings are tagged to websites. All those who visit the website are going to have a glance on such ads. Because, these clippings are made very effective, influencing and attractive. This internet advertising has created a huge target market. The midst coverage renders this media a cheaper one, and also very attractive one.

Type # 7. Yellow Pages:

In all areas, the organizations and associations of business owners bring out the directories giving detailed information of their businesses. In between the pages of other information the yellow pages are inserted which are meant for advertisements only. Businessmen can avail a full page or half page both on the back of cover pages also. These act as a ready reckoner and provide the necessary information quickly.

Type # 8. Other Media:

There are other media like product placements and infomercials. Product placement refers to the promotion of a product in a movie so as to influence the customers unknowingly entering the subconscious mind of the consumers. In many films, the great celebrities are linked to particular institution or product. For instance, ICICI Bank in Baghban, Cadbury’s India in Koi Mil Gaya.

Infomercials are television (advertisements) commercials that seen as long as a typical programme lasts. It is also known as teleshopping where the advertisement is shown at a time other than peak hours either late at night or early in the morning. These make use of catchy phrases and celebrities as guests or hosts in the advertisements.

Types of Advertising Media – Print Advertising, Mural Outdoor Ads,Interior Display/Counter Display, Fairs and Exhibition

Media of advertisement refers to any device or object used to communicate message, written or oral to potential consumers.

1. Press Advertisement:


i. Most popular medium of advertisement in modern times

ii. Cheapest media

iii. Wide circulation.


Two forms viz.:

a. Newspaper Ads.

b. Magazines/Journal’s Ads

2. Mural Outdoor Ads:

These ads attract customers when they are out of home. Mural ads are displayed on roads, buildings etc. Such ads are quite common and widely used. They are complement to Press Ads.

Examples are as under:

i. Poster – These are paper or card boards pasted on walls, of common places. Posters are prepared in very attractive manner and coloured designs.

ii. Advertising Boards – These are boards generally made of tin, big in size and painted in attractive, beautiful colours, designs and pictures carrying advertising message in brief. They are placed on or near Main Road Crossings, Railway and Bus Stations, Cinema Halls, Educational Institutions, so as to attract attention of largest number of persons passing through those places.

iii. Electric Displays – A latest and more attractive form of outdoor advertising. Under it, name, design etc., of product is written in bright colours and illuminated. Such displays attract people’s attention specially in night hours.

iv. Window Display – A very common form of outdoor advertising. Counters/windows are attractively decorated to draw attention of people. They are also fixed at some important places like Cinema Hall, Bus Stand, Railway Station, Airports, etc. Value of a shop is often judged by nature and content of window displays.

3. Direct Mail Advertising:

Here, information about a product is sent to the customer by post. Also called Direct Advertising as this method approaches persons directly. It is also called ‘Advertising through Letter Box’. In the words of J.W.W. Cossets “Direct Mail Advertising is using the letter box to tell the right people about right goods at right time in the right way.”


i. Advertisement messages are prepared in writing.

ii. Messages are addressed directly to some selected persons.

iii. Message may differ from person to person.

iv. Such advertisements are read indoor as they are sent to their residential or official address.


i. Circular – Circulars are prepared in large number and contain same matter. It is despatched simultaneously to a large number of persons. Circular may relate to information about arrival of new goods, any special prize scheme, new prices, any policy change etc. A very popular form.

ii. Business Reply Card – Here, two cards are used of the post card size. One card is used by advertiser to inform the persons about product. Other card is to be used by customer to send reply immediately without loss of time, e.g., place the orders.

iii. Price List – Some businessmen prepare and send by post the list of latest prices of their products. Idea is to inform the customers about changes in prices of products from time to time.

iv. Booklets – It is a mini book of small size, containing complete details of a particular product or same selected products. It also contains pictures and diagrams specifying the product. It is sent to some selected customers.

v. Catalogue – Catalogue is quite similar to booklet in physical make up except that it is larger and presents wider variety of items. It has more substantial contents and can be kept for a longer period of time and as such serves as a reference.

vi. Magazines – Some companies particularly big ones bring-out their own magazines at regular intervals. These magazines give complete details about company and its products.

vii. Sales Letters – Sales letters are meant to induce prospective buyer to buy the given product or avail a given service. These letters are based on ‘A-I-D-A’ principles viz., A=Attention, I=Interest, D=Desire and A=Action.

viii. Personal Letters – Businessmen, sometimes, post personal letters to their customers, like letters sent to friends, relatives or family members. These letters contain some details about products, terms and conditions of sale, or some business problems between businessmen and customers.

ix. Gift Novelties – Some gift items such calendars, pens, pencils, glasses, plastic containers, cigarette cases, ashtrays, openers, diaries, wall clock, utensils samples are sent by businessmen to selected customers. The aim is to win the hearts of customers and build image of firm for a longer period. These items remind customers about the producers and his products, for example –

(a) Calendars hung on walls echo name and products other firm;

(b) Samples even give opportunity of testing the product.

x. Package Inserts – These are small leaflets used to encourage repeated purchases of the allied products or other goods. For example, Colgate Palmolive Company prints on the lap of package ‘Use Colgate brush for better results.’

4. Interior Display/Counter Display:

Interior display refers to display inside the shop. To-day, it is regarded as highly significant. Certain types are – Open Displays, Closed displays, Top of Counter Displays, Architectural Displays etc.


i. It is Easier to Find and Buy Products – Customers having gone through newspapers, rush to stores and easily find the products on internal display. This eases their selection and helps salesman also to some extent.

ii. It helps to sell Allied Products – Along with advertised products, some allied products are put on internal display, these may be high priced products also. And internal display attract customers quite often to buy high priced goods in preference to advertised one.

iii. Stores Look Bright and Attractive – Interior displays set with bright, colourful and beautified formats make the look of stores / shops fascinating making customers move around internal arrangements. Shopping becomes pleasant and it even regularises the occasional customer.

iv. Periodical Changes – Progressive business units make periodical changes in interior displays to suit changing seasons and demand pattern. “Changing Face” tailored to seasons/demand patterns create an impression that store is new and fresh. This arouses customers’ interests,

5. Fairs and Exhibitions:

An exhibition is a big fair (or mela) where many manufacturers get together to display their product to dealers/consumers. Exhibitions are organised by group of producers, their associations and individuals also. Exhibitions are of local, regional, national or international level. Of late, governments of various countries have taken keen interest in international exhibits.

6. Other Media of Advertising:

i. Cinema – Cheapest and most popular medium. Advertisers get cinema slides played at the start of film and during interval.

ii. Loud Speakers – Messages are announced in different localities through loudspeakers placed on hired rickshaws, Tempos, Cars etc.

iii. Sky Writing – Here, some words are written on sky with the help of a special gas by aeroplane. These words stay on sky for a few seconds. This method is not popular in India.