Everything you need to know about the types of advertising. There are many bases on which advertising may be classified. It may be categorised according to media, type of products, type of appeals and so on. There is no streamlined methodology to differentiate different kinds of advertising.

Advertisements are a good way for a company to increase awareness of its name, phone number, and or brands.

Since the advent of the early form of advertising, advertising communication objectives have diversified considerably, and different forms of advertising can be identified while using the same media.

Some of the different types of advertising are:-


1. Product Advertising 2. Corporate Advertising 3. Competitive Advertising 4. Comparative Advertising 5. Commercial Advertising 6. Advocacy Advertising 7. Interactive Advertising

8. Service Advertising 9. Financial Advertising 10. Response Advertising 11. Covert Advertising 12. Surrogate Advertising 13. Public Service Advertising 14. Celebrity Advertising.

Different Types of Advertising: Product Advertising, Corporate Advertising, Comparative Advertising and a Few Others

What are the Different Types of Advertising – Product Advertising, Institutional Advertising, Advocacy Advertising, Transit Advertising and a Few Other Types

There are many bases on which advertising may be classified. It may be categorised according to media, type of products, type of appeals and so on. There is no streamlined methodology to differentiate different kinds of advertising.

Types of advertising may be classified as:


1. Product Advertising.

2. Institutional Advertising.

3. Other Types.

Type # 1. Product Advertising:

Basically the objective of this type of advertising is to create awareness among the consumers about the qualities of the product and to build the reputation of the manufacturer’s product. In practice, for successful marketing and for enhancing product image, most of the companies use a brand name e.g. Pepsi, Cinthol, Viva etc.


Product advertising aims at percolating information about the product ingredients, to generate primary demand in the target market, and to counteract the similar products launched by the competitors. The special features are highlighted to attract the prospective consumers.

When the product is on the growth stage, this type of advertising attempts to generate a relationship with the consumers, establishing a brand image and “brand name recall process”. Co-operative form of advertising may be used for the benefit of the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.

In this method all of them share the expenditure on advertising in their common interest. Any necessary information regarding the availability, the sources of supply and services offered may be communicated through this process.

The product advertising may be classified into following groups:

i. Direct Action Advertising:

It instigates the buyer to take immediate action. In this type, the response of the prospective consumer is expected in a positive form. Some rewards or benefits are offered to the buyers to increase the purchase. Direct mail advertising is capable of achieving immediate action to a large extent.

Introduction of credit card system has also made direct marketing more attractive to the consumers. Technological advances have made direct marketing more efficient for marketers and more beneficial for shoppers. Advancement in computer technology allowed marketers to identify the customers and prospects from the predetermined database, and to select the purchasers and prospects for a given offer. The advent of cyber shopping was made possible with the help of internet communication system.

ii. Indirect Action Advertising:

In this case, the advertiser is not keen on immedi­ate action. The objective is to build the reputation of the advertised brand. Development of the relationship with the customer is of importance to fetch better result in future. Mental association with the consumer is the basic approach for long run understanding. This method is more effective in case of costly electronic equipments or any durable goods.


The customer relationship marketing (CRM) may be defined as a process of acquiring customers by understanding their requirements, retaining customers by fulfilling their expectations and attracting new customers through customer specific strategic marketing approaches. In the development of relationship, marketing approach is gaining importance due to the increase of competition in market situation.

Significance of this form of strategy from organisational point of view may be analysed as follows:

a. Expansion of customer base,

b. Generation of more loyal customer,


c. Encouraging customer selectivity approach.

d. Reduction of other promotional expenses,

e. Increased scope of introduction of new products,

f. Scope of product extension,


g. Patronisation of consumers in difficult period,

h. Proactive and reactive measures adopted to satisfy customer etc.

iii. Combination of Direct-Indirect Action Advertising:

Sometimes a combination form of advertising may be of interest to the advertisers. In this case, an attempt is made to generate a brand image along with the responsive schemes to encourage the prospects to react instantly in favour of buying decision, for example, an advertisement of an air-conditioner may offer a free booklet on after sales services. Special offers may be attached if purchase is made within a specific period.

The effect of Direct-action advertising can be assessed statistically from the responses received. Indirect-action advertising can only be felt but cannot be measured accurately.

Type # 2. Institutional Advertising:

The form of institutional advertising is dependent on establishing an institutional identity. The corporate image advertising specifically denotes a corporate campaign that highlights the superiority or desirable characteristics of the advertiser.


This type of advertising is devoted to develop the consumer’s attitudes relating to the organisation or institution. The appeals are directed to create goodwill for the advertiser, rather than to create demand for a particular product. The advertiser attempts to convince the buyers regarding the integrity of the organisation.

The institutional advertising is an extension of public relation function. It is the objective to generate an image of the organisation and to establish confidence on the consumers and the prospects. The objective of this form of advertising is to generate total reliability on the organisation and to develop confidence. For example Tata, Hutch or Reliance are engaged in this type of advertising policies.

The aim of institutional advertising may be analysed as follows:

a. Promotion of a public service;

b. Generating awareness about innovation, achievement and development;

c. Employees welfare schemes and development of Corporate image;


d. Job opportunities;

e. Opening a debate on controversial issues

Type # 3. Advocacy Advertising:

It attempts to highlight contemporary arguments directed to a specific group.

Advocacy advertising may be of the following forms:

i. Ideological advertisement

ii. Defence advertisement


iii. Reply bound advertisement, and

iv. Position taking advertisement.

This type of advertising has the advantage of exhibiting messages un­der controlled situations of the advertiser. The advertiser can plan a series of advertisements as a campaign, supporting its views.

A company uses Advocacy or Issue Advertising to communicate its views on social issues to make a political or social statement. For example an Insur­ance company advertised to stress on tougher ‘drunk-driving laws’. The ad­vertisement performs a community service with its ”Don’t drink and drive” message.

Advocacy advertising has increased in use over the past few years and has also met with increased criticism. Critics argued that companies with large advertising budget, purchase too much ad space and time and advo­cacy advertisements may be misleading.

Type # 4. Transit Advertising:

It is a form of outdoor advertising which includes the posters seen in bus shelters and train, airport and subway stations. Transit advertising is targeted at the millions of people who are exposed to commercial transportation facilities, including buses, taxis, trains, elevators, airplanes, subways etc. Much of this spending has come from packaged goods companies such as Nestle, Colgate and other service agencies like Banks, Insurance companies etc.


Transit Advertising may be of three types:

i. Inside Cards

ii. Cutside Posters and

iii. Station, Platform or Terminal Posters.

i. Inside Cards – It is placed above the seats and luggage area, TV and Radio stations, Electronic message boards that display the advertising information, pro­vide the advertiser with a more attention-getting medium.

ii. Outside Posters – It may appear on the sides, back of buses, taxis, trains, subways etc. The advertisements appear in colour, fitted with illumination arrange­ment to attract the audience.

iii. Station, Platform and Terminal Posters – Electronic signs and other forms of advertising that appear in train or subway stations airline terminals, bus stations arc termed as transit advertising.

Advantages of Transit Advertising:

i. Exposure – The length of exposure of this form of advertisement is long. It is exposed to a large number of audience.

ii. Frequency – The ads are exposed in a repeated fashion to the commuters those who ride buses, trains etc.

iii. Timeliness – An advertising promotion of a particular product at a shopping area could be a very timely communication.

iv. Geographic Selectivity – Local advertisers find an opportunity to reach the selective segment by exposing through this network.

v. Cost – This form is less expensive in comparison to the other costly media.


i. Image Factor – It provides low image in comparison to other media.

ii. Reach – The reach is limited to specific geographical locations.

iii. Creative limitation – The message and the copy of advertising maintain a stereotype fashion.

iv. Mood of the Audience – Some crowded moments or pressure of movements may generate adverse mood of the audience.

Other Types:

There may be other different categories of advertising:

i. Manufactures’ Advertising:

a. Industrial goods e.g. Motors, Cranes etc.

b. Consumer goods e.g. Food products, Cosmetics etc.

ii. Commercial Advertising:

a. Trade e.g. Hotels, Nursing Home etc.

b. Profession e.g. Lawyers, Doctors etc.

c. Farm e.g. Fertilisers, farm products etc.

iii. Non-Commercial Advertising:

a. Charitable Institution e.g. Hospitals, clubs etc.

b. Educational Institution e.g. School, College, etc.

iv. Rational and Emotional Advertising:

a. Rational Advertising elaborates the use value of a particular product rationally e.g., the medicinal value of a particular brand of powder for particular health benefit.

This form of advertising focuses on consumer’s functional need for the product. Rational motives can be used as the basis for advertising appeals. The motives may be based on economy, convenience, comfort etc.

b. Emotional Advertising:

Advertisers can use emotional appeals in many ways in their creative strategy. These appeals convey an emotional message and are designed around an image intended to create a response based on feelings and attitudes.

‘Hutch’ developed an ad campaign, depicting the emotional bond­age of a dog with a little boy, and successfully transmitted the message relating to connectivity, and used the tag line ‘wherever you go, our net­work follows’.

It may utilise the stature of a popular person by associating the name or photograph of the celebrity, to popularise the product. It is assumed that the perceived image would provide an aura of credibility around the brand and this in turn could persuade consumers to decide in favour of the brand.

What are the Different Types of Advertising – Corporate Advertising, Brand Advertising, Recruitment Advertising, Social Advertising and a Few Others

Advertising may be classified into the following categories according to its scope and purpose:

1. Corporate Advertising:

It identifies clients’ strengths and highlights them in the right way. By selecting the right media, it makes the clients’ corporate identity come shining through. Everything an ad agency does for clients—from strategy to creative conceptualizing to media planning, fulfils the client’s fundamental need to be recognized by its target audience as per the company’s choice.

2. Financial Advertising:

It combines an in-depth understanding of the financial market with superb creative skills to deliver campaigns that influence both institutional and retail investors’ decisions.

3. Brand Advertising:

Outstanding creativity bring brands to life, creating an everlasting image of the product in the minds of the consumer. Today, brands have more value than the product in itself, to the extent that young consumers are willing to pick up fake goods sporting a popular brand name such as Lacoste, Nike, or Adidas because they are associated with status.

Branding has become such an important aspect of advertising that brand management today is a business activity in itself.

4. Government Advertising:

This category includes corporate campaigns, product campaigns, public service campaigns as well as a vast array of design and print jobs for conveying the messages of the government to its people. Messages include information about diseases, family planning, vaccines, government bonds, etc.

This involves understanding the complexities and procedures involved in a large number of government and state-owned organizations both at the national and state level.

5. Recruitment Advertising:

Recruitment is a key corporate activity. A recruitment advertisement should not only describe what it looks for in a candidate but also what it can offer, make it more appealing, not only to the aspiring candidate but also to the reader in general. Most importantly, it must motivate the right people to respond.

6. Social Advertising:

The objective of social advertising is to change public attitude and behaviour and stimulate positive social change. This includes advertisements by NGOs and public sector companies about protecting historical monuments or using energy-efficient fuel. Social advertising is challenging as it requires that the importance of the message be maintained while making it alluring to the masses.

What are the Different Types of Advertising – Consumer and Industrial Advertising, Trade and Farm Advertising, Push and Pull Advertising and a Few Other Types

The important types of advertising are as follows:

1. Consumer and industrial advertising – Consumer advertising is given for the satisfaction of interests of consumers. The price of the product, its quality, packaging, size, etc., is notified to the consumers in such advertising. Industrial advertising is made for the satisfaction of needs and interests of industrial users. It contains the information relating to different kinds of machines, semi-finish goods and equipment etc.

2. Trade and farm advertising – Trading advertising is aimed to motivate the retails traders to maintain sufficient stock of the goods of different qualities. This advertising is given by the producers and wholesalers. Farm advertising is aimed towards farmers for purchase of agricultural machinery, equipment, fertilizers, tractors, etc.

3. Push and pull advertising – Where the purpose of advertising is to motivate the middlemen for maximum sales, ‘it is known as push advertising. Pull advertising is meant for motivating the consumers to maximum purchases.

4. Primary and selective advertising – Primary advertising is one which is done to increase the usual demand of a product, like the advertisement for protection of health of children, suggesting to use protein and energy contained food. Selective advertising is done to create demand for specific type of goods; for example, the advertisement – “Complan, a planned food for growing children” etc.

5. Direct-action and Indirect action advertising – Direct action advertising expects from the consumers to act immediately on seeing the advertisement expecting them to place orders or to demand for samples. Indirect-action advertising is one, the purpose is to increase the demands’ gradually for a long-term basis. The consumers do not react to the advertisement immediately, but after some time.

6. Pioneering and sustaining advertising – Pioneering advertising is made to create demands for newly produced goods for which no demand exists till new. For instance, advertising in a rural village for the sale of TVs and computers. Sustaining advertisement is made to maintain the demands of an existing good already present in the market.

7. Product and institutional advertising – Product oriented advertising is given to increase the sale or increase the brand image of specific goods. For instance, the advertising for increasing the sales of Fair and lovely face cream. Institutional advertising is that which is done for making publicity of the name of any business institution, to increase its goodwill. When the name penetrates, the sales will increase, for example; the advertisement of Hindustan Liver Ltd., TISCO; State Bank of India; etc.

8. National and local advertising – National advertising is given at the national level, for the goods that are sold throughout the nation. Local advertising is done for the goods which have only limited demands, for which advertising is done by the middlemen.

9. Informative and competitive advertising – The main object of such advertising is to educate the consumers by providing different kinds of information. Competitive advertising is made to win over the competitors advertising as a reaction against the competitors.

What are the Different Types of Advertising – Product Advertising, Selective Advertising, Institutional Advertising, Primary Demand Advertising and a Few Other Types

Advertising may be classified into the following categories:

Type # 1. Product Advertising:

Normal characteristic of advertising is to create primary demand for a product category rather than for a specific brand. It is wrongly believed that product advertising must stress on brand name. This is based on the feeling that a good image often enhances the effectiveness of product advertising. Naturally, the stress is laid on the brand. However, in practice, most companies were successful in marketing the product image by using the brand names {e.g., Dalda, Dettol, Horlicks). In short, where the company tries to sell its product or services through advertising it may be referred to as product advertising.

Type # 2. Selective or Competitive Advertising:

When a product enters growth stage of the life cycle and when competition begins, advertising becomes competitive or selective. Here, the goal of advertising is to influence demand for a specific product or service. Often, promotion becomes less information and more emotional during this phase. Advertising may begin to stress subtle differences in brands, with heavy emphasis on ‘brand name recall’. Pricing also will be used as a key promotional weapon as products become very similar.

Type # 3. Institutional Advertising:

Where the objective of advertising is to project the image of a company or its services, it takes the form of an institutional advertising. These advertisements are not always directed only to consumers. Instead, it may be aimed at many of the various sets of public (shareholders, creditors, etc.). It is not at all product-oriented, but is designed to enhance the image of the company.

Type # 4. Primary Demand Advertising:

It is intended to stimulate primary demand for a new product or product category. It is heavily utilised during the introduction stage of the product life cycle.

Type # 5. Comparative Advertising:

This is a highly controversial trend in competitive markets that is recently noticed. Such types of advertising stress on comparative features of two or more specific brands in terms of product/service attributes. This method is adopted in the maturity stage when similar products appearing the market fast constitute a stiff competition. Comparative advertising delivers information not previously available to consumers”. When comparative advertising appears it reveals the intensity of competition in the market.

Type # 6. Shortage Advertising:

When shortage in the supply of products occurs, advertising often disappears into the background. A concrete example is found in the case of petroleum products that since the oil crisis in 1974, virtually advertising for these products ceased. But the intelligent marketers have found that advertising is still a viable marketing tool during times of shortage. This is what is termed as shortage advertising.

In such kinds of advertising new promotional objective may be incorporated such as:

(a) Educating the user of more efficient means of utilising the product, thus reducing the demand;

(b) To reduce customer pressure on the sales force;

(c) Improving goodwill; and

(d) Making appeal to save resources.

Type # 7. Co-Operative Advertising:

When manufacturers, wholesalers and/or retailers jointly sponsor and share the expenditure on advertising, it takes the form of co-operative advertising. Such advertising would carry the names of all the parties involved. From the point of view of the customers this is beneficial as they could get the articles directly from the authorised outlets. For example, the manufacturers of cars undertake this type of advertising.

Type # 8. Non-Commercial Advertising:

These are usually published by charitable institutions preferably to solicit general and financial help (e.g., collection of donations or sale of tickets.)

Type # 9. Direct Action Advertising:

Advertising that stresses and persuades immediate buying of the product is known as direct action advertising. Direct mail advertising is capable of achieving immediate action to a large extent.

Type # 10. Commercial Advertising:

It is also termed as business advertising. As the name suggests such advertising is solely meant for effecting increase in sales.

Usually the following forms of commercial advertising are recognised:

(a) Industrial advertising —this is exclusively used for selling industrial products.

(b) Trade advertising —advertising relating to a trade.

(c) Professional advertising —undertaken by professional people such as doctors, accountants, etc.

(d) Farm advertising —exclusively used for selling farm products such as fertilisers, insecticides, farm implements, etc.

Some kind of specialisation is found in all the above forms of advertising. Hence all these forms could be commonly called selective advertising.

What are the Different Types of Advertising – Product Advertising, Corporate Advertising, Selective Advertising, Comparative Advertising and a Few Others

Advertisements are a good way for a company to increase awareness of its name, phone number, and or brands. Since the advent of the early form of advertising, advertising communication objectives have diversified considerably, and different forms of advertising can be identified while using the same media.

Advertising can be classified into the following categories:

Type # 1. Product Advertising:

Where the company tries to sell its product or services through advertising, it may be referred to as product advertising. But a product has to be good and should give satisfaction to the needs of the consumer only then will the advertising objective can be a success.

Even a bad product could be sustained in the market place with a good advertising, but what matters in the long run is the ability of the product to seemingly stand out in the minds of the consumers. If the consumer knows the brand and the associated benefits attached with the product the advertising objective can easily be achieved thereby bringing about an increase in the sales.

Type # 2. Institutional/Corporate Advertising:

Where the objective of advertising is to project the image of a company or its services, it is called institutional advertising. The purpose is to communicate differently in a saturated advertising world and to fight against the fatigue of product advertising with a softer approach, by drawing attention to the firm itself, its merits, its values and talents. Clearly, the effectiveness of this kind of advertising can only be evaluated in the long-term.

So the objectives of this type of advertising are:

i. To make the company known

ii. To make its products / services known.

iii. To make its achievements known.

iv. To make its values known.

v. To make socio-political / economic / moral statements.

Type # 3. Selective/Competitive Advertising:

When a product enters growth stage of the life cycle and when competition begins, advertising becomes competitive or selective. Here, the goal of advertising is to influence demand for a specific brand. Advertising may begin to stress subtle differences in brands, with heavy emphasis on ‘brand name recall’.

Type # 4. Comparative Advertising:

Advertising may also be comparative advertising, which compares two or more products, specifically, identified brands in the same general product class. The comparison is made in terms of one or more specific product characteristics.

Type # 5. Commercial Advertising:

It is also termed as business advertising. As the name suggests such advertising is solely meant for effective increase in sales.

Usually, the following forms of commercial advertising are recognized:

i. Industrial Advertising – this is exclusive used for selling industrial products.

ii. Professional Advertising – This is undertaken by professional people such as – doctors, accountants etc.

iii. Trade Advertising – This is advertising related to trade.

iv. Farm Advertising – This type of advertising is exclusively used for selling farm products such as – fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, farm equipments etc.

Type # 6. Advocacy Advertising:

Attempts to change public opinion in an area where there is controversy. For example, ads run by the teachers’ union against vouchers or the coal industry ads encouraging the use of coal by power plants. Some claim that this may not be advertising.

Type # 7. Interactive Advertising:

Interactive advertising is the use of interactive media to promote and/or influence the buying decisions of the consumer in an online and offline environment. Interactive advertising can utilise media such as the Internet, interactive television, mobile devices (WAP and SMS), as well as kiosk-based terminals.

Interactive advertising affords the marketer the ability to engage the consumer in a direct and personal way, enabling a sophisticated and dimensional dialogue, which can affect a potential customer’s buying decisions particularly in an e-commerce environment.

Interactive advertising is also assuming other avatars, such as – online directories for brands. These directories presently perform a complementary role to conventional advertising, helping viewers recall and compare brands primarily seen on television. Response is mediated usually through forms and click-to-call technologies.

Type # 8. Service Advertising:

The following are essential points about what constitutes a service are to be remembered:

i. They are activities, benefits or satisfaction offered for sale.

ii. They are intangible, inseparable, variable and perishable in nature.

iii. Require strict quality control, supplier credibility and adaptability.

Specialized services like consulting; being a doctor even an advertising agency is an example of advertising. They may talk about congenial environment, quickness and promptness of service, economy, exclusiveness, and status significance. Hotels and airlines, when advertising their services, attach greater importance to service with a smile, courtesy, thoughtfulness and claim that they offer a home away from home.

Type # 9. Financial Advertising:

It is an advertising activity which is undertaken by companies, firms, or organization involved in financial markets, such as – Unit Trusts, Assurance, Building Societies, or Banks. It is a financial advertising which accompanies financial programmes since the viewers of such programmes form the target audience.

Financial programmes are niche audience directed programmes, and are not dependent on TRP ratings. The message becomes focused. Middle class, upper-income bracket people, views satellite channels and these are the people who invest.

Type # 10. Response Advertising:

This is a personalized message of an offer, having the objective of generating a ‘relationship’ with the prospect by encouraging a response from the latter on the basis of which a commercial relation can be built. This encourages a measurable response allowing an immediate appraisal of the effectiveness of the communication.

Type # 11. Covert Advertising – Advertising in Movies:

Covert advertising is a unique kind of advertising in which a product or a particular brand is incorporated in some entertainment and media channels like movies, television shows or even sports. There is no commercial in the entertainment but the brand or the product is subtly (or sometimes evidently) showcased in the entertainment show.

Some of the famous examples for this sort of advertising have to be the appearance of brand Nokia which is displayed on Tom Cruise’s phone in the movie Minority Report, or the use of Cadillac cars in the movie Matrix Reloaded.

Type # 12. Surrogate Advertising – Advertising Indirectly:

Surrogate advertising is prominently seen in cases where advertising a particular product is banned by law. Advertisement for products like cigarettes or alcohol which are injurious to heath are prohibited by law in several countries and hence these companies have to come up with several other products that might have the same brand name and indirectly remind people of the cigarettes or beer bottles of the same brand. Common examples include Fosters and Kingfisher beer brands, which are often seen to promote their brand with the help of surrogate advertising.

Type # 13. Public Service Advertising – Advertising for Social Causes:

Public service advertising is a technique that makes use of advertising as an effective communication medium to convey socially relevant messages about important matters and social welfare causes like AIDS, energy conservation, political integrity, deforestation, illiteracy, poverty and so on.

David Oglivy who is considered to be one of the pioneers of advertising and marketing concepts had reportedly encouraged the use of advertising field for a social cause. Oglivy once said, “Advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest – it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes.”

Today public service advertising has been increasingly used in a non-commercial fashion in several countries across the world in order to promote various social causes. In USA, the radio and television stations are granted on the basis of a fixed amount of public service advertisements aired by the channel.

Type # 14. Celebrity Advertising:

Although the audience is getting smarter and smarter and the modern day consumer getting immune to the exaggerated claims made in a majority of advertisements, there exist a section of advertisers that still bank upon celebrities and their popularity for advertising their products.

Using celebrities for advertising involves signing up celebrities for advertising campaigns, which consist of all sorts of advertising including, television ads or even print advertisements.