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What is advertising?

Definitions of advertising

What is advertising? 

In its simplest terms, advertising:

1. Identifies a current problem / opportunity for a product, service or corporate brand
2. Identifies the consumers who can best solve / create that problem / opportunity
3. Creates the most relevant and distinctive way of communicating to them in creative & media terms

Here is what some people have said when asked to explain it simply:

“Advertising is any paid-for communication overtly intended to inform and/or influence one or more people.”
Jeremy Bullmore, Director, WPP

“I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.”
David Ogilvy

Increasingly, though, definitions of advertising have had to take on board new communications opportunities.  The explosion of media channel opportunities, including social, have made the advertising environment much more complex.

Different media channels and different communications opportunities require different approaches.

Now agencies use a variety of different models of communication:

- persuasion
- engagement
- participation
- facilitation
- conversation

With the constant evolution of digital media channels and the rise of social media, these models will be developing rapidly, making advertising an exciting field to be a part of. 

Last updated 12/03/2018

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