The word advertising comes from the Latin word “advertere meaning” to turn the minds of towards”. Advertising is an activity of attracting public attention to a product, service, or business as by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media.
The American Marketing Association has defined Advertising as “any paid form of non-personal presentations and promotion of goods, services or ideas by an identified sponsor”.
This definition requires some elaboration.
Firstly, advertising is paid for, and hence it is a commercial transaction. This is exactly the element with which the term publicity is distinguished from advertising. The publicity is defined as any form of commercially significant news about a product, an institution, a service, or a person published in space or radio that is not paid for by the sponsor. In short, Advertising is a paid form of publicity. Publicity is not a commercial future.
Secondly, Advertising is non-personal. Whatever be the form of advertisements (visual, spoken or written) they are directed at a mass audience, and not directed at the individual as in the case in personal selling.
Finally, advertisements are identifiable with their sponsor or originator, which is not always the case with publicity or propaganda.
Advertisement is a salesmanship in print.
It may be defined as “selling in print or presenting a commodity in print to the people in such a way that they may be induced to buy it”. In simple words, it is a technique of popularizing a product or a service. The basic task of advertising is to communicate information efficiently to groups of individuals that could number in the hundreds or millions.
Advertising is used for communicating business information to the present and prospective customers. It usually provides information about the advertising firm, its product qualities, place of availability of its products, etc. Advertisement is indispensable for both the sellers and the buyers. However, it is more important for the sellers. In the modern age of large scale production, producers cannot think of pushing sale of their products without advertising them. Advertisement supplements personal selling to a great extent. Advertising has acquired great importance in the modern world where tough competition in the market and fast changes in technology, we find fashion and taste in the customers.