Everything you need to know about the types of advertising media. Advertising media are the means to transmit the message from the advertiser to the particular class of people.

The advertisements may be classified into different categories, based on various forms of media.

Media of advertising means any object or any device which is used to communicate the message, either written or oral, to the potential consumers.

Media selection is possible when one knows about the ‘reach’ and ‘impact’ of each media. Media selection or planning is therefore, the study of different advertising medias in depth because that facilitates media selection and development of media-mix.


Some of the types of advertising media are:-

1. Newspaper 2. Outdoor Advertising 3. Direct Mail Advertising 4. Film Advertising 5. Television 6. Magazine 7. Radio 8. Speciality Advertising 9. Window Display.

Additionally, learn about the features, suitability, merits and limitations of each type of advertising media.

Types of Advertising Media: Indoor Advertising, Outdoor Advertising, Direct Advertising, Promotional Advertising

Types of Advertising Media – 9 Important Types: Newspaper, Outdoor Advertising, Direct Mail Advertising, Film Advertisement, Television, Magazine, Radio and a Few Others

Advertising media are the means to transmit the message from the advertiser to the particular class of people.


A manufacturer can select any one or more of the following media of advertisement to promote his sales:

1. Newspaper:

A newspaper is generally a daily publication containing news and opinions about current events and feature articles. The importance of newspaper is obvious from the fact that newspaper reading is a common habit of most educated people these days. Besides daily newspapers, there are bi-weekly and weekly newspapers also. Newspapers reach almost every place and are read by all kinds of people. Therefore, newspaper can be used as a medium of advertisement with great advantages.

While selecting a newspaper for this purpose, an advertiser has to take into consideration the strength of circulation, the class of readers it serves, the geographical region over which it is popular and the cost of space. Newspaper advertising has many advantages. Firstly, a newspaper has large circulation and a single advertisement in a newspaper can reach a large number of people.

Secondly, continuous advertisement is possible because a newspaper is published daily. An advertiser can repeat his advertisement either daily or weekly.


Thirdly, newspapers provide flexibility in advertising in the sense that advertisement campaign can be initiated and stopped quickly. One day’s notice is sufficient for this purpose.

Newspaper advertising has certain limitations also. Firstly, the life of a newspaper advertisement is very short. Moreover, people devoted only an insignificant part of their days’ time in reading the newspaper. Thus, advertisements are likely to draw the reader’s attention only casually.

Secondly, newspaper advertisement is successful only when the people to be communicated are educated. Thirdly, newspapers cannot be used for coloured advertisements since they are printed in black and white. Because of this, they may fail to help the customers in identifying the product at the point of purchase.

2. Outdoor Advertising:

Outdoor advertising includes the use of poster displays, bill board displays and electrical displays. Posters are fixed or pasted on walls at important public places so that they may intercept the people on their way to work and back home. Painted or bill board displays involve the advertisements directly painted on the boards meant for that purpose. They are quite big in size and are fixed at outstanding locations like busy markets and crossings.


Painted displays take the form of painted walls when the message is painted on the walls. Electrical display involves the use of electrical lights or neon tubes to attract the attention of people particularly during night. Generally, a short message is illuminated in tubes of different colours so that it is conspicuous and attractive. Electrical displays are fixed at heavy traffic centres.

Outdoor advertising is highly flexible and low cost medium. It is very useful for advertising consumer products because advertising can be displayed at various crowded crossings. Outdoor advertisement attracts the attention quickly and requires less time and efforts on the part of the readers.

Moreover, a complete picture of the product can be advertised through outdoor displays. Business concern also use bill boards near the actual side of the business. The recent trend in outdoor advertisement is the use of public transport vehicles for advertising purposes.

3. Direct Mail Advertising:

Direct mail is probably the most personal and selective of all the advertising media. Direct mail is used to send the message directly to the customers. For this purpose, the advertiser has to maintain a mailing list and the mailing list can be expanded or contacted by adding or removing names from the list. But a limitation is posed by the difficulty of getting and maintaining a good mailing list.


Advertisements that are sent by direct mail may be in the form of circular letters, leaflets folders, calenders, booklets and catalogues. Circular letters, folders, calendars, books catalogues. Circular letters are sent to the prospective customers to inform them about the merit of the product and to create their interest in the product. Booklets and catalogues contain the information about the products advertised. Information about the terms of sale and price of different varieties of the product is given to the prospective customers through catalogues.

Mail advertising has a personal appeal since it is addressed to a particular person. The message can be changed whenever the need arises. It also maintains secrecy in advertising. The competitors do not get the information about the advertised material. The main drawback of mail advertisement is that it is not suitable for all types of products and it has a limited coverage.

4. Film Advertisement:

Films are also an important medium of advertisement. Business concerns usually get a short motion picture prepared and distribute it to different cinema houses for displaying it before the commencement of the regular shows or during the period of intermission. Such films are accompanied by running commentary to explain the features, uses and superiority of the product. But film advertisement can be adopted only by the well established firms. Since it involves high cost, small business firms can get cinema slides prepared for display in the cinema halls.

Film advertisement is very effective since it combines spoken worlds and visual presentation of pictures. It also helps in selective advertisement. A trade can advertise his product only in a particular locality if he wants to attract the local customers only. The major drawback of film advertisement is that it is usually ignored by the people. Only a few persons are present in the hall before the start of the film and during the interval, and they too are busy in talking.

5. Television:


Television is the latest and fast growing medium of advertisement. It makes its appeal through both eye and ear. Products can be demonstrated as well as explained as in film advertisement. Television is a very costly medium of advertisement and can be made use of by the well established companies only. Another limitation of television advertisements is that once it is presented, its back reference is not possible as in the case of radio advertisement.

6. Magazine:

Magazines or periodicals are an excellent medium of advertisement when a high quality of printing and colour is desired in an advertisement. Magazine advertisements can be directed towards a particular class of people and thus they avoid wasteful expenditure on advertising. Many specialised magazines or journals are published which can be used for transmitting the message to the particular class of customers.

Magazine advertisements attract greater attention of the people since they are read more carefully and at greater leisure. The life of the magazine advertisements is longer. Magazines are preserved for a long period of time and are read time and again. Since advertisement copy presented in a coloured form, it creates and better image of the product advertised. Exact picture can be portrayed to enable the customer to identify the product at the point of purchase.

Magazine advertisements have certain less favourable characteristics also. Magazine advertisements are to be prepared and sent for publication well in advance. It is not possible to make the last minute change in the advertisement copy. Magazine advertisements are costlier than the newspaper advertisements since their circulation is small. Small circulation is also another drawback of magazine advertising.

7. Radio:

Radio advertisements are gaining greater popularity these days, advertisements are broadcast from the transmitting stations of the commercial service of All India Radio and picked up by the receiving sets owned by the public. Radio advertisements are normally broadcast along with popular programmes of music. Even the sponsored programmes of interviews and plays can be broadcast over the radio.

Radio advertisements carry an effective appeal and cover numerous listeners of different tastes. People can listen to them even when they are busy in other activities. Radio advertisements also reach the illiterate people who cannot read newspapers and magazine’ advertisements. Radio also provides selectivity to some extent because advertisements can be included in different programmes meant for different types of people.

In short, radio advertisements are very much suitable for the promotion of mass scale consumer goods. But demerit of radio advertisement is that it is non-visual. Sometimes, the message is not understood properly by the listeners. Moreover, the message may be missed by many listeners. In order to remove this drawback, many big advertisers give the same advertisement daily in different programmes.

8. Speciality Advertising:

Many business firms offer speciality articles to the present and prospective customers. These articles may be diaries, pen holders, desk trays, key chains, purses, paper weights, cigarette case and calendars. The name and address of the advertiser is printed in or inscribed on the specialty items. They also bear the brand name of the firm. Since these articles are of daily use, they have greater capacity to remind their users about the brand name of the firm offering such articles.

9. Window Display:

Windows display is an on-sight method of advertising. Goods can be exhibited in artistically laid out windows at the shop fronts or at important busy centres like railway stations and bus stops. Large show rooms are organised by the big manufacturers and wholesalers in the main market to advertise their products and attend to the queries of the prospective customers. The retailers also organise attractive display of certain goods in the windows of their shops. Window displays are very popular with the retailers since they help in informing the customers the types of goods available with them.

The main objectives of windows display is to draw the attention of the public and arouse their interest in the products displayed. Almost all the manufacturers insist that their products should be displayed at the retail shops. If a product is displayed properly at the point of purchase by the customers, it can make many customers to buy it. Many people having no preference for a particular brand may discover a particular brand quite appealing and attractive and may purchase it.

Thus, window display creates the demand for the product. Windows display acts as a silent salesman. In order to achieve the purpose of windows display, cleanliness and a well-furnished appearance for the window are essential. Articles should be arranged in a systematic way and, if possible, price tags should also be attached with the articles. It is also better if window displays are changed regularly to make the customers look at the displays every time they visit the shop.

Types of Advertising Media – 4 Major Types: Indoor Advertising, Outdoor Advertising, Direct Advertising and Promotional Advertising (With Merits and Limitations)

The advertisements may be classified into different categories, based on various forms of media.

Type # 1. Indoor Advertising:

i. Press Media:

a. Newspapers:

Newspaper has become a part of the cultural and social life of the people. In India there are large number of English and Regional language Dailies in circulation. Some newspapers are of national levels, some papers are published regionally. There are also some local newspapers to serve a particular locality.

In order to publish an advertisement in a newspaper, the specifications and restrictions regarding technical reproduction should be taken into account. It may be published on display pattern or on classified columns. The technical data for publications are of importance, before selecting particular newspaper.

There are limitation of use of colour photograph. Before selecting a newspaper for publication of an advertisement, the size and area of circulation, the readers profile and the image of the newspaper should be considered. The involvement of cost is also an important factor in newspaper selection and the number of insertions in a particular period.

Booking of a particular space on a particular page of a newspaper is of importance for an impact of the advertisement designed for a target audience. Special incentive schemes offered by the newspaper publishers should be availed for the purpose of reduction of the cost of expenditure.

The Merits:

(i) Low Cost – In comparison to other media, the cost per reader is very low. The paper with wide circulation, will reach the matter to the large number of readers, and the cost of the advertiser per reader will be minimum.

(ii) High Readership – Newspapers cover the topics of variety of interests. The readers will find it interesting to go through the newspaper for variety of subjects inserted in the papers. There are also specific pages, like education, sports, household items, fashions etc., to attract different class of readers.

(iii) Flexibility – According to the need of the advertiser, the size and shape of the insertion can be modified. The advertiser can give option of his choice regarding the page it is to be published. The booking and cancellation of any publication order can be made quickly. Newspapers are generally published daily. The advertisers can use their choice of dates, according to the availability of space.

(iv) Quick Response – The response can be ascertained quickly, as the publications of papers are made on daily basis. In case of urgency, immediate notification can be given to draw attention to any immediate matters.

(v) Frequency – The repetition and publication at a regular interval, will create an impact and will generate awareness and goodwill. Customer relationship can be established through regular contact and announcement of special services offered by the advertiser.

(vi) Measurement of Effectiveness – The advertisement effectiveness can be measured through different schemes published in the newspapers. The effectiveness of the advertisement copy can be tested by inserting local advertisement in local newspapers.

(vii) Reputation – The glamour and high profile of the newspaper will add to the reputation of the product or the services advertised.

The Limitations:

(i) The Visual effects – Newspapers are generally printed in cheap newsprint. It does not facilitate the art work to be published effectively.

(ii) The Life Span – The life span of the insertion in the newspaper is very short. If the matter is overlooked on the particular day, the effect of the appeal is wasted.

(iii) The Waste of Circulation – The newspaper is circulated widely to the areas where there is no market for the product offered. This can be avoided by using the local papers, to reach the target audience.

(iv) The Differential Rates – The rates of advertisements are different, depending on the demand and reputation of the dailies. Hence the size of the display should be compromised to be published at the high profile dailies.

b. Magazines:

The magazines, journals and the periodicals are published fortnightly, monthly or quarterly. They are read leisurely, when the reader is in a mood to go through. The interesting features of the advertisement will attract the attention of the readers.

The magazines are generally produced for particular group of readers interested in the subject. A particular magazine is usually handled by a reader for number of times over a fixed period. The magazines, journals may be of different types, catering various areas of interest, like Business, Sports, Religion, Entertainment etc. There are certain magazines having worldwide circulation like Span, Readers Digest, Life etc.

The Merits:

(i) Better reproduction – The quality of production is better in comparison to newspaper. The paper used and the printing quality is impressive.

(ii) Long Life Span – The magazines are read leisurely. The retention value of the insertion is more than newspaper.

(iii) Attractive Value – The message may be communicated in a more attractive fashion to generate interest. The layout design, using special folder, insertion of sample pouch or coupon etc. may be of more interest.

(iv) Specific Appeal – The magazines are generally read by the people, interested in the magazine contents. Hence the special attention will generate a specific appeal to the readers.

(v) Layout Attraction – In magazines the layout and positioning of the advertisement matters are distributed in a decent fashion. It makes the publication attractive and not cumbrous.

The Limitations:

(i) Low flexibility – The publication in magazines are not flexible as newspapers. The order of publication in a particular issue or cancellation of the publication at the last moment is not smooth.

(ii) Delay in announcement – Due to long period of interval between two editions of the magazines, the advertiser shall have to wait and shall lose time. It will not be possible to announce or highlight any idea, as and when desired.

(iii) Cost is high – In comparison to newspaper the cost of production of a magazine (per unit copy) is higher. So the advertisement cost per insertion will be costlier.

(iv) Limited Subscribers – The number of subscribers of a magazine are less than the number of subscribers of a newspaper. Hence the message advertised will reach to the lesser number of audience.

There are other forms of print publicity. The electric bills, telephone bills, printed tickets etc. offer good place for publicity as they are circulated at a regular interval or on different occasions, to the large number of persons.

ii. Radio Advertising:

It may be described as ‘word of mouth advertising on a whole scale.’ In this media the messages are communicated orally and not visually. The ‘Voice of America’, ‘British Broadcasting Corporation’ (B.B.C.) are well known for broadcasting any information or advertisements.

The All India Radio undertakes commercial broadcasting all over India. FM broadcast in India started in 1980. It is primarily a music channel. A 10 second spot on FM cost between Rs.250 to Rs.750. The reliable audience data of FM broadcast is not available.

According to some experts “In some ways, radio listeners act more like magazine subscribers than television-viewers. They tend to listen habitually, at predictable times, to stations with narrowly targeted formats. They are loyal, identifiable and cheaper to reach than are T.V. audience.”

The Merits:

(i) The Human Appeal – Radio advertisement messages are friendly and warm as face to face conversation. It is alive and dramatic in comparison to printed advertisements.

(ii) It reaches the messages at home – The advertisement effect reaches directly to the people and their family members. The slots chosen for broadcasting is generally comfortable to the mood of the audience. By proper selection of programme and hours of listening, it can contact men, women, children separately to address the message.

(iii) Low Cost – Radio network offer an opportunity to air an advertising message through hundreds of local stations at a lower cost than buying the same stations individually.

(iv) Flexibility – Radio messages can be prepared and transmitted upto last hour alterations. The messages may be presented regularly and frequently for the habituated listeners.

(v) The effort of the listeners – The listeners will exert little efforts to follow and understand a radio advertisement. Only ears are to be lend for understanding a message.

(vi) More personal – The radio transmission creates a personal feeling through interesting presentation. Even not so educated person will also be in a position to receive the message transmitted in a remote locality.

(vii) Live programme – Live programmes are possible in this media.

The Demerits:

(i) The visual presentation is absent – The transmission is only oral. The visual effect is not available in radio broadcasting.

(ii) High Transmission Cost- The transmission cost is very high though it reaches to the larger area. For the local products this medium is not suitable.

(iii) Perishable in nature – If the time slot for transmission is missed, the cost of advertisement is a waste. In press media, the reader will get ample of time to go through the message.

(iv) Not suitable for all kinds of products – The product features with technical details cannot be elaborated and impressed through the radio transmission.

(v) Difficult to follow – The radio message passes very quickly and it is difficult to follow even if one is interested. But in case of printed messages, one can go through number of times.

(vi) Demonstration – In this type there is no scope for demonstration.

iii. Television Advertising:

The Television is a very powerful audio visual medium for advertising product or services. In India T.V. channel was first launched at Delhi in September 1962. The expansion of T.V. network is noteworthy and it has become very effective medium to the advertisers. T.V. provides a scientific synchronisation of features of sound, sight, motion and visual effects to convey a favourable appeal to the target audience.

Different techniques are adopted to present the commercial message through graphics, cartoons etc. for generating the emotions of the viewers. It is a fascinating form of advertising, as appeals are made simultaneously both to the eyes and ears. Now-a-days different private channels are offering various sponsored programmes, highlighting the images of the advertisers.

The Merits of T.V. Advertising:

(i) The Audio Visual Effect – The effects of sound and motion pictures generate attention, interest and curiosity of the audience group.

(ii) Better presentation of the merchandise – The product and its features can be placed before the audience in a more lively fashion. The details of the features can be exposed through various audio-visual skills.

(iii) Better Appeal – It can generate different appeals to different cross section of people, depending on their likes and tastes.

(iv) Colour Effect – It provides colour effect and generate more attraction to create impressions on the audience.

(v) Demonstration – It provides a platform to demonstrate the product and its use value, very systematically and methodically.

The Limitations:

(i) High Cost – T.V. advertisement involves high cost in comparison to press publication. Hence the duration of exposures should be controlled considering the budget appropriation.

(ii) Low Coverage – T.V. is not accessible to all classes of people specially in remote areas. The coverage of audience is lesser in comparison to press advertisement.

(iii) High Production Cost – The cost of production of a T.V. message is very high in comparison to other media.

(iv) Possibility of waste – If the T.V. advertisement is not repeated frequently, the exposure may be missed by the persons to whom it is targeted. The slot of the advertisement should be regulated effectively, otherwise the money spent may be of wastage.

iv. Film Advertising:

The Film Advertising is an effective form of advertising. It has the effect of sound, motion, visuality and clarity. It is an extended and expanded form of T.V. advertisement in a large screen. The film advertising may be of three types – (a) Documentary Film, (b) Straight Advertising Film, (c) Sponsored Advertising Film

The Merits:

(i) High Coverage – This medium covers wide areas including remote villages.

(ii) Possibility of Waste minimum – The audience generally do not miss any part of the advertisement, hence the cost effectiveness of this form of publicity is high.

(iii) Attractive in nature – The film is made to attract the audience along with the detailed features of the product advertised.

(iv) Appeals – It is possible to generate different appeals considering the target audience.

The Limitations:

(i) High Cost of Production – The cost of production of film advertisement is quite expensive.

(ii) Limited to the theatre goers – It can reach only to the persons who visit the theatre and watch the film.

(iii) Short Life – The effect of this presentation is very short. The viewers may not recall, as it is not a long span repetition process.

Screen Slides:

There is another form of advertisement which is known as screen slides. The slides are shown at the beginning of a cinema show or during intervals. These are generally still in form with no sound effect. The message is projected along with photograph. This method of projection is not very costly and the message may be conveyed conveniently.

Type # 2. Outdoor Advertising:

Outdoor advertising is the oldest form of advertisement medium. Painted panels were discovered at Pompeii, where decorated walls displayed the merchandise. Outdoor advertising was generally used as a supportive medium by the established advertisers to generate immediate brand name recognition and to remind the consumers about the brand of the producers.

Outdoor advertising is a pervasive communication form, specially in an urban and suburban area. The positive aspects of success of the outdoor exposure is its ability remain innovative through technology. Outdoor media are partially accepted by the advertisers due to image problems and because of the belief that it is difficult to buy.

The positive aspects and limitations of the medium may be analysed as follows:

The Advantages:

(i) Wide local market coverage – If the advertisements are placed in the centrally located area, the exposure of the message and GRP shall be very high in comparison to other media. It may be exposed during both day and night with the help of illumination effects.

(ii) Flexibility of geographical locations – Outdoor ad can be displayed in any part of the country, where there is a possibility of exposure.

(iii) Creativity is possible – In outdoor advertising media, application of different creative techniques are possible. Different form of illumination, 3-dimensional effects, simulating projections may be used to project the theme of the message in lively fashion and to generate interest of the prospects.

(iv) Frequency of exposure – The outdoor advertisements are placed for a period generally covering a number of months. The long period of exposure shall attract more viewers, and the objective of exposures and reach can be effectively administered through this process.

(v) Effective approach – The effect of the outdoor advertisement may lead to increase of sales. The viewer’s being aware of the product and services, may feel interested to avail the product which will enhance the sale. In a study it was observed that the outdoor advertising along with promotions, shall develop significant positive effect for generation of sales process.

The Limitations:

(i) The messages are brief – Due to the limitation of the space of the media and the speed of movement of the audience, the message inserted in the outdoor advertisement media should be brief. There is no opportunity to focus the full text of the message.

(ii) Possibility of waste is high – The subject of the advertisement may not attract all the audience to whom it is exposed. There is a possibility of great amount of wastage. Due to this hurried movement, some target audience may also miss to notice the relevant exposure.

(iii) Possibility of wear-out – Due to the fixed position of the outdoor media, the possibility of high frequency of exposure of the same message may wear-out the effects of the advertisement. As a counter-check, the message may be altered from time to time.

(iv) Problems of measuring the effectiveness – The reach, frequency and other effects of outdoor advertisement cannot be measured accurately.

(v) Low image – The effect of the advertisement through outdoor media may create some disregard among consumers regarding the products and the organisation.

The outdoor advertising includes the following:

i. Posters:

The Poster is a sheet of paper or plastic with a painted or printed message on the face of a panel. The panels are properly framed to hang or to be attached with the guards in the specific places where they are to be projected. Generally this type of posters are placed on the railway stations, roads and highways where these will be noticed by the public.

The space for display is to be booked with the prior permission of the proper authorities. Generally the size of the panels are of standard measurement. The authorities will allow the display of the posters against the specific charges, depending on the importance of the locations. This form of media can be organised at a low cost with visual effects.

The merits:

(i) The cost is lower in comparison to other media.

(ii) It offers great selectivity.

(iii) It is semi-permanent in nature.

(iv) The arrangement is flexible.

(v) Coverage is greater.

The Limitations:

(i) It has got low prestige value.

(ii) The message should be brief.

(iii) It is difficult to measure the effect on the prospect.

(iv) It is of little value without wide spread distribution of display.

ii. Bill Boards / Hoardings or Mural Advertising:

It is in the form of posters in a big form. It is the combination of the message presented in an attractive fashion, with decor and light arrangements. The boards are generally placed at the prominent places to attract the viewers. The design should be attractive to generate interest of the prospects.

It creates the image of the brand and the product and generates the awareness. It is not very costly form and flexible in nature. The span of the effect will depend on the booking time and variation of the display effect. The places like the office areas, important road crossings, market places should be chosen for this type of advertising.

The Merits:

(i) The cost is not very high.

(ii) The place and time is flexible.

(iii) The design may be changed frequently.

(iv) The features may be displayed visually.

(v) Coverage is high depending on budget.

(vi) It is semi-permanent in nature.

The Limitations:

(i) The message should be brief.

(ii) It is difficult to measure the effect on the prospects.

(iii) It should be used only as a supplementary form in addition to other media of advertising.

(iv) It is dependent on the availability of the suitable locations.

iii. Mobile – Advertising:

This is a form of moving or mobile advertisements. The advertisements are given on moving vehicles such as buses, trams, trains etc. Recently on metropolitan cities, some media agencies have introduced special vehicles, only for the purpose of carrying advertisement board in a well-designed form fitted with lights and other equipments.

These media agencies offer to the advertisers the facilities on a contractual basis. The vehicles travel on the main roads, displaying the advertisement in an attractive fashion to draw the attention of the public. The vehicle is also positioned at the important places to draw attention of the viewer’s closely. This type of media is gaining interest of the advertisers and the prospects in the cities.

The Merits:

(i) The coverage of this media is comparatively high.

(ii) The features can be highlighted in an interesting fashion.

(iii) The cost is not very high.

(iv) The choice is flexible.

(v) It generates appeals to the consumer.

The Limitations:

(i) The media is available only in a limited fashion.

(ii) The effect is not for long span.

(iii) It is difficult to measure the effectiveness.

iv. Electric Signs:

This is an attractive form of outdoor display. It is visible in the evening and night when it is dark. The neon signs and glow signs can create an image and can display different designs. These signs are generally placed at important positions like road crossings, market places, railway stations, etc.

The Merits:

(i) It is not costly.

(ii) It is clearly visible.

(iii) It generates interest and creates impressions.

(iv) It is flexible.

The Limitations:

(i) The coverage is not high.

(ii) The availability of this medium is limited.

(iii) The message should be very short.

v. Sky Advertising:

Usually large balloons are floated from high rise buildings, carrying the advertisement message. This form is not a regular feature of advertisement. This is usually organised in any fair or in festive season to attract the prospects. This form of media is limited in use.

The Merits:

(i) It is not costly.

(ii) It can gain attention.

(iii) It is flexible.

(iv) It is a good medium for the use in a fair ground and in a festive season.

The Limitations:

(i) The message is brief.

(ii) The life span is short.

(iii) The prestige value is low.

Type # 3. Direct Advertising:

In this method, the printed materials are directly forwarded to the prospects for information and generation of interest. This method is direct in its approach. The advertiser determines the persons to whom the messages are to be sent. It is also to be ascertained the manner in which it is to be directed. This is a personal form of approach and flexible in nature. Understanding the conditions and situations, the form should be redesigned to penetrate the emotions of the prospects.

The well designed personal approach shall create an emotional appeal on the addressee. This method is less costly and can be applied on the selected target group. A mailing list is to be prepared based on primary or secondary information and the list is to be finalised on objectively selected basis. The mailing messages are forwarded judiciously in a time frame programme.

The messages may be distributed in the following ways:

(i) By Mail.

(ii) Through retail stores or salesmen.

(iii) May be inserted in the packages.

The mailing list may be prepared from the following information: 9

(i) List prepared from different directories.

(ii) List of names collected from clubs, organisations, nursing homes, civil or social bodies,

(iii) Government published records like voter list, ration card holders etc.

(iv) List prepared by the salesperson.

(v) Present or past customers.

The Direct Advertising may be of different forms. It may be in the form of -letter addressed to the prospects, giving information or notification, designed by the advertiser to draw the attention on the message conveyed. The letter may be in a single page or in a form of a folder. It may include different necessary specifications relevant to the message.

The detailed information may be included in the catalogue. Multi-coloured pictures may be used for better understanding of the subject mentioned. In order to generate the interest of the prospect, the sample of the product or a token gift may also be offered through mail service.

The merits of Direct Advertising:

(i) The direct mail offers a personal touch.

(ii) The messages can be changed and altered to suit different conditions.

(iii) According to the wishes of the advertiser the time may be selected.

(iv) It is economical and cheaper in comparison to other forms of advertising.

(v) It can cover long distance prospects.

The Limitations:

(i) The making of the mail list is a difficult task.

(ii) It is not suitable for all types of products.

(iii) The effect of this process is not always positive.

Type # 4. Promotional Advertising:

i. Point of Purchase Advertising:

In this method the manufacturers or the dealers undertake-the advertising process directly. Here the prospective customers are in direct touch with the advertisers at the ‘show room’ or stores. It may be in different forms like Window display, Interior display, Counter display, Showrooms.

In Window Display, the products are arranged in attractive fashion in glass window show case, which is visible from outside. The passersby will be attracted and the prospects will find interest to enquire.

In Interior or Counter display, the products are arranged inside the shop. It may be arranged in the exclusive show rooms or through the retailers.

The effectiveness of the point of purchase is dependent on –

(i) The expertise of the sales person,

(ii) The position and location of the show room,

(iii) The display style and design.

ii. Trade Fair / Exhibitions:

Fairs and Exhibitions are the places where the sellers and buyers meet directly. It is the opportunity of the manufacturer to exhibit their products and to explain the special features. The buyers on the other hand can gather the first hand information about the utility of the products.

Proper presentation and attractive display shall attract more buyers and prospects. It is a good opportunity to introduce a new product and to clarify the special attributes of the product. The buyer on the other hand shall have the liberty to make a choice rationally. It is a platform for the advertiser and the consumer to interact and to gather necessary information directly.

iii. Speciality Advertising:

In this form of advertising the manufacturer offers different items such as diaries, calendars, key chains, pens etc. free to the prospective or existing customers. The names of the advertiser or the manufacturer are inserted or printed on the free gifts. This form of advertisements promote a good feeling and personal touch.

iv. Net Advertising:

Now a days Web is becoming a popular medium for different types of products and services. Big organisations generally create web sites to percolate information with graphics and animation. It gives an opportunity to the Internet surfers to gather information regarding different categories of products and their promotional schemes and also with the facility to purchase the goods and services.

The benefits of Net advertising may be stated as follows:

(i) Information can be conveyed to the target audience.

(ii) Demographic profile of the consumers can be selected and proper message can be forwarded to the prospective consumers.

(iii) Messages can be updated with speed and accuracy.

(iv) Responses of the advertisements can be evaluated quickly.

(v) The reactions of the target audience can be attended and handled immediately.

(vi) Response rate of the target audience may be accelerated through control and rotating banners in a series.

(vii) Media planners can select the suitable ad banners for maximum effectiveness.

(viii) This form is highly effective for business to business marketing.

Internet facilities provide an effective platform to fulfill the communication objectives in the following manner:

(i) It can create awareness

(ii) Information can be disseminated effectively.

(iii) Images can be reflected as designed by the organisation.

(iv) It may be used as a useful tool for branding.

(v) It may provide the facility of stimulating trial of the products or services.

Inspite of all the above positive features the use of Internet as an advertising media is not very popular to the all sections of advertisers for different reasons. Common people of India is still unaware of handling Internet facilities for various reasons. The cost of personal computer is still very high for the purpose of purchase by the middle income group.

The Internet is a worldwide means of exchanging information and communicating through a series of interconnected computers.

The features and the uses of Internet may be analysed as follows:

(i) Electronic Mail (e-mail) – Allows users to send electronic mail any­where in the world to other internet users.

(ii) Usenet – Discussion groups, news groups and electronic bulletin boards, similar to online banking or other online services.

(iii) Telnet – Online databases, library catalogues and electronic journals

(iv) Client Server – Facilitates the transfer of files from mainframe computer to another.

(v) World Wide Web (WWW) – Enables to retrieve full text information through Wide Area Information Server (WAIS) and a document retrieval system with sound, graphic images, video and hypertext on a single page.

Large number of marketers have turned to the Internet as a prospective medium for promoting their brands. Unilever stressed advertising the brands as Lipton tea, Dove soap, Vaseline through internet. Online sales tripled from $707 million in 1996 to $2.6 billion in 1997. Proctor & Gamble which spends $ 3 billion a year on advertising, spent $12 million on Internet marketing in 1998.


(i) Internet is a global medium for transmitting information which is accessible around the world.

(ii) It provides instant feedback to marketers.

(iii) Customer can establish direct relationship with the advertiser.

(iv) It can reach potential consumers when they are ready to purchase.

(v) The websites provide in-depth information about products and services available.


(i) Internet is very costly.

(ii) Targeting cost is comparatively high in comparison to other media.

(iii) In developing and underdeveloped countries, this form of media is not available to all classes of people.

(iv) Sometimes financial transactions through internet is not safe and encouraging.

(v) Limited creative capabilities.

Suitability of Particular Advertising Medium:

1. Television:

This medium is very effective and can fulfill the following objectives:

(i) To give information

(ii) To generate interest

(iii) To remind continuously.

It can attract the mass market with different appeals. It is most effective medium for the purpose of introduction of new product. Its impact is very effective in case of creative form of advertising.

2. Radio:

This medium is not that effective for introduction of a new product. The creativity of advertising cannot be reproduced through this medium. It reaches to the wider market and suitable for the consumer goods for the daily use. Technical details of products cannot be expressed to generate awareness among the consumers. This medium can be used effectively for reminder oriented advertising for products or services.

3. Newspapers:

This medium can reach a product to the mass market with the hammering effect. But it cannot enhance the institutional image to that length, so desired. It is suitable for the products already in the market. This medium is effective for persuasion and shall act as a reminder to the prospects. Hence it is best suited, for the product which has already generated an initial, demand.

4. Magazines:

This media is effective for creating initial demand of a product. It is more effective than radio or newspaper for generation of interest to the target group. It is useful for information, persuasion and reminder. The specialist magazines are very useful for speciality products and services. The colourful technical details can be exposed to create an impression and to generate interest on the matter advertised.

5. Direct Mail:

It is very effective medium for the advertiser with defined target market and selective mailing list. This medium may be advantageously used for introduction, information, persuasion and as a reminder. Personal touch and feeling is the key factor for successful communication. Well designed, tailor- made mail can project the image of the institution,

6. Outdoor Advertising:

This medium is useful for the product or services already in the market. It is helpful for persuasion and reminder effect of the existing product. Consumer goods and consumer durable goods can be advertised successfully through this medium to yield better result. The medium can influence the buying decision at the point of purchase.

Types of Advertising Media – With Types, Suitability, Advantages and Disadvantages

Media of advertising means any object or any device which is used to communicate the message, either written or oral, to the potential consumers. Media selection is possible when one knows about the ‘reach’ and ‘impact’ of each media. Media selection or planning is therefore, the study of different advertising medias in depth because that facilitates media selection and development of media-mix.

Any advertising media should be capable to accomplish three objectives:

1. It must reach the largest possible number of people;

2. It must be less expensive; and

3. It must gain their attention.

The medias that are commonly used for advertising are as follows:

1) Press Advertising

2) Outdoor Advertising

3) Mail Advertising

4) Entertainment Advertising.

Type # 1. Press Advertising:

Press is considered to be the most popular media of advertising these days. It is also known as – ‘Print Media’ and ‘Press Media’. It is an important media to carry the advertising message in print to the target consumers through newspapers, magazines or journals. The print media have always been a popular advertising medium.

Advertising products via newspapers or magazines is a common practice. In addition to this, the print media also offers options like promotional brochures and fliers for advertising purposes.

Types of Press Advertising:

i. Newspapers

ii. Magazines and Journals.

i. Newspapers Advertisement:

All the advertisements made through newspapers are called newspapers advertisement. They are appropriate means for announcing new products and new additions to existing products. They can be used for local, regional and national market coverage. Newspapers in India are published in more than 90 languages.

During 2005-06, the number of dailies being published in the country was 2130. Their claimed circulation figure was 8,88,63,048 copies, 12.93% higher than that the previous year. Hindi had 942 dailies claiming a circulation of 7,66,98,490 copies, while 201 English dailies claimed 3,41,06,816 copies.


Newspapers are best suited to advertising products of company’s already known to consumers. Not generally suited to establishing primary demand or to enhance an institution’s image.

Advantages and Disadvantages:


a. Low cost

b. Wide publicity

c. Good flexibility and timeliness

d. Regular and frequent

e. Increases the knowledge of consumers

f. Makes quick results

g. Contains interesting matter for everyone, ‘business, fashion, sports, economy, home, comics and puzzles’.


a. Shortest life

b. No chances for display and demonstrations

c. Waste of circulation

d. Not suited for uneducated customers

e. Lacks personal touch with the consumers.

ii. Magazines and Journals:

When an advertisement is published in a magazine or a journal, it is called magazine or journal advertisement. These are published periodically at regular intervals; therefore, these are also called periodicals.

These may be of three types:

a. General Magazines – These magazines are meant for everyone. These magazines cover almost every field of life. Example – Sunday, Sarita, Weekly of India etc.

b. Specialized Magazines – These magazines are meant for a specific group of people. Example – Competition Master, Marketing Mastermind etc.

c. Special Issues – These are very special issues such as – directories etc.


It is better than newspapers for creating initial demand. It can be used to inform, persuade and remind.

Advantages and Disadvantages:


a. Long shelf life

b. Good colour and picture reproduction

c. Comparatively low cost

d. Good target market selectivity

e. Durability of Ad message

f. More affluent audience.


a. Long lead time limiting flexibility

b. Slow exposure built-up

c. Limited circulation

d. Lack of urgency

e. Not suitable for uneducated people.

Type # 2. Outdoor Advertising:

Outdoor Advertising has also changed dramatically in India. Outdoor advertising is also a very popular form of advertising, which makes use of several tools and techniques to attract the customer’s outdoors .Although still relatively behind countries like USA, UK and Japan, this media is also drawing the attention of industries.

One of the latest forms of advertising is the three-dimensional hoarding used by the firms like the Lloyds Group and Zee to launch a new newspaper DNA in Mumbai. Outdoor Advertising is also known as ‘Mural Advertising’ or ‘Outdoor Media’ of advertising.


These are meant for the moving public and provide the advantage of reminding the people frequently about the product i.e., primarily reminded-oriented or designed to influence the buying decision at the point of purchase.


i. Posters

ii. Advertising Boards

iii. Painted Display

iv. Electric Display

v. Sandwich Boards

vi. Neon signs

vii. Stickers

viii. Sky Advertising

ix. Vehicular Advertising

x. Handbills.


i. Wider coverage

ii. Low cost medium

iii. Comparatively long life

iv. More flexible

v. Attractive

vi. Good media to stress brand names and package identity

vii. High geographic selectivity.


i. Legislative and public opposition

ii. Must have short copy

iii. Lack of personal touch

iv. Limited scope.

Type # 3. Mail Advertising:

Mail Advertising is also known as – ‘Direct Advertising’. Direct Mail Advertising means the form of advertising in which the advertiser’s sends personal message in writing through post to some selected people.

A.X. Nixon defines, “Direct Advertising as any form of advertising in which the message is directed to specific individuals by the advertisers”.


i. Circulars

ii. Business reply cards

iii. Price list

iv. Catalogue

v. Booklets

vi. Publication of organizations

vii. Novelty gifts

viii. Personal letters

ix. Broachers

x. Sales letters

xi. Folders

xii. Package insertions.


It is basically used to inform and persuade. It is most effective for a company with defined target market and selective mailing lists.

Advantages and Disadvantages:


i. Economical

ii. Flexible

iii. Possibility of covering a wide audience

iv. Carries personal touch

v. Provides detailed information

vi. Highly effective

vii. Complete secrecy

viii. Highly selective.


i. Limited approach

ii. Difficult to obtain the right mailing lists

iii. Possibility of misleading information

iv. Frequent changes in mailing lists

v. Suitable for certain commodities only.

Type # 4. Entertainment Advertising:

Entertainment Advertising is also known as ‘Entertainment media’ or ‘Folk Media’ of advertising. This advertising plays important role in the rural markets. These are helpful to advertise the specific products.

Types of Entertainment Advertising:

i. Radio

ii. Television

iii. Cinema or Film

i. Radio:

Radio has become very common these days. In 1994, All India Radio introduced the FM channels in major cities like Delhi and Mumbai. This medium has gained popularity today, as reflected by the decision taken in June 1995 to make this a 24 hour channel. The reach of FM channel has now been extended to several smaller cities.

Radio advertising started in 1920. In India, radio advertising started in 1967 when commercial broadcasting in the name of ‘vividh bharti’ was started.


This media of advertising is very poor for new product or creative advertising. It is best for reminder-oriented advertising for products or services with which people are familiar.

Advantages and Disadvantages:


a. Low production cost

b. Good geographic selectivity

c. Moderate selectivity by tint e and station

d. Good flexibility and timeliness

e. High frequency possible

f. Audience segmentation like ‘mahila jagat’, ‘meow-104.8 FM ‘ etc.

g. Relatively low cost per contact.


a. Has short life

b. No visual information

c. No visual impact

d. Low recollection

e. Low attention value

f. Lack of detailed advertising.

ii. Television:

Television advertising is the bestselling media ever invented. It has a potential advertising impact unmatched by any other media. While TV started a state owned medium in 1959, by 1985 the scenario had changed dramatically and by October 1992 the Doordarshan network included 22 programme-producing centers and 533 transmitters.


It is unparallel as medium to the mass market. Creative advertising is possible. New products can be introduced. Can be effective for all three advertising objectives – informative, persuasive and reminder oriented.


a. Powerful Audi Visual media

b. Good geographic selectivity

c. Viewer selectivity possible by time and programme

d. Local TV can be flexible and timely

e. More attractive and impressive message

f. Wide coverage

g. Opportunity for high frequency campaign

h. Emotional involving.


a. Highly perishable message

b. Amount of prime time limited

c. High cost involved

d. Deliberate media, requiring long-term planning

e. Lack of ownership by all

f. Long production lead time.

iii. Cinema or Film:

Cinema or Film is an audio-visual medium of communication and offer wide opportunities to the advertisers to screen commercial films and slides. In India, there are more than 10,000 cinema houses and 5000 touring cinemas. It is considered to be the cheapest and most popular medium of entertainment these days.

Advertisers gets their cinema slides prepared and these slides are played in the beginning and during interval. Ad films are characterized by sound, motion, colour, vision and timeliness. The timings of ad films range from 30 seconds to 300 seconds.


a. Straight advertising films

b. Sponsored advertising films

c. Documentary films.


Film/Cinema as an advertising media holds great opportunities particularly, for those companies who want to penetrate the rural markets. These are particularly relevant for advertising consumer products and farm inputs.

Advantages and Disadvantages:


a. Allow product demonstration

b. Moderate geographic selectivity

c. Targets large groups at one go

d. Emotional involving

e. Appropriate for products catering to low income segments.


a. High production cost

b. Short message life

c. Long production lead time

d. Censoring restrictions

e. Appeal to certain limited number of people.

Types of Advertising Media – With Features

Various types of advertising media are described below:

1. Print Media:

It’s a traditional and orthodox type of advertising which is still effective for persuading certain types of advertisement. It plays important part in advertising. It consists of newspaper, magazine, special documents and books. However it may be noted that Blogs are also used as a part of advertisement which may not be included in this type of media but it is in the form of text.

Following are the features of print media:

i. Flexibility and timely reach.

ii. Selective advertisement is available.

iii. Common method and very popular one.

iv. Low cost compared to other types.

v. Newspaper and magazine have widespread readers.

vi. Change in matter of advertisement is easy.

2. Broadcast Media:

This is also very popular and traditional type of media by which the advertisement is produced.

But ways and methods of presentation are widely changed though medium is same. This change is of modern environment and technological changes in T.V and Radio.

One of the popular actor in India launched his Movie on T.V along with theatres.

The message from the advertisement can be effectively conveyed with the help of spoken words from radio and with audio visual ads on television.

Some of the features of broadcast media are given here:

i. Traditional and effective approach.

ii. Reachable in wide parts even to the illiterate people.

iii. Repetition of ad creates memories in the minds of people converting that into demand.

iv. More effective than print media because of attractiveness.

v. It creates a brand value for a product.

3. Transit Media:

Display advertisement on transportation vehicles is a common practice and effective in delivering message too. Government Busses, trains, rental cars provides set of audience which can be converted into demand for product.


i. Low cost

ii. Readership is quite large

iii. Useful for reminding purpose

iv. Bright and smooth toning of color can make magical advertisement with low cost

v. Requires skill on the part of advertiser

vi. Selection of location is possible.

4. Outdoor Media:

Unlike press and print media, outdoor media is the outside job which requires mobility, skill, technique on part of seller because it is intended for crowd with heterogeneous interest.

Product with wide appeal can be advertised through this medium. It is meant for mobile people and provides the advantage of reminding the people frequently about the product or service and their special aspects


i. Cover all types of people

ii. Long life

iii. Useful for appealing product

iv. Effective advertisement requires.

5. Social Media:

It is the most important media in today’s modern world.

Its coverage is spread throughout the world. Recent study showed that 80 million users use social media and internet regularly. Now internet have come in the hands of people with the introduction of smart phones which gives easy access to internet at a single touch.

So it is a need of hour to study this change and prepare for gaining from this change.

All major products in the world use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and e-commerce sites such as EBay for promotion, advertising, sale etc.

So ignorance towards this media can create losses for organization.

Features of Social Media:

i. It is the future of advertising.

ii. Trend is changed and thus social media have emerged as a recent advertising medium.

iii. Social media is very widely covered and easily accessible.

iv. Huge cost is involved but with tremendous results.

v. Product is discussed, talked, appreciated before even launched on social media.

vi. No company can survive without using social media.

vii. It’s the need of the hour to use social media for any type of product.

viii. It is virtual in nature and produces visible effects which are magical.