Advertising is a form of mass communication. It involves a process of transmission of information by the manufacturer or a seller of a product or service to modify or stimulate the behaviour of the buyer to buy a particular product.
Thus it has a persuasive element. Kumar (1997) points out that Advertisement is not mass medium in the way that the press, the cinema, radio, TV and the folk media are. They are not so much mediating technologies for reaching the masses as much as users of the mass media to get across their messages to large members of customers.
It has been the engine of growth of mass media. Much of financial support for the development of technological media has come from industry and business which need large scale advertising.
Thus it became so much a part of mass media that the distinction between the media as public fore and as tools of publicity for business and other Social institutions has become gradually blurred. The history of mass communication has been largely shaped by the needs of advertising.
Advertising can be in any form of presentation such as sign, symbol or illustration in print media, a commercial on radio or television, poster etc. Thus advertising is the communication link between the seller and the buyer. It has made mass selling possible.
The term advertising is derived from the Latin word advertence. It means to turn the mind to Advertising diverts the attention of the buyers to product or service.
Advertising plays an important role in shaping the kind of mass media we have in this country. Advertising pays the mass media to disseminate its messages and without advertising, our newspapers, magazines and radio and television programming would be far different.
We would not have the number or variety of media and programming, and the cost to the consumer would be much higher.
One of the basic ingredients of today’s popular culture is consumption and it is the advertising industry that makes mass consumption possible. Advertising is an important element of our culture because it reflects and attempts to change our life styles.
New cultural trends and fashions are first transmitted to the mass culture through advertisements.