The channel is needed to carry advertising message to the prospective consumers which is referred to as advertising medium or media. The advertiser can choose from variety of media such as print, audio-visual, broadcast media and so on.

The selection of a right medium is very important because the success of promotional activity depends upon it.

The popular media for advertising are:

  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Radio and Television
  • Outdoor and transit advertising
  • Direct mail Point of purchase displays
  • Motion pictures
  • Other media

Newspapers and Magazines:


Newspapers carry the advertisements to a large cross section of the society. They have been the oldest leading medium for advertising at local and regional levels. Newspapers are effective for local and retail advertising.

They provide flexibility in advertising. Advertisements can be accommodated at the last minute to take advantage of some special marketing situation. This is a low cost advertising medium.

The main disadvantage of newspaper advertisements is that they have short life as they are of local nature and once the newspaper is read, it is kept aside thus the repeated exposure to the advertisement is not possible.

Many people read the newspaper hurriedly and do not spare time in reading the advertisements. Moreover, 60 per cent of the space in the newspaper is full of advertisements, so readers tend to not get attracted by the messages in the advertisements.


Magazine advertisements are better in quality as compared to the newspaper advertisements and they have longer life. They offer high selectivity. When the magazines are for special interest groups, the scope of advertisement becomes limited.

The disadvantage of magazine advertisements is that they many times lack timeliness as magazine printing takes long time depending on the periodicity of the magazine. Compared to newspaper, advertising in magazine is expensive, so it does not attract local retailer.

Radio and Television:

Radio was successful in advertising mainly because of large number of illiterates in India, who could not take advantage of print media till the invasion of television to our living rooms.


Even after the television became the most popular medium for advertising, radio still is a broadcast medium with great outreach. It facilitates local advertising through its medium wave channels.

The production cost of live radio advertisements is much low compared to print media and television advertisements, as its production is mainly concerned with effective oral communication.

It requires microphone and audio amplifier. When an advertiser wants different voices, sound effects and music in the advertisement, recorded radio commercial is preferable.

In the recorded radio commercials, the recorded disc or tape is to be supplied. Retailers buy radio time for the advertisements of their products. This is called Retail Radio Commercial.


Television advertising has grown tremendously in the last fifteen years. Television provides for action, motion, sound and camera effects, music and verbal messages in advertisements. Therefore, it has become a popular medium for advertising.

Radio and Television sell air time in three general classes of area; network, spot and local.

Network refers to television commercial on national broadcast or in prime time television programmes. Thus, the advertisers are able to have best time and reach to the national audience.

It saves buying time on many local stations. Advertising during the prime time promotes the prestige of product as well as company.


Spot refers to advertising in a special or particular geographical area. Spot broadcasting time is given in the network programme during the affiliated Kendras breaks or during delinking period.

It enables the regional advertisers to use television as advertising medium and leaves scope for producing the commercial according to the regional consumer characteristics, needs and practices.

Local television commercial refers to advertisements of retailers. They sponsor some programmes on TV. Many a times it is a co­operative effort of the retailers along with the manufacturer.

Outdoor and Transit Advertising:


It includes a variety of outdoor media such as hoardings, posters, information panels, bill boards, directional maps, mobile vans with loud speakers, and huge painted portraits. It also includes advertising on rail, bus and air terminals, building walls and highways.

Advertising through wall displays, illuminated sky writings, electric spectaculars also come under this category. Outdoor advertising is the oldest and an important form of advertising medium.

It is an effective medium of advertising in India, when illiteracy is higher. These are very effective and appealing, and create awareness and interest. These media draw the attention of the persons pressing through certain spots.

These media offer long life. The details like contact addresses, names and addresses of local dealers, etc. can be given. Since they have large illustration with bright colors, they also make good impact.

The major limitation of outdoor advertising is that, since the message has to be in a brief, many times it becomes merely supplementary advertising. Detailed messages can be communicated through print media. The outdoor and front advertising offer sure exposure and repetitiveness.

Direct Mail:

It is a postal publicity. In this, the advertisements are sent directly to the prospective consumers by the advertiser himself. It could be through hand delivery, door to door distribution of advertisement or materials.

It can be in the form of letter, leaflet, pamphlet, booklet, a catalogue, handout, circular etc. The main purpose of direct mail advertisements is to promote consumer interest and create goodwill, obtaining direct sales, to have personal touch, to provide for reading and thinking about the product at leisure.

Point of Purchase:

This method is also called dealer aids, dealer displays, or point of sale. In this method messages are directly communicated to the customers, inside outside and around a retail store.

Window display, floor display, wall display, banners, samples, posters are usually used to promote sale at the store to attract the attention of the passers. These do not include labels, packages and containers.

According to Rayudu, “The advertising materials at point of sale must be attractive, create interest, confidence, impression, educative and of information value. It is the last state to remind the buyer to buy”.

Motion Pictures:

Motion picture advertising is also called screen advertising. Movie theatres sell time for screening advertisement films as well as slides. These are shown before the main feature film, in intermission or between newsreel and feature film.

Other Media:

Advertising through other media includes advertising through telephones or any other directory. Bus or Train Time Tables, calendars, products such as key chains, pens, letter pads, appointment diaries, containers, and so on.