The term ‘non-product advertising is a new field of advertising. It means advertising ideas which are not directly for the promotion or sell of the products or commercial services.

It deals with the matters of public interest such as social change, political ideas, economic policies, developmental programmes etc. It is also known as ‘Public Service Advertising’ or ‘Social Advertising’.

Advertisements are important today, as indicators of social and economic progress. They reveal the direction of change in our values. In fact, a society without advertisements is inconceivable. Advertising has become an important medium of mass education and therefore the role it plays should be taken seriously.

Advertising campaigns could improve in a way as to enhance the pace of development and usher social change. They can uplift the tone or tenor of the society. Social advertising is an important part of Indian public policy whether that policy relates to communications, family welfare, education, health, environment or to national integration.


Various forms of persuasion are employed to educate people and create awareness among them regarding the prime issues concerning the country.

Advertising and marketing campaigns through mass media are also given prime importance in this task so as to help masses understand development messages and participate in developmental programmes with favourable attitude.

Today’s big companies are becoming more and more conscious of projecting the image of a socially responsible company which accepts certain social responsibilities. This image is presented by way of public service advertising.

They give out the message like anti-smoking, anti-drugs etc. in newspapers, on bill boards, and in the form of short advertisements on television.


Sometimes big advertising agencies, which are socially aware and concerned, produce these advertisements themselves, and produce it for the government or social organization on no profit, no loss basis.

Advertisers can also sponsor cultural, social, sports or other activities or organized programmes related to health, hygiene or education including literacy by free distribution of booklets or other reading material. Free health check up camps is organized by big industries or public sectors.

‘Garden’ took up massive tree plantation in Surat. ‘Reliance’ contributed to sport awareness by organizing cricket matches; ‘Nirma’ conducted Bhagwat discourses. The ‘Times of India’ organized musical concerts, workshops, seminars, public speaking contests, essay competitions, etc.

Thus, the beginning has been made in India by the advertisers to contribute to the development and welfare of the society, but still it has to go a long way.


In the United States, public service advertising gets a big boost from the Advertising council, an organization those co-ordinates voluntary efforts of the entire advertising community. Advertiser and agency people donate their planning, research, and creative skills and efforts.

The media donate free time and space, over a half-billion dollars a year in value. Many of these campaigns have been credited with enormous success, for instance, Forest Fire Prevention campaign, as said to have cut forest fires in natural resources.

Another campaign, on high blood pressure is supposed to have resulted in increased testing for the disease, a doubling of patients on adequate therapy, and a three year increase in life expectancy.

The social and economic welfare of a nation can be greatly enhanced when concerted and harmonious effort is exerted to educate citizens to an understanding of what is beneficial and to urge them to act to secure such benefits.


Advertising ideas, such as, reduce traffic congestion, improve health, conserve natural resources, plan families, educate girls, increase marriage age etc. serve basic social and economic needs.

Thus, advertising approach is used in informing educating, and persuading the electorate on basic issues.

Socially relevant advertising is still in its infancy in India. Certain campaigns are tailored to create public awareness. Advertisements campaign should have direct impact on social or public welfare.

Tata Steel Limited had followed a novel way of distributing to its shareholders booklets like, ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ by Swami Vivekananda along with their annual reports. Thus, profits can be spent in a good cause which also generates more goodwill.