Functions of Advertising

Influences Trial of Advertised Innovations
One of the main things that advertising should accomplish is influencing consumers to consume. Advertising can create demand for not only your product, but other products in your product category. This isn’t a completely bad thing, but what you really should try and generate interest for if your product within that category. This is also known as secondary demand. Advertising that tries to influence demand for a specify product should present reasoned arguments and emotional appeals to generate more demand for the product over competing products. What makes your product better? Why should people buy it? When creating your marketing message think about how to incorporate answers to these type of questions.

Informs Consumers
Advertising informs consumers about new brands and innovations and educates them about various benefits and characteristics of the new brands. Once awareness has been established, advertising moves the innovation beyond mere recognition to top-of-mind awareness. Top-of-mind awareness is the level at which a consumer thinks of a specific in a certain product category before any other product within that category. Advertising is also responsible for part of the positive brand image creation process.

Advertising Reminds Consumers and Creates Salience
Advertising can serve as a reminder to consumers. When a consumer has a specific need or desire, advertising can help that consumer associate a specific product with that need/desire. For example, if a consumer recently saw an advertisement for a carpet cleaning product, and then a week later someone spilled something on the carpet which created a stain, the consumer is more likely to purchase the product in the advertisement when they go to purchase a cleaning product. Salience is a term used to describe what happens when a consumer ties a certain product with a certain use situation. For example, when people need to fix a squeaky door hinge, the product that is usually thought of first is WD40.

Adding Value by Altering Perceptions
Advertising adds value to an innovation by altering the perceptions of consumers. The way DeBeers (sp?) marketed diamonds is a perfect example of this function. Before DeBeers, diamonds were nothing, after the company’s effective marketing campaign diamonds where equated with showing love. And now if a girl doesn’t get a diamond an engagement ring, the guy may as well look elsewhere.

Assisting Other Company Efforts
Marketing communications consists of multiple tools. Advertising is just one of these tools, but it helps make the other tools more effective. The main way that it does this is by enhancing the messages of the other tools. An example of this would be the marketing communications tool of product packaging. If a consumer saw a couple of advertisement on Dodge pickups before going to the to purchase a vehicle, then that consumer more readily recognize the brand’s value when he/she arrives at the car lot.