The purpose of advertising

What is the purpose of advertising? Obviously brands must advertise their products so people know about them and want to buy them, but what exactly should advertising do?
It should:

  • announce / create awareness
  • entertain/spike interest
  • inform about product
  • point out need for the product
  • convince consumers it is the best product
  • foster good brand relationships / inspire loyalty
  • demonstrate how to use it1

What adverts do this? A good example would be vacuum cleaner ads: they convince the viewer the product is necessary to clean the home, convince that this product is superior to other similar ones, and show how to use it.

What would be bad advertising? Any advertising that doesn’t meet the criteria listed above to fulfil its purpose. Take for example the joke advertising in this comic (see below). The need for the product is shown by breaking a window. This forces the product upon the user and fosters a bad brand relationship.


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