What Is an Advertising Medium?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 March 2020
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An advertising medium is a forum in which information about products, services, or businesses can reach a targeted audience. There are many different advertising media, including print media, radio and television, online media, and direct mail. Each advertising medium has distinct upsides and downsides, and many are used to reach specific types of consumers.

In basic terms, an advertising medium is essentially determines the format of an advertisement. If a company wants to display a written ad, he or she might turn to print media or online ads. For those who wish to attach a visual component to an advertisement, television or viral video ads are appropriate. Choosing the right type of advertising medium may depend on the available budget, the target audience, and the desired format of the ad campaign.

Print media has fallen in popularity since the dawn of the Internet age, but remains a viable way to advertise certain products and services. Magazines and newspapers are the primary vehicle of this type of advertising, but the ads themselves may take different formats. For instance, a business might buy ad space in a magazine to give customers basic information about products and location, but might use a weekly newspaper to offer coupons for a promotional deal. Even having a review or story written about a business by a journalist can be considered a valid form of advertising in print media.


Radio and television ads are notable for their higher cost, but may be crafted to reach targeted demographics. A radio ad is typically less expensive to produce and run than a television ad, since equipment such as cameras, sets, and lighting are not necessary for production. In order to target promotions in this advertising medium, businesses can make deals with specific channels or stations to run the ad at certain times of the day, or when certain types programs are on the air.

The online advertising medium is a vast chimera of possibilities, allowing advertisers to link up with like-minded websites to display there wares. Businesses can sign up with large Internet corporations to have their ads posted on certain websites, or may buy space on a specific page in a manner reminiscent of print advertising. Ads posted online may include banners, videos, games, or online coupons.

Direct mail advertising is a way to ensure that previous customers, or those in a specific area, are kept up to date on company activities. Mail order catalogs, food delivery menus, and direct mail coupons are common ways to use this advertising medium. This method of marketing can be excellent for new or small community businesses, as it allows them to target new customers within their local area.



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