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What Is Advertising Material?

Nicole Etolen
Nicole Etolen

A company can design a perfect new product that is useful to many people, but without introducing that product to the public, it stands very little chance of actually selling the item. Advertising material is any type of media designed to provide information or generate interest about a product or service. Advertisers have numerous options for getting their products or services out to the public, including brochures and catalogs, digital media, and web ads.

One of the oldest types of advertising material is the paper packaging ad. Archeologists discovered the earliest form of paper packaging ads in an ancient tomb dating back to the 13th century in Yuanling County, in the Hunan Province of China. Paper packaging ads are typically wrapped around the product being sold and are used to explain its benefits. This type of advertising is targeted at those who see several products on the shelf and are trying to decide which one is best for their needs.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

While paper packaging ads may be effective at the consumer purchasing level, getting the product onto the shelves requires a little more planning ahead, and they are not very useful for services that do not include a physical product. Brochures are a common type of advertising material used to disseminate information about a new service. For example, a new day spa is likely to create a brochure listing the types of massages and beauty treatments it provides, along with a short description of each service and their price.

Catalogs feature a selection of products offered by a specific store or company. Some catalogs list the company’s entire stock of items, while others may only list the most current and popular offerings. Typically, customers can use this type of advertising material to purchase the items they find appealing or useful directly from the company. Since online shopping has become more popular, however, catalog orders have declined drastically and many companies are moving their product offerings to the internet.

Music recording labels may use audio compact discs or digital music files to help promote a new band or song. Compilations featuring several bands — some new and some already established — are a popular form of advertising material in the music industry. By pairing an unknown band with one that already has a strong following and offering previously unreleased material from the more popular band, these ads make listeners more likely to purchase the compilation and gain exposure to the new band.

Online ads, often called “banner ads,” are a popular form of advertising seen exclusively on the internet. Companies pay to place an ad on a website, preferably one that has a large number of daily visitors. Typically, the ad is some sort of graphic, such as a photograph or an animated graphic, but some companies also purchase ads made up of just text. While online ads are a good way to reach millions of different people from all over the world, many internet users are using software to block ads or just learning to ignore them.

Marketing specialists decide which type of advertising material to use based on the company’s budget, the type of product being marketed, and the target audience that the company hopes to reach. A significant amount of research goes into this process, as the wrong type of advertising not only fails to reach the target audience, but can cost the company a large sum of money. Marketers must also continually adjust to new forms of advertising as the old methods become less effective.

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