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Advertising and sales promotionAdvertising and sales promotion

 (a 1890's advertising poster of Coca-Cola is shown right).


Four ways to boost sales are...


1. Advertising

  • media advertising (e.g. TV, radio and the Internet) often using an advertising agency.
  • outdoor advertising (posters and billboards).
  • direct mail advertising (promotional mailshots).
  • product placement – using a product in TV and film. Marketing and customer satisfaction 
  • packaging – promotional packaging is particularly important in products like cosmetics.
  • word of mouth - repeat purchases for great products

Mass media advertising (e.g. on TV) is often referred to as above-the-line advertising.



2. Public relations (PR)

Improving an organization’s image and reputation with its employees and the general public through:

  • internal communications (like videos and newsletters).
  • good media relations.
  • an ethical and socially responsible strategy.



3. Personal selling 

Using a sales force to sell directly to customers - see personal selling



4. Sales promotion(often called below-the-line expenditure)

All promotions apart from advertising, personal selling, and public relations:

  • merchandising (e.g. shop displays and TV/film related products).
  • short-term sales campaigns (price reductions, coupons, competitions and free samples)
  • trade exhibitions (e.g. Britain’s motor show).
  • sponsorship (e.g. of sport).
  • loyalty cards (like Tesco’s Clubcard) – to encourage customers to come back.
  • after-sales service – post-purchase benefits like technical support.


The 4 M’s of successful advertising


1. Market

The advertisement must appeal to its potential customers (or target market) and encourage them to buy the product.Advertising and sales promotion



2. Medium

Where the advertising is communicated e.g. TV, radio, Internet, magazines, newspapers.



3. Measurement

Measuring the effectiveness of advertising i.e. how much it increases sales and the power of the brand.

The top global brand in 2014 was Apple (pictured right above is its famous 'think different' campaign)



4. MessageAdvertising and sales promotion

The content of the advertising (or copy) and what it tells people about the product. This is likely to include entertainment, music and a slogan. Successful slogans have been:

  • It’s the real thing (Coca-Cola) - pictured right.
  • All the news that’s fit to print (New York Times).
  • Be all you can be (United States army).
  • Advertising and sales promotionGo to work on an egg (British Egg Marketing Board).
  • Beanz Meanz Heinz (Heinz baked beans).
  • Your country needs you (British First World War recruitment poster, pictured right ).
  •  At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.


But things can go wrong selling abroad...

  • KFC’s slogan (finger-lickin’ good) came out as ‘eat your fingers off’ in its first Chinese campaign.
  • Electrolux’s slogan for its vacuum cleaner in America: ‘Nothing sucks like an Electrolux’.
  • In China Pepsi’s ‘Come alive! You’re in the Pepsi generation’ translated as ‘Pepsi will bring you back from the grave’.


Cadbury’s Smash: An example of the 4 M’sAdvertising and sales promotion

An advertising campaign (begun in 1974) for a British brand of instant mashed potato (pictured right).


1. Market

Anyone wanting an easy alternative to real potatoes.


2. Medium



3. Measurement

Extremely effective campaign that boosted sales and brand awareness.


4. Message

Tin Martians have a laugh about humans peeling potatoes. The advertisement finished with the slogan, ‘For mash get Smash’, sung to a catchy tune.



Key quotes explainedAdvertising and sales promotion


“The medium is the message”

- Marshall McLuhan (Canadian communications expert, pictured right)

Where you advertise has a big influence on how it is understood. McLuhan also described advertising as “the greatest art form of the twentieth century”.


 Advertising and sales promotion

“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising”

- Mark Twain (American writer, pictured right)

Twain’s comment in his novel, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889) shows that advertising may mislead as well as inform.

It may also encourage greed, over-spending and dissatisfaction with what you’ve got.


 Advertising and sales promotion

“The best advertising is done by satisfied customers”

- Philip Kotler (marketing professor, pictured right)

Word of mouth advertising is best, so treat your customers well.

“Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement”, said J.C. Penney, the founder of the American department store.


 Advertising and sales promotion

“Advertising and promotion alone will not sustain a bad product or a product that is not right for the time”

- Akio Morita (co-founder of Sony, pictured right)

 Advertising can’t make a bad product a success but quality can.

The cosmetics boss, Estée Lauder, believed that: “The product...will speak for itself, if it’s something of quality”.


 Advertising and sales promotion

“It is hard to fight against impulsive desire; whatever it wants it will buy at the cost of the soul”

- Heraclitus (Greek philosopher, pictured right)

Advertising can persuade you to buy things that you don’t really need, increasing your dependence on money and sacrificing your relationships.


Best books

Advertising and sales promotion


Vance Packard (pictured right), The Hidden Persuaders (1960)

This attacked subliminal advertising, lightening fast unnoticed messages with unconscious effects. Advertising results in the “engineered yes” i.e. we are manipulated to buy a product, even if we don’t want it.

 Advertising and sales promotion

J.K. Galbraith (pictured right), The Affluent Society (1958)

Large companies create demand for their products through advertising.



David Ogilvy, Confessions of an Advertising Man (1963)Advertising and sales promotion

David Ogilvy (1911-99), pictured right, was a hugely successful and influential British advertising executive who believed that the aim of advertising is to sell a product by effectively communicating its benefits to customers.

So you must know and respect them. “The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife”, he wrote.

Ogilvy's other advertising tips are:


1. What you say is more important than how you say it 

So give people facts.


2. Be original

An advertising campaign must be built around a great original idea.


3. Grab customers’ attention

So an advertisement must be:

  • relevant to customers' needs.
  • contemporary and interesting 

But don’t be tempted to entertain instead of sell.


4. Product is paramount

  • understand and believe in the product.
  • improve its brand image.


5. Be ethical

Be honest, truthful and well mannered.

“Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read”, Ogilvy advised.

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