a light shaped in 'ad' form. a light shaped in 'ad' form.

Exploring Advertising Mediums: 3 Key Roles Unveiled

Advertisements are what inform and expose the masses to the products and services offered by companies. A marketer or an advertiser uses appropriate advertising media to reach consumers, reach new target audiences and enhance the image of a brand. There are a variety of forms of advertising media. Among them, which form of advertising is the most dominant medium? Keep reading to know!

Furthermore, advertisements are primarily meant to capture and summon the attention of consumers by tactfully choosing an advertising medium based on the requirements of the campaign. An advertising medium is the space in mass media or alternative media that a brand purchases to advertise its product or service.

The various forms of advertising media cutouts.
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1. Role of a Media Planner

Media planning is one crucial job in the advertising sector. The responsibilities of a media planner include research and planning regarding the various advertising media platforms. 

A media planner plans and buys spaces on media platforms that are the most suited for the objective of an advertising campaign. They also employ a method called Advertising media selection to use a media opening and ensure that the advert reaches the maximum number of consumers. 

And that’s why these planners need to have an acute idea about the client’s target audience as well as the technical aspects of different media. Combining precise knowledge of the two, planners ensure that a vast number of consumers are reached, with the help of the media outlet that is most exposed to them.

1.2. Advertising Media Selection

This is the method of choosing the most fitting form of media for an advertising project. A lot of factors like the client’s objectives, the brand image and the target audience are taken into consideration while selecting advertising mediums

Media forms are selected on the basis of the target audience
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2. Navigating Various Mediums and Their Types

Some media outlets are more efficient than others, and some are more likely to reach a vast number of consumers.  A planner looks at all the options available and selects according to the campaign’s needs.

How expensive the advertising mediums are, and whether it aligns with the budget of the campaign, are also taken into account during the process. Let us look at the different types of advertising mediums, their coverage and efficiency, and their strengths and weaknesses. 

2.1. Print Advertising

In the History of advertisements, the first advert was written, written on a Papyrus in 3000 BC Egypt.  Hence, print media is the oldest media form of advertising and has gained a lot of popularity over the years.

Print medium is especially useful when marketers are looking to advertise something that has its focus on copy, and not much on audio-visual elements.  Print media can be classified into:

  • Newspapers: Newspapers are a very cheap option with a good local and national reach.
  •  Magazines: Magazine ads are targeted to a very narrow audience and hence have more conversion success. Marketers choose magazine advertising for niche or specialized advertisements.
  • Fliers: Can be handed out and used for regional targets.
A form of Print advertising media: Magazines
Image by stevepb from Pixabay Copyright 2015

2.2. Broadcast Advertising

This type of advertisement uses broadcast media. Broadcast media involves technology and electronic signals that distribute information to a vast range of audiences. Broadcast mediums use audio-visual approaches to convey information. 

These mediums include radio, television etc. and are quite effective in reaching consumers and catching their attention. In the technology-dominated era that we live in, broadcast advertising has been considered the most popular and efficient form of advertisement. The types of Broadcast Advertising:

2.2.1 Radio Advertising

Radio advertisements are one of the oldest forms of broadcast media. The reach for radio advertisements is vast because this mode of advertising offers both local and national audiences. Local radio stations have a more regional broadcast range, but options are available for national broadcasts as well.

But radio advertising has its disadvantages. Radio advertising can provide only audio mediums for promotions. Therefore, its engagement is less as compared to Television advertising. It is not a medium that is highly targeted, hence is falling out of fashion.

2.2.2. Television Advertising 

Being one of the most prominent modes of advertisement in the 21st century, Television advertising is a broadcast medium that can be considered the most efficient one. It is an entertainment medium and uses both audio and visuals to give out information. 

It costs money and also requires time. But it is a worthy investment, and the key to the success of a campaign, as it has remarkable reach as well as engagement. Television advertisement is more efficient than print media, however, rival mediums like social media and OTT platforms have certain advantages over television.

People watch television in their houses.
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2.3. Online Advertising

2.3.1. Social Media Advertising

In the age we live in, the internet dominates. People spend most of their time a day on social media. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have immense online traffic.

These platforms have become extremely popular sites for advertising services and products. Social media outlets are growing exponentially; hence advertisers and marketers are investing more in them.

A person holding the phone with Social Media apps.
Image by amenic181 from Depositphotos copyright 2020

2.3.2. Search Engine Marketing

Search Engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo have become our go-to places for information. They are a part and parcel of our lives.  The first pages that we can view after searching for something on these engines are called the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) which is an important outlet for online advertising.

Search engine marketing or SEM involves the promotion of products on these websites and increasing their exposure to consumers. It is a paid form of advertising that often employs the use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and keyword research.  A higher ranking on a SERP ensures higher clicks on the ad by a viewer.

2.3.3. The OTT Advertising 

Streaming services are gaining popularity at such a rate that a lot of consumers are disconnecting cable and investing in OTT platforms. 

These platforms offer streaming services in the comfort of one’s home. During the quarantine periods, OTT platforms have gained favour over movie theatres. This made it a flourishing space for online advertising. Agencies are focusing on reaching the viewers who frequent these platforms.

Different kinds of OTT platforms and social media are forms of Online Advertising
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2.4. Outdoor Advertising or Out-of-Home Media

Outdoor advertising can be efficiently used for success if factors like location, environment and the targeted audience are taken into consideration.

These forms of media are generally placed in high-traffic areas like busy streets and marketplaces. It is an affordable choice of advertising. Outdoor advertising when placed strategically is extremely capable of catching a customer’s attention. Outdoor advertisements are of various kinds, for example:

  • Banners
  •  Hoardings 
  • Billboards
  • Posters
  • Signposts and stickers
A view of crowded places outdoors and many buildings with displayed ads.
Image by IgorVetushko from Depositphotos Copyright 2018

3. Which Form of Advertising Is the Most Dominant?

The advertising industry is a dynamic sector; it is always changing. What forms of media are dominant during a period, is also subject to change. The mass media industry is also very versatile. With rapid and everlasting technological advancements, there are consistently new forms of media options emerging.

Now that we have looked into all the different kinds of advertising media and their rates of efficiency, we can answer this aforementioned important question. Moreover, television advertising is regarded to be the most dominant form of advertising.

Television is almost a domestic necessity in every household. The living rooms of even lower middle-class families contain a Television. It is a crucial source of entertainment. Many hours of the day are spent with our eyes glued to its screen. 

This has allowed advertising agencies to reach a larger audience than print or audio mediums do. The strengths of television as an advertising medium have already been discussed. 

4. Conclusion

The increase in Television advertising at the outset of the 21st century also witnessed a significant decrease in the popularity and expenditure on print media. But, with the exponential increase in digital advertising, will television advertising fall out of the favour of the market?

Probably not. Despite the surge of importance given to social media advertising and OTT platforms, television continues to assert its dominance, and will most likely continue to do so. For areas where internet connection is still not a part of everyday life, television dominates. Statistics say that television advertising is by far the most versatile and flexible, making it immune to all its competitors.

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf


  • Kahini Majumdar

    Kahini is a curious and ambitious young adult aspiring to write and make a difference. She travels the world through books and aims to do the same in real life. She is passionate about Literature, music and social issues, and writes about them on different platforms. She is currently pursuing Bachelors in English and devotes the rest of her time writing travel vlogs with holistic insights, for a variety of sites across the web.

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