What Is Advertisement, History Of Advertisement, Definition, Meaning, Types Of Advertisements

Before looking at the impact of advertisement we must understand what does advertisement mean. An advertisement is a form of marketing communication which is used to promote or sell something, usually a business product or service Advertising is nothing, but a paid form of non-personal presentation or promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor with a view to spread information concerning an idea, product or service and sell the product or increase the sale volume. The real objective of advertising is effective communication between producers and consumers.

History of Advertisement

The history of advertisement dates back to 3000 BCE. In the Babylonian civilisation, historians and archaeologists have uncovered evidences where eye catching signs and paintings were displayed outdoors. Also, archaeologists have discovered evidences in Roman civilisation where signs were displayed outside homes offering property for rent.

Later on, during medieval times merchants employed ‘criers’ who read public notices and also praised about the goods sold by their merchants. In modern advertisement is shown through print media viz, newspapermagazines; digital platforms i.e. radio, TV, internet etc. Advertisement facilitates large scale marketing

Positive Aspects of Advertisement

Some advertisements serve a public purpose by spreading awareness among the masses. They help in educating the viewer about an issue or a concern e.g. Jago Grahak Jago’ campaign of Government of India. Lifebuoy advertisement spreading awareness about maintaining hygiene at home and its impact on people’s health is another such example.

Another positive impact of advertisement is emphasis on social values through them eg. awareness about the harmful effects of intoxicants such as tobacco or alcohal or drugs etc. Such advertisements have a social message for masses and it reaches far and wide all over the country.

Through advertisements we can spread information or benefits of a campaign at a speed and with far reaching consequences. Advertisement can help in educating people such as the advertisement about polio drops to be given to the children. In India, polio eradication programme has been successful with the help of advertisements only.

Negative Aspects of Advertisement

Advertising has some negative aspects also which can be harmful to people in many way as products which are endorsed by a celebrity does not ensure its quality. Sometimes, the product may not be of an excellent quality but because a celebrity is advertising for it, common people tend to buy it which sometimes can be misleading. Another negative aspect of advertisement is the hidden cost attached to the product or services. Products which are heavily advertised become expensive due to the cost spent on advertising.

Advertisement is often deceptive and misguides consumers. Exaggerated and false claims are made in the advertisements. Bogus testimonials and other questionable means are used to sell goods. Indigenous or local products tend to lose their market as they are lost in the glamour of celebrities endorsed brands.

Ethical Advertising

Ethical advertising is about being truthful concerning about the product or service and never exaggerating the capabilities of a product/service or hiding its flaws. As the markets run at cut-throat competition therefore, it is necessary for private companies to spend huge amounts of money on advertisement. But at the same time they have a corporate social responsibility, moral responsibility and ethical responsibility by not pushing products or services which are detrimental to the society

Products with adverse health benefits should be left to the wisdom of people. Governments as a welfare and responsible authority should intervene in such critical aspects. Similarly, it is also the responsibility of the celebrities to stop playing with emotions of people. We look upto them for many values, therefore they should not dupe people into using something which they do not believe in themselves.


Advertisements should therefore encourage choice, create awareness, lead us into living a better lifestyle. As these have a deep impact on psyche of people therefore advertisements should be value embedded and ethical. The educative advertisements should be publicised much to create awareness among people. To sum up we may say that advertising has positive as well as negative impact on society. The balance of between what is more important and what is really not needed should be focussed more and practised accordingly.

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