Advertising is the practice of drawing public attention to an offer through paid advertisements from an identified sponsor. It is a marketing strategy that involves paying for space to promote a product, service, or cause. Ads come in many forms, from texts to interactive videos, and have become an integral part of the app market. The goal of advertising is to reach people who are likely to be interested in a company's products or services and encourage them to buy.
The actual promotional messages are referred to as ads or ads for short. Non-commercial entities that advertise more than consumer products or services include political parties, interest groups, religious organizations, and government agencies. Many people find it difficult to differentiate between marketing and advertising, but it is important for companies to understand that they are not the same. The first step towards modern advertising was taken with the development of printing in the 15th and 16th centuries.
In the 1920s, Undersecretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover promoted advertising in the US government. In the 17th century, weekly newspapers in London began running advertisements, and in the 18th century such advertising flourished. In fact, the first American advertisement that used a sexual sale was created by a woman for a soap product. Traditional media used for advertising include newspapers, magazines, television and radio programs, direct mail, billboards, posters, transit advertising and various other media.
Advertising increased significantly in the United States as industrialization increased the supply of manufactured goods. One of the most controversial criticisms of advertising today is the prevalence of advertisements for foods high in sugar, fat and salt specifically targeting children. Pop-up ads, Flash banners, pop-under banners, banner ads and email ads (which are often unwanted or spam in the case of email) are now commonplace. Advertising has many hidden signs and meanings within brands, logos, package designs, print ads and television commercials.
Advertising is important because it helps companies maintain awareness of their products or services in customers' minds and prevent competition from stealing away customers. It also helps companies reach their target audience more effectively than other marketing tactics. Although advertisers have begun to eliminate the use of banners and display ads, they are worth mentioning because of the potential lesson that their disappearance can teach companies.