Advertising or advertizing in business is a form of marketing communication used to encourage, persuade, or manipulate an audience (viewers, readers or listeners; sometimes a specific group) to take or continue to take some action. 

Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common. This type of work belongs to a category called affective labor.

Origin of the word is latin

In Latin, ad vertere means "to turn toward".  The purpose of advertising may also be to reassure employees or shareholders that a company is viable or successful. 


A 1900 advertisement for Pears soap. image: wikipedia

Advertising messages are usually paid for by sponsors and viewed via:

 various old media; 

  • including mass media such as newspaper, 
  • magazines, 
  • television advertisement, 
  • radio advertisement, 
  • outdoor advertising or 
  • direct mail; 

or new media 

  • such as blogs, 
  • websites or text messages.

Commercial advertisers often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through "branding", which involves associating a product name or image with certain qualities in the minds of consumers. 

Non-commercial advertisers who spend money to advertise items other than a consumer product or service include political parties, interest groups, religious organisations and governmental agencies. 

Nonprofit organisations may rely on free modes of persuasion, such as a public service announcement (PSA).

Origins of modern advertising

Modern advertising was created with the innovative techniques introduced with tobacco advertising in the 1920s, most significantly with the campaigns of Edward Bernays, which is often considered the founder of modern, Madison Avenue advertising.

Extent of advertising

In 2010, spending on advertising was estimated at $143 billion in the United States and $467 billion worldwide.

Internationally, the largest ("big four") advertising conglomerates are Interpublic, Omnicom, Publicis, and WPP.