Advertising Tools – Different Types of Advertising Mediums

Advertisements create an impact not based on what they say but more significantly on how they communicate. Creatively executing the ads can prove to be purposeful. All advertising means have certain benefits and drawbacks. Lets look at different Advertising Tools and Advertising Mediums

Television Advertising

Commonly recognized as the most potent promotional medium, television reaches a wide range of consumers.

Two vital benefits of TV ads are that;

  • It can strikingly exhibit product properties and describe its customer advantages.
  • It can drastically depict user and usage representation, brand personality and other intangible factors.

Well curated and executed TV commercials can still be an effective marketing medium that augments brand equity, sales, and profits.

Example 1 – Budweiser spends big on Super Bowl

Budweiser spends big on Super Bowl

  • Budweiser approximately paid $470 million to air 135 advertisement plugs in the 54 Super Bowls, becoming the only firm to have at least one commercial run in each Super Bowl.
  • Following Budweiser, Pepsi was recorded as the second highest investor spending more than $320 million and Coca-Cola the third spending around $200 million.
  • Budweiser’s Parent Company, Anheuser-Busch InBev reaches over 100 million U.S. TV viewers through Super Bowl Sundays every year and promotes vintage brands such as Budweiser and Bud Light.
  • According to industry experts, Budweiser paid $42 million for a 4-minute ad in 2018.

Example 2 – Most Expensive Commercials Ever Made

Chanel – “The Film” (2004) – $33 million.

  • The Film, a 3-minute ad made for Chanel No. 5, does not only highlight the skills of Kidman and Luhrmann but also involves apparels designed by Karl Lagerfield.
  • Perfume commercials usually air on a more affluent side of the ad spectrum.
  • The Film, unlike most other advertisements, did not premiere during the Super Bowl but alternately premiered in movie theatres with Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

Guinness – “Tipping Point” (2007) – $16 million

  • Shot in the diminutive Argentinean village in Iruya the advertisement commences with a falling series of dominoes that intensifies into refrigerators and blazing cars dashing into each other, all pointing up to a massive statue of a Guinness pint.
  • Consolidating high material expenses with a necessity for accuracy to get each shot perfectly right, the commercial displays how big budgets are great, but an excellent idea is all the better.

Aviva – “Names” (2008) – $13.4 million

In 2008 British insurance company Norwich Union modified its name to Aviva and with an intention to be noticed spent around $13 million in creating an ad starring Bruce Willis, Ringo Starr, Elle McPherson and Alice Cooper starring in an advertisement promoting the brand.

Chrysler – “Imported From Detroit” (2011) – $12 Million

  • One recurring thing amongst most of these ads is celebrity figures.
  • In this case, to launch the luxury Chrysler 200, this ad revolves on the rugged history of Detroit, where Chrysler and Eminem share a lasting and colourful past that was best portrayed in the line, “the hottest fires make the hardest steel.”

Example 3 – Super Bowl commercials Rates

  • The Super Bowl for American football lovers is much more than sports, it’s an emotion.
  • The half-time show quickly makes equivalent headlines to the game.

Companies spend big bucks for a segment of airtime during the game, with rates escalating per year and reaching over $5m (i.e. £3.8m) for a mere 30-second commercial slot in 2018. In the successive year, CBS charged an amount between $5.1m and $5.3m for 30-seconds of airtime.

Print advertisement

Print media is significantly different from broadcast media. There are two major print media;


  • Magazines and newspapers have the ability to provide detailed product information and efficiently communicate user and usage description as the readers can consume information flashed at them at their own pace.


  • Also, the static nature of the visual representations in print media proves to be dynamic.
  • Newspapers are time-bound and help in penetration, whereas magazines are usually more useful at creating user and usage imagery.

Picture, headline and copy in print ads.

  • The picture should attract attention.
  • The headline should augment the picture and drive the person to read the copy.
  • The copy should be appealing and pointing towards the brand name notably.


  • More than 55% of consumers prefer print marketing over any other advertising approach.
  • However, it takes a greater portion of print data to evoke emotions and encourage the customer’s interest.

Example 1 – Keloptic Print Ad: Van Gogh

Keloptic Print Ad

  • Keloptic, an online optician that retails spectacles and sunglasses.
  • The brand’s ad agency made use of Van Gogh’s self-portrait as a brilliant means of brand promotion as the painting is popularly known for its blurry colour scheme that doesn’t evidently show sharp contrasts between various shades.
  • Keloptic cheekily placed their eyeglasses in front of the painting to expose Van Gogh’s face and demonstrate the potential of their products.

Example 2 – French Ministry of Health: Children Obesity

French Ministry of Health

  • The French Ministry of Health after seeing the rising numbers aimed to increase awareness concerning the increasing problem of childhood obesity by notifying parents that “obesity starts at a young age.”
  • The simple yet powerful ad campaign displays an ice cream with an obese belly on the top.

Example 3 – Kentucky Fried Chicken: FCK

  • KFC, one of the most beloved fast-food chains globally, ran out of chicken.
  • This event was marked as a tremendous disaster for the brand that developed the entire empire on its star product; chicken.
  • In order to combat this mishap, the brand had to shut nearly a thousand outlets based in the US momentarily.
  • However, leveraging this opportunity, their advertising agency played with the popular KFC acronym and created a print ad that says ‘FCK’.
  • It was a great marketing trick and a cool way to apologize that got the viewer’s attention.

Example 4 – Mcdonald Happy Moving Day

  • This striking print ad was designed to mark 1 July known as Moving Day which is a tradition in Quebec, Canada. On this day, fixed terms of agreement of rental properties were mandated.
  • This McDonald’s Moving Day print ads artistically puts Pantone swatches to represent a sausage and egg McMuffin, fries and a Big Mac.

Example 5 – Mcdonald’s Open all night

  • Another brilliant ad campaign of McDonald’s from the team at Leo Burnett.
  • It reflects on the contemporary and minimalistic aesthetics of the brand’s communication with this impressive illustration where the legendary ‘M’ mimics street lights in the night, subtly telling the viewers that even in at the oddest hour at night McDonald’s is open for business.

Example 6 – Sony


  • Sony, in this campaign ad, depicts the capacity of their USB drive by piling CDs instead of the micro storage unit. It also aptly illustrates the reason why the new technology is making old technology outdated.

Example 7 – Carulla Knives

Carulla Knives

  • Similarly, Ogilvy & Mather in Columbia made use of the classified ads columns to market Carulla Knives.
  • The ad interestingly displays images of fish and vegetables sliced and diced between the columns of the newspaper.

Example 8 – Absolut


  • Homosexuality has been decriminalized in England and Wales for a significant time of 50 years, but even today is still illegal in 72 countries worldwide and even a felony punishable by death in 8.
  • To throw light on the issue, Absolut collaborated with LGBTQ charity Stonewall and BBH London to plan these series starring close-up shots of same-sex kisses, with many of the models coming from places where such kisses could land them in prison, or worse.

Example 9 – Marshall

  • Viktor Kolodiazhnyi, with its banging minimalistic concept for Marshall Headphones, creates a series of print advertisements. The ad makes use of a rock and a metal ball where he adds headphones and modifies them into ‘hard rock’ and ‘hard metal.’

Example 10 – Pringles

  • Chris Labrooy, for Pringles Galaxy, utilized 3D graphic technology to mould a stack of cheese using just one line as their statement, “Cheese with extra cheese and a side order of cheese.” Cheesy enough?

Example 11 – Jack Daniel Honey

  • Some sugar eventually draws a colony of ants.
  • Similarly, some JD’s will draw a crowd of people was the idea behind the ad according to their tagline “Draws a Crowd” for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey is a spot on a visually represented ad showing a bottle swarming with people.

Radio ads

Radio is an extensive medium that can be used for effective market penetration.

  • 93 % of U.S. residents of the age group of 12 years and above daily listened to the radio for nearly 20 hours a week on average, and the numbers seem to be more or less steady even today.
  • Nike’s employs independent contract manufacturers that usually operate multiple factories to manufacture its footwear and apparel outside the US.
  • People opt for listening to a radio generally while driving in the car or outdoors and to draw success radio networks have started operating on multiple platforms with an active digital presence that is flexible and allows listeners to tune in anytime, anywhere.
  • Its advantages are that the stations are extremely targeted, advertisements are comparatively low-priced to produce and place and short closings for scheduling them and allow them to respond quickly.
  • Radio is an incredibly useful medium in the morning as it helps firms to strike a balance between broad and localized market coverage.
  • Its apparent drawbacks are that it lacks visual imagery.

Outdoor Ads (OOH)

Out-of-Home advertising is a widespread category that includes various imaginative and surprising forms to attract customer’s attention where they work, play, and shop. Conventional options for OOH include billboards, public spaces, product placement, and point of purchase.

Example – Google


Google, in 2014 became the first organization to rent out the world’s biggest and most costly digital billboard in Times Square, New York.

  • 8 storeys in height and estimated to cost around $2.5m (£1.6m) Google hired the spot for 4 weeks.
  • The size of the screen is roughly around the size of a football field.
  • Approximately 300,000 pedestrians are estimated to walk past the billboard each day.
  • Times Square’s colourfully lit billboards are amongst some popular outdoor advertising spaces.

Example – The High Cost of Times Square Advertising

The High Cost of Times Square Advertising

  • According to Times Square NYC, almost 380,000 pedestrians pass by every day, including extra 115,000 drivers and passengers. In contrast, on busy days, the numbers could go up to 460,000 people making it one of the most dynamic tourist attractions in the world. The spot for advertisers generally receives 1.5 million impressions per day.
  • New Year’s Eve ball drop is an experience when over a million people crowd the area per year.
  • It takes anywhere between $1.1m and $4 million each year to acquire advertising spots in Times Square.
  • A Times Square billboard cost for a day could start at $5000, go up to over $50,000 and skyrocket to $3 million per month.

Example – Coca-Cola Used 1,760 LED Screens to Make This Ad


  • Coca-Cola has successfully come twice in the Guinness Book of World Records for an extraordinary Times Square billboard.
  • The ad composed of 1,760 independently programmed moving screens that synced the screen movement with the display.
  • The pictured illustration also changed based on the time or the day of the week.
  • Created and formulated by Radius Displays Limited, the billboard took many years to develop.

Example – Ikea


  • IKEA, in order to promote its new Greenwich store as the most sustainable IKEA ever ran a marketing campaign with ‘Mother’, the ad agency to highlight the store’s eco-friendly credentials.
  • Billboards and posters all over London showed potential shoppers the direction to their new store by prompting them to take the most eco-friendly route (i.e. by walk or by public transport).

Example – Tyrolit’s Iceline Knife Range’s

Tyrolit's Iceline Knife Range's

  • Heimat curated a billboard ad that modified over time to show off Tyrolit’s Iceline knife range’s unique selling point.
  • In the beginning, the viewers saw a puzzling sheet of metal that only contained the brand’s logo.
  • The surface of the ad over a few weeks rusted leaving just the shape of a knife undamaged that emphasized their tagline, “Flawless. Forever.”

Example – Coca Cola and Raid

Coca Cola and Raid

  • Publicis Italia encouraged Coca-Cola consumers to recycle their empty bottles through a billboard ad campaign.
  • The agency creatively readjusted Coca Cola’s iconic ribbon design in a way that it literally pointed the viewers to the closest recycling bin.


Billboards make use of colourful, digital graphics, backlights, sounds, movement, and unique 3D images.

Example 1 “Woman” by BBDO New York for BBC World


Moral: Advertisements don’t constantly need to be flat or 2D. Parallel thinking and creative solutions using disturbing elements like corners and cracks to intensify the message.

Example 2 – “Submerged Billboard” by Fame Adlabs for Day After Tomorrow


Moral: Combat media congestion by setting up the ad message in an uncluttered and creatively relevant space.

Example 3 – “Giant Chocolate Billboard” for Cadbury and OREO

Giant Chocolate Billboard

  • Moral: Instead of presenting a complete image of the product, one could play with the concept of showing the product in use.
  • Moral: Letting the brand’s advertising combine with current events makes the ad more exciting and relevant for the viewer.
  • Here in the example, OREO made use of the current buzz about an eclipse that garnered significant public attention.
  • This technique can be used not only for natural phenomena as well as city-wide events, holidays and other major activities.

Example – Ponds [“Cleans Pores, Fights Pimples” by Mike Sicam for Pond’s]


Public Spaces

  • Public Spaces ads are ads that appear in unusual places like movie screens, airplane bodies, health equipment, classrooms, sports arenas, elevators, etc.
  • Transit ads on buses, subways and passenger trains have become a helpful way to reach working women.
  • Street furniture such as bus shelters, kiosks and public areas also come under this type of advertising.
  • Marketers, in fact, can even buy space in washroom toilet stalls and above urinals, where office workers visit an average of 3-4 times a day roughly for 4-minutes every visit.

Example – “Wake up” with Maxwell House!

Wake up

Created BY Ogilvy China

Maxwell House’s coffee wakes one up by pumping the viewers with a great rush of adrenaline and encouraging them to take the elevator to work. The advertisement was run in China in 2008.

Example –  “The Divorce Elevator” to the office of divorce lawyer Sabina Stobrawe

The Divorce Elevator

  • A typical wedding picture was put up on the lift doors in a law firm in Germany. Sadly, at every point the doors opened, the couple split up.
  • The ad targeted people in the same situation and provided the name and the office floor of a divorce lawyer

Example – The ad was curated in 2006 before Superman Returns was released in a Brazil cinema.

The ad was curated in 2006 before Superman Returns was released in a Brazil cinema

Example –  Simpson is shown enjoying his donuts.

Simpson is shown enjoying his donuts

Example – Pantene Silky touch escalator handrail

Pantene Silky touch escalator handrail

Example – Duracell – Nothing lasts longer!

Duracell - Nothing lasts longer

Product Placement

Advertisers spend $100,000 to $500,000 to get their products to have a cameo appearance in movies or television.

At times product placements like these are the effect of a bigger network advertising deal. Still, small product placement shops too maintain ties with prop artists, set designers and production officials. Some companies get product placement at zero cost.

Example – “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997) history-making $100 million product placement deal

Tomorrow Never Dies

  • BMW, Avis, and L’Oreal were among the few brands of corporate partners that contributed to the “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997) history-making $100 million product placement deal.
  • According to AMC, 100 % of its production budget was covered by the 18th Bond flick with brand tie-ins by 8 main partners.

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