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Dare: Define 'Advertising'
By: Janet Kalandranis
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It’s not as easy as it looks. Maybe 10 or 15 years ago there was a textbook definition that just about anyone could recite, but today the word means so much more. Advertising for brands has taken on a world of definitions, some that are accepted by all and some that are just as creative as brands themselves.

Advertising doesn’t fit into a little box with pre-determined definitions. Instead, it steps out of the norm and really encompasses anything that produces a benefit for the brand. It runs across mediums, across channels, and never really measures itself against a set of words. In years past, brands used to request advertising from an agency and it was pretty straightforward. Create a plan with some print, broadcast, maybe outdoor, go through a revision process, and the campaign was well on its way. Today the process is much different. Brands aren’t requesting advertising, but are looking at goals and asking for initiatives that achieve those goals. This means a multitude of partners can be accessed and the breadth of options is essentially limitless. And yes, this is all now in the world of advertising.

Branding 101 is probably a much different class than it was a decade ago. That chapter on advertising? Cut out, rewritten, and probably updated quite often. Sure, there are some sticklers that force advertising into a definition of their own, but that’s simply not realistic. Today brands have multiple “advertising” options from the traditional to the social to the more creative sponsorships. But what’s great about so many options is that they don't end with a list. Brands and their partners are now forever creating new ways to advertise without it seeming so blatantly obvious and so boringly the same. This allows brands to do something that works for their business and ultimately showcases what makes them who they are and why customers need to hop on board. Advertising is now this creative impetus to get a brand’s name out there and provide a specific audience response.

What is included in advertising today will surely evolve in decades to come. That’s why everyone works in this branding/marketing world. It’s ever-changing, ever-evolving, and allows creativity to shine from one idea to the next. So don’t try to create the perfect definition, but instead create “advertising” that fits the brand, achieves a certain goal, and of course pushes the brand further into success. That, friends, is what advertising is all about!


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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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