Setting the Advertising Objectives

Advertising objectives can be classified according to whether their aim is to inform, persuade, or remind.

^ Informative advertising figures heavily in the pioneering stage of a product category, where the objective is to build primary demand. Thus, DVD makers initially had to inform consumers of the benefits of this technology.

^ Persuasive advertising becomes important in the competitive stage, where the objective is to build selective demand for a particular brand. For example, Chivas Regal attempts to persuade consumers that it delivers more taste and status than other brands of Scotch whiskey. Some persuasive advertising is comparative advertising, which explicitly compares two or more brands.16

^ Reminder advertising is important with mature products. Coca-Cola ads are primarily intended to remind people to purchase Coca-Cola. A related form of advertising is reinforcement advertising, which seeks to assure current purchasers that they have made the right choice. Automobile ads often depict satisfied customers enjoying special features of their new car.

The advertising objective should emerge from a thorough analysis of the current marketing situation. If the product class is mature, the company is the market leader, and brand usage is low, the proper objective should be to stimulate more usage. If the product class is new, the company is not the market leader, but the brand is superior to the leader, then the proper objective is to convince the market of the brand's superiority.

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