Advertising has evolved into a vastly complex form of communication, with literally thousands of different ways for a business to get a message to the consumer. It could be said that cave paintings in some way represented the first forms of advertising, although the earliest recognized version of what we know as advertising was done on papyrus by the Egyptians. And in Pompeii, the ruins suggest that advertising was commonplace.
However, today the advertiser has a vast array of choices. The Internet alone provides many of these, with the advent of branded viral videos, banners, advertorials, sponsored websites, branded chat rooms and so much more.
Fortunately, every single tactic available to the advertiser falls into one of the following buckets. Although a few of these are relatively new to the field, most go way back to the very beginnings of modern advertising.
If an advertisement is printed on paper, be it newspapers, magazines, newsletters, booklets, flyers, direct mail, or anything else that would be considered a portable printed medium, then it comes under the banner of print advertising.
Also known as ambient media, guerrilla advertising (or marketing) has become prominent over the last 20 years. It is a broadly used term for anything unconventional, and usually invites the consumer to participate or interact with the piece in some way. Location is important, as is timing. The driving forces behind guerrilla advertising or marketing are creative ideas and innovation, not a large budget. Quite often, you will ask for forgiveness rather than permission with these campaigns, and they will spread via word of mouth and social media.
A mass-market form of communication including television and radio, broadcast advertising has, until recently, been the most dominant way to reach a large number of consumers.
Also known as out-of-home (OOH) advertising, this is a broad term that describes any type of advertising that reaches the consumer when he or she is outside of the home.
Unlike traditional commercials, Public Service Advertisements (PSA) are primarily designed to inform and educate rather than sell a product or service.
In a nutshell, product placement is the promotion of branded goods and services within the context of a show or movie, rather than as an explicit advertisement.
A relatively new form of advertising, but one that's spreading rapidly, uses cell phones, iPads, Kindles, Nooks, and other portable electronic devices with Internet connectivity. Current trends in mobile advertising involve major use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
If you see an advertisement via the Internet (World Wide Web), then it is classified as online advertising. In fact, there are ads on this very page, and most other websites you visit, as they are the primary revenue driver for the Internet. Learn more about this vital part of the Internet.