What is an Advertising Campaign?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

An advertising campaign is a specific course of action designed to advertise a company, cause, or product that employs an intentional and carefully coordinated series of marketing tools in order to reach the target audience. The end purpose of any ad campaign is to boost awareness of the subject matter and generate demand. The exact structure of the advertising campaign will often depend on the nature of the product or cause and the target audience that the campaign is designed to reach.

Sales flyers are used as part of a direct mail advertising campaign.
Sales flyers are used as part of a direct mail advertising campaign.

While specifics vary from one advertising campaign to another, some of the same tools are used in just about any campaign. Both print and electronic media are often used to generate attention and enthusiasm for the subject of the campaign, often with the logical and timely launch of different tools at specific points in the overall campaign. While in time past, electronic media referred more to television and radio broadcasts, that component now includes tools such as online banner ads, text messaging, and email advertisements.

Newspaper ads may be part of an advertising campaign.
Newspaper ads may be part of an advertising campaign.

In terms of print media used in an advertising campaign, ads placed in newspapers and magazines are a time-honored method of reaching the target audience. The ads usually are designed to pique the interest of readers and entice them to learn more about the topic of the ad. In order to ensure that the desired consumers are reached, the print advertisements will often appear in print media that is geared toward those consumers. For example, software that is designed to keep track of sales leads and existing clients may appear in a magazine that caters to sales and marketing professionals.

Direct advertising includes email marketing and direct text messaging marketing.
Direct advertising includes email marketing and direct text messaging marketing.

With electronic media, television and radio commercials remain a viable means of attracting the attention of buyers and creating demand for various products and services. Short television commercials designed to amuse as well as inform tend to make an impression on the viewer and are highly likely to entice a significant number of consumers to purchase the products displayed in the ad. In like manner, an advertising campaign may also include short radio commercials that catch the ear of the listener and help to conjure up visual images that create demand for the product.

An ad campaign is a specific course of action to market a product, service, company or cause, through media including TV.
An ad campaign is a specific course of action to market a product, service, company or cause, through media including TV.

Along with traditional methods of creating an advertising campaign, newer tools are making it possible to reach consumers in new ways. Many companies design advertising campaigns to current clients that rely on such tools as text messaging or email advertising. For example, a telephone service provider may notify existing customers of upcoming specials on bundled services by sending a text message to the client’s cell phone. As an alternative, the service provider may notify the customer of upcoming sales or new products and services via an email. When coordinated with other tools as part of an overall advertising campaign, it may be possible to upsell current clients to generate more revenue as well as gain a significant number of new customers.

For the most part, an advertising campaign will set specific goals that must be realized in a given period of time. In the event that the campaign does not quite meet the goals, the overall approach can be reworked slightly for the remainder of the campaign, or the information gained during the current campaign can be used to create a more effective follow-up advertising campaign strategy. Learning from the experience of past campaigns makes it possible to strengthen upcoming campaigns and move closer to achieving the goals set by the advertiser.

Displays at a shopping mall might be part of an advertisement campaign.
Displays at a shopping mall might be part of an advertisement campaign.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


Yup it's really true. Nowadays, advertising is necessary for businesses to stay in the market for a long time. For business advertising we can use banner, signs, flags, vinyl lettering, etc.


It's true, nowadays there are countless tools to present your campaign to the market and buyers are getting smarter every day, so companies have to catch up with them and use all necessary media to reach them and ultimately exceed their expectations.

Well for me, as long as you promote honest solutions to the market, they will see it through and will patronize your campaign.


There are really tons of tools that are available in the market and it is a fact that buyers right now are getting smarter and smarter everyday and a mediocre promotion won't cut it.

This is a real challenge to companies because they need to cope up with them, reach them with all sorts of technology and exceed their expectations.

Well for me as long as you give the consumer an honest solutions to their problem, they will see it through and you'll be fine.

Jenny Galiza


SauteePan-I know what you mean. Disney also promotes its marketing advertising campaigns regarding its movies.

Licensing of products related to Disney movies is always done to capitalize on the success of the film. For example, the recent release of Toy Story 3 and Tangled all had merchandise tie ins like toys of the characters as well as t shirts.

This cross promotion is like a free advertising campaign for the movie because the merchandise sold is sold at a profit and they remind the consumer about the movie.

The advertising campaign cost has to be managed to bring the highest return on those advertising dollars. Spending a lot of money on advertising without strategically seeking the right markets in which to advertise does not yield the most effective results.

Spending a lot of money is also not the answer because there is the economics law of diminishing returns to contend with. After a certain point additional advertising gains will not be made.


Icecream17-I agree with you. It is hard to ignore a radio advertisement or a newspaper advertisement, because radio ads tend to have catchy jingles, while newspaper advertising is unavoidable because they are on the page of the paper you are reading.

In order to read the story, you will glance at the advertisement. I also think that advertising campaign management as to have a clear strategy.

The implementation of a well thought out marketing mix of price, promotion, product and place have to be considered in a marketing advertising campaign.

Much of these elements will be determined by a series of market research focus group interviews that will reveal how to market the product or service to the consumer.

For example, a Disney advertising campaign is tied to the hotels as well as the theme parks. Disney often chooses off peak travel times to entice families to visit their parks as well as hotels.

They usually offer a Florida resident rate during these times because statistically these are the people that will most likely visit the park during off peak times. Sometimes these promotions offer 40% the regular Disney hotel rates and special pricing on a multiple day park hopper ticket.


A successful advertising campaign really makes a connection with the audience. The advertisement is memorable and often includes jingles that are designed to keep the name of the product in the consumer’s mind.

Advertising campaign effectiveness is really measured by how aligned the advertised product is to its target market. In order for advertising to really work it has to speak to the audience that is serves.

This requires extensive market research to determine who the target market is and what medium will be most effective in terms of advertising.

For example, radio and newspaper advertising is statistically less likely to be avoided, but television advertising can reach the highest amount of consumers but it is also the most likely to be ignored by them as well.

These are all things that go into the promotional aspects of the product or service.

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