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Developing an Advertising Campaign
Several steps are required to develop an advertising campaign, which is the creation and
execution of a series of advertisements to communicate with a particular target audience.
The number of steps and the exact order in which they are carried out can vary according to
the organization’s resources, the nature of its products, and the types of audiences to be
Identifying and Analyzing the Target Audience
The target audience is the group of people toward whom advertisements are aimed.
A target audience may include everyone in the firm’s target market, but at times, marketers
may wish to direct a campaign at only a portion of the target market.
Advertisers research and analyze target audiences to establish an information base for a
campaign. Information commonly needed includes location and geographic distribution of
the target group; the distribution of age, income, race, sex, and education; and consumer
attitudes regarding the purchase and use of both the advertiser’s products and competing
Generally, the more advertisers know about the target audience, the better able they are to
develop an effective advertising campaign.
Defining the Advertising Objectives
To develop a campaign with direction and purpose, advertisers must define their advertising
Because advertising objectives guide campaign development, advertisers should define
them carefully to ensure that the campaign will accomplish what they desire.
Advertising objectives should be stated in clear, precise, and measurable terms.
a) Precision and measurability allow advertisers to evaluate advertising success at the
campaign’s end in terms of whether or not the objectives have been met.
(1) To provide precision and measurability, advertising objectives should contain benchmarks
and indicate how far an advertiser wishes to move from the benchmark.
(2) An advertising objective should specify a time frame so that advertisers know exactly how
long they have to accomplish the objective.
b) Advertising objectives usually are stated in terms of either sales or communication.
(1) When an advertiser defines objectives in terms of sales, the objectives focus on increasing
absolute dollar sales, increasing sales by a certain percentage, or increasing the firm’s
market share.
(2) When objectives are stated in terms of communication, they are designed to increase brand
or product awareness, make consumers’ attitudes more favorable, or increase consumers’
knowledge of a product’s features.
Creating the Advertising Platform
An advertising platform consists of issues or selling points an advertiser wishes to include
in the advertising campaign.
A marketer’s advertising platform should consist of issues that are important to
a) One of the best ways to determine what those issues are is to survey consumers about what
they consider most important in the selection and use of the product involved.
b) Research is the most effective method for determining the issues of an advertising platform,
but it is expensive.
c) The most common way to develop a platform is to base it on the opinions of personnel
within the firm and individuals in the advertising agency if an agency is used.
3. Because the advertising platform is a base on which to build the message, marketers should
analyze this stage carefully in developing an advertising campaign.
4. If the advertisements communicate information that consumers do not consider important
when they select and use the product, the campaign can fail.
Determining the Advertising Appropriation
The advertising appropriation is the total amount of money a marketer allocates for
advertising for a specific time period.
Many factors affect the amount of the advertising appropriation, including size of
geographic market, distribution of buyers within the market, type of product advertised, and
the firm’s sales volume relative to competitors’.
Various techniques are used to determine the advertising appropriation.
In the objective-and-task approach, marketers initially determine the objectives that a
campaign is to achieve and then attempt to list the tasks required to accomplish them. Once
the tasks have been determined, their costs are added to ascertain the appropriation needed
to accomplish the objectives.
b) In the percent-of-sales approach, marketers multiply a firm’s past sales, plus a factor for
planned sales growth or decline, by a standard percentage based on what the firm
traditionally spends on advertising and what the industry averages.
c) In the competition-matching approach, marketers try to match their major competitors’
appropriations in terms of absolute dollars or to allocate the same percentage of sales for
advertising that competitors allocate.
d) In the arbitrary approach, a high-level executive in the firm states how much can be spent on
advertising for a certain time period.
Developing the Media Plan
To derive the maximum results from media expenditures, a marketer must develop an
effective media plan, which sets forth the exact media vehicles to be used and the dates and
times the advertisements will appear.
The media planner’s primary goal is to reach the largest number of persons in the
advertising target per dollar spent on media.
a) Reach—the percentage of consumers in the target audience actually exposed to a particular
advertisement in a stated period of time
b) Frequency—the number of times these targeted consumers are exposed to the
3. When selecting media, the planner must first decide which kinds of media to use: radio,
television, the Internet, newspapers, magazines, direct mail, outdoor displays, mass transit
vehicles, or some combination of these.
4. Media planners must consider many factors when formulating the media plan.
a) They should analyze the location and demographic characteristics of people in the target
audience because people’s taste in media differ according to demographic groups and
b) They should consider the sizes and types of audiences specific media reach.
c) Declining broadcast television ratings have led many companies to explore alternative
media, including not only cable television and Internet advertising but also ads on cell
phones and product placements in videogames.
5. The message content sometimes affects the types of media used.
a) Print media can be used more effectively than broadcast media to present many issues or
numerous details.
b) When colors, patterns, and textures are important, media that can yield high-quality
reproduction, such as magazines or television, should be used.
6. Media planners should try to obtain the best coverage possible for each dollar spent. A cost
comparison indicator lets an advertiser compare the costs of several vehicles within a
specific medium relative to the number of persons reached by each vehicle.
7. There are three general types of media schedules.
a) Continuous—advertising runs at a constant level with little variation.
b) Flighting—advertisements run for set periods of time, alternating with periods in which no
ads run.
c) Pulsing—a combination of continuous and flighting.
F. Creating the Advertising Message
1. The basic content and form of an advertising message are a function of several factors.
a) A product’s features, uses, and benefits affect the content of the message.
b) Characteristics of people in the target audience, including gender, age, education, race,
income, occupation, lifestyle, and other attributes, influence both the content and the form.
c) An advertising campaign’s objectives and platform also affect the content and form of its
(i) If a firm’s advertising objectives involve large sales increases, the message may have to be
stated in hard-hitting, high-impact language and symbols; when campaign objectives aim at
increasing brand awareness, the message may use repetition of the brand name and words
and illustrations associated with it.
(ii) The platform is the foundation on which campaign messages are built.
d) Choice of media obviously influences the content and form of the message.
(1) Effective outdoor displays and short broadcast spot announcements require concise, simple
(2) Magazine and newspaper advertisements can include numerous details and long
(3) Some magazine publishers print regional issues, in which advertisements and editorials are
different in different geographic regions. A precise message content can be tailored to a
particular geographic section of the advertising target.
2. Messages for most advertisements depend on the use of copy and artwork.
a) Copy
Copy is the verbal portion of the advertisement and may include headlines, subheadlines, body
copy, and signature. Not all advertising copy contains all of these copy elements.
(i) The headline is critical because it is often the only part of the copy that people read. It should
attract readers’ attention and create enough interest to make them want to read the body
(ii) The subheadline links the headline to body copy and sometimes helps explain the headline.
(3) Body copy consists of an introductory statement or paragraph, several explanatory
paragraphs, and a closing paragraph.
(4) The signature contains the firm’s trademark, logo, name, and address, identifying the
sponsor. It should be attractive, legible, distinctive, and easy to identify in a variety of sizes.
(5) Radio copy should be informal and conversational and consist of short, familiar terms, to
attract listeners’ attention and result in greater impact.
(6) Television copy should neither overpower nor be overpowered by the visual material.
(7) A storyboard is a mockup combining copy and visual material to show the sequence of
major scenes in the commercial.
b) Artwork
Artwork consists of an advertisement’s illustration and layout.
(i) Illustrations are often photographs, but they can also be presented as drawings, graphs,
charts, and tables. They are used to attract attention, encourage the audience to read or listen
to the copy, communicate an idea quickly, or communicate an idea that is difficult to put
into words.
(ii) The layout is the physical arrangement of the illustration, headline, subheadline, body copy,
and signature.
1. The execution of an advertising campaign requires an extensive amount of planning and
2. Implementation requires detailed schedules to ensure that various phases of the work are
completed on time. Advertising management personnel must evaluate the quality of work
and take corrective action when necessary.
Evaluating Advertising Effectiveness
There are a variety of ways to test the effectiveness of advertising.
Measuring achievement of advertising objectives
Assessing the effectiveness of copy, illustrations, or layout
Evaluating certain media
Advertising can be evaluated before, during, and after the campaign.
a) Evaluations performed before the campaign begins are called pretests. To pretest
advertisements, marketers sometimes use a consumer jury, which consists of a number of
persons who are actual or potential buyers of the advertised product.
(i) During such a test, jurors are asked to judge one or several dimensions of two or more
(ii) Such tests are based on the belief that consumers are more likely than advertising experts to
know what will influence them.
b) To measure advertising effectiveness during a campaign, marketers usually rely on
(i) In the initial stages of a campaign, an advertiser may use several advertisements
simultaneously, each containing a coupon, form, or toll-free number through which
potential customers can request information.
(ii) The advertiser records the number of inquiries returned and determines which advertisement
generated the most response.
c) Evaluation of advertising effectiveness after the campaign is called a posttest. Advertising
objectives often determine what kind of posttest is appropriate.
(i) If the objectives focus on communication, then the posttest should measure changes in
dimensions such as product awareness, brand awareness, or customer attitudes.
(ii) For campaign objectives stated in terms of sales, the posttest should measure changes in
dimensions such as sales or market share.
(3) Posttest methods based on memory include recognition and recall tests.
(a) In a recognition test, individual respondents are shown the actual advertisement and asked
whether they recognize it.
(b) Recall can be measured through either unaided or aided recall methods. An unaided recall
test is a posttest that asks subjects to identify recently seen ads but does not provide any
clues. Unaided recall test is a posttest that asks subjects to identify recently seen ads and
provides clues to jog their memories.
(c) The major justification for using recognition and recall methods is that individuals are more
likely to buy the product if they can remember an advertisement than if they cannot
remember it.