Sunday, 4 November 2012

Characteristics of advertising


In this blog post, I am going to explain the different characteristics of advertising and provide basic examples to help explain my point. The four characteristics I am going to explain are;
  • Advantages over similar products
  • USP (Unique Selling Point)
  • Lifestyle appeal
  • Brand identity

Advantages over similar products

The characteristic for advertisements on having "advantages over similar products" means how an advert highlights the features which this product/service has over rivaling companies. This is a important characteristic because it will help an audience to choose their product/service over the competing companies.

An example of two companies that are promoting the same or similar products/services is the iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2. The advantages that the iPhone 4S has over the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 product is the Apple branded voice control/personal assistant software called "Siri".

iPhone 4S Advert (

Samsung Galaxy S II TV commercial - vivid screen and fast processor (

USP (Unique Selling Point)

USP (Unique Selling Point/Proposition) is a characteristic for television adverts which means the key feature or benefits (rewards incentive) available to the customer to persuade them into purchasing the product/service with a company. The USP is a key characteristic because it shows a purpose on why the customer should buy it and what makes the product/service different from any other product in the market.

An example of a USP is the advertisements. These adverts offer extra nectar points to the customer if they use their service, which is a unique selling point, because rival companies like "compare the market" or "go compare" don't offer this rewards incentive. - Life Insurance Nectar Points (2012, UK) (

Lifestyle appeal

Lifestyle appeal is a advertisement characteristic which means how the product/service/company relates to the lifestyle of their target audience. The lifestyle of a target customer group consists of their age, gender, family, job, social life, how busy/hectic their life is (timing), which season/festivity they are relating to, how much money they have (niche luxury items, or affordable money saving schemes), etc.

This is a important characteristic because to be able to communicate and promote their product.service to the right customer market, they must appeal to their lives and show how it will make their life easier/fit in with their daily life.

An example of an advert which appeals to the lifestyle of their target customer is the Apple iCloud software. This advert shows different scenarios for people of all ages and with different lifestyles on how purchasing this software/apple products will help make their lives easier and how anybody of any ages can use it.

Apple - Introducing iCloud (

Brand identity

The final characteristic of advertisements that I am going to explain is Brand identity. This is the visual and auditory representation of a company, brand or product. In simple terms, it is how a brand establishes a face for their company and the use of promotional material which will help customers recognize their company using visual (logos, colours, fonts) and auditory (slogans, jingles, soundtracks) factors.

A logo is a image which represents a brand visually and it helps a company relate its products back to them.

For a brand to help establish its identity and use factors that will get consumers to relate to them, the marketing department of a company undergo research on graphics and promotional design to look into factors called Denotation and Connotation.

An example of a brand identity advertisement is for Aviva. This advert shows when the company Norwich Union changed their name to Aviva. At the end of the advert, it shows the new company logo and name with the use of the brand house styles (colour, font, shapes, etc.). This is done to help establish a brand within the market and to inform customers of it's new identity.

HD: Aviva - Not Business as Usual - The New Advert to Promote Norwich Union's Name Change to (

Denotation means "In media-studies terminology, denotation is an example of the first level of analysis: what the audience can visually see on a page. Denotation often refers to something literal, and avoids being a metaphor. Here it is usually coupled with connotation which is the second level of analysis, being what the denotation represents." (1) Denotation explores the concepts on "what is it" (shape, colours, font).

Connotation means "A connotation is a commonly understood subjective cultural or emotional association that some word or phrase carries"(2) Connotation means what it represents (emotional, subliminal meaning)

An example of connotation and denotation is, a red heart (denotation) may symbolize love and affection (connotation) due to the shape and the colour.

Bibliography (05/11/2012)

(1) (05/11/2012)

(2) (05/11/2012)

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