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What Is General Advertising?

    General advertising is a marketing campaign companies use to inform consumers about products. Unlike directional advertising, the general form typically has universal appeal and does not focus on a singular demographic. The advertisements under these programs may be specific to each country in which a company advertises. The purpose for these general advertising techniques is to ensure that each country’s advertisements meet the cultural needs of consumers. A few different aspects for advertising processes generally arise in each marketing campaign.

    The purpose of a general advertising campaign often has multiple goals. These may include informing first-time users about a product, establishing a brand in the current market, enticing current consumers to purchase new products, or launching a new product. Each method may occur at a different time for a company. In some cases, however, a company may simply use a single marketing campaign to accomplish all these goals. Regional changes to these commercials or advertising campaigns are common as the commercials can advertise specific products to an area.

    Placing an ad in a newspaper can be considered general advertising, as a wide group of people will read it and not just a single demographic.
    Placing an ad in a newspaper can be considered general advertising, as a wide group of people will read it and not just a single demographic.

    Companies may find general advertising to be both expensive and inexpensive at times. The process can be expensive if a company is attempting to blanket a market with a current marketing message. For example, launching a new product may result in advertisements placed on radio, television, and newspapers. Though all of these can greatly extend the reach of marketing messages, the amount of advertising can be quite expensive, especially for a national campaign. A benefit to the process, however, is to find one radio or television group that can work on a national basis.

    Advertising on the radio can be part of a general advertising campaign.
    Advertising on the radio can be part of a general advertising campaign.

    Inexpensive approaches to general advertising include the use of a single advertisement to blanket a market. This cuts down on the production costs for a specific advertisement agenda, whether on a radio or television delivery method or both. Another purpose of general advertising is the ability to retain advertisements for long time periods. For example, a severely generic commercial means a company can use the message in six to 12 months or greater. This creates both familiarity with consumers and saves money from producing new advertisements.

    Magazines can be used for general advertising.
    Magazines can be used for general advertising.

    The creation of a specific general advertising campaign should still be an option for companies. For example, a company may need to create seasonal advertisements for a national campaign. This creates awareness for new seasons in a national sense, bringing in more consumers during expected times of higher sales for goods and services.