We explain what advertising messages are, how they are classified and what their elements are. In addition, its characteristics and examples.

What are advertising messages?

An advertising message or advertisement is a type of message transmitted through graphic , audiovisual or auditory supports, generally of short duration. Its objective is to publicize a product , service, institution or topic, usually for commercial purposes.

They are popularly known as "commercials", "advertising", "ads" or "propaganda".

Advertising messages make up most of today's promotion and communication mechanisms . They have a huge presence in the urban environment , the media (print, radio and audiovisual), and also on the Internet .

They generally apply convincing strategies that operate at a rational, emotional and subjective level.

This type of advertising is controlled by state law and is considered an economic activity in itself. Those who study and develop advertising messages are called advertisers .

Function of advertising messages

In the first place, its objective is to make a product, service or theme visible , thus bringing it closer to its consumer or interest audience.

Its ultimate purpose is to motivate the purchase , convincing the public to buy the product, want it or need it.

Types of advertising message

Advertising messages can be classified according to the medium they use to promote themselves:

  • Textual. They consist of compositions with written text , using typographical styles and other verbal resources, such as jingles, clever phrases, narrations , etc.
  • Mixed. Typical of billboards and print newspapers , they display still images ( photographs , illustrations, etc.) and text, to express an existing relationship.
  • Audiovisuals. They take advantage of modern technology to use sounds and moving images, such as on television .
  • Radials. Auditory pieces transmitted by radio .
  • Digital ads. Specific to the Internet, incorporating the digital possibilities offered by networks to all the previous variants.

Effect on consumers

The effect of advertising on consumers is always unpredictable , even for specialists in the field.

Generally, the advertising message seeks to arouse sympathy, fixate on the memory or highlight the benefits of the product , as well as convince the eventual buyer that it would be better for him to buy it. Ideally, this is what happens.

However, there have been numerous cases of advertising messages that have the opposite effect : they offend the buyer or distance him from the product, offend feelings or transmit the wrong message regarding what is offered.

Elements that make up the advertising message

Elements that make up the advertising message

Advertising messages generally have the following elements:

  • Shot. From bullet (“bullet”) in English, it is a short, striking phrase that illustrates or condenses the message.
  • Referential image. They are images that reflect the emotional tenor of the advertisement, whether they are of the product itself, or images that refer to it more or less directly, that provide sensations or suggest emotions that are associated with the product: models, famous actors, celebrities, imaginary characters, etc. .
  • Text. The words, phrases, or typographical elements that provide the specific information.
  • Call to action. It is a final sentence in which the viewer is invited to act in a certain way, generally emphatic: “Buy it!”, “Look for it now!”, etc.
  • Slogans. Playful, witty or catchy phrases that are associated with the product and serve to give it a certain personality of its own.
  • Contact. The data necessary to contact advertisers or manufacturers. They are usually the last thing to appear.
  • Music and accompaniment. Applies only to audiovisual or radio announcements, giving the message a memorable tone, feeling or rhythm.

Structure of the advertising message

It generally has a structure of four areas or lines:

  • Headline or heading. The top and most visible part of the ad , usually in the center, where the viewer's attention is captured.
  • image body. The set of photographs, images or drawings (or sequences of them) shape the advertising message, and are usually central to the message, without overshadowing the headline.
  • Body of text. It is the textual content of the message, that is, what it has to say. It usually occupies a secondary region within the advertisement, once it has captured the attention of the viewer or reader.
  • Firm. The last thing that is perceived, the "personalized" elements of the company being advertised: contact details, logo, slogan or other elements that constitute its corporate image.

Advertising Message Styles

Advertising Message Styles

By styles we refer to the way of persuading or attracting a message in question, that is, the strategies used to fulfill its mission. Thus, we have:

  • Emotional messages. Those that appeal to the emotionality or emotionality of the public, that is, to move them through their feelings, and not with logical or rational arguments. Among them, the exploitation of sex and desire is extremely frequent.
  • Rational messages. Those that appeal to the logic and rationality of the consumer, providing information, data, reasoning or arguments in favor of their position, frontally, although not necessarily frankly.
  • Subliminal messages. Those that hide information or content in inner layers of the message, that cannot be perceived by the conscious human mind, but that are fixed in the depth of the mind. They are normally prohibited by law .

Advertising History

Advertising is an invention of the consumer society , but it existed as a mostly government function since ancient times. For example, the kings communicated their edicts or new laws through messages posted (or recited) on public roads.

The Industrial Revolution caused the growth of markets and the invention of new and more powerful written and audiovisual media.

This made it possible to satisfy a growing need among producers and marketers: to make themselves visible and attract the public to their brands . This is how the promotion of products, goods and services was born, and it evolved to become what it is today.


Marketing or marketing

Companies have marketing departments (also called marketing) that are made up of specialists in the advertising world .

They are responsible for creating messages in the most competitive way possible. To achieve this, they take into account factors such as the local culture , the target audience, the messages of the competition, etc.

In addition to the data they consult, these departments often have people with a creative component . In this way, creative commercial promotions are achieved .

Analysis of the advertising message

The analysis of advertising messages can occur at various levels , and involve different techniques or knowledge .

The aspects analyzed can be strictly commercial or contextual , such as the colors associated with the product or the company, the positioning with respect to the competition, etc.

But the more semiotic (of cultural meaning), anthropological or sociological features can also be included. They who can discover the deepest layers of meaning within an apparently innocent advertising message.

Examples of advertising message

Some examples of advertising messages are:

  • Skittles , sweets
  • Coke
  • Nike , sports apparel brand

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring to reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.


MA student of the TransAtlantic Masters program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Political Science with a focus on European Studies. Expressed ideas are open to revision. He not only covers Technical articles but also has skills in the fields of SEO, graphics, web development and coding. .

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