What Is the Importance of Commercial Advertising?

What Is the Importance of Commercial Advertising?
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Commercial advertising allows your business to build its customer base by taking your message directly to consumers. It allows you to control that message, whether you intend to inform the public about your company’s existence, educate consumers about your offerings, build your brand identity or demonstrate where your competitors fail to make the grade.

Product Awareness

Commercial advertising lets your target audience know that you exist and that you have the products and services that can solve a problem in their lives. If you’re offering a distinctive product, service or value proposition to the customer, commercial advertising is a way to get the word out quickly and more broadly than through referrals from existing customers or waiting for people to find you by chance.


Reaching out to your audience via television and radio can educate the public about what you offer and how people can get your product or service. For example, Chipotle educates customers about the ingredients in its burritos via its "Food With Integrity" message. The campaign, which included an animated Super Bowl commercial, engages customers emotionally as it stresses the sustainable ingredients on its menu. Your restaurant might not have an NFL-sized advertising budget, but that doesn't mean you can't use commercial advertising to inform consumers about using local produce for your own menu and how that makes a positive contribution to the environment.


Particularly for low-involvement buying decisions that consumers just want to complete quickly, a positive impression of your brand and what it stands for can be the central ingredient that generates sales. Commercial advertising gives you the opportunity to tell potential customers about your attributes, which can have a positive result over time. Exposing them to the message once or twice isn't likely to make a difference, but research shows that a moderate level of repetition has the greatest effect. If you're selling T-shirts at the beach, a few TV or radio commercials can be the nudge that sets your brand apart from other vendors marketing similar products. Moreover, once customers have a positive impression of your brand, future commercial advertisements underscore that positive impression.


For some products and services, commercial advertising can be a useful way of directly comparing your product to what your competitors offer and demonstrating how yours is superior. You don't need to turn your commercials into attack ads, but showing customers the differences can have a positive effect on how your brand is perceived. Think of the many commercials for laundry detergents that have a side-by-side comparison of how effectively one brand cleans shirts compared to another. It can be successful for high-tech items as well. Manufacturers of mobile phones, for example, can use them to make their own devices look hip and the competition’s stale.


Commercial advertising doesn’t always involve searching for mass audiences with a multimillion-dollar Super Bowl commercial. TV and radio offer audience information that can allow you to pick and choose stations and programs that meet your customer demographics. In this case, market fragmentation in the industry can work to your benefit, assuming you can find the niche related to what you're trying to sell, because it avoids wasting money reaching those unlikely to be in the market for what you are offering. For example, a lower-rated radio station might be the perfect outlet for your marketing dollars if it airs a program that is particularly popular among your target market.