This appeared originally as my answer to a question on Quora, which can be found here: What is the meaning of “non-product advertising”?
Not all advertising is done to promote a product. Sometimes, advertising is also done to promote a company’s ideology, or to share a message for the benefit of the society. Let’s look at both the scenarios individually:
- Image Advertising: This is done to promote the brand image of a company, or to promote certain non-product aspects of a company. For example, an oil production/oil marketing company may release advertisements to show how it supported environmental causes. Or a software giant may release a campaign to show how it supports underprivileged children in poor countries;
- Public Service Announcements: You must have surely seen the “Don’t Drink And Drive” advertisements. Such an ad is known as a public service announcement. Advertising campaigns that remind people to pay their taxes, or informing them about the benefits of enlisting in the army, or any ads similar to these are known as Public Service Announcements. They don’t sell any products, but they convey messages for the benefit of the public.
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