9 Effective Functions/Roles Of Advertising (With Examples)

The functions or roles of advertising can be seen as the critical communication value advertising performs or conveys to the target audience when well implemented by an organization.

In other words…

When an firm, business owner or an advertiser runs a promotional campaign about a product or service, the messages communicated to the target audience from the ads can be viewed as the functions of advertisement.

For example:

Let’s say you saw a television advert on a new and improved vacuum cleaner for the very first time… Now, via that advert, the advertiser or firm have successfully INFORM you about the product.

So by making you aware of the new vacuum cleaner,  the ads has performed a function or role of advertising called INFORMATION or AWARENESS CREATION


If you happen to see the ads again another time, the function of that advert will change… from initially creating awareness or informing you of the Improved vacuum cleaner to REMINDING you about the product.

It’s possible you were convinced and was ready to buy after seeing the promotional campaign on the vacuum cleaner the first time…

…but due to other activities that comes with day, you forget to buy it when you last visited the store.

Therefore, by seeing the ads again (x2) you’re more likely to buy on your next time out.  Because, of course, you very much need the upgrade for run a cleaner home.

Let’s now get into business of the day…

9 Functions Or Roles Of Advertising

1. Informing target audience

Advertising helps a company actually create awareness for their product… By giving them opportunity to let them INFORM their target audience there’s a better solution to their problem.

I gave an example earlier on a vacuum cleaner which i want to believe you understood pretty well.

Furthermore, It (advertising) further gives them (advertiser, firms etc)   the opportunity to educates their prospects on how to use their product…

…and also provide them with other needed information to enhance purchase decision.

2. Influencing prospects to buy

Properly displayed advert actually propels prospect to want to try a company’s product.

Change is constant – they say.   And that’s why people love to upgrade.

In essence, effectively displayed advertising make target audience be like:

I am definitely upgrading to that tomorrow.

This is why tech giants like Apple have been able to get me and you buying their latest gadgets when we aren’t even done with the last one. Iphone in particular.

Bottom line?

Another key functions of advertising is       it    makes customers or consumers question their current choices. And spring up reasoned arguments and emotional appeals for trying a brand versus another.

3. To remind and increase salience

When a need arises that is related to an advertised product, past advertising impact makes it possible for an advertiser’s brand to come to the consumer’s mind as a purchase candidate.

You’ll agree with me that people can’t patronize what they’re not aware off… What  you don’t know you don’t buy.

So basically, what advertising does is that it literally puts an advertiser’s product in the eyes and minds of the target audience.


The essence of this is to ensure a company’s target audience thinks towards the direction of their product as the solution to their problem or need — when it arises.

In relation to the vacuum cleaner example i gave earlier:

let’s say the product was from company X. And they’re other competing one’s from company Y and Z respectively.

Now, because the sponsor of the ads (regarding the vacuum cleaner) you saw was that of company X, you’re more likely to think towards purchasing theirs when you need a vacuum cleaner… thereby neglecting that of Company Y and Z.

In essence, the ads you saw from company X has made their product particularly noticeable or more important to you.

The kicker here is:

Another key function of advertising is that it keeps a company’s brand fresh in the consumers memory.

This is why some big companies often let a particular advert run repeatedly for a while before changing.

4. To create brands and products differentiation

Brand advertising

Product A is from the brand Apple.

Product B is from the brand Samsung.

And Although they’re mobile phones, they’re not the same, Yes? Good.

The reason you agreed is because both tech companies have been able to differentiate their brand using various type of advertising .

And that’s it right there…

One of the distinct roles of advertising is that, it makes an advertiser’s target audience recognize and differentiate their product from competing/similar ones.

Also see:

Meaning of Advertising: 2 Easy Definition of Advertising and Their Key Terms.

5. Adding value

One of the 3 basic ways organizations or advertisers add value to their products is by altering consumer’s perception via advertising.

How is Alteration Of Consumer’s Perception done?

Advertisers achieve this by running promotional campaigns about their product and services that makes their target audience see their products in a different way. Or rather, from a different angel.

For example: Nike’s Air Jordan

Despite the fact they’re just another shoe manufacturing brand like Adidas and the likes… they’ve been able to add value to their product by making you feel owning an Air Jordan —  will make you jump like the famous Michael Jordan

So if you own a pair of Jordans’,  Nike have successfully altered your perception as a consumer…

…and that of millions of their target audience globally — by using Michael Jordan’s image and a few basketball heroics to advertise their product.

It’s no surprise the first “Air Jordan” sneaker generated more than $100 million in sales in the first 12 months – after its release in 1984.


Michael Jordan himself has earned $1.3 billion from his Nike deal since 1984, including $130 million last year alone, according to Forbes

Bottom line?

One of those key functions of advertising is that it influences consumers/customers perception…

This in an effect — makes brands to be viewed as more elegant, more stylish, more prestigious and also of higher quality.

6. Assisting other company’s effort.

Sometimes, promotional campaigns (adverts) are run in other to support other marketing communication tools advertisers use to stimulate sales.

In case you’re wondering:

What is marketing communication?

It simply refer to the means through which information or messages about goods and services are conveyed to the target audience.

Now aside advertising, other marketing or promotional tools are personal selling, publicity, sales promotion and public relation…

…all of those tools are the other effort big organizations leverage in building a successful brand, creating awareness for their product and generating massive sales.

How Does Advertising Then Assist Other Organization’s effort?

Let’s say i happen to be a sales representative for Apple Inc.

(in essence, aside other advertising media and types, it simply means the brand is also into personal selling as   a   way  of   communicating   their   product to   their   target   audience… Logically, a company’s that’s NOT into personal selling won’t have sales reps)


Thanks to advertising, my job as the company’s (Apple Inc) salesmen has been made easy…


If i approach you and i be like:

Hi, I am Godwin from Apple Inc…

Without doubt, you must have already known I’m talking about the globally recognised gadget producing firm.

In essence, the advertising medias and types used by the firm prior to my contact with you — has made it easy for me as a sales rep to come up with introduction you as a prospective customer can easily relate with.

And not look at with those eyes…

Image credit: Memes monkey

Bottom line?

Advertising presells the product of firm… and also set the stage for other marketing communication tools to come in and thrive.

For instance:

consumers can easily recognise the package of a product thanks an advert they saw on it… probably on television or a billboard.

Also See:

Reasons For Advertising: 12 Mandatory Reasons You Need To

Below are some of the other roles of advertising you need to know.

functions of advertising

7. Helps in increasing product interest.

Good advertisement has a high level  attractiveness that arouses curiosity of the target audience…

…and makes them wants to try the product displayed.

8. Performs the role of increasing product demand

When customers curiosity has been aroused, they are more likely to quench it by ordering the product in question.

And that’s how advertising influences the increasing demand of a product.

9. Improving standard of living

Advertising facilitates the communication of improved product to potential end users and also educates  on how to use it.

For example, bleaching product… A toilet let bleach to be specific.

It Came as an improved solution to using ordinary detergent to clean a toilet.

While promoting this type of product,  advertisers tends to work on a dramatic demonstration that shows you the effectiveness of the product…

…and also educate you on how to use it yourself for best result.

See video below.

The same ads techniques applies to the like of dishwashers, washing machines, mixers, etc.

These are improved solutions (products) that mere talking about them won’t cut it… As an advertiser, you need to show your audience and to best use it.

And by so doing:

You are using advertising to help people adopt new ways of life and give up outdated methods.

So there you have it… 9 functions of advertising with examples…


What are the stages of advertising?

This simply refer to the systematic procedures advertisers leverage while setting up a promotional campaign for a brand, product or service.

The stages are actually 7… see this guide for more information

Recommended for you:

Meaning of Advertising: 2 Easy Definition of Advertising and Their Key Terms.

Reasons For Advertising: 12 Mandatory Reasons You Need To

Over To You

So what’s your take on this article?

Let me know below…

Also, i don’t know it all…

…so if you’ve got more roles of advertising i didn’t mention, use the comment section to share your thoughts.

Trust me your contributions, corrections or suggestions will be highly appreciated.

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