The 20 Types Of Advertising Explained

Advertising is an essential component of modern marketing aiming to promote an offering to a target audience. But advertising does not merely involve rolling out the ads, reaching the customer, and persuading them to take action. Instead, a variety of strategies and tactics are involved in advertising to make a brand reach the right customer.

In fact, a brand uses several types of advertising to get its message out, tapping each touchpoint in the consumer journey.

So, what are the different types if advertisements a brand uses to reach the right customer?

Types Of Advertising

Generally, advertising is divided into two types –

Traditional Advertising and Digital Advertising.

  • Traditional Advertising – Also known as offline advertising, it is the oldest form of advertising that uses traditional mediums such as television, radio, print (newspapers and magazines), billboards, direct mail, etc., to promote a brand’s offering. It enables brands to build awareness on a large scale quickly.
  • Digital Advertising – Also referred to as online advertising, it involves using digital channels such as search engines (Google, Yahoo), social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube), email marketing, etc., to showcase a brand’s offering. It offers the advantage of targeting potential customers more precisely and effectively.

Types Of Digital Advertising 

Modern advertising or digital advertising is the most popular form of advertising among marketers today. It involves a range of tactics that are used to target potential customers online. Here are some of the major types –

Paid search advertising or pay-per-click advertising (PPC) involves placing ads on webpages or search engine results and showing ads only to users who are searching for a specific keyword or product. This type of advertising allows brands to reach out to customers at the exact moment they are looking for a product or service.

Moreover, the brand only pays for the ad when someone clicks on it (CPC), views it (CPM), or performs an action (CPA).

Social Media Advertising

Advertisers also use social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., to reach out to users and promote their offerings. Just like PPC ads, social media advertisements are targeted ads but are based on people’s interests, demographic data and other user behaviour.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is an offset of social media marketing which uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers. Influencers are individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche.

They are more likely to influence their followers’ decisions when it comes to buying a product or service. So advertisers use influencers to reach their target audience and promote their offerings in a more authentic way, using sponsored posts, product reviews, or other types of content. 

Product Placement

Product placement refers to the practice of placing a brand’s product in movies, shows, or other content. It is an effective way to reach a large audience and create long-lasting impressions about the offering.

Also known as “embedded marketing” or “embedded advertising”, it enables brands to promote their product in an organic and subtle way. For example, the movie ‘The Italian Job’ featured Mini Coopers, who was one of the movie’s sponsors.

IM Advertising

IM advertising (Instant Message Advertising) is another form of digital advertising which involves using instant messaging channels such as SMS and WhatsApp to reach out to potential customers.

IM advertising involves sending text messages with promotional offers or product information to customers who have opted-in for promotional messages.

This type of advertising has the advantage of being quick, cost-effective and personalised, making it suitable for small businesses that want to reach out to their target audience more precisely

Display Advertising

Display advertising is a type of digital advertising which involves placing banners and display ads on websites, apps or social media channels.

It enables brands to attract potential customers with eye-catching visuals and creative messages. This type of advertising is best suited for building brand awareness in the short term.

Native Advertising

It is a form of online advertising that matches the structure and function of the platform on which it appears. It is designed to blend seamlessly with the content around it, which makes it appear less like a traditional ad and more like a part of the user experience.

For example, sponsored content that appears as part of an article or editorial section is a type of native advertising.

Email Advertising

Email advertising is a direct marketing channel that uses emails to promote a product or service. It is one of the oldest forms of digital advertising and involves sending promotional emails to an existing list of customers or prospects.

Email marketing is an effective way to reach out to potential customers, build relationships and increase sales.

Digital Signage Advertising

Digital signage advertising is the type of advertising where advertisers utilise digital screens such as LCD or LED displays to communicate their message.

This digital signage advertising is commonly used in public spaces, such as retail stores, shopping malls, airports, train stations, and sports arenas, to capture the attention of the audience crossing that signage. 

Video Advertising

Video advertising refers to advertisements placed in videos. It is one of the most popular forms of digital advertising and includes both pre-roll (before the video starts) and mid-roll ads (during the video), as well as overlay or banner ads.

Such ads are used in social media platforms, streaming services, and websites to increase brand awareness and drive sales in a more engaging and entertaining way.

Retargeting And Remarketing

Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a disruptive form of digital advertising that enables brands to reach out to people who have previously visited their website, app or online store with tailored ads.

Such ads use browser cookies to keep track of consumer behaviour and then serve ads accordingly.

It is an effective way to re-engage with engaged customers and bring them back to complete the desired action on your website, such as making a purchase.

For example, if a user visits an online store but doesn’t make a purchase, the store can then retarget them with advertisements for the same product but this time with offers.

Mobile Advertising

When an advertisement is displayed on smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices, it is known as mobile advertising. It is one of the most popular forms of digital advertising and includes text-based, display, and video ads.

Types Of Offline Advertising

Offline advertising or traditional advertising uses traditional media channels to promote products or services instead of using the internet. The most common types of offline advertising include:

Print Advertising

Print advertising is a type of offline advertising which involves placing ads in magazines, newspapers, and other printed materials.

It is one of the oldest forms of advertising and is still used by many brands to reach out to their target market. Print ads are typically used for raising brand awareness in the local area but can also be used to target a specific demographic.

Television Advertising

Television advertising is the type of advertising that uses TV commercials to promote a product or service. It is one of the most expensive types of advertising and is used by big companies with large budgets.

TV ads are typically used to reach a large audience at once, raise brand awareness and fulfil marketing objectives using an appropriate combination of visuals, audio, and text.

Radio Advertising

Radio advertising is the type of traditional advertising that uses radio commercials to promote a product or service.

It is usually a cheaper broadcast advertising medium than television, and it is typically used to target a specific demographic, such as listeners of particular genres of music or people living in a certain geographic area.

Direct Mail Advertising

Direct mail advertising is the type of offline advertising that involves sending printed ads directly to potential customers through the post.

Brands usually deliver marketing materials such as brochures, postcards, catalogues, sales letters, and newsletters to prospects’ house mailboxes using this direct marketing method.

It is considered one of the most effective and result-driven ways to reach out to new and existing customers.

Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising, also known as out-of-home (OOH) advertising, refers to any type of advertising that is done outside of people’s homes or businesses.

It includes billboards, street banners, signage on public transportation, and other outdoor advertising formats used to promote your product, service, or brand.

Trade Shows

It is an advertising method in which a company set up a booth at a trade show to showcase its products or services and demonstrate how they work

Trade shows usually attract industry experts, potential customers and investors interested in learning more about the products or services being offered. So, it acts as a great platform for businesses to network, promote their products or services, and generate leads.

In-Store Advertising

In-store advertising uses point-of-sale materials such as banners, posters, signs, displays and more to promote products within retail stores.

It is an effective way to reach customers who are already in the store and potentially interested in making a purchase. It can also be used to create a certain atmosphere (like Gruen transfer) or encourage impulse purchases.


Telemarketing refers to the use of telephones (cold calling) to reach out to potential customers and promote a product or service.

Advertisers use channels such as automated calls, live operator calls, or text messages to reach out and connect with potential customers.

It is a cost-effective way to promote products or services and generate leads.

Bottom Line 

Advertising is a crucial element in any business’s marketing mix, and it plays a vital role in brand promotion and customer engagement. Both online and offline advertising methods offer a range of options for businesses to reach their target audience effectively. 

Online advertising options such as social media, email marketing, and paid advertising campaigns have become increasingly popular due to their cost-effectiveness and broad reach. While offline advertising methods such as billboards, print ads, and television commercials still hold significant value in reaching local audiences. 

Each advertising medium mentioned above, whether online or offline, has unique strengths and weaknesses. Thus, to achieve your advertising goals, it is essential to understand your audience and pick the most appropriate advertising medium(s).