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Definition: Institutional Advertising
The main objective of institutional advertising is to build a positive image and to generate goodwill about a particular industry, rather than to promote sales. The benefits, ideas and philosophies of the business are conveyed in a lucid manner. Because of its attempts to create a positive image, it is closely related to public relations. In this, the organization markets itself rather than its products.
It is also referred to as corporate advertising. It does not attempt to sell anything directly. It just informs the public of what the institution is doing for the society in terms of education, health, environment, etc. The channels used for institutional advertising may be radio, television, print and digital. One prominent example of institutional advertising is the ads showing the harmful effects of smoking, ads by Idea targeting corruption, by ITC donating every 1 rupee on each Classmate notebook sold to the villages, etc.
A few institutional ads by leading brands
For example, in the case of ITC, the company started by selling cigarettes. When it started diversifying into other fields such as stationery and processed foods, it needed an image makeover. So, they teamed up with Child Relief and You (CRY) as part of its campaign for education (indirectly promoting their Classmate notebook range). ITC donated Re 1 from every sold notebook to CRY. All their notebooks carry environmentally friendly messages.
The world’s biggest oil corporation, Gulf Oil, spreads awareness about the issue of oil spills in the ocean and of how oil mining is hazardous to the marine life. They have also launched a campaign to save the environment.
Adidas has also launched a campaign to donate 10% of all their revenues to orphans in Africa.
The advantages of institutional advertising are that the image of the company is improved, investors and customers are attracted and it also helps in product diversification (as in the case of ITC).
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