Institutional Advertising - Meaning, Importance & Example

Published in Marketing and Strategy Terms by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: January 27, 2022

What is Institutional Advertising?

Institutional advertising is the process of marketing & promoting a company, corporate, firm or institution rather than its product or service with focus on values, heritage or social responsibility thereby projecting a positive brand image. 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.

Importance of Institutional Advertising

Institutional advertising is also referred to as corporate advertising or institutional promotion. It does not attempt to sell anything directly. Institutional advertising 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. Institutional advertising promotes a company while promotional advertising promotes a company’s products & services.


A few institutional advertising campaigns by leading brands


Examples of Institutional Advertising

Some popular global examples of institutional advertising are mentioned below:

1. 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. 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.

2. 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.

3. Adidas has also launched a campaign to donate 10% of all their revenues to orphans in Africa. This is a way of institutional advertising along with corporate social responsibility initiatives towards the society.

Advantages of Institutional Advertising

The advantages of institutional advertising are as mentioned below

1. The image of the company is improved, investors and customers are attracted and it also helps in product diversification.

2. Investors are motivated with the overall image of the company and just its products & services.

3. Institutional advertising improves public relations of the company and helps in being top of the mind through brand awareness.

4. Companies involved in good CSR activities also get Government benefits and perks.

Disadvantages of Institutional Advertising

Despite several benefits, there are certain cons of institutional advertising as well, some of which are discussed below:

1. Institutional advertising does not promote products & services offered by the company, and hence the advertising cost does not yield revenue.

2. Since it is an activity which promotes the company's values, ethics, CSR activities etc, there is not way to measure its impact.

3. Investing money in institutional advertising does not guarantee a positive impact in sales of goods and services as it is merely a PR exercise.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Institutional Advertising along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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