The profession of advertising is essentially a service industry, geared towards the communication of information and ideas to and on behalf of others. Its development has therefore always been directly influenced by prevailing social and economic trends. Although it has existed in India for over fifty years, Indian advertising has just come of age.
In an increasingly competitive market place-where survival depends on aggressive, wide reaching sales tactics-the industry has gained an unprecedented buoyancy. Accredited agencies in the country at present number about 495, but there are also several hundred, which have not been listed. Their combined annual turnover has risen from Rs 50 crore ten years ago to a current Rs 1,600 crore.
Growth rates are dynamic escalating by 36.5 per cent at the close of the 1993 fiscal calendar over the previous year's 25 per cent. This has also meant a proportionate increase in the number of career opportunities at various levels. At present, the advertising industry employs a large number of people. The figure is steadily growing. As specialization in the field increases and standards of professionalism rise the returns from a career in advertising are also becoming more attractive.
The industry has traditionally been male-dominated. Women were till recently largely relegated to the copy department or confined to lower or middle level executive positions. Only a few made it to the top. Today, as more women choose to pursue professional studies prior to taking up a career, the ratio is beginning to change.
However, female heads of agencies or creative chiefs are still very few. Those who do make it to the top must prove themselves as aggressive and hardworking as their male colleagues. As there is no formal system of promotion in this line it is difficult to assess whether this is due to the long hours and high-pressure demands of the job or outright discrimination.
In this industry rewards are directly commensurate with initiative displayed and results achieved. Ambitious young men and women can therefore rise very quickly to the top.
Advertising serves three basic purposes:
1. Sales Promotion
That aims to persuade people to buy a particular product or service or attend an event.
2. Public Relations
Where the main objective is to create a positive image of a company, organization or activity.
As in public interest campaigns initiated by the government, development agencies or private organizations, that seek to inform people about their welfare schemes or influence social attitudes on matters of general concern.
There are many creative ways to achieve these ends-mainly through the media of:
Including press advertisements in newspapers and magazines; hand bills, direct mailers and posters.
Comprising radio spots; film and television commercials; slide presentations and live shows.
Encompassing hoardings; exhibitions; point of purchase promotions and demonstrations; market stalls and information booths.
Any sizeable campaign includes a mix of at least two or more of these publicity channels.