Excited To Compare? Advertising vs Publicity vs Promotion

Advertising vs Publicity vs Promotion – To begin with we need to understand that there is a difference between the three terms. That means advertising is different, publicity is different and promotion is different. It will be better to understand the definitions and explanations of each term to start with. This will give you a better picture and help you differentiate better.

Advertising vs Publicity vs Promotions

Below infographics on Advertising vs Publicity vs Promotions, throws light on major points of differences between the three.

advertising vs publicity vs promotions infographics


Advertising is done in order to promote and increase the sales of the goods and services of any company’s products and services. This is nothing but a trick of introducing the products and services to target audiences. It is a mean or a mode of drawing attention of people towards certain products and service.

Advertising is different for different products and services as the advertising campaigns are different which completely depends on the products and services offered and also the organization selling it. The mode of advertising can be flashing advertises on the television, publicizing it on the radio, newspaper prints, magazines, billboards on the streets of the cities and the towns, also highways, etc.

The job of an advertiser is to influence the audiences by influencing their identities by using techniques of stereotypes and targeting their audiences. They influence our personal identity which is who we are, what makes us what we are for example our occupation, our personality, our beliefs, our life style, relationships, family and friends and finally our self esteem.

They influence us by changing what we are and who we are to what we will be when we use their products and services. Advertising is a way of bringing in new customers and influencing the existing ones in order to increase the sales of the company’s goods and services.

Types of advertising

  1. Television sets

Television sets is the most effective way of advertising a product and a service. Most people today do use televisions as they do have a television connection which makes advertising more effective as it reaches out to maximum audiences which might be the company’s existing customers or prospect customers.

Prospect customers can be anyone as you never know who is getting interested or is in the need of the products and services you sell. Television channels have a set time to flash ads, which might be for 30 seconds to approximately a minute, besides there are ads that are permitted and not permitted on the TV. There are different names for different types of advertisements for example advertising a movie on a television is called promoting a trailer of a movie.

  1. Radio ads

Radios play only the audio advertisement between their programs. Unlike the TV add the radios do not have access to both the visual and the audio mode of advertising hence they play only the audio ads.

  1. The internet

One of the most effective way or the most modern way of advertising today is using the internet. Most people today especially the youth today does use and prefer using the net to do everything starting from searching, surfing right up to shopping. Almost anything and everything is possible with the help of the internet today, which is why the focus of the youth is the internet. And hence marketers have chosen the internet to market their goods and services. Marketing online, give a definite increase in the sales of goods and services of any company.

  1. The traditional ways

Advertising the traditional way will never be a waste of money anyways. The focus is always grabbing the attention of the audiences. One way of doing this is billboard ads on the streets of the cities, the highways, etc. printing the advertisements in the newspapers, the magazines, etc. covering the public vehicles with advertising leaflets or even getting them painted. Traditional ways will never be out of fashion or out of use.


Publicizing is moving the information of anything be it a product, a service or an event amongst public to create its awareness. Advertising is promoting a product or a service where as publicizing is creating awareness of a subject amongst public. Publicity can be done about individuals, organizations, art and entertainment and also goods and services. Publicist carries publicity of an object or a subject in order to gain public visibility or public awareness by establishing a communication and maintaining this communication with the audiences or the public. Did you know that publicizing can be done without using media.

Just like advertising even publicity is a part of promotion. From the perspective of marketing promotion is a combination of personal selling, direct marketing, sales promotions, advertising and publicizing.

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Some tricks of publicizing without the use of media.

Use of media increases the overall cost of a subject because using media is expensive. However promoting a subject can be much cheaper with the help of publicity and publicity tricks.

  1. When an employee or a person joins an organization the 1st way of publicizing that person is announcing his appointment. Similarly for introducing new products and services an announcement is made.
  2. Making someone popular is by letting that person talk. Arranging a public speech, talk or a public appearance is an easy way of publicizing.
  3. Try out arranging testimonials to publicize.
  4. Conducting polls and surveys is a very simple way of creating awareness amongst public as you also get feedbacks to improvise.
  5. Sponsor events such as local cricket match or inter school or college competitions, etc.
  6. Invent your own awards and present them to specific people with the certificate of recognition and a little memorable.
  7. Give recommendations for certain people.
  8. Issue subject reports and put it on company mails with the approvals from seniors.
  9. Organize business and project tours and also stage debates
  10. On controversial subjects take a stand and participate.

Publicity is not simply competing messages, it is much more than that, it is the entire language which is only used for making the same old proposal however in different ways and mediums. It is also critically said that publicity proposes public to transform themselves and their lives in order to buy publicity which is not paying for additional charges.

Publicity both advantages and disadvantages

  1. Publicity can be done without using media effectively.
  2. It has low cost involved and high credibility.
  3. New technology changing cost structure is beneficial as new technology is used however less.
  4. Lack of control over the publicity releases coz you never know how it will be used.
  5. Percentage of releases is low because most of it is taken up by the media.
  6. Publicity can also be used as stunts in order to promote only.


In simple words promotion is raising or increasing the awareness of a product and a service amongst public, or existing and prospect customers. Promotion is one of the most important ingredient of marketing mix as it is one of the 4 P’s that is Price, Product, Promotion and Place. Besides creating brand awareness promotion also generates and increases sales and increases and improves brand loyalty. Promotion itself has 5 parts let’s just know these parts by their names

  1. Personal selling
  2. Direct marketing
  3. Advertising
  4. Publicity
  5. Sales promotion

Promotions have objectives and these three main objectives are

  1. To make information available to customer and prospect customers very presentable and effective.
  2. To increase the demand of goods and services of an organization in order to increase the sales and profit turn over.
  3. Promotion also differentiates a product and service from the other mostly competitors products and services.

Types of promotions

  1. Promotion physically

Instead of using the new papers, the magazines and other mode of promotions, it can be done by arranging special events such as concerts, utilizing festivals for promoting special products, trade shows and most importantly on the field that is promoting products in departmental stores, grocery stores, malls etc. When customers see the performance of the brand they are interested in using it or else they would want to stick with their products as they do not know how much better the new product is.

  1. Media or traditional media

Traditional media includes advertising mediums such as advertising in news papers, magazines, television ads, radio promotions, leaflets, banners and billboard banners etc. these are known as the traditional mediums because since digitalization has come into being most organizations prefer promoting their products and services online. These is nothing better than promoting online these days as no other medium is more effective for most people are active online these days especially the youth of every nation. Digitalization has changed the face of business.

  1. Digital or the new media

The newest form of promoting a product or a service is promoting online and going digital. Use of content be it the visual, audio or the hard core text content. With the help of blogs and websites and of course the search engines the consumers to get access to information, relevant information and this helps the companies sell and promote their products and services using digitalization.

Digitalization is the latest and the most modern mode of promotion. As it has no geographical borders and it helps promoting products and services in and outside national borders. It gives access to maximum audiences, (you never know who will be your next prospect customer) because more than 40% of the global population is online these days and out of which more than 67% people use the global internet these days.

Digitalization has really made business easy as promoting your business and also selling the same has become very convenient.

Let’s see the difference as we summaries the three

  1. You have to pay to advertize the products and services of the organization, however you hope you receive publicity because publicity is something you can get without paying a cost for it. And it usually relies on advertisement. Whereas both advertising and publicity are an important part of promoting a subject.
  2. Companies who are new in the market or even old companies in the market with new product launch need to rely on advertisements to build a PR or a credibility to create awareness in public. However publicity is an ongoing process because you cannot simply start up a business by putting up a store starting a website and do nothing to promote your business. You have to keep promoting as it is an ongoing process because you would definitely want your products and services to sell. Hence promotions need to continue.
  3. Advertising in simple words is content you pay for, that is you pay to advertize your products and services this can be done through a medium that is the media like the TV the radio, banners, newspapers etc. Publicity depends on the effectiveness of the content of the advertisements and also what the editor wants to convey to the public and how effectively. And an effective promotion is a combination of the two.
  4. Since advertisement is supposed to be paid or sometimes heavily paid it is viewed by customers and hence only company specific or product and service specific information is displayed. Information that is beneficial to the company is advertized.
  5. Advertisements do not contain customer feedback options. However publicity is an unpaid promotion now since it is unpaid the companies do not have a control over what will be released and displayed.
  6. Since the company and the product name is mentioned in the in the article of a news paper or the magazine the customer will take is as a positive feedback of the subject, the reason is that people believe id other talk about the subject.
  7. Whether paid or unpaid the motive is to promote the subject that is the promotions believe in marketing the subject through various means, keeping budgets in mind. Not necessarily every paid advertisement is successful in giving sales and business to the company. Like said advertising is all about the content, content can be in any form. However even unpaid publicity is important and can play an important role in promoting a subject.

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