Advertising – The Role of Product Advertising on Sales

Advertising – The Role of Product Advertising on Sales

Advertising – It is imperative to explain the meaning of marketing and its function in order to give full meaning to this study.Marketing is a very broad discipline, versatile and all embracing.  It can be defined in so many ways according to the functions it performs in every organization and society.

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Onah and Thomas (1993:16) carried out a research on.  They made use of a sample of 280 customer, from this research they carried on, they were able to know what the customer mean by marketing.

Therefore marketing entails the identification and satisfaction of peoples needs through a profitable exchange process.

They further observed that its philosophy, activities and functions are contemporary, persuasive and needs.  This definition reflects the two of the obligations business organization owe their customers which are that or identification and satisfaction of their needs.

In 2000:1, EjiOnueme in an attempt to breakdown the meaning of marketing by reflecting some marketing activities or aspects indicated that an organization  engaged in research aimed that it would be likely buy a particular new product and their purchasing power as well as an individual engaged in the storage of fruits so as to make them available marketing she embrace that marketing concept the buying, selling, transporting advertising and merchandising of goods and service.  She also further state that marketing concept involves exchange activity which entails the transfer of the ownership of product to the consumers or buyers after the buyers must have paid for the product in cash or kind or both.  The marketing activities in progress as displayed in Ejionueme and as far requited involves the following pre-product activities, product planning and development, appropriate price, distribution, promotion programme packaged, appropriate place and after sales services.  All these are the activities that a marketer has to perform I other to reach their target market and also to make consumers or customer feel satisfactory about their product that is being produced.

Also Read: Audience Perception of Female Models in Advertising Messages

Keith (1972 pg. 3) in his research found out that marketing in following words, marketing orientation implies that the customers and not the company is today economy, “the man or woman who buys the product is at the absolute dead centre of the business universe” the implication of this definition is that marketing involves a re-orientation form putting the company in the centre of affairs to putting the customers first.  In other words the survival growth and profitability of every organization depend on how the customers respond to its goods and or services.

Ichie Adirika in his research carried out in (1995:26) came out with the definition of marketing and how he observed it.  He defined marketing as a philosophy of business and a fundamental one, it is a guiding principles, ways of thinking about business which demand that to survive, grow and make profit, a business must be managed from the point of view of the customers form the perspective of the market.


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Advertising is one of variable promotional tools designed to promote and market organizational products.  It plays a very vital role in the efficient marketing of products or goods and service.  In view of this, it is pertinent to define advertising so as to enable this study achieve its purpose. Several authors have defined advertising in several ways but a few of these definitions will be examine in this study.

Practitioners council of Nigeria (APCON), came out with research about the definition of advertising in (1993:2) that Advertising is “a form of communication through media about products, services or ideas paid for by an identified sponsor”

In (2001:3) Onyeke observed the following inferred can be made from the other authors definition about advertising.

  1. Advertising message is always directed at a mass audience and not to a few individuals.
  2. Advertising is always paid for and the sponsor id identified or identifiable.
  3. Advertising message is always relayed thought he mass media and not through a limited audience medium such as the sales presentation of a salesman or the information from a paid tom crier.
  4. In most instances advertisers try to reach members of their audience at the same time.

In (1980:467) Kotler come out with his own definition of

advertisement.  He observed that advertising refers to any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor.  He listed the following as the qualities of advertising.

i.       Public Presentation:    This quality of advertising as a highly public mode of communication unlike the personal selling. It public native bestows on its some degree of legitimacy, to the product and also suggests a standardized offering.  Sine many persons receives the same message, buyers know that their motives for purchasing the product will be publicly understood.

ii.      Pervasive:  Advertising is a pervasive medium that permits the seller to repeat a message, receive and compare the messages of various competitors. Lare-scale advertising by sellers says something positive about the seller’s size popularity and success.

iii.     Amphifer Expressiveness:     Advertising by virture of quality provides opportunities for dramatizing the company and its product through the artful use of print, sound and colour.  In some cases, advertising success at expressiveness may, however distrust or distract from the message.

iv.     Impersonally:     Advertising, in spite of being public, pervasive and expressive, cannot be as completing as a company sales representative.  As a matter of fact, the audience does not feel obligated to pay attention or respond.

Udeogha (1995:18) observed that advertising is a marketing promotion tool which is used to inform and educate a large audience of buyers or consumers about an organization its product and induce them to patronize the organization, that is to buy it’s goods.  He further indicated that advertising shares some common characteristics with such promotional tools like personal selling and publicity, but however distinguished advertising from them in the following areas.

Advertising is a mass communication tool that uses such media as the radio, magazine, journals and newspapers to reach its audience which is usually large.  In addition advertising unlike publicity has an identified sponsor and it is usually paid for.

Bekee and Arens in (1992:7) found out on their own part, that advertising as the non-personal communication of information usually about product,  (goods and services) or ideas by identified sponsors through various media”.

Staton (1981 p.419) on his study topic “the role of product advertising on sales volume of a companies”.  The researcher instruments used for data collection were mainly questionnaires structures, interview and observation.

The sample size was 400 and 300 questionnaires were distributed out and 200 were returned.  And the population was 1000.  the data collected were tabulated in frequencies and percentage.  Chi-square was used to analyze and test the various hypotheses.

In his contribution to the important of advertising, listed the following as the objectives of advertising.

  1. It support personal selling
  2. It reaches people that are inaccessible to the sales force
  3. It improves dealer relations
  4. It helps in entering a new geographic market or attracting a new group of customers.
  5. It introduces a new product
  6. It increases sales of the product.

Function of Advertising

Aren and Bokee (1986 p. 234) carried out a research on the

functions of advertising, the data was collected from the company (Lever Brother) and customers.  The researcher made use of questionnaire and oral interview.  The questionnaire were directed to the company and the customers.

The population was 500 while the sample size were 200

respondent out of 200 questionnaire given only 100 were returned.  Data collected were analyzed through the use fo percentages and chi-square (X2).  Form their investigation they were able to come out with the following as the functions of advertisement.

  1. Marketing function
  2. Communication function
  3. Economic function
  4. Education function
  5. Social function

Advertising is a vital tool needed for the execution of the

marketing activities of every business organization.  Its important in performing the marketing function of companies is palpable when it is known that without advertising, production and services offered by companies to the buyers will remain unknown.  More so, advertising is a vital element in the marketing mix of getting information on goods and services to the consciousness of the target audience.

Communication function by providing some buying information to the consumers, as regards their buying needs which have to do with the availability of product, sources of these products and used of the product.  All the useful information concerning.

Advertising equally performs education function by way of imparting to the buyers or consumers all the qualities and attributes of product or new product and consumption alternatives that will ultimately satisfy their needs as well as improve their lives.

Furthermore, advertising possesses the ability of stimulating economic activities in the society.  It provides some useful information that triggers off increase in sales turnover as a result of increase in consumers buying action.

The increase in demand leads to increase in the level or volume of production, increase in profit level and employment.  All these economic indices lead to steady economic growth and development.

Finally, advertising performs social function because it supports and promotes issues that border on societal monohsitage, values and psyche.  It does this effectively by providing information on goods and or product or services needed in t he society.

Product and Its Types

Product is one of the important component of the marketing mix which include other component like price, promotion and place.

Generally speaking, product constitutes such an important element of the marketing mix that without product or services marketing activities wouldn’t be complete.

As a matter of fact, product offering forms the heart of a organization’s marketing programme and is usually the starting point in creating a marketing mix.

In fact, it is the pivot upon which other components of the marketing mix revolve.  It is regarded as most important element of the marketing mix because without the product, there would be no marketing as there would be nothing to offer to the market.

Udeagha (1995: p.128) product as further observed by this author not only sets a limit to the activities of organization or companies, but equally determines in a very significant ways, their survival, growth and profitability.

Against this background, it is pertinent to present some definitions of product as given by some authors.

Udeagha defined product as anything that the buyer acquires or purchases to satisfy a need or want.  This he stated could be books, radio, ballpoint pens, ewedu, dawa, machines, cloths and other items purchases and used by individuals or organizations such items like legal and medical services, haircut, vehicle repairs and classroom teaching as noted by the above quoted author also constitute products even though they are not physical in nature.

Kotler (1983: p.246) on his own part conceives product as anything that can be offered to the market attention, acquisition, use or consumption that might satisfy a want or a need”.  He further added that it includes physical objects, services, persons, place, organizations and ideas”.  he also regards persons and organizations as product because they can attract buyers attention and besides persons records or ideas can be purchased, while an organization can be promoted so that its product attract the buyers attention and loyalty.

Zikmund (1986: p.220) identified the following types of product.

  1. physical and non-physical products
  2. durable and non-durable product
  3. agricultural manufacturered product
  4. Consumers and industrial product.

Physical products refers to those tangible items like, yam,

Garri, rice, beef, chairs, tables, radio, television, shoes, gowns, knife and matchet etc. that can be seen, felt or touched.  They are usually purchased by individuals or groups for household or industrial uses.

Non-physical product, usually called services comprise those intangible product like insurance and banking services, legal and medical services, vehicle maintenance , haircuts and other things that are not tangible and touchable.

Durable product consist of all tangible products that usually last for a longtime.

Their values as a matter of fact has to do with their long duration and lasting services they render to their owners.

Product found within this class are car, machinery, equipment, furniture and building.

Non-durable product on the other hand refer to those tangible goods that are consumed on one use or after a limited number of uses.  Included in this class are food item like Garri, beverages, fruits, detergents and drinks.

Agricultural products refer to those products of industrial and household. Farms that have neither received any treatment nor undergone any serious manufacturing process. Products within the class include yam, cassava, orange and rice etc.

Manufacturing product on the other hand comprise those product of industrial production and processes.  They include physical and non-physical consumer and industrial goods that result from industrial production.  Products within this class are cars, equipment, fruits, and dresses of all kinds, vegetables, machinery and beverages.

Consumer product consists of all goods and services purchased to satisfy the needs of both households and individuals.

These products can either be durable or non-durable goods, but they are usually meant for ultimate consumption by the buyers.  As reported by Zikmund (1986: p.220) Capeland in 1924 identified three classes of consumer products namely:

  1. Convenience products
  2. Shopping product
  3. Specialty product

Convenience Products are those relatively in expensive goods

consumers usually buy on a regular basis, milk, chewing gum, Bic, tissue paper and cigarettes.

Shopping Products on the other hand, consist of expensive, but durable household goods that requires high capital outlay for their purchases.  These products as pointed out are expensive and includes such goods as video and television sets, radio, refrigerators air conditioners, cars, furniture, electric iron and gas cookers.

Specialty Products are those goods with unique and special features which endear them to some people.  They are very expensive like the shopping products but unlike the shopping goods required a lot of time and planning for its purchase.  Buyers of specialty products are not usually influenced by advertising since they know what they want and usually go for it.

Industrial Product are those products normally purchased by individuals and organizations for resale’s or for the production of other products.  They consist of physical goods and services.  Industrial product are further classified into seven categories by pride and Ferrell (1985: p.149).

  1. Raw materials
  2. Component parts
  3. Process material
  4. Capital equipment of installations etc.

Raw Material refers to unprocessed basic materials that form

parts of finished product and include such materials or product as wheat, cotton, fruits, crude oil and sea food.

Component part comprises all manufacturer items that form part o finished products.

They include products like screws, tyres and electric motors, zip and sewing thread.  They form part of finished product without any changes in their form.

Process Materials are those products needed to facilitate the production process.  Though, they form part of the end product of production, but are not easily spotted in the finished products.

Capital Equipment or installations consist of expensive capital products like crane, plants and machinery that last for a very long period of time.  Their purchase is usually preceded by detail planning and negotiations.

Accessory Equipment consist of lighter and more flexible and mobile equipment like trucks, hand tools, office typewriters, tables, chairs and calculators that are expensive than the capital equipment and equally have a shorter life span.

Supplies comprise those products like pencil, Bic, lubricating oil, cleaning agent, paper and envelop that are routinely purchased and used for operations in companies.

Industrial services refer to those intangible products that firms and organization provide to their customers in the industrial sector.  They included such services like financial and legal services, after sales services, maintenance and repair services.

Significant of Advertising in Product Life Cycle

Having discuss some fundamental issues bordering on advertising and product, it is pertinent to examine the concept of product life cycle and the significance of advertising in various stages of the cycle.

Product life cycle is one of the universally accepted concepts in marketing which has attracted the attention of every author in the marketing field.  The concept occupies a prominent positioning companies or organizations that produce and offer products or services to the general public for sale.  This concept as rightly observed by Ejionueme (2000:45) provides a way to trace the stages of a products acceptance from its introduction (birth) to its decline (death).

Products like living organizing have a life cycle, and just like the organisms are born, grow, reach adulthood and eventually age and die.  Products of companies are usually introduced into the market where they grow, reach maturity and eventually declined, necessitating their withdrawal as noted by Baker and Mc Tavish (1979:10).  For instance, product like gramophones and charcoal pressing iron, commonly in use same forty and fifty years ago, have become outdated and no longer in use today.

Technology improved electronic sets and electric pressing iron have been produced and introduced into the markets by companies.

Every product that has been manufactured by companies must be advertised in order to make it known to the consuming public.

It is very important to note that it is not only newly introduced or manufactured products are advertised, but some existing ones are also advertised by companies.

This is very important because the goal of every company is to increase its sales volume.  This can only be achieved when the demand for its products is high.  Therefore there is a very strong correlation between advertising and the product life cycle and sales volume.

Gilligan and Fifield (1995:113) identified four distinct stages in the product life cycle as diagrammatically represented below using figure 244 below.

At this initial stage of production introduction into the market, Udeagha (1995:158) noted that no sales are recorded because, majority of the potential buyers are still uninformed about the product.  Heavy advertising is therefore needed her to make the product known to these buyers, once the product is known to the potential buyers, sales volume which should be naturally low at this stage will increase significantly.

At the growth stage, products that have been accepted by the market pass through the introduction stage into it.  Here at this stage, there is a continuous significant rise in the sales volume as evidenced by the sales curve in the figure 2.4. Mix advertising policy is adopted at this stage.  Advertisement here takes the form of holding campaign and mouth to mouth propaganda aimed at reminding customers of the continuous existence and availability of the product.  Nieschlag (1972:173) recommended cost-free mouth-to-mouth propaganda at this stage sine it is less expensive.

The third stage of the product life cycle is known as the maturity stage.  At this stage, the sales volume begins to experience a turning point.  Instead of increasing at an increasing rate, its increase slows down significantly as shown in figure 2.4.  At this point, heavy advertising is in a way healthy to enable the product take off.  At least, heavy advertising if not for anything else, can help sustain the product and achieve a significant result in its sales volume.

Finally, the climax of every product life cycle is the decline stage.  At this state, everything about the product witnesses downtown.  Its sales volume declines slowly initially and later rapidly.  At this stage, the use of heavy advertising becomes unnecessary since the product has outlined its usefulness.  According to Levitt (1972:226) the use of excessive advertising and other promotion tools to try to save the products life is a wasteful spending and as such nothing but myopic.

The impact of advertising on product life cycle and sales volume of the product is so significant that every company must strive to understand this concept properly.  This will help it to know when and which stage of the product life cycle to apply the advertising strategy.

This then calls for the use of professional markets who can interpret the product policy and most importantly marketing mix of the company.

Companies like coco-cola, Nigeria Breweries, Guinness Nigeria, and Pepsi cola have been able to sustain their products in the market because of their ability to manipulate the advertising strategy effectively.  Their sales volume has not declined so much as to get them out of business.

Role of Advertising in New Product Development

One of the aims of every company is to introduce a newly developed product into the market.  This is very common with brewing companies which always find it healthy and necessary to develop some new products.  For instance, the Nigeria Breweries Plc has developed and introduced some new product into the market in some years past.

For the newly introduced products to survive and succeed in the ever competitive market, they must be supported with heavy advertisements.  This is highly imperative to enable consumers or buyers become aware and well informed of the existence of the products as well as what they can derive from their consumption.

In view of this, baker (1979:29) noted that the creation of a new product within the organization involves a planning process commonly referred to by marketing specialists as new product development process or new product evolutionary cycle.

This process though, consists of six stages, but for the purpose of this study, a brief explanation would be made of them as follows:

i.       Idea Generation:

At this stage, new product ideas are generated either from individuals or groups of individuals.  These ideas could equally originate from internal, external organizations participants or even form non-organizational participants such as competitors.  Advertisement is not necessary her because the products has not yet been developed.

ii.      Idea Screening:

At this stage, all the ideas generated about the new product are analyzed for their relevance to the company’s mission, their technological and marketing compatibility and their ability to satisfy consumers needs and wants more so, at this stage, advertisement about the product is not relevant.

iii.     Business Analysis:

          At this stage, ideas generated about the product are subjected to further detail and thorough scrutiny in order to determine the technical and commercial feasibility of the project.

Here, against, advertising the intended product is not necessary since the product has not been developed.

iv.     Product Development:

At this stage, technical development of the new product takes off.  The new product development document is put into use at this stage to produce a prototype of the intended product and its use is necessary in order to inform the consumers about the product.

v.      Test Marketing:

The concept of test marketing involves the introduction of a new product into a limited market in order to assess its acceptability in the market.  At this stage mild advertisement of the intended product is also necessary in order to inform and educate consumers concerning the product and its use.

vi.     Commercialization:

          This is the last stage of the new product development process.  At this stage, the final decision concerning the production of the product and its introduction into the target market is taken.

Before this final decision is taken all the necessary changes or modifications that need to be made on the product given the result of the test marketing exercise are addressed at this stage.

Commercialization comprises, two phases namely:

Preparation and launching or introduction phase.

At the preparation phase, the necessary arrangements regarding financing of the product, as well as the plant and machinery required for its production are adequately made and provided.

The introduction phase is the phase at which the new product is introduction into the market.  At this stage, heavy advertisement of the newly introduced product is inevitable to enable the product survive this stage.


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