The Advertising Communication System

Advertising is an audio-visual form of marketing that engages an open, non-personal message to promote a product or a service. Advertisers are mostly businesses looking for the promotion of their goods. Advertisements are communicated through various mass media, such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and the internet. The actual presentation of a particular message in some medium is called advertisement.

Communication Through Advertisements

Communication process refers to the interchange of information between two or more people. For the communication to triumph, both the parties must be able to exchange and understand the information. If the flow of information is obstructed or hindered for some reason, the communication process fails.

Advertising communication can be defined as a perception process of the source, a message, a communication channel, and a receiver. A receiver might sometimes become the source of information by communicating the message to family and friends. This kind of communication is called word-of-mouth communication, which involves social interactions between two or more people.

Advertising communication includes

  • Any material published using any medium or activity undertaken by or on behalf of the advertiser over which the advertiser has minimal control.
  • Something that attracts the attention of the public in a way to promote directly or indirectly a product or a service.

It does not include

  • Labels or packaging on the products.
  • Corporate reports including public affair messages in the press release and other media statements and annual reports.


Advertising Communication Model

The model explains the key factors in an effective advertising communication process. The sender must be aware of his target audience and the kind of responses he wants. They must be skilled enough to encode the messages and consider how the audience usually decodes the message. The communication process in advertising involves sending or passing on a message from the source or the sender to the receiver or the audience through a channel.


  • Advertising communication process begins with the sender, who is also called the communicator or the source. A source is an origin or the point at which the message originates in an advertising communication system.
  • The person who initiates the communication process is normally referred to as the source. The source or the sender develops ideas, encodes and transfers them to the receiver.
  • The source must transmit the message through efficient media that reach the target audience.
  • The sender must encode the message in a form that can be understood and then transmit it to the receiver.
  • Senders must also develop channels for feedback.


  • Message refers to the content, idea, thought, feeling or the opinion that the sender wants to convey to the receiver.
  • It is a key that triggers the recipient, to respond to the sender.
  • The sender must ensure that the message conveyed must be clear and specific. The message can be conveyed to the receiver in some ways, like humour or fear.


  • Media refers to the various channels or a medium that is used or to be used to convey your message.
  • Medium is the means by which a message is transmitted to the receiver.
  • The medium may include verbal channels like telephone or a word-of-mouth communication or a non-verbal communication such as e-mail or text messages.
  • Each channel has its pros and cons.
  • Written communication may be used to convey messages to a small group of people whereas oral or verbal communication means can be chosen to convey messages to a large group of people.
  • The channels in the advertising communication system include television, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, e-mail, online advertising and so on. The impact and intensity of communication may differ from one media to another.


  • The receiver or the interpreter in an advertising communication system refers to the target audience or the person to whom the message is directed.
  • The receiver can be defined in terms of audience segmentation variables like lifestyle, demographics, benefits sought and so on.
  • The characteristics of the receiver, his demographics, psychological and social features furnish the foundation for understanding communication process.
  • To understand the information from the sender, the receiver must first be able to receive the information and then decode or interpret it.


  • Feedback is a significant element of the communication process, as it empowers the sender to measure the efficiency of the message.
  • It enables the sender to analyse the exact interpretation of the message by a decoder.
  • The communication process reaches its end goal when the message has been successfully transmitted, received and understood.
  • Feedback may be direct, such as a written or oral feedback, or it may also take the form of an action in response.


The communication process is not always smooth and simple. The above elements affect how information is transmitted, received and interpreted, but there can be some interruptions while the communication is going on


  • Noise can be any kind of interference that affects the message being sent, received or understood.
  • Noise is something that distracts the receiver from receiving the message.
  • Noise can be a result of too many messages.
  • Noise can also be generated when your message is too similar to that of your competitors. If the receiver cannot differentiate between your product and the competitor’s product, which already exists in the market, then the receiver will not buy your product.


  • Encoding of a message is the creation of the message.
  • It is a system of coded meanings.
  • In the communication process, the communicator or the encoder gives a shape to the message. The encoder encodes the message rightly in his mind and transmits it to the receiver.
  • The receiver interprets this message according to his experience and understanding.
  • Without the encoder or the source, there is no concept of communication.


  • Communication is a continuous process. Successful decoding of a message is a skill. Decoding refers to the interpretation of the message encoded by the source according to his understanding and experience.
  • If the message is simple and clear, the encoded details will be easily decoded by the receiver. It is important that the encoded message should be clear, accurate, simple, and meaningful so that the message is not misinterpreted at any point of time.


This is the platform or a situation in which the communication takes place. Like noise, context can have an influence on the effective exchange of information. It can possess a social, cultural or a psychological aspect to it.


The communication model doesn’t stop at the receiver, it qualifies the possibility that the receiver might engage in a word-of-mouth communication. The receiver then becomes a temporary source and the destination becomes the receiver again. Word-of-mouth communication resulting from advertising can become a significant part of the campaign. The word-of-mouth communication possesses great credibility. Advertising can stimulate the word-of-mouth communication, even if it cannot stimulate it, the information and understanding of its effectiveness can be of immense help.

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