Difference Between Advertising and Publicity (With Table)

Advertising and publicity are common methods of promoting a specific brand or a product. While the companies brainstorm to create unique advertisements to boost their sales, commoners can publicize a company without much effort. Spreading good words about a brand mostly through friends and family is an effective means of publicity.

Advertising vs Publicity

The difference between advertising and publicity is that advertising is a paid process to spread awareness about a product whereas publicity is an unpaid promotion of the same. Advertising has a direct impact on the sales of the company whereas publicity can either uplift or stain the image of a company. 

Advertising is a very common paid promotion of a particular brand or service. It can be print or digital advertising and the latter one is gaining a lot of popularity in this digital era. Advertisement can exist in the market for the long term as long as the company wishes to spend awareness regarding the same. 

Publicity is a very effective method of non-paid promotion that is mostly done by third parties. Press conferences, press releases, and most importantly word of mouth are effective methods of publicity. While publicizing a product, the audience other than target customers is also made aware of a brand. It helps in creating a bond of trust between the general public and the company. 

Comparison Table Between Advertising and Publicity

Parameters of ComparisonAdvertisingPublicity
DefinitionAdvertising is the process of paid promotion for a company to boost its sales. Publicity is the process where third parties involve themselves in a non-paid promotion. 
AudienceThrough advertising, the companies try to attract potential customers and investors. Publicity concerns a broader audience base as the word is spread to both potential customers and the ordinary public. 
ExpensesEvery company invests a certain amount of its capital to fund advertisement, implement marketing strategies, etc. Since publicity is more of an unpaid promotion strategy, there is no particular expense for it. 
DurationAdvertising is a long-term strategy and it is spread via different media as long as a company wishes to promote a brand. Publicity is focused on achieving short-term goals and hence discontinues after a short time. 
ImpactThe direct impact of advertising is reflected in sales. Publicity can help in building a reputation of a brand. 
Authority A company is in charge of advertising. In most cases, the commoners are in charge of publicity. 

What is Advertising?

 Advertising is a very extensively used paid promotion/marketing strategy by most companies. There is a marketing team (or an external marketing agency) that comes up with innovative ideas on how to spread brand awareness and seek the attention of their target audience. Before the advent of the digital era, newspapers and pamphlets were the only means of advertising but today the scope has broadened. 

A creative idea for advertising requires financing to direct and shoot it and spread it via different media platforms. In an advertisement, a company generally shows off its product, its advantages, etc, and feeds certain information to the public. Creativity is the most important factor of an advertisement, and uniqueness might boost the sales of the company.

An advertisement is circulated for a long time as long as the brand has a presence on the market. Sometimes old advertisements are replaced with new ones if the company replaces an old product new product line.  Nowadays one can find advertisements on almost every web page while surfing the net, on social media platforms, etc. 

What is Publicity?

Publicity is a very common practice of spreading the word about a company or a particular product in both official and unofficial ways. It is an unpaid form of marketing strategy and most of the time depends on the third party like media and the common public. It is mostly about spreading a good word about a product ahead of its release.

Publicity is an unpaid promotional strategy but at times a little monetary compensation is involved. But, unlike advertising, there is not a particular amount of high expense on publicity. If a third party is spreading the word and publicizing about a company or product, that company is most likely to establish a business relationship with it. Publicity also helps in the formation of a strong trust between the common people and the company.

Publicity is not controlled by the company as it is mostly done by media houses (press and publishing houses). It is a very effective means of promotion as the general public or potential consumers trust the information spread through these third parties than the advertisements. But, negative publicity creates a bad reputation for the company and the sales tend to decrease.  

Main Differences Between Advertising and Publicity

  1. Advertising is a paid promotion for a company whereas publicity is the process where third parties involve themselves in a non-paid promotion. 
  2. Through advertising, the companies try to attract potential customers and investors whereas publicity spreads the word to both potential customers and the ordinary public. 
  3. Every company invests a certain amount of its capital to fund advertising whereas publicity is more of an unpaid promotion strategy so there is no fixed expense. 
  4.  Advertising is a long-term strategy since the company can advertise as long as it wishes. On the other hand, publicity is focused on achieving short-term goals and hence discontinues after a short time. 
  5. The direct impact of advertising is reflected in sales whereas publicity can help in building a reputation of a brand. 
  6. A company is in charge of advertising whereas the common public controls publicity. 

Conclusion

For a company, both advertising and publicity are important because while advertising can boost the sales of the company publicity helps in spreading the good word. For example, when a company is launching a product in the market it has to compete with other rivals as well. In this case, if some of the existing customers spread a good word, it helps the company gain new customers as well as a good reputation. 

Many companies either have an in-house advertising team (part of marketing) and some companies also hire agencies. A new company cannot afford to spend as much on advertising as compared to an established brand. In such cases, publicity helps a lot in bringing new potential customers.

References

  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1987-97569-000
  2. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/publicity/
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