Trends in Advertising to Consider

Students interested in communication and business administration degrees should consider learning about advertising, a viable means of promoting products, services, events, causes and organizations.

Ads are paid marketing messages that attract awareness, create interest and encourage people to act. They can be almost anywhere – television, billboards, magazines, websites and social media, just to name a few.

A lot of the innovation in advertising right now is playing out in digital media, but some of the lessons learned might be able to be applied to traditional media. Below are some of the trends that are currently taking place in the advertising landscape. Students may encounter some of these trends in class. Because of their studies, they will see these trends play out as they look at ads with a keener, more critical eye.


The internet and social media have pushed video advertising past its traditional boundaries. Video can be created and edited quickly and inexpensively, then distributed to either a selected or broad target audience. This wasn’t possible until recently, as nearly all video advertising was laborious and expensive to produce, and limited to television, a mass-market medium.

There’s no denying the powerful impact video has in advertising, especially on social media. Sprout Social, a social media post scheduling service, reports that Facebook gets more than 8 billion daily video views on average. On Instagram, six out of every 10 ads viewed are videos, according to conversion rate service Instapage.

Native Advertising

Native advertising is generally defined as any kind of advertising that doesn’t disrupt the user experience. Promoted posts look and feel just like content you regularly find on a site. Sponsored content on the internet and promoted listings on search sites are considered native advertising.

Native ads pose an attractive option for companies because, to most prospective clients, they don’t appear like traditional advertising. Someone searching for help on their golf swing might be open to a sponsored article with golf tips, but may not like seeing a pop-up ad on their favorite golf website.

Research from IPG and Sharethrough, a native ad services firm, says consumers looked at native ads 53% more often than display ads, and 32% of native ad viewers said they’d be comfortable sharing the ad with friends and family.

Personalized Ads

Personalized ads simply aren’t feasible in traditional, mass-market outlets. There’s no way to personalize a message in a magazine, on a billboard or on television. The internet, however, gives advertisers the ability to tailor ads to narrow, niche audiences. By using advanced data collection and analysis, prospective customers can receive a message that caters to them.

Personalized ads are the source of some controversy, as people become more conscious of how their personal data is collected and used. A recent Harvard Business Review article says that advertisers wanting to avoid a consumer backlash should embrace transparency, build trust and give consumers control. Also, they should not use any personal information that would be considered sensitive; consumers find personalized ads useful if they are not too creepy.

Augmented Reality

It’s still too soon to tell how augmented reality (AR) will change the way advertisers reach consumers, but experts generally agree the technology will have a major impact on many marketing-related activities, according to ZDNet. AR combines computer-generated and real-world imagery. As a result, consumers can use their smartphones to interact with 3D objects that aren’t necessarily there.

One of the best-known AR applications was the Pokémon Go game in 2016. In the game, users explore their surroundings to discover and capture the popular Nintendo Pokémon characters, such as Pikachu and Charmander. Pokémon Go can’t be played while sitting on the couch.

As AR technology matures and more consumers adopt it, advertisers may discover ways to insert advertising messages into AR experiences.

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