The advertising objectives largely determine which of two basic types of advertising to use; product or institutional.
Institutional advertising tries to develop goodwill for a company rather than to sell a specific product. Its objective is to improve the advertiser's image, reputation, and relations with the various groups the company deals with. This includes not only end-users and distributors, but also suppliers, shareholders, employees, and the general public. Institutional advertising focuses on the name and prestige of a company. Institutional advertising is sometimes used by large companies with several divisions to link the divisions in customers' minds. It is also used to link a company’s other products to the reputation of a market-leading product.
Product advertising tries to sell a product. It may be aimed at the end user or at potential representatives and distributors. Product advertising may be further classified as pioneering, competitive, and reminder advertising.
Pioneering advertising tries to develop primary demand, that is demand for a product category rather than a specific brand. It's needed in the early stages of the adoption process to inform potential customers about a new product. The first company to introduce a new technology to its  industry doesn't have to worry about a competitive product since they alone have the technology. They have to sell the industry on the advantages of the new technology itself. Pioneering advertising is usually done in the early stage of the product life cycle by the company which introduces an innovation.
Competitive advertising tries to develop selective demand; demand for a specific manufacturer’s product rather than a product category. An innovating company is usually forced into competitive advertising as the product life cycle moves along. After pioneering technology is accepted and most manufacturers are supplying competing products, the innovator is forced to sell the advantages of his specific design over that of the competition. This is usually the situation in a mature market.
Reminder advertising tries to keep the product's name before the public. It is useful when the product has achieved market domination. Here, the advertiser may use "soft-sell" ads that just mention or show the name as a reminder. Reminder advertising may be thought of as maintenance for a product with the leadership position in the market.


Of course none of the above classifications are exclusive. Some companies combine elements of the institutional ad with product advertising. The classifications are merely aids in developing the objectives which the company sets for their ads.


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