Difference Between Advertising and Promotion (With Table)

Advertising and promotion are two key pillars in the marketing world. Both are the marketing strategies and are necessary for any organization to remain in the market for a long time. Even though both of them look identical, but there is a significant difference between advertising and promotion.

While I am pretty sure that most of you have a bit of information about Advertising but not many of you will be aware of what promotion is all about.

Advertising vs Promotion

The main difference between Advertising and Promotion is that advertising generally refers to sending out controlled messages by paying to the media, while promotion can include both paid and free marketing activities. Advertising is applicable to all medium to a large organization whose primary objective is to build the brand image.

Promotion is about mentioning your new product, brand, etc. through free and paid marketing activities. In case, if your organization is involved in small businesses, the promotion seems to be an ideal choice and cost-efficient one for an increase in sales.

this guide, we are covering all the essential details for you to understand the
difference between Advertising and Promotion


Comparison Table Between Advertising and Promotion (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of Comparison




Advertising is defined as a one way controlled communication and is paid to media in order to build a brand image for potential customers.

Promotion involves mentioning the brand or new product launch, through both paid and free marketing activities.


Medium or large sized companies.

Small-sized companies


Brand Building, Brand Switching, Brand Recall, etc.

Rewarding Loyal customers, Increasing Sales of Organization, To attract potential customers by schemes, Increasing the Repurchases.


Advertising often portrays emotional appeal. Mostly advertisements are created so as to create a brand image in the mind of customers

Promotions don’t portray any emotional appeal, these are usually done to change the rational thinking of customers for eg giving discount coupons on a product can make the customer buy that because of less price

End Result

Effect of advertising takes time, hence end result is slow

As compared to advertising, the end result is achieved very fast


Almost in every case, This is Expensive

Not much expensive as Advertising


What is Advertising?

is defined as a one way controlled communication and the relevant cost is paid
to the media in order to build a brand image for potential customers.

being a little costly, it is most commonly being used by medium to large-sized
firms in order to meet the objective of building a positive brand image and an
increase in sales.

However, small firms can also find some smart ways to advertise by paying a relatively lesser amount with the help of digital marketing. It is thought that by paying for advertisements, the Organization will see an increase in sales, but it takes longer to achieve those sales results.

they should be well aware of the following objectives of advertising;

  1. What is the trial period for advertising?
  2. What should be the continuity duration of the advertisement?
  3. Can advertising aid to Brand Switching?
  4. Can advertising lead to Brand Recall?

various advertising options that the organization can choose from are;

  1. Above the line advertising (ATL)
  2. Below the line advertising (BTL)
  3. Through the line advertising (TTL)

it is our duty to make you understand that the above advertising options are
taken by organizations based on the level of awareness and penetration.

it is equally important to also know, to carry out any advertising activity
using different types of advertising medium.

Thus, it is required to understand that advertisement is a marketing strategy used by several firms in order to build brand image and positioning the brand in the minds of customers.


What is Promotion?

Promotion involves mentioning the brand or new product launch,
through both paid and free marketing activities

In promotion, the organization influences the customer to purchase the new products or services launched or can contribute to brand switching as well.

order to increase sales, Organizations gives special offers, discounts, or
gifts to their customers. All these are part of the promotions.

best part about promotions is that it increases sales i.e. by providing 50% off
on Shirts in a Garment store, the Store manager can see the surge in sales
which couldn’t have been possible without Promotion

various types of promotions that the organization uses are;

  1. Sales Promotion
  2. Trade Promotion
  3. Personal Selling
  4. Public Relations etc.

per the requirement or in terms of achieving specific objectives, the Marketing
team of any organization can choose from the above-mentioned promotion
techniques as per their convenience.

Thus, organizations should comprehend who their target customers are, and how to best reach them. A different set of customers may respond well to different promotions.

Hence selecting which promotion to be used is solely based on management’s decision.

Main Differences Between Advertising and Promotion

both these marketing strategies are beneficial for the organization in order to
meet their objectives, there exists a lot of differences between Advertising
and Promotion when it comes to sales, outreach and brand development.



  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1987-97569-000
  2. https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/10106591
  3. https://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/abs/10.1287/mksc.18.1.1