Deciding the advertising objectives is the main task of top advertising agencies. First of all let us answer the question: why should there be any objectives for advertising? Advertising objectives are essential because they help the advertisers know in advance what they want to achieve and it also helps ensure that they are proceeding in the right direction. Pinpointing the advertising objectives also helps make one’s goals real, leading to effective development of advertising programs for meeting the objectives. It also guides and controls decision making in each area and at each stage.
Quite often companies set inducement of trial purchase and visits to retail stores as an advertising objective. They do so especially when they are offering a new product, or new facilities for existing products. Such an objective directly supplements the sales task. Creation of awareness is another major area for advertising objectives, especially when the campaign is for new products and services. Another equally important area for advertising objectives is image building and positioning.
If this job of setting the advertising objectives is not understood correctly in all its dimensions, the implementation of the advertising program becomes faulty. These objectives obviously will vary from firm to firm, from market to market and from brand to brand. Some of them will be long-term ones, and some short-term ones. But they all have to be precise, quantifiable and measurable. They have to be invariably related to the total marketing program.
Top advertising agencies also decide the copy/layout of the advertisement. The term copy includes every single feature that appears in the body of the advertisement, i.e., the written matter, pictures, labels, logo and designs. In other words, it is synonymous with layout. Developing the copy is, of course, a creative process. It is an area where no rigid rules can be applied. Only certain guidelines arising out of the accumulated experience of advertising practitioners and researchers can come to their rescue.