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How Advertising Works: A Layman’s Guide

Let’s take this for example, a girl standing on the roadside with a board saying ‘I’m hungry’, and she hires an agency to advertise this. How do you advertise this? Ask an art person and he will say to advertise it on social media by leveraging geolocation; ask a copywriter and he will probably add a few words. You must be thinking why am I boring you with details that seem irrelevant, but I’m getting there, with a steadfast thinking cap clutched to my person.

Now, circling back to the crux – advertising. It is communication. What is the difference between a commoner and a marketer? What is the difference between the girl (who has probably been hungry for quite some time), the art person and the writer?


Marketers have a knack for pulling people by their heartstrings, and that is how you sell. We make people think and feel. There is information and then there’s a way of communicating that information, and at the end of the day – that’s how advertising works.

Approach to Advertising

Of course, when you want to create some out-of-the-box advertising collateral, there are ways to approach the same. Mainly, it’s a debate between gut feeling and research. Take into consideration how Jacquemus treats its product launches. A CGI-campaign wherein the bags are on wheels roaming the streets of Paris. On the other hand, take Chanel into consideration. A luxury house that’s been around for decades, whose products could be found on every most-wanted list, and yet, any marketing they do is just not working. A classic example of gut vs research. Either build on what you think might work or on what everyone thinks will work.

So, what are we saying?

Advertising is a way of showing that something or someone exists. That you are also a part of the many, many fish in the sea, and need to stand out. And brands which find persuasive ways of saying “buy me” generally succeed. But never forget that you need a unique voice in order to stand out.

Advertising is anything that makes a product sell. How effective advertising is, depends entirely upon what you are advertising; is it a feeling like the satisfaction you get after drinking a cup of tea, or did you evoke motherly love in your consumers, or are you entirely letting your product do the talking. For creating marketing collateral, you need two things: copy and art. Together, they hold the power to take your brand where it should be.

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