Advertising is one of the most competitive industries in the market, whether you are promoting a service or product. The possibilities of advertisements are only limited by your imagination and the willingness of the company to utilize said advertising. However, no matter how creative you have designed your advertisement to be, there are still some general rules to follow, in order to satisfyingly attract the customers you are targeting in the first place. How to advertise a product? The following guide includes the basic rules when it comes to advertising your product. Remember that they are only rules, not exceptions.

How to Advertise a Product: 8 Basic Rules You Should Know Before Advertising


Capturing interest and attention

One of the main purposes of advertising is, of course, a mean of communication strategies towards garnering attention, opinions or attentions for particular services or products. It's a communication strategy, therefore, it doesn't work without an audience and the ability to deliver your message as effectively as possible. In an increasingly crowded media environment, exposure to advertisings can reach thousands every week, that's just through surfing the web alone. Many of those advertising repeat their messages so much that we simply tune out upon hearing it. These days, the competitive market will not be as simple as placing your well-crafted advertisement in front of the customer and expect him to take a glance at whatever you are trying to communicate.



Ads should be factually correct by right, with no intention to mislead or deceive the consumers. Avoid posting a picture of the latest version of your product but what you are selling is the previous model, even though they look exactly the same.

Be truthful about the information you feed your consumers on what they could expect. Let's say you are promoting ZYX pills which work as a painkillers. You do not promote the pills as cure of headaches.

Fireproof and waterproof mean exactly as they say, not fire or water resistant only under certain circumstances. Polar is meant to describe winter gear that will provide warmth under extreme cold, not adequate protection to the temperature near zero. The difference in advertising can make a difference in a man's mortality.


Target market

Identify your market demographic, i.e. who you are planning to sell to. Do some research, start a short survey, learn from your clients, study the current market trend or examine how the rival companies or potential competitions sell their products. The advertising messages will work more effectively when it speaks for that certain customer.


Tell the truth

It's the simplest rule that no one truly follows, which is also the heart of advertising. It is similar to the accuracy of between the advertising and the product, but more in line on honesty rather than product rigidity. Slight boasting and exaggerations of your product (e.g. the best coffee) are expected and mostly allowed, but by simply adding jargons or making the word sounds more technical (e.g. detox photodissociation coffee), that truthfulness can just be lost in the text. Another example is asserting the tent's ability to brunt rainy conditions but also extending that ability to wind resistance when it's not been tested.

In addition, for bloggers, Facebook, and other social media outlets, being paid to endorse a certain product must always be followed by a relationship disclosure. This has been ruled by the FTC and failing to do so will label the online advertising to be deceptive.


No deceptive pricing

You can set up bargains for your products or services at surprisingly low prices. Just make sure that the sale price is indeed lower that they normally are. If you are promoting the shirt for sale at $30, it better be its sale price and know how much it regularly cost. Deceptive activity such as making out the fictitious regular price to tout your much lower sale price will only risk you with being sued, but more preciously, the customer's goodwill and faith.

Additionally, advertising something as "free" should mean that it is certainly free. Payment of any kind for an additional service charge must be clearly stated in the advertisement. In general, customers understand that there are no free lunches in the world and buying something that is "free" often entailed purchasing another product at regular price first. Take note that charging more for the regular priced item for the extra "free" bonus is highly illegal and deceptive.


Stock up

If you are running an advertisement promoting laptops at 40% off, be prepared with enough product of the incoming consumer demand. If you are unable to provide as such, clearly state that there are limited quantities so your consumers can make their own preparation too. Failing to do so will risk your ad being ruled for going against certain states' laws, requiring any advertised product to have a certain amount ready in stock, or getting sued for its bait and switch nature.


Get permission

Under USA copyright law, you are only allowed limited quotations taken from copyrighted works without prior approval of the owner of said copyright. Under this circumstance, you are legally justified to cherry pick the favorable revision for your advertisements, be it plays, movies, books or even an electric broom. Except for brief quotes from service or product reviews, you are required to seek permission when quoting protected material.


Fair competition

Don't destroy other's products, services or reputation by sending misleading or false information. If you are indeed comparing your products and services with similar ones on the market, double check that the information promoted in your ad is accurate.

Lastly, customers aren't stupid, when they feel that something is off, they will disperse and move on to another (however, blind brand loyalty does exist).


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