What’s the difference between Communication and Advertising?

So, you’ve created a company and a product that you believe in. Great. Now, how do you get your message out and find the correct consumers to target.
Lisa Picovschi
May 10, 2021
What’s the difference between Communication and Advertising?

When I was 19 years old my biggest dream was to work for the most prestigious advertising agency in Europe: Publicis. I tried absolutely everything to get an interview and finally got one with the CEO’s assistant (the CEO at the time was Maurice Levy). His assistant was an old “big shot” of the Londoner finance, and when he saw a young, inexperienced girl he almost laughed. The first question he asked me was: “What’s the difference between communication and advertising?” I was stumped. There’s a massive difference. Advertising alone is budgeted at 480 million Euros per year for their most important client, so you can tell that the question was "pricy".

Advertising is a specific field that is only a small part of communication.

We like to think of advertising as a capitalist art, in a way. Think of communication as every single aspect that concerns your company from the inside out. It can be your logo, your brochure, your website, etc.. When we talk about advertising, we think of the creative concept that will be displayed on a billboard in Times Square. Do you see where we’re going with this? 

So what exactly does an advertiser do? Or, what do we do?

We dive into your market. 

A good advertiser has ideas; an excellent one knows your market by heart. We diligently study your market several times, but your advertising market. How do your competitors advertise? and why? Which kind of messages do they share? Do they target a younger audience, who do they partner with? What kind of events do they organize? This way we see a niche emerging. Our creative team uses the missing gap to come up with the most original and rational way to advertise.

We highlight your strengths and play with your weaknesses.

Your product has a clear unique selling proposition, called USP. That is your true strength. Every single aspect of your product or service that differentiates you from your competitors is important to us because this is what we based our advertising campaign on. Your weaknesses are a good thing! For example, if your product misses a feature, or stands a bit too much, it’s perfect! A talented advertiser knows how to handle your uniqueness and to make it a true added value. 

Advertisers, for a long time, always attempted to hide their clients’ weaknesses. They would excite their clients and claim that they were the best at what they do, selling the best product, and if their target didn’t buy it, it was because of their bad taste. We don't think this way. In fact, we find it more intriguing that you're not perfect because nobody is. When you are aware of your fragility, you become credible and relatable. That's what we're looking for: honesty, authenticity & humanity. It might even be smart to have a tagline saying "We know we're not good at everything, but this, we do it well." Or, something along these lines. 

Advertising agencies saved businesses from failures many times. Do you remember the gum Airwaves? If you’ve tasted some you must remember the powerful taste they have. For the quick story, the unusually powerful taste was a mistake from the factory. The business owner at the time was in a terrible situation. A huge stock of a product he didn’t order. Instead of throwing away the production and firing everyone, he went to an advertising agency. The agency came up with this idea: “a gum for people with bad breath”, and the rest is history.

What are the objectives?

Whether you are launching your business or repositioning your company, we have three types of objectives: awareness, loyalty, and affection. We can target these three at the same time, but to actually reach all three simultaneously can be a bit more of a challenge because one single message can't say everything. Once we set up the right objectives, the creative process feels more logical.

Think differently.

Getting to know your consumers can be nothing but beneficial. When it comes to positioning your company, we noticed that our clients always struggle. They want to say everything, be the best, or use their marketing positioning as their only strategy, (which, by the way, is just a descriptive sentence). Advertising is entirely different, and here's why.

What, exactly, is a good positioning?

A positioning comes from the problem you're solving + your added value + insights. For example Glossier: "When in the US, millennials only have the choice between drugstore and high-end beauty products, Glossier offers an effortless, natural-looking makeup, at a medium price range. Their products are easy to use and transportable because most millennials don't know how to apply makeup properly, or don't have the time to do so."

Your positioning can be slightly different from your branding positioning because each advertising campaign has its objectives. Glossier's positioning is a global one, but we can break it down to each product and focus on just one.

Why are insights so valuable?

Insights are a direct analysis of your consumer's pain points. We all have a different experience using a product or service, how we perceive it, how it could simplify our life, and what we truly need. We base our advertising strategy on actual elements and situations from their daily lives. It's a classic concept in advertising, but it always works.

Reach people.

Targeting a group of people and getting to know their habits, their feelings, their taste, and how they behave is for us not only essential but from a social perspective, inspiring. We focus on your brand, but more so on your audience because only your consumers can make your brand successful. We emphasize a strong persona to get as close to your target as possible. We describe their personalities and their hobbies to send the right message. We include all of these elements in our creative work.


You can always visit our service page dedicated to advertising.