Most people use these two terms as it they mean the same but, do we really know the meaning them? Both publicity and advertising are used as a communication tool by companies. Nevertheless, there is a considerable difference between the two and it is important to know that each one has a dissimilar way of promoting the brand and its products.

First of all, it is worth considering the meaning of each term. Advertising is any paid marketing strategy done in order to promote and sell a product by an identified sponsor. We can find it in TV, Medias, Internet and Social Networks, Billboards, Events…  For instance, The Share a Coke campaign of Coca-Cola. It began in Australia in 2011, when the brand personalized each bottle with the most popular names in that country. The company wanted to give to their regular buyers a sense of individual ownership.

On the other way round, Publicity is an unpaid promotion done by a third part that give to people information or news, about your brand or your product. Here, there is not identified sponsor. An accurate example of publicity are makeup products that are tested by youtubers when they are not paid for doing it. It is a perfect form to be informed about products which you are interested in, because you get a real opinion.

Besides that another factor to consider is to differentiate and compare these two methods of promoting a brand. We already know the meaning of each one, but there are three main differences: the control, the cost and the credibility. It is obvious in advertising has total control the company, whereas on publicity it is controlled by a third party such as newspaper, radio or influencer. See that advertising is more expensive than publicity. The cost of the advertising involves the advertising expenses. While publicity does not involve any cost at all. Finally, we have the credibility. It is evident that advertising has less credibility than publicity, so that last one in comparatively high that the first one.

Apart from these comparisons, there are others such as which sub-part they belong to. The Advertising is a sub-part of Communication Mix and the Publicity is a sub-part of Public Relations. Also, there is the target audience which in Advertising are the prospective customers or buyers and in Publicity is the public in general.

On the one hand, Advertising is a way of building the brand image in the market. It also helps to customers to be informed about new products and their features, which differentiate it from other brands. But, it involves a large number of expanses. Moreover, costumers doubt about which product buy owing of the several options available. In addition, Advertising sometimes deceive costumers by giving false information to them.

However, Publicity is a free way of marketing, so is more cost-efficient. Furthermore, it is considered by customers to be a more trustworthy reference to know an opinion of a product or a brand, because it has detailed information about them. Despite this, fact, Publicity may affect positively or negatively a company. Negative Publicity has a bad influence, because it damages the brand image. As an impact of this, it could reduce extremely the sales volume. Because of this, the brand might lose loyal customers when losing trust over the brand and of its products. In addition, stake holder and business partners may leave due to the reputation of the brand in the market.

Agustina Amarillo Del Mul / Joan Tononi Casamitjana


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