What is the major Difference Between these Marketing Tools- Advertising, Publicity and Promotion?

Abinaya Arangarajan Abinaya Arangarajan
Aug 25, 2021 8 min read
What is the major Difference Between these Marketing Tools- Advertising, Publicity and Promotion?

In order to pursue brand recognition, you have to deploy these marketing tools- Advertising, Publicity and Promotion. Each tool plays a crucial role in communicating products, catalogues or services of a brand to the users.

A marketing tool is a technique that helps your business to develop or dilate your products and services to the public. Besides, deploying marketing tools impacts a favorable effect on your brand sales turnover and brand awareness. Advertising, Publicity and Promotion are one way or another way to brew a company’s profile in the public.

What is Advertising?
Types of Advertising
What is Publicity?
Types of Publicity
What is Promotion?
Types of Promotion
Major Difference among Advertising, Publicity and Promotion

What is Advertising?

You are watching a film on television, apparently there will be an intermission in between the movie and you see a clip regarding a product that they’re trying to sell.

Advertising is nothing, but a short duration of video clips which represent the brand. Moreover, it is done as a marketing communicating strategy among public audiences as it drives brand awareness as well as sales to the products for which advertising is for.

Advertising entices watchers to make a purchase on the products that they’re showing in such an ingenious way.

For instance, When you are frigging craving for something to eat while binge watching your favorite web-series on YouTube and out of nowhere, you see an advertisement of KFC, where an actor devours chicken wings, Urg! That appetites your hunger. Additionally, Advertisement can be done in paper form likewise- Magazine, newspaper, leaflets etc.

Ultimately leads you to order something on Swiggy or Zomato. This is how advertising works on marketing, by enticing public eye to make purchases forthwith, Besides Advertising should be appropriate, credible and pertinent to the brand.

Types of Advertising


You will encounter Big Bazaar advertisements in the end or the middle of Newspaper apropos any offers available.

Big Bazaar Newspaper Ad
Big Bazaar Newspaper Ad 


This mode of advertising is prevalent in olden days, because almost two-third of the population have listened to sports commentary on radio since the 60s and in the middle of time-out you will listen to Nestle ad most of the time back in those days.


Naaptol is a great example for television advertisement, where time-slot is given to make as many as customers to call for them and allot an order for the particular product which the hosts are trying to sell for the seven minutes max.

Catalogues or Direct Mail

When direct mail was introduced, this played as an advantage to businesses in promoting their products in an effortless method by sending postcards, platelets or leaflets and papers to its targeted customers. When you open an email, you will see a plethora of emails from Swiggy or Zomato.

Zomato Swiggy Email marketing
Zomato Swiggy Email marketing


One of the easiest methods to drive traffic to your brand is to advertise your products or service online. For instance; If you are searching for mnemonics regarding to clear a predicament math exam and you encounter Byju's in the bottom of your screen and asking you to enroll.

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What is Publicity?

A few months back, world-famous Portuguese footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo moved two bottles of Coca-Cola off a table during a press conference which led to the company’s share price falling by $4 billion minutes after the gesture. This essentially is an example of bad publicity even though the footballer didn’t essentially demote the product.

Publicity is an activity through which a product or brand creates awareness among the buyers. It is generally the media attention for a product or service. Publicity can be both positive and negative. Companies use Public relations to have controlled publicity. It is a form of non-paid promotion.

Types of Publicity

Publicity can be a boon or bane to the image of the product or brand. The different types of publicity are:


News and media coverage is a common form of publicity and affects the product vastly as this information reaches a huge number of people. Since the company doesn’t have control over the news or the media releases the publicity can be both positive or negative.

Digital Activities

As the world has deeply immersed in the internet and people follow the movements of the company diligently as everything is available to them, the presence of the company and its products on social media is a kind of publicity as people tend to share the posts with friends and others.

Social Efforts

Social Efforts by the company gains the attention of the media and likewise the general public. Companies promote a green environment, action against climate change and other social problems which gains the company a positive image.

Events and Conferences

Companies sponsor music concerts, trips and other events, this helps in making aware the presence of the company to the public. Conferences are conducted by the company to attract investors and other potential stakeholders.


Companies partner with other companies to increase their customer base along with the other companies' customers. This promotion is mutually beneficial and profitable.

Press Release

The press release is handled by the Public relations department of the company and this form of promotion is in the control of the company. Press releases are made to announce the major events of the company.

Product Release and Offers

Companies draw the attention of the public for their new products through product launch events. The product launch is also telecasted online through YouTube and other platforms. The company also gives away offers and discounts to help in creating more demand for a product.

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What is Promotion?

Those pesky Ad Breaks while watching an interesting movie or a match is really an infuriating thing isn’t it? And they are the answer to the question ’What is promotion?’. Promotion is a process in marketing through which the company informs the user about the product, its uses, benefits and urges the buyer in purchasing the product. It is a form of communication from the buyer to the seller. It is a method to create awareness of the product among the users to coax them into choosing this particular product or brand over other competing brands and products.

Types of Promotion

As mentioned earlier, Ad breaks and advertising aren’t the only types of promotions a company uses to create awareness about its brand or product among the customers. The types of promotion used are:

Direct Promotion

Direct promotion is the promotion where the company communicates with the customers directly without any intermediary. This is done through email marketing, websites, promotional letters, etc.

Sales Promotion

Sales Promotional methods are the ones the company follows to increase sales by way of methods like buy 1 get one free, lottery, etc.

Public Relation

Public Relation is one essential component for the survival and sales of a company. The company uses PR to communicate with the customers and other stakeholders of the company to increase its presence.


Advertisements are the most common form of promotional activity done by a company. Advertisements are cheap and it helps the company in mass reach. Advertisements can be made using newspapers, the internet, television, radio, etc.

Direct Selling:

Direct Selling is a promotional activity when the company entrusts agents with the product and the agents travel from door to door and sell the product.

Online Promotion:

Online Promotion is the promotion done by the company with the use of the internet. This includes email marketing, advertisements on the internet, etc.

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Major Difference among Advertising, Publicity and Promotion

Parameters of Comparison 





It is a paid-up marketing one-way communication, which shows your brand either visually or in written form. 

Publicity is an action which is engrossed by the media in the eyes of the public. 

Promotion is a method of informing their targeted audiences about the products and urging them to make a purchase at the spur of the moment. 


There are various types of advertisement such as- Television, online, outdoor, radio, newspaper, Cinema and magazines advertisement.

News, Digital Activities, Social Campaign, Press meeting for inauguration of the product, Social efforts and product release or offers etc.

Direct promotion, Direct selling, Online promotion, Public Relation (PR), Advertisement and sales promotion.


Entice watcher that leads sales, Consumer awareness, Fights competitions, introduction of new products to markets and Wide coverage of brands.

Low-cost, augment Credibility among buyers, provide informative and draws audiences attention.  

Introduce new products to its users, Generate new leads, Immediate returns, Better control, Ameliorate Public image and Enhance large scale production.


Advertising cost sky-high, impersonal, lacks flexibility and one-way communication. Discourage small businesses who can’t afford to cast an advertisement.

Lack of control if ignomable is framed against the company, Cost high in case of any press meeting is arranged. 

Expensive, Tarbish Brand Image and Short-term orientation that engenders ambiguity about the products. 


You encounter Banner or poster in the middle of travelling somewhere likewise; a person opening his mouth wide to have a bite of Mcdonalds burger. 

When you step out, you hear vegetable vendors trying to sell their products by shouting loud in order to engross buyers.

If you go to a fast food restaurant and as a regular customer you get a promotion availability ‘Buy One Get One’.


Promotion, Publicity, Advertising are done mainly to create awareness of the product and coax the consumers in choosing the product among the competing brand’s products.

Both Advertising and Publicity are a form of Promotion. In this era, where consumers are flooded with a lot of choices, it is essential for a company to advertise and publicize its product and brand and use these promotion methods to survive and flourish in any industry.


What is the most effective promotional tool?

According to numerous studies calendars and notepads are the most effective promotional tools.

What are the tools of publicity?

Media relations, Social media, Newsletters, and Brochures and catalogues are some of the tools you can use for publicity.

What is the most expensive promotion tool?

Personal selling is considered as the most expensive promotion tool. As it involves training costs.

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