Advertising is often thought of as the paid, non-personal promotion of a cause, idea, product, or service by an identified sponsor attempting to inform or persuade a particular target audience. Advertising has taken many different forms since the beginning of time.
For instance, archaeologists have uncovered walls painted in Rome announcing gladiator fights as well as rock paintings along Phoenician trade routes used to advertise wares. From this early beginning, advertising has evolved to take a variety of forms and to permeate nearly every aspect of modern society. The various delivery mechanisms for advertising include banners at sporting events, billboards, Internet Web sites, logos on clothing, magazines, newspapers, radio spots, and television commercials. Advertising has so permeated everyday life that individuals can expect to be exposed to more than 1,200 different messages each day. While advertising may seem like the perfect way to get a message out, it does have several limitations, the most commonly noted ones being its inability to
(1) focus on an individual consumer's specific needs,
(2) provide in-depth information about a product,
(3) be cost-effective for small companies.