Define institutional advertising.


Institutional advertising practice stands for a type of indirect expression of an industry’s benefits, ideas, and usefulness, in an attempt to build a positive image among the general public, thus making them more likely to get themselves involved with the businesses comprising said industry.


Institutional advertising is a business equivalent of public relations, which governments and countries often engage in. The purpose of the activity is to teach the potential consumers about the industry in general, the products it offers, and the benefits those products could offer to individuals and the society in general.

The practice is typically aimed at a long-term perspective, seeking to generate not only the growth in net sales, but also an increase in profiled education, investors and sponsorships, as well as government support. Nevertheless, institutional advertising is also used to bring down industries whose interests compete with one another.

For example, agriculture industry is often at odds with meat industry, as both often compete for farmland as well as customers. The popularity of veganism is often supported by companies that directly profit from the increase in fruit and vegetable consumption. Meat and dairy products industry, likewise, invests significant resources in campaigns to present their products as healthy and essential.

Small and medium-sized businesses typically do not engage in this kind of social engineering alone. The brunt of the expenses is typically shouldered by professional associations as well as large mega corporations, which act as faces of the industry for the average consumer. For electronics, Apple, Google, and Microsoft are the primary poster companies. For the oil industry, British Petroleum, Lukoil, and Shell are some of the more widely-known names.

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