Institutional Advertising: Characteristics, Types, Examples

The institutional advertising is the promotional message used by an organization to promote, rather than its products, which aims to create a positive image, enhance reputation, build a trademark, express an idea or philosophy of the company.

It differs from common commercial advertising, because the latter is for the purpose of selling a particular product or service. When promoting the organization, the activities are designed to create some awareness about it, such as trustworthiness or respectability.

The ultimate goal is to make people more willing to think positively about the organization. In some cases, these actions can result in increased consumer preference when deciding on a purchase. Also known as corporate advertising

Many times, institutional advertising is a reaction after an event or situation has damaged the image of the company.

However, other companies carry out planned and proactive institutional advertising as a complement to institutional relations. Public relations is an important part of institutional advertising.


It is the type of advertising that promotes a business, institution or similar unit. The business promotes itself rather than its products. However, the important thing to remember is that institutional advertising is not intended to sell a product directly.


Its main objective is to create an image for the business and build a brand for the organization, informing consumers about its philosophy. The business also tries to promote its mission, vision, as well as its principles.

It informs the general public about the work carried out by the organization in the field of health, education, environment and other similar areas, seeking to build a reputation for the company.

Companies also use this type of advertising to promote their qualities , such as reliability, low prices or good customer service, that distinguish them from their competitors.


Like any other type of advertising, the company must define a target group, a message, as well as the means or methods to communicate the message and thus obtain the expected results.


– The image of the company is improved, investors and clients are attracted. It also helps in product diversification.

– Investors are motivated by the overall image of the company, not just its products and services.

– Improve the public relations of the company and help it to be first in mind through brand awareness.

– Companies involved in good social responsibility activities also get benefits from the government.


– Institutional advertising does not promote the products and services offered by the company. Therefore, the cost of advertising does not generate income.

– Since it is an activity that promotes values, ethics, social responsibility activities, etc. of the company, there is no way to measure its impact.

– Investing money in institutional advertising does not guarantee a positive impact on the sales of goods and services, as it is simply an exercise in public relations.


Printed medium

Print can be the largest and most diverse of the types of institutional advertising. Traditionally refers to advertisements placed in print publications such as magazines and newspapers.

Over time, advertisements have also been included on restaurant menus, in newsletters, and in many other forms of non-traditional print publications.

Direct mail, where printed advertising pieces are sent to a customer’s home or business, is also included in the print media type.


The type of institutional radio advertising includes all commercials that are played on radio stations, whether it is a music station, talk station or another format.

These commercials are generally produced to be broadcast for a standard number of seconds, depending on the space where they are run.

Radio spots can be created by professional production companies. Some radio stations also offer production services for an additional fee.


Like radio, this type of institutional advertising consists mainly of television commercials of a specific number of seconds. They are produced by a production company or by the station that runs the commercials.

Television has an additional advertising component that is not normally seen in the world of radio: infomercials. These extended commercials are paid advertisements that can last an entire television show.

Although these are often sales demos, they can also be used to create brand messages.

Digital medium

It is one of the newer types of institutional advertising. It is considered the fastest growing format.

Refers to any advertisement that involves a computer. This includes flyers sent to customers by email and advertisements on shopping sites, social media, and other websites.

It also includes mobile media, such as smartphone apps and text message ads.



This is a company that manufactures and markets various brands of food and beverages. In recent years, the brand has faced stiff competition from neighboring countries, due to lower import tariffs that made those competitors more affordable.

The marketing manager thought that people should know that Mirton employed thousands of people and that it is a company that promotes small and medium suppliers. He said consumers had to preserve domestic producers rather than choose imported brands.

To this end, a new ad campaign featured images of Mirton’s manufacturing facilities, reinforcing words like “we” and “our” when presenting the company behind the brands.

The publicity also promoted the benefits that Mirton delivered to the national economy. Similar campaigns were implemented year after year with positive consequences for consumers.

After a few years, Mirton’s market share increased and the company was able to reach the previous sales level.

Coca Cola

Coca-Cola has also been in institutional advertising for a long time. With its leading product, Coca-Cola has been at the forefront of promoting environmental concerns.

Their ads targeting recycling and Greenpeace have been well received by their target consumers and have simultaneously helped them establish themselves as a brand that promotes environmental sustainability.

Gulf Oil

The world’s largest oil corporation, Gulf Oil, spreads awareness on the issue of oil spills in the ocean and how oil drilling is dangerous to marine life. They have also launched a campaign to save the environment.


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  5. Wise Geek (2019). What Are the Different Types of Institutional Advertising? Taken from:

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