What is Institutional Advertising?

Definition: Institutional advertising consists of promotional activities that aim to improve reputation, create a positive image or encourage support of an organization. The term applies to actions oriented to promote the firm itself.

What Does Institutional Advertising Mean?

Institutional advertising differs from the most common advertising because the latter has the purpose of selling a particular product or service. When promoting the organization the activities are designed to create certain mindset about it like trustworthiness or respectability. The ultimate objective is to make people more willing to think positively about the organization. In some cases, these actions might result in higher consumer preference when deciding about a purchase.

Like any other type of advertising, the company must define a target group, a message, means or methods to communicate it and expected results. Many times, institutional advertising is reactive after an event or situation has damaged the company image. However, other firms carry out proactive, planned institutional advertising as a complement of institutional relations. Public Relations are an important part of institutional advertising.

Example

Mirton Industries is a company that manufactures and markets several food and drink brands. In recent years the brand has faced strong competition from neighbor countries due to lower import duties that made those competitors more affordable. The marketing manager thought that people should know that Mirton Industries provided employment to thousands of people and it is a company that promotes small and medium sized suppliers. He said that consumers had to preserve domestic producers instead of choosing imported brands.

With this purpose, a new advertising campaign showed images of Mirton’s manufacturing facilities and reinforced words like “us” and “ours” when presenting the company behind the brands. The advertising also promoted the benefits that Mirton Industries delivered to the national economy. Similar campaigns were implemented year by year with positive consequences on consumers. After a few years, Mirton’s market share increased and the firm could reach previous sales level.