What Are the 5 M's of Advertising? (Definition and Examples)

Updated March 10, 2023

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During the advertising process, each part of marketing and advertising can be important to understand in the marketing department. The 5 M's of advertising are elements of advertising that can help show the importance of advertising, including how an advertisement works and what limitations or extensions it might have. By learning more about these five principles, you can help teach your department how to best improve the effectiveness of your advertising efforts.

In this article, we review the five M's of advertising, what they each represent along with examples of each.

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What are the 5 M's of advertising used for?

The five M's of advertising are used for advertisement explanation and marketing element identification. Because organizations need advertisements to expose their business services and products to customers, these elements are important for any marketing team on a developing business. Marketing businesses use these M's in many ways to handle their advertising, optimizing their market shares, and pleasing their consumer base in profitable ways. For example, small firms may use advertising agencies to promote their business, while larger firms may have separate departments for advertising.

Because of the importance of advertising in a business, big or small, companies may even have entire departments dedicated to different products, brands and services within a single company. Understanding the five M's can help a department make decisions concerning what products or services they sell, and what resources they have with which to advertise these items. The five M's can all help a department understand how to develop brands, market toward a target market and build a strategy for future profits. The five M's of advertising are as follows:


The marketing mission is what a department wants to complete with an ad. It can be to sell a product, promote a service, develop a brand or more company objectives. It could inform the customers of the delivery stages of a product, such as one that is still in development. Even if a product is unreleased, advertisements can still promote the product through a dual mission goal. Advertisements that both promote and give details about a product accomplish two mission goals: to describe the product to customers and to garner interest in the product for potential buyers.

Both of these goals serve similar objectives but complete different requirements. A mission can also persuade customers to aim for a particular brand in the product. This could be, for example, used in an advertisement for a popular brand, when it mentions another brand within the same company. Companies can use one product to advertise another to fulfill a specific mission. A mission can also be simply to keep customers informed about the product, to keep them thinking about it in a repeated pattern.


Money in the five M's of advertising concerns all the budgets for collective advertising. This can apply to the media used, the geography of the advertising and the demographics the advertising targets. This can also concern how long the advertisements run, and with what products they associate with. Depending on many of these factors, an advertisement could be more or less expensive and effect the overall budget.


The message of an advertisement is the medium from which the advertisement communicates with or delivers to the target audience. Messages generate within departments in different ways before they become available to the current audience. Inductive message generation allows business leaders and department heads to brainstorm before deciding on a final message. Deductive reasoning in message creation attributes message purposes to rational, sensory and social values of a customer. Both of these methods acknowledge and rely on message execution, which is the format in which a message delivers to a customer.


Media is the medium through which advertising conveys. When choosing how to convey an advertisement, members of the department focus on the reach, impact and frequency of the media while considering the advertisement itself. They also determine the mode of media by what is available to the company, including what resources they have to develop and mass produce the media, if necessary. Once they consider these factors, they choose the media vehicle and the media vehicle's timing, or how long the media add projects to the audience.


Measurement is a post-advertisement set of activities that measures how effective an advertisement was to the target audience and for the product. Using research and analysis tools, a team can determine the problems and improvement potentials that they can accomplish to encourage advertisement development. This step helps increase overall profitability of an advertisement and can help improve advertisements in the future.

Related: 70 Advertisement Ideas for Your Business

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Examples of the 5 M's of advertising

Below are different examples of each of the five M's of advertising that can help you better understand how they function in a marketing department setting:


An example of a mission can be any of the following:

  • Define a product image: A mission could be to define the nature of a product to an audience, such as when developing a new product or brand. This can help associate a preexisting audience with a product they've never seen nor expect from the market.

  • Update a product line: This mission could help customers remain interested in a product's development stages, even if they span over a number of years.

  • Re-establish product interest: If a product line has been dormant for a time, advertising campaigns can help reestablish a presence of a product in customers' minds.

Related: Learn About Being an Advertising Manager


An example of money within an advertising campaign can be any of the following:

  • Budget allowances: This is the budget of the project, provided by the company.

  • Stakeholder investments: Any stakeholder investments outside of the company can impact the availability the company has for product advertisement.

  • Advertising lengths: Lengths of advertisements impact budgets and costs.

Related: A Guide to Effective Marketing Techniques


An example of a message within an advertisement campaign can be any of the following:

  • Persuasion to purchase: A message in an advertisement may try to persuade an audience into purchasing a product or service.

  • Encouragement to renew: For advertisements discussing renewable services such as subscriptions, the message may be to encourage renewal.

  • Advertisement for awareness: Advertisements may exist simply to make customers aware of an upcoming product's release.

Related: 10 Careers in Advertising


An example of media within an advertising campaign can be any of the following:

  • Social media ads: Social media advertisements can be effective depending on the products and it's relevance to the media.

  • Commercial ads: Commercial ads can be helpful for advertising products, usable items or items that relate to a particular target demographic.

  • Public ads: Public ads such as billboards can be helpful for advertising places or events, such as concerts or theme parks.


Measurement within an advertising campaign can be any of the following:

  • Polls: Polls within and outside of the company can show advertising teams what worked best for employees and for customers.

  • Profile assessments: Using profile assessment software, companies can learn who reacted to advertisements and who didn't.

  • Ratings: Ratings for commercial advertisements can help tell teams how well their advertisements were viewed.

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