Public Interest (© magele-picture / )
Public Interest (© magele-picture / )

Public interest advertising has been around for a while, but it is only recently that there was this much emphasis on it within the marketing world. Public interest advertising and marketing can be one of the most effective ways to get your message out. In this article, we will be exploring the types of public interest advertising that are out there, the reason the people do it in the effectiveness of it.

What is Public Interest

Public interest marketing and advertising is simply marketing with a message. It is different than a public service announcement, because of PSA is intended to pass on solely the public service message. But a public interest message may be both for the public interest and to promote a certain product, company or event. However, most people consider public interest advertising and public service announcements to be the same thing. In many cases they are. There are some pretty compelling reasons to do public interest advertising which we will explore here.

Why Public Interest Ads Exist

So, why do people do public interest advertising? More specifically, why do companies spend money advertising messages that are not directly related to their product or service? The answer to this question is simple and in two parts: they do it because it’s the right thing to do and it improves their reputation and public awareness. Companies know that a good public interest advertising campaign will have people checking to see who designed it and why it exists. If they can link their company to the advertising campaign without directly promoting a product or service, then they have accomplished both objectives of the PSA. First, to get a message out that is actually within the public interest realm, in essence doing a good deed, as well as justifying the expense of the advertising campaign by allowing a little bit of self-promotion.

Are Public Interest Ads Effective?

You may be wondering just how effective these public interest ads can be. The truth is, it depends upon the advertising that is being done. There are great deal of public interest ads out there that are very creatively done and get lots of attention for the cause being promoted – as well as for the company behind it in many cases. But there are also a lot of public service ads out there that are poorly done and do not garner attention for their organization. Whether or not an ad is effective depends upon many factors in public interest doesn’t change that.


When it comes to public interest advertising and marketing, there are lot of reasons to do it, not the least of which is that it will be promoting a good cause. However, most companies still have to justify the money that they spend on advertising and that means that they have to do something to let the public know that they were the ones behind the ad. That goes for company-sponsored public interest ads, not the ones created by the organizations themselves.


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