History and Present

The association POPAI CENTRAL EUROPE in cooperation with the associations  A3DR and ASPA elaborated a comprehensive scheme of individual types of marketing communication, from which it is clear what is the status of POP advertising within marketing communication.

Marketing communication 

Company activities:

  • Public Relations
  • Direct Marketing
  • Sales Promotion
  • Sales promotion services
  • Gift items and products
  • POP and POS tools

Above-the-line activities:

  • Advertising
  • Television
  • Press
  • Radio
  • Outdoor
  • Internet

According to the “map of under-the-line ads”, POP means fall under sales promotion activities, together with sales promotion services and gifts and promotional items.

Division in POP  

Division according to place of application:

  • Outdoor
  • Indoor
  • In-store (sales area – stores, chains, …)
  • Other (HORECA, sporting grounds, swimming pools and tourist centres, train stations and the like)

Division according to time of application:

  • Short term – temporary
  • Long term – permanent

Division according to manner of use:

  • Floor – stands, displays, billboards, pallet isles and decorations, product models, mounts, advertising garbage bins, floor graphics etc.
  • Shelf – dividers, infobars, delimiters, trays, presenters, sample holders, feeders, wobblers, stoppers etc.
  • Cash register – displays, coin holders, flyer holders, banners etc.
  • Wall – poster frames, light advertisments and billboards, banners etc.
  • Other – HORECA, POS, promo stands, umbrellas, area dividers, inflatables, window graphics, decorative and special event packaging, electronic and interactive media, terminals etc.

In the first stages of advertising development the prevalent idea was that a classic above-the-line ad is the most important for building a brand. Gradually the division of activities above and under the line ceases to be current and individual marketing communication categories are levelling “on the line”.

Current ads must have a new content, they must become the “architect” of all commercial communication. Due to the new developments, gradually agencies are appearing that specialise in individual media, PR, POP ads etc.

In the past, most investments went into classic, above-the-line ads: the ratio of investments into commercial communication has remained at a steady 60% of investments into above-the-line ads to 40% of investments into under-the-line ads.   At present, the division of investments is changing in favour of under-the-line advertising – in the US, 30% of investments go into classic advertising and 70% into under-the-line ads. In connection with this change, advertising is also being directed towards a more specific target group of consumers – as opposed to the past, when ads targeted the undifferentiated market as a whole.

The possibilities of using new media at points of sale are vast and it is highly important for these media to communicate with the consumer and inform him of what is currently new and what products and services are currently offered. At present, retail chains rely more on information in printed form – flyers, which serve as guidelines for shopping for mainly the older generation of consumers. To inform and attract the attention of other age categories of consumers, it is necessary to use other means of communication, including new technologies (flat screens etc.).

POP advertisements should become a part of a store’s interior. Its mission is to provide information to consumers quickly, help them choose goods and incite them to buy.

In-store marketing as a part of marketing communication

It is generally believed that in-store tools are among the highly effective components of marketing communication. At the same time, contrary to other forms of advertising which are currently stagnant (namely ATL communication), they are anticipated to undergo further development and wider, more sophisticated implementation. Consumers are fed up with television spots, billboards and press ads. The point of sale is seen as the last place where it is possible to sway the decision of the customer in favuor of the supported product, brand etc.

In the past few years, the point of sale is understood to be a decisive communication channel and should be worked with in a sophisticated manner as with a full-fledged marketing tool.

It is currently believed that about 75% of shopping decisions are made at the point of sale. The percentage of impulsive purchases is between approx. 60-75%, naturally depending on the specific product category. We simultaneously believe that implemented in-store media communication can increase the sales of supported brands/goods/services to the order of tens to hundreds of percent.

Another source of further increasing the effectiveness of POP media is their alignment with other communication tools, deployed in a complex advertising campaign.

First, some basic terms must be defined.

  • What is POP communication?
    POP (point of sale or point of purchase) represents a set of advertising materials and products used at a point of sale to promote a certain product or assortment of products. It is the most significant trigger of impulsive consumer shopping behavior.
  • What is impulsive shopping?
    It means making purchases not planned on prior to entering the store, often initiated by way of POP materials, promotional events or effective product presentation. I.e. purchases the customer only decides to make at the point of sale on the basis of the presentation of a given product.
  • What is a point of sale – POS?
    All locations where sales are made (stores, supermarkets, venues offering services). POP media are part of sales promotion activities, which is a means of communication aimed at attracting attention and influencing the shopping behavior of a potential customer by way of tools, which bring the customer into direct contact with the product.
  • In-store communication
    is a set of advertising means used inside a store, which are aimed at influencing the shopping decisions of shoppers.


From the book “POP-instore communication in practice”. Grada Publishing 2009.

Authors: Ing. Martin Boček, Daniel Jesenský, MBA, Ing. Daniela Krofiánová and collective