Selective and primary demand are two different approaches to presenting advertising messages. Selective demand occurs when companies deliver messages that depict their brand as the best match for the needs of the target market. Primary demand is advertising intended to drive interest to the general product category, rather than a specific brand in particular.
Selective demand features the advertiser trying to persuade the target audience to select its brand over alternatives. It does this by using brand messages that distinguish the company's products or services from others based on unique benefits or features. Typically, you can identify selective demand advertising by looking at the content of the message. If it is centered on a specific brand and its benefits, selective demand is the objective.
Companies use a variety of strategies to depict selective demand. Some use benefit positioning, where they showcase the specific benefits of their product that are unique in the market. Others use competitive positioning, where they state how their products are better or distinct from those offered by competitors. Another positioning alternative is user positioning. This is where the brand focuses on matching its benefits to the needs of a particular type of user.
Primary demand is when an advertising message's objective is to drive interest in a product category or type of product, as opposed to focusing on a specific brand. When primary demand advertising is presented, the message generally discusses the benefits of using the general product without focusing on the particular benefits offered by one brand's product against a competitor's.
Primary demand typically occurs less often that selective demand advertising. This is because companies typically pay for advertising to sell their own brands. Primary demand usually occurs in a few specific situations. One is when a new or innovative product is first introduced to the market. Rather than focusing a message on brand differentiation, the advertiser focuses on informing the market about what the new product does. Another common scenario that leads to primary demand is when associations made up of industry members collaborate to generate interest for the product category. This is often done when industries are struggling, such as the "Got Milk?" or "Pork, the Other White Meat" campaigns.