Advertising is the name of your game in AdvertCity. As the company Adsplay, this is your primary line of work.
All advertising uses a specific technology, targets a single building in meatspace or a single cybersite in cyberspace, and has a client. The client is the megacorp whose brand you are advertising, and they are the ones who pay for it - based on its success. You pay the up-front cost of
placing the advert, after which income trickles in depending on the impact and effectiveness of the ad.
You can only use each technology once on each target.
You have to plan carefully when placing your adverts; for instance it may not be wise to post links for Desperate Designers on the cybersite of Posters of Interest, since those two companies are in direct competition with each other - you are guaranteed to lose reputation with the latter, and perhaps your advert for the former may not succeed. However, there might be times when you intentionally want to do this, to give one company a boost at the expense of another...
Similarly it's important to think about the nature of an advert and how it performs based on where you deploy it. There's little point setting up a rooftop billboard on a short two-storey building, when there's a much more visible skyscraper next door. However, distributing flyers in front of such a skyscraper may not prove to be cost-effective, and smaller target buildings might prove to be a better use of that tech.
Some clients will not work with you until you have unlocked a technology they require, or until your reputation with them has climbed sufficiently. In some cases this can be a chicken-and-egg problem - how can you raise your reputation with them without being able to advertise for them? It's worth paying attention to the enemies and friends of each corporation, as that can make a big difference to the reputation impact of your ads.
If you are running a campaign for a single client, you can select them in the list in the top right of the window - after that every advert you place will select them as the client automatically, saving you an additional menu step, until you de-select them again or select a different client in that window. The ones that are greyed out are the ones that will not deal with you yet.
All adverts have a specific cooldown, during which you cannot use the same technology again. Some such as Hand Delivered Flyers have a very short cooldown, while others take a long time to become ready again. A progress bar shows you this cooldown when you are selecting technologies.
The more employees you have in all the buildings you own, the faster they can get your advertising technologies ready, and the shorter the cooldowns.Each advert in progress also has two countdown bars, which you can see in the lower right corner while each ad is running - a maximum views bar (thick line above), and a maximum time bar (thin line below). When either of these reaches the end, the advert finishes. Different adverts in different locations will fill these out at different rates.
You can see a list of all adverts deployed to a building or cybersite as part of its building info or cybersite info pages.