In today’s society, one must consider – Is there any advantage of advertising? In many cases, it is only disadvantage – an annoying hindrance in our daily lives. It gets on our nerves, distorts the truth, and adds to the cost of the product. Advertising is designed for one purpose – to sell. To achieve this goal, advertises are willing to stretch and distort the truth, just to convincing people to buy their product. For example, an advertiser may convince buyers to purchase their product by stating that has been tested and found superior. In reality, the product is not likely to be better than any other – the tests themselves doubtlessly conducted by the promoting company – conducted to ensure at least something is superior about the product, even if it is only the color. These advertisements are worded carefully so that they are telling the “literal truth” – the truth is exactly what the words say, although people misinterpret the message by using conversational logic as something different – something better. By using ingenious tactics like these, the populace is deceived into buying a product that may not do what is required, or a product that a buyer may have never really needed. This is why advertising is a bad thing, for our society.
Advertising is used to promote goods, services, images, and anything else that advertisers want to publicize. It is becoming a major part of mass media. At times, we may view it positively, at other times we may just skip or ignore it. In order to attract audience, advertisers use various techniques on their advertisement to make people aware of the firm’s products, services, or brands. Although the methods used by advertisers are infinitely, they have a common goal to persuade those who may become their customers to buy their products. An excellent advertisement will create a deep impression on its potential customers through particular techniques.
Radio and Television Advertising
We are constantly surrounded by advertising. From bus stop benches to television commercials. Everywhere we look something is being advertised. Two of the best ways to advertise are radio and television. These two mediums effect virtually everyone. Most of us listen to the radio or watch television at some point each day. Because of this, many of us are able to remember products by the jingles or slogans that are used. An example of this is the slogan for Charmin tissue. Anytime you see Mr. Whipple you think of Charmin, and the slogan “Don’t squeeze the Charmin.” This type of advertising keeps the products in the mind of the consumer. Therefore, when the consumer goes to the market, he will reach for the Charmin.
If you were a person trying to advertise for a product or a store, before deciding which medium you should advertise in, there are some questions you should ask yourself. The potential advertiser should know who they are, what they are selling and to whom they are selling it. When you advertise you should have a realistic profile of your customers. By defining your target audience, you will be able to aim your advertisements at them. Therefore, a business should take the time to do some research and plan their advertising strategies.
For the small advertiser, radio is the most effective medium. It can reach a target audience and people are likely to hear the advertisement more than once. Most people spend a great deal of time listening to the radio. They listen while they are commuting to work, are at the office, and while commuting home. Radios greatest advantage is mobility. It can and does go everywhere. Its weakness, which can also be viewed as a strength is that it is limited to two things, sound, and silence. Radio also works on the power of suggestion and the imagination of the listener. Radio advertising rates are determined by the size of the listening audience. The size of the audience is determined by polls, census data, and surveys. Because radio has a lost of competition for its audience, the audience you are paying for is anticipated and potential, it is not guaranteed. Advertising in radio is bought in “spots.” These spots can run form 10 seconds to 60 seconds. You have the option to choose when you would like the spot to run and how many times you would like it to run. If you choose prime rate, the spot will cost you more, however it is guaranteed to run at a certain time.
Television is the strongest medium to advertise in and also the most expensive. Like radio, the cost of advertising on television in. The television day is broken down as follows, morning, midday, early fringe, primetime, and 11 PM to sign off. Morning and midday are usually filled with local shows, game show, soaps, and perhaps even a midday movie. This time period is aimed at the housewife or homebody. Early fringe runs from 4pm to 7:30pm, during this time-varied programs are shown, including news, children’s shows or rerun comedies. Primetime is the most expensive time to advertise. This is when most people are in front of their televisions and the network shows are run. Primetime is from 8:00 to 11:00 PM. From 11:00pm to sign off, the audience dwindles. Most people retire for the evening. During this time the news is shown, movies and other reruns. There are seasons in television programming. The most expensive season to advertise in is fall. This is when new network programming begins. During this time an abundance of back to school ads are shown. Then before you know it the holidays are here and there are even more reasons to advertise. Then again, at the end of summer things pick up and the cycle begins again. Both radio and television advertising are good ways to make your product or service known. However, the key to any successful advertising is to know your market. By doing this you will know the best way to promote your product.
The Impact of Advertising in Our Society
The impact of advertising on our society is a fiercely debated topic, and has been ever since the conception of advertising in its most basic form. There are negative and positive social and economic impacts upon society from advertising in its various forms. For instance, advertising promoting public welfare has a positive social impact upon society, whereas advertising portraying women as sex objects has negative social impacts. There are also positive economic impacts on society such as providing funding for the media and stimulating an active, competitive economy.
There are a number of proven ways to persuade the consumer that he or she needs the product being advertised. These methods of persuasion, instead of concentrating on the actual product, usually concentrate on the benefits that will be brought to the consumer. These benefits may include the hope of more money and better jobs, popularity and personal prestige, praise from others, more comfort, social advancement, improved appearance, or better health. For example, an automobile advertisement, as well as mentioning the mechanical attributes of the car, would most likely focus on the excitement, prestige, and social advancement it may bring the buyer. This social advancement is very often sexual, or involving attraction of the other sex– so the car advertisement may also mention the glamorous women/men that the consumer will attract with his/her fancy car. Advertising has been blamed for a great variety of negative social impacts. One of the major criticisms received by advertising is that it forces people to buy things they don’t really need, often by projecting negative emotions such as fear, anxiety or guilt upon the consumer. It is claimed that advertising plays with our basic human emotions and takes advantage of them, using them as merely another technique to sell goods or services.
Advertising also encourages people to buy products by making them think that purchasing and consuming are the major activities of their lives. It is said to also evoke fears of inferiority upon the consumer by depicting the ‘normal’ person as young, attractive, wealthy, and successful. This may encourage a person to act on his or her desire for success and, for instance, go out and purchase that particular brand of make-up or deodorant hoping to emulate the seeming success of the person depicted in the advertisement. In opposition, advertisers state that the public is intelligent enough to, and quite capable of, making up its own mind and will definitely not buy anything they do not want or need. People are not inclined to be swayed by false claims that they need a particular product, and will usually be very discriminating in what they take as being true, when it comes to advertising. In fact, advertisers would say that there are many positive social impacts on our society from advertising.
Advertising can be used to increase awareness in society about particular issues, and in so doing, becomes a form of education. Anti drug advertising such as “It’s OK to say NO”, and drink driving campaigns are just two examples of how society uses the advertising industry as a means to promote public welfare. Other forms of socially positive advertising include those advocating safe sex, thereby considerably slowing the spread of deadly STDs throughout the community. As well as social benefits outlined in the previous paragraph; there are economic benefits experienced by society, as a result of advertising. Without advertising, the media, including newspaper, television, radio, etc, would be much less vigorous. Advertising provides revenue for commercial mediums, which would otherwise need to be funded by the actual consumer of these mediums. For example, a newspaper would cost up to three times as much money (since advertising provides two thirds of the revenue of the print media), or all television, bar government funded networks, would be pay-TV (since nearly ALL revenue for television is provided by advertising, while the consumer provides no financial support except for providing the service of watching the advertising messages). So we can see a major economic infrastructure based around advertising, in which the big companies fund and subsidize the commercial media by way of advertising. The price a consumer may have to pay to receive very cheap, or even free news and entertainment may include sitting through a 30 second advertisement break while watching a prime-time television program, or flicking a couple of extra pages in a magazine to move through the advertisements to get to the articles.
The Internet is based very heavily around advertising, and this is one of the major incentives for individuals and institutions to provide content online. Advertising is so important because it is extremely difficult and impractical to attempt to bill the consumer directly. Security issues involving credit card fraud and the sheer inconvenience and hassle surrounding minor financial transactions over the Internet have made it very undesirable for companies to charge the consumer for content. Some may argue that the economic drawback of advertising in our society is that it raises the price of goods and services. The basis of this argument is that, while companies subsidize the mass media with advertising, we, the consumer, subsidize advertising by paying a grossly increased price for heavily advertised goods and services. For instance, a box of detergent costs around two or three dollars to produce, but the consumer might pay around seven or eight dollars. A large proportion of the difference obviously supports the heavy advertising television and print media campaigns. In response to this argument, it can be said that advertising stimulates a much more active economy, with vigorous competition between institutions, and higher buying rates of products, which leads to lower product costs for the consumer anyway. The effects upon society brought about by advertising come in mixed forms, depending on the purpose and execution of various campaigns. However, society as we know it is based very heavily upon advertising, and the negative social and economic impacts are not serious enough to outweigh the many positive social and economic effects on our society.
In reading and doing this book report, I have learned many things. I have learned about the forms of advertising, tactics of advertising, how to advertise if I were trying to promote a product or a store. Most of all, I learned the pros, cons, and traps of advertising and being the consumer. I believe that the books were very informative. By reading the book by Jack Engel, entitled, Advertising: The Process and Practice I learned about the various techniques and tactics of the advertiser made me think twice about purchasing merchandise after seeing an advertisements. By reading How to Advertise: A Handbook for the Small Business, I learned about the different techniques of effective advertising if I were to advertise for a small business or company. Not only was this an enjoyable report to do but it will definitely make me think twice about buying a product after seeing or hearing and advertisement, it has made me a more wary and better consumer.
Dean, Sandra Linville. How to Advertise: A Handbook for the Small Business. Enterprise
Publishing, 1983. ISC, 1985.
Engel, Jack. Advertising: The Process and Practice. McGraw, 1980.
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