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Thursday, July 28, 2011

advertising

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Advertising


Advertising is a message designed to promote or sell a product, a service, or an idea.


As rapid globalization continues to produce highly diversified social values and a wide variety of media, the role and function of advertising must be highly mined. In this era of change in consumer awareness and consumption patterns, advertisers must develop efficient communication activities. Advertising reaches people through varied types of mass communication, through radio, reading and the biggest area is through television.


Television reaches all tops audiences. This is why companies and corporations use it to their advantage, promoting a certain product. Advertising is a multibillion-pound industry and in many businesses, sales volume depends on the amount of advertising done. Manufacturers try to persuade people to buy their products. Business firms use advertising to promote an image for their company. Businesses use advertising to gain new customers and increase sales. This is why television can be the most efficient advertising medium, as we, the audience is influenced through slogans and catch phrases that are part of the language. It has given us jingles that are very familiar and some lasting images that we will always associate with that particular product. These effects have to be influential, as it is demanding to tell a compelling story in a short space of time.


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Different adverts are shown at different times and at the peak viewing times, when TV audiences are highest. However minority audiences are also targeted, those with certain interests, who could be influenced by certain goods.


Through analysing advertisements on television, I have noticed how they are shown several times in a short space of time and how a certain slogan or tune is repeated constantly in one advertisement. I have found myself humming the certain tune and thinking of the product being advertised, and in many cases this has been as irritating cycle. However, it is a successful means of influencing people to buy something that they do not necessarily need. Advertising is a cunning, yet booming business and uses a mass number of techniques to promote their goods.


Advertising promotes more than mere products in our popular culture. Because images used in advertising are often idealised, they eventually set the standard which we in turn feel we must live up to. Advertisements serve to show us what the ideal image is, and further tell us how to obtain it. Advertisers essentially have the power to promote positive images or negative images. Unfortunately, most of the roles portrayed by women tend to fit the latter description. It is easy to understand the appeal which these ads hold for men, as they place women in an inferior role; one characterised by helplessness, fragility and vulnerability. Certainly one can not deny that visual images serve to create the ideal female beauty within the material realm of consumer culture. The problem is that if one strays from this ideal, there is the risk of not being accepted by men. Women portrayed in sexual ads are depicted as objects and commodities, to be consumed by men for visual pleasure and by women for self-definition. Any depiction of a woman in scant clothing ultimately makes her look vulnerable and powerless, especially when placed next to a physically stronger man. Studies show that advertisements will concentrate primarily on a womans body parts rather than her facial expressions. Men enjoy these images, and sadly, women tend to try to embody them, regardless of the extent to which they degrade themselves.


The picture before me, illustrated in “Avantaje” magazine, 00, has a girl that I think is trying to be very seductive because of the way that she is moving in a somewhat suave like way. She is also standing in front of a red background, which is a very sexy, seductive colour. Her lipstick is red, her nail polish, her under-eye-shadow, the beads around her, and the perfume bottle itself also are the colour red. It also appears that this girl is wearing a piece of lingerie that is black, which is also very sexy and seductive; also her hair is black, maybe to match her outfit, and is very wild and spontaneous.


From what I see when I look at this picture I think that this advertisement is specifically targeted towards the female and might be telling them that if they buy this product that they will look very seductive as does the girl in the advertisement. It could be putting out the image that if the buyer purchases this product you will be more attractive and more guys will respond to you when you want them to. Or it might be saying that using this fragrance will make you feel great in this type of clothing and your significant other will be at your ankles, wanting you. Another way to look at this picture is in a guys perspective. If a guy saw this advertisement he might be tempted to buy this product because he thinks that it will make his girlfriend want to be more sexy and seductive. He might think that if she wears this perfume she will want to be more active in their love life and will wear little clothes like the girl has on in the picture.


It took me forever to pick out a particular magazine, because of the multitude of womens magazines out there today. I finally decided on Cosmopolitan, because I realized that there really wasnt any difference between any of the womens magazines. Every magazine has a woman on the cover, seemingly perfect, and with a huge smile on her face to boot. Then, also on the cover, I get to see all the articles in the magazine that are going to help me to look better, feel better, and even make my man happier (as if I dont have enough to worry about already). When women look at the cover of Cosmopolitan, they are made to feel inferior to the woman on the cover. They feel inferior because the women on the cover is flawless, seemingly perfect in every way. Women wonder how they can compete with that. Women say to themselves, I wish I could look like her. The cover illustrates to them they are nothing like this woman on the cover, and so they must buy the magazine. The magazines articles give the reader hope that this wish may come true if the articles are read. So in the end, most women buy the magazine. As if the cover wasnt enough, women have to stream through the endless articles of perfume, make-up, and clothing containing the same type of woman that is on the cover . These ads


work in the same way as cover to get you to buy their product. It seems like every other page is a different advertisement urging us to buy, buy, buy.


First, I think that Cosmopolitan’s major claim is that they know how to make women look better, and feel better about themselves. Cosmopolitan appeals to its readers by assuming all women feel they have flaws. When these women look at the cover of Cosmopolitan and see a perfect looking woman, and they want to look like that as well. When they see all the articles available in the magazine to help them be like the cover girl, they buy the magazine. A wide range of women read Cosmopolitan (ages 18-45 approximately), so it is easy to market this magazine with its articles on how to get a man, look glamorous, be healthy, and so on. Society pressures women, more than men, to feel that they have to maintain a certain image. The majority of women feel that they need help reinventing themselves into cover girls, and thats where magazines like Cosmopolitan come into play. Women are made to feel if they arent thin, have good hair, and perfect skin, its hopeless for them. Women feel that if they can get help from a magazine, they wont have to go to pay for plastic surgery, or get a personal trainer. All the solutions are right there in front of them for the low cost of 5000 lei, and they can become a new woman right there in the comfort of their own houses. Advertisers in fashion magazines thrive on the fact that women constantly criticize their bodies. By showing actresses and models in fabulous dresses and looking very pretty and skinny, the magazines invite you to find flaws with your body, but then tell you that it’s okay because they have a way to fix it. You can tell a lot about our culture from looking at fashion magazines and the ads they contain. So why do we continue to buy these magazines? Because most people are not satisfied with their looks and we probably never will be.


One particular advertisement in Cosmopolitan has to deal with a Ralph Lauren perfume ad. This ad shows a young, white woman who appears very confident. She is looking directly into the camera with the attitude that she is in total control of everything. She has a young, white man, whose face we cannot see, kissing her forehead. The young woman in the ad seems as if she doesnt even notice the man kissing her. She appears as though being kissed is so routine to her that it isnt even that big of a deal anymore. She knows she will always have a man there to kiss her, and this is partly because her use of Ralph Laurens new perfume. The ad gives the impression the young woman would have no man kissing her if it wasnt for her new perfume. The ad illustrates women need a man to be satisfied. It shows not only does she need the perfume to feel confident, but also the man kissing her. The ad is obviously directed towards younger females. This ad says by wearing Ralph Laurens new perfume, men will become attracted to you, and you will be more confident.


There is another perfume ad in Cosmopolitan in which almost the exact same message is relayed to the reader. The ad is for the new perfume Lucky You. The depicts a cute guy sitting at a table, having a milkshake. He is obviously distracted by a young woman with blue eyes and long blonde hair. The man is not distracted by her looks, but her cleavage. She is wearing a shirt, tied up just below her breasts and revealing quite a fair share of cleavage, which is right in the guys face. While the man is looking directly at her breasts, the woman is looking directly into the camera, while eating the cherry off the top of the mans milkshake. Located at the top of the ad are the words, Get Lucky! This ad clearly illustrates to consumers (men and women) if they buy and wear Lucky You perfume, they are sure to get lucky with someone good looking of the opposite sex. . This usually works with consumers in their teens and early twenties because sex is always on their minds. When we take a look at this ad, we just want to go out and get lucky (that can be taken literally or figuratively).


Recently I read FHM ( For Him Magazine ) magazine and one ad in it caught my eyes. It was an ad for cognac and two whole pages were emphasized by various colours. Even though I am not usually interested in alcohol beverages, this ad attracted me. The reason it attracted me is that advertisers use certain techniques to persuade people. This ad fills a social need ; it appeals to people’s fun and pleasure, and uses gimmicks that are called ‘snob appeal’ and ‘appeal to excellence’. For these reasons I was interested in the ad. This is a commercial for Courvoisier Cognac. It looks like some place in Europe, a garden in the 18th Century. They are having some picnic in the garden with delicious looking fruits and two bottles of cognac. All the items used in this picture have specialized characters, which represent name of this cognac, “Courvoisier”. The colours of the whole picture are very rich and splendid. And the three women in this picture are wearing fashionable make - up on their faces. There is no effective language in this advertisement except the name of the cognac, Courvoisier. This advertisement tries to have classical looks, and it added modern styles on it. As a result it has very unique style of images. Moreover, the main colour over two whole pages, is dark red, which is an outgoing colour by itself, but when it can combine with gold, then it looks very rich and royal. This picture also tries to express just looking like an oil painting, and the three women in this picture act in an excessive way like a play. So in this ad it makes me want this Cognac, although it is not an essential thing for one’s life, but the people in this ad are wearing luxury dresses and accessories. And they seem to be relaxed and enjoying their lives. It emphasizes that if you buy this one, you can belong to their higher social class. Therefore, people desire to have it for fulfilling social needs. Advertisers in this ad also use emotions for fun and pleasure. This is one of the ways that can appeal to emotion of consumers. It can arouse feelings of fear, love, pleasure, or vanity. The atmosphere in this ad is very enjoyable. It doesn’t look like they have any worries or angers at all. It can tempt one to buy this product just to be as the ad says.


Moreover, the ad influences people to think about their social rank. In this ad, people are having classy picnics, in a garden that looks like it belongs to very rich people. All these luxurious things persuade people to buy this Cognac.


In this ad many things are used to make people pay attention to it. Luxurious materials and the people that seem to enjoy all those things make consumers want to buy this drink because not many people live a life as seen in the ad.


In conclusion, magazines and advertisements know what people want and thats how they sell themselves. Of course, most people dont pay any attention to the ads in the magazines they read. I think ads are made to somehow work on your sub conscience. We may not think were giving any of our attention to the ads, but when we are out shopping well notice products from certain ads. And more than likely gravitate more towards those products rather than products we have never seen or heard of. We see ads in magazines and TV commercials almost everyday. This repetition plants a picture in our minds, so when we go shopping we think of the product happens to be. I dont think this will ever change, because we will always read magazines and watch TV, and they will always have a multitude of ads to show us. The more money a company has, the more it can spend on advertising, and the more money it will make.


The impact of advertising on our society is a fiercely debated topic and has been, since the conception of advertising in its most basic form. There are negative and positive impacts upon society, both socially and economically, 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. Advertisers sell images and NOT products. When buying a product the consumer instantly thinks of the advertisement tied in with it. Gestures and symbols are very important in advertisements because they are the core meaning. Appeals and environment are also particularly important because they are the base on how to draw the public into buying the product.


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 dont 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 perfume 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 dont 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 Its ok to say NO, is just an example of how society uses the advertising industry as a means to promote public welfare.


As well as social benefits, 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 that 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 (since advertising provides two thirds of the revenue of the print media), or all television 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 0 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. Advertising is so important because it is extremely difficult and impractical to attempt to bill the consumer directly.


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 soap costs under 1.000 to produce, but the consumer might pay around 0.000 lei. 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 that 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 is not serious enough to outweigh the many positive social and economic effects on our society.





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