QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 7
Advertising and consumption patterns
Advertisinghas been taken up by a large number of companies as a fundamentaltechnique for achieving their bottom line, which is profit making andsustainability in the short-term and long-term. There are varied waysin which advertising shapes consumption.
First,advertising creates awareness regarding the existence (and need tohave) certain items and services (Sheehan,2004).Indeed, the main reason for undertaking advertising is creatingawareness for the existence of particular items so as to create amarket for the same. Advertising gives consumers information onproducts in the market and how beneficial they are to them, therebyincreasing the desire of consumers to have them.
Inaddition, advertising refreshes and reminds consumers regarding theexistence of certain goods and services and that the items are in theconsideration of the consumers. This often comes off as crucial inthe case of repeat consumers or individuals who have put up thepurchase of certain items for later. Over time, advertising createsloyalty.
Advertising in the Digital Age
Asmuch as the importance of advertisement in the success of a companyhas not withered with time, it is evident that the practice hasundergone varied fundamental changes with regard to the manner inwhich it is carried out. The increased use of marketing has increasedcompetition for the attention of the audience.
First,advertising in the modern age comes off as extremely insulting andvulgar. A large number of conservatives would agree that a largeproportion of adverts in the modern world includes volumes of nudityand vulgar language. This is often done in an effort to attract thelargest proportion of viewers and possibly convert the same to sales(Sheehan,2004).Of particular note is the fact that marketers currently target theyoung people, a large number of whom would not pay much attention tothe content but would undoubtedly find the nudity palatable.
Onthe same note, it is evident that advertising in the current timesoften comes off as insulting and repetitive. As stated earlier, thesuccess of any advert or marketing strategy is often determined bythe level of awareness that it creates in both the short-term andlong-term (Pavlik,2008).Unfortunately, the guiding rule for a large number of marketers isthat any publicity is good publicity. Having in mind that controversyoften breeds (negative) publicity, marketers do not shy away fromusing it to stir up some popularity.
Video News Releases
Advertisingand news releases have drawn a lot of controversy in the recenttimes. This is especially with regard to their content. It isgenerally acknowledged that a large number of news releases arecrafted simply to fill up the hour rather than to relay any crucialinformation. There are varied issues that crop up with regard to newsreleases and advertisements. First, there are concerns regarding theamount of truth that is relayed regarding the products (Stafford&Faber, 2005).Advertisers use a variety of techniques including product comparisonand celebrity endorsement among others. However, such techniquesoften sell the image that is often associated with success, lifestyleand status, which may not have anything to do with the real qualityor value of the product. This is seen as morally wrong, exploitative,corrupt and manipulative as it relays false information (Gross,2003).On the same note, advertising involves playing with consumers’emotions so as to lure them to buy. This involves creating anillusion that increases the emotional state of the consumer wherethey insinuate that the life of the consumer will be better as aresult of the product.
Oneof my earliest memories of watching a television commercial may be inthe 90’s when the Marlboro Cigarettes were advertised by “cowboys”.Of course, the main impression that was created at that time wassmoking was cool or rather all the admirable people not only smokedbut also smoked Marlboro Cigarettes. This advert nearly made me takeup the habit as I admired the individuals who were incorporated inthe adverts, be they women or men. I was lucky not to have taken upthe habit despite the increased attraction of the same. Currently,Beyonce’s advert on Pepsi often influences my purchasing habits.Indeed, it is difficult to think of any better soft drink than thePepsi. The main reason for the interest sparked by this advert is thefact that Beyonce is a celebrity, in which case the use of that itemwould place me in the same status as her (Gross,2003).
Advertising and the Culture of Consumerism
Thearticle “Welcome to the New Millennium” states that Generation Yis the most influential since the Baby Boomers as its influence isfive times more than its direct spending capacity. Individuals inthis age advice their parents on the technologies that they need.However, this generation has low attention span, not to mention theimmense clutter in the advertising world that makes getting theirattention extremely difficult (Response, 2008). Further, the marketis extremely fragmented with kids having numerous channels thatcompanies would have to use so as to be effective in their marketing.However, Generation Y is still motivated by word-of-mouth even associal networking becomes crucial to them. Nevertheless, marketerscan enhance their reach through cause-marketing especiallyconsidering that Generation Y is still living in a world whose majorconcerns are health, environment, poverty and education (Response,2008).
Advertising and the Culture of Consumerism
Thearticle “Domesticating Vacations” looks at the manner in whichmagazine narratives after World War II caused tourists travel to be acomponent of a larger discourse pertaining to consumerism, gender andsex in the American society. It notes that as much as magazinesshowed travelling as a carnivalesque activity that disturbed thedaily domestic norms, they also popularized narratives thatreconciled the fantasies with the existing or main conventionsregarding masculinity and femininity (Popp, 2010). Of particular noteis the fact that the exploration of the meanings of vacation travelat this period enhances the comprehension of the manner in whichmagazines mediated between the structured and transgressive elementsof the American culture (Popp, 2010). Further, readers would see howconsumerism was depicted in popular journalism, alongside the leisureincorporated in the distinctive of the American standard of living inmanners that laid emphasis on the gendered structures of inequality.
Gross,L. (2003). Imageethics in the digital age.Minneapolis [u.a.: Univ. of Minnesota Press.
Pavlik,J. V. (2008). Mediain the digital age.New York: Columbia University Press.
Popp,R. K (2010). Domesticating Vacations: Gender, Travel, and Consumptionin Post-War Magazines. JournalismHistory36:3 (Fall 2010)
Response.(2008). Welcometo the New Millennials.Generational Marketing.
Sheehan,K. B. (2004). Controversiesin contemporary advertising.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Stafford,M. R., & Faber, R. J. (2005). Advertising,promotion, and new media.Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.