Thursday, December 14

Advertising:merits And Demerits

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Advertising is generally defined as any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor. Its role is to implement product flow through the channels of distribution; to act as a catalyst in acquainting the consumer and to induce him to buy the product. Advertising is a device of persuasive communication through which a prospective industrial buyer becomes aware of the company and its product. Through the awareness or knowledge thus acquired the buyer shows interest or liking for the product and finally makes purchases at least on trial basis. One may then say that the ultimate purpose of advertising is to create sales which of course depends on the functional relationship between non-personal communication (through advertising messages) and sales.

                     Advertising on one side has been argued that it is an unnecessary business cost which has the effect of raising prices of goods and services. It is argued that it is used to increase business concentration which may then leads to the abuses of monopoly. Also it is said too much expenditure on advertising creates product differentiation and induce consumers to switch from one brand to another without providing them with sufficient objective information.

                      On the other side, I see advertising  as a tool that aids in increasing demand for a product and, thus opens the way for large scale production at lower cost which ultimately passed on to the consumers in terms of lower price they pay for the product. Also, it increases the variety and quality of good offered, stimulates competition in technical progress, subsidizes the press and television services and thus, helps in providing employment.

                     The argument in favour and against advertising expressed above require a depth empirical analysis as on a priori ground it is  difficult to accept or reject them. The common believe regarding advertisement is that it increase cost of selling, but its impact on production cost via economies of large scale production as a result  of increase in demand due to advertisement is very much doubtful. Economies of scale depend on a large number of factors mostly technical and managerial .The marketing factors to which advertising is concerned play rather very little  role in it .

                    The cost of selling due to advertisement goes up and we expect a shift (i.e. an increase) in demand due to it but in the situation of competition where it is applicable, it is difficult to see an appreciable change in demand due to advertisement since all rivals will be advertising simultaneously since no body gains from it. One may quote several examples  where advertising  was instrumental phenomenon in speeding up the market demand for product such as detergent, food stuffs consumer goods, television etc. But this might have been a temporary phenomenon, the result of certain specific conditions related to the product or markets.  

                   Moreover, by taking the cost and demand sides related to advertising, we may say that with a given advertising expenditure and product price(s) if increase in demand is relatively more than increase in cost then advertising will have positive effect on profitability of the firm, otherwise it is uneconomical.

                  In recent times, the word ‘Advertising’ has become a fiercely mooted topic. Advertising has positive as well as negative, social and economic impacts on our society. Considering advertising as a public welfare is a positive social impact whereas exposing women as a sex tool comes at the negative side. As far as economic factors are concerned, funding for the media and stimulating an active and competitive economy, are the major examples.

                 Assorted techniques are enforced for persuading consumers that they want the product which is being advertised. These techniques usually give attention to the benefits that would be brought to the consumers rather than focusing on the actual products. For instance, an automobile advertisement adverting the mechanical attributes of a vehicle, most likely concentrates the exhilaration, reputation and social progression it may bring to the buyer. This swarming advancement is habitually sexual, or involving the opposite gender to attract the consumers with the glamorous women/men’s fancy car.

                There are various blames that advertising is causing a negative social impact on the lives. The chief unfavorable judgment for advertising is that it hales the public to buy things that they are not their real want. It is arrogated that advertising plays with emotions and encourages people to think that buying and depleting are the activities of life.

               According to advertisers, they state that people are capable enough to set their mind and no one can force them to buy anything which they dislike or which they think is not a necessity. Advertisers also think that there are positive impacts of advertising on our society and culture. For example, it can be used to generate awareness among the public that which product is OK or to which they should say NO. In other words, advertising also acts as an educator in the sense that it educates people what is good and what is bad for them and puts a ceiling on the harmful products like smoking and drinking etc.

               There are not only social benefits of advertising, but it also has some economic advantages. Without advertising, the media, including newspapers, television and radio would never be much strong. Advertising provides revenue for commercial mediums which would otherwise need to be funded by the actual consumer of these mediums. So, we can see a major economic infrastructure based around advertising, in which the big companies fund and subsidize the commercial media by the way of advertisements.

              The major economic negative aspect of advertising is that it boosts the price of goods and services. The source of this contention is that, when organizations subsidize the mass media with advertising, we, the purchaser, subsidize advertising by compensating a grossly increased price for heavily advertised goods and services. An easy example of this is that a box of Omo washing powder generally costs around two to three dollars while the market price of the product would be seven to eight dollars. The fact behind this is that the remaining proportion goes in heavy advertising in television and print media.

            So, the impact of advertising on our society is in a jumble form, depending on the functions and implementations of numerous campaigns. Our society and the marketing of products depend very badly upon advertising. The companies have become much dependent of advertising that even its negative impacts can never outweigh the many positive social and economic effects.

The Effects Of Advertising On People

Advertising can have adverse effects on the minds of the people who see it. In an advertisement the company is showing only the advantages of its products or services. This entails a certain amount of dissatisfaction and unhappiness in the lives of the viewers, because their self-esteem faces an attack as they are unable to use the product and do not manage to look like the slim model on the advertisement.

Children and adolescents especially get deeply affected by the advertisements, and it is important for parents and other adults to take cognizance of such situations.

The main objective of advertising is to convince the consumer to behave in a certain manner which is most favorable for the advertiser. It may influence the consumer in different ways, because the advertiser spends an enormous amount of money to sell his product in the most creative and persuasive manner. While a commercial firm will sell his products and services, a politician will sell his ideas to win voters. Through advertising non-profit organizations can raise funds, gain volunteers and the government can spread awareness about environment, discipline, health issues and new laws through advertising campaigns. Each form of advertising can have an effect on the viewers, and that is how the advertiser plans his line of advertising.

For children and young people there are particular problems associated with the effects of advertising. They are the one who are often vulnerable to messages which are put forward in the advertisements. They like to measure up to their peer group and feel pressurized by the images that they see on screen. This leads to eating disorders, for example, associated with advertisements featuring idealized thinness.

It is extremely important for parents to inculcate a feeling of high self esteem in their children, so that they can see the advertisements as a part of the commercial world. They should be made to understand the techniques used in advertising and taught to judge things themselves.

Nobody can get customers only by advertising. Advertisements should basically motivate the customers to buy the products by catching their attention. However, if the product is not liked by the customer, he doesn’t come back for it a second time. This definitely requires a creative marketing approach.

It is important for any advertiser to be straightforward, ethical and honest about the product. A popular advertising strategy is to make the consumer insecure and create fear, which can be overcome by purchasing the product. Hence when a textile company advertises the latest fashions and novelties in the market, every teenager wants to try out the new styles and look as good as the perfect individuals who have been wearing the new styles.


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