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Advertising is paid communication through a non-personal medium in which the sponsor is identified and the message is controlled. Variations include publicity, public relations, product placement, sponsorship, underwriting, and sales promotion. Every medium is used to deliver these messages: television, radio, movies, magazines, newspapers, the internet, and billboards.

Advertising plays a critical role in capitalist economies in creating demand for industrial output[1]. Thus, advertising clients are predominantly profit-seeking corporations. In 1997, in the U.S. alone, over $175 billion USD was spent on advertising[2]. Non-profits are not typical advertising clients, and rely upon free channels, such as public service announcements.

While advertising can be seen as necessary for economic growth, it is not without social costs. Unsolicited Commercial Email and other forms of spam have become so prevalent as to have become a major nuisance of users of these services, as well as being a financial burden on internet service providers.[3] Advertising is increasingly invading public spaces, such as schools, which some critics argue is a form of child exploitation. [4][5] One scholar has argued that advertising is a toxic by-product of industrial society which may bring about the end of life on earth.[6]

HistoryEdit

In ancient times, commercial messages and political campaign displays have been found in the ruins of Pompeii. Egyptians used papyrus to create sales messages and wall posters, while lost-and-found advertising on papyrus was common in Greece and Rome. Wall or rock painting for commercial advertising is another manifestation of an ancient media advertising form, which is present to this day in many parts of Asia, Africa, and South America. For instance, the tradition of wall painting can be traced back to Indian rock-art paintings that goes back to 4000 BC[7]. As printing developed in the 15th and 16th century, advertising expanded to include handbills. In the 17th century advertisements started to appear in weekly newspapers in England.

These early print ads were used mainly to promote books,and newspapers which became increasingly affordable thanks to the printing press, and medicines, which were increasingly sought after as disease ravaged Europe. However, false advertising and so-called "quack" ads became a problem, which ushered in regulation of advertising content.

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As the economy was expanding during the 19th century, the need for advertising grew at the same pace. In the United States, classified ads became popular, filling pages of newspapers with small print messages promoting all kinds of goods. The success of this advertising format led to the growth of mail-order advertising such as the Sears Catalog, at one time referred to as the "Farmer's Bible". In 1843 the first advertising agency was established by Volney Palmer in Philadelphia. At first the agencies were just brokers for ad space in newspapers, but it wasn't until N.W. Ayer & Son came along, advertising agencies started to take over responsibility for the content as well. [1]N.W. Ayer and Son was the first full service Ad Agency. They were also the first agency to start to charge commission on ads.

When radio stations began broadcasting in the early 1920's, the programs were aired without advertising. The first radio stations were established by radio equipment manufacturers and retailers offering programming to sell radios. However many non-profit operators followed suit, such as schools, clubs, and civic groups.[8]

The radio station owners soon realized they could earn more money by selling sponsorship rights to other businesses. In those days, each show was usually sponsored by a single business, in exchange for a brief mention of the sponsor at the beginning and end of the show. This practice was carried over to televsion in the late 1940's and early 1950's.

However, a fierce battle was fought between those seeking to commercialize this new medium and the people who argued that the radio spectrum should be considered the commons, to be used only non-commercially and for the public good. In Canada, advocates like Graham Spry were able to convience the government to adopt a socialist funding model. England followed suit with the development of the BBC. However in the United States, the capitalist model prevailed with the passage of the 1934 Communications Act which created the Federal Communications Commission[9]. To placate the socialists, the U.S. Congress did require that commercial broadcasters operate in the "public interest, convenience, and necessity".[10]

In the early 1950's, the Dumont television network began the modern trend of selling advertisement time to multiple sponsors. Dumont had trouble finding sponsors for many of their programs and compensated by selling smaller blocks of advertising time to several businesses. This eventually became the norm for the commercial television industry in the United States.

The 1960s saw advertising transform into a modern, more scientific approach in which creativity was allowed to shine, producing unexpected messages that made advertisements more tempting to consumers' eyes. The Volkswagen ad campaign featuring such headlines as "Think Small" and "Lemon" ushered in the era of modern advertising by promoting a "position" or "unique selling proposition" designed to associate each brand with a specific idea in the reader or viewer's mind.

The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the introduction of cable television and particularly MTV. Pioneering the concept of the music video, MTV ushered in a new type of advertising: the consumer tunes in for the advertisement, rather than it being a byproduct or afterthought. As cable (and later satellite) television became increasingly prevalent, "specialty" channels began to emerge, and eventually entire channels, such as QVC and Home Shopping Network and ShopTV, devoted to advertising merchandise, where again the consumer tuned in for the ads.

Marketing through the Internet opened new frontiers for advertisers and led to the "dot-com" boom of the 1990s. Entire corporations operated solely on advertising revenue, offering everything from coupons to free Internet access. At the turn of the 21st century, the search engine Google revolutionized online advertising by emphasizing contextually relevant, unobtrusive ads intended to help, rather than inundate, users. This has led to a plethora of similar efforts and an increasing trend of interactive advertising.

The share of advertising spending relative to total economic output (GDP) has changed little across large changes in media. For example, in the U.S. in 1925, the main advertising media were newspapers, magazines, signs on streetcars, and outdoor posters. Advertising spending as a share of U.S. GDP was about 2.6% in 1925. By 1998, television and radio had become major advertising media. Nonetheless, advertising spending as a share of GDP was slightly lower -- about 2.4%.[2]

A recent advertising innovation is "guerrilla promotions", which involve unusual approaches such as staged encounters in public places, giveaways of products such as cars that are covered with brand messages, and interactive advertising where the viewer can respond to become part of the advertising message. This reflects an increasing trend of interactive and "embedded" ads, such as via product placement, having consumers vote through text messages, and various innovations utilizing social networking sites (e.g. Myspace).

Product AdvertisingEdit

Certain products use a specific form of advertising known as "Custom publishing". This form of advertising is usually targeted at a specific segment of society, but may also "draw" the attention of others. The lists are presented in the following box: Template:Product advertising

Public service advertisingEdit

The same advertising techniques used to promote commercial goods and services can be used to inform, educate and motivate the public about non-commercial issues, such as AIDS, political ideology, energy conservation, religious recruitment, and deforestation.

Advertising, in its non-commercial guise, is a powerful educational tool capable of reaching and motivating large audiences. "Advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest - it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes." - Attributed to Howard Gossage by David Ogilvy

Public service advertising, non-commercial advertising, public interest advertising, cause marketing, and social marketing are different terms for (or aspects of) the use of sophisticated advertising and marketing communications techniques (generally associated with commercial enterprise) on behalf of non-commercial, public interest issues and initiatives.

'''''''In the United States, the granting of television and radio licenses by the FCC is contingent upon the station broadcasting a certain amount of public service advertising. To meet these requirements, many broadcast stations in America air the bulk of their required Public Service Announcements during the late night or early morning when the smallest percentage of viewers are watching, leaving more day and prime time commercial slots available for high-paying advertisers.'''''''

Public service advertising reached its height during World Wars I and II under the direction of several governments. Famous comments on advertising include: "Don't tell my mother I work in an advertising agency - she thinks I play piano in a whorehouse." ~ Jacques Seguela

TypeEdit

MediaEdit

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Commercial advertising media can include wall paintings, billboards , street furniture components, printed flyers, radio, cinema and television ads, web banners, web popups, skywriting, bus stop benches, magazines, newspapers, town criers, sides of buses, taxicab doors and roof mounts, musical stage shows, subway platforms and trains, elastic bands on disposable diapers, stickers on apples in supermarkets, the opening section of streaming audio and video, posters, chicken niblets, and the backs of event tickets and supermarket receipts. Any place an "identified" sponsor pays to deliver their message through a medium is advertising.

Covert advertising embedded in other entertainment media is known as product placement.

A more recent version of this is advertising in film, by having a main character use an item or other of a definite brand - an example is in the movie Minority Report, where Tom Cruise's character Tom Anderton owns a computer with the Nokia logo clearly written in the top corner, or his watch engraved with the Bulgari logo. Another example of advertising in film is in I, Robot, where main character played by Will Smith mentions his Converse shoes several times, calling them "classics," because the film is set far in the future. Cadillac chose to advertise in the movie The Matrix Reloaded, which as a result contained many scenes in which Cadillac cars were used. Similarly, product placement for Omega Watches, BMW and Aston-Martin cars are featured in recent James Bond films, most notably, Casino Royale.

The TV commercial is generally considered the most effective mass-market advertising format and this is reflected by the high prices TV networks charge for commercial airtime during popular TV events. The annual Super Bowl football game in the United States is known as much for its commercial advertisements as for the game itself, and the average cost of a single thirty-second TV spot during this game has reached $2.5 million (as of 2006).

Virtual advertisements may be inserted into regular television programming through computer graphics. It is typically inserted into otherwise blank backdrops[3] or used to replace local billboards that are not relevant to the remote broadcast audience[4]. More controversially, virtual billboards may be inserted into the background[5] where none existing in real-life. Virtual product placement is also possible[6] [7]. Increasingly, other mediums such as those discussed below are overtaking television due to a shift towards consumer's usage of the Internet as well as devices such as TiVo.

Advertising on the World Wide Web is a recent phenomenon. Prices of Web-based advertising space are dependent on the "relevance" of the surrounding web content and the traffic that the website receives.

E-mail advertising is another recent phenomenon. Unsolicited bulk E-mail advertising is known as "spam".

Some companies have proposed to place messages or corporate logos on the side of booster rockets and the International Space Station. Controversy exists on the effectiveness of subliminal advertising (see mind control), and the pervasiveness of mass messages (see propaganda).

Unpaid advertising (also called word of mouth advertising), can provide good exposure at minimal cost. Personal recommendations ("bring a friend", "sell it"), spreading buzz, or achieving the feat of equating a brand with a common noun ("Xerox" = "photocopier", "Kleenex" = tissue, and "Vaseline" = petroleum jelly) -- these are the pinnacles of any advertising campaign. However, some companies oppose the use of their brand name to label an object.

The most common method for measuring the impact of mass media advertising is the use of the rating point (rp) or the more accurate target rating point (trp). These two measures refer to the percentage of the universe of the existing base of audience members that can be reached by the use of each media outlet in a particular moment in time. The difference between the two is that the rating point refers to the percentage to the entire universe while the target rating point refers to the percentage to a particular segment or target. This becomes very useful when focusing advertising efforts on a particular group of people.

  • For example, think of an advertising campaign targeting a female audience aged 25 to 45. While the overall rating of a TV show might be well over 10 rating points it might very well happen that the same show in the same moment of time is generating only 2.5 trps (being the target: women 25-45). This would mean that while the show has a large universe of viewers it is not necessarily reaching a large universe of women in the ages of 25 to 45 making it a less desirable location to place an ad for an advertiser looking for this particular demographic. Conversely, a TV show with a low overall rating point may be more successful at selling ads when its target rating points are high. In the United States, networks like the WB and FOX have had success with shows based on this premise; the shows had low overall ratings points, but delivered strong target rating points in the desired demographic.

Impact Edit

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"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half." - John Wanamaker, father of modern advertising.
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The impact of advertising has been a matter of considerable debate and many different claims have been made in different contexts. During debates about the banning of cigarette advertising, a common claim from cigarette manufacturers was that cigarette advertising does not encourage people to smoke who would not otherwise. The (eventually successful) opponents of advertising, on the other hand, claim that advertising does in fact increase consumption.

According to many sources, the past experience and state of mind of the person subjected to advertising may determine the impact that advertising has. Children under the age of four may be unable to distinguish advertising from other television programs, whilst the ability to determine the truthfulness of the message may not be developed until the age of 8.

Public perception of the medium Edit

As advertising and marketing efforts become increasingly ubiquitous in modern Western societies, the industry has come under criticism of groups such as AdBusters via culture jamming which criticizes the media and consumerism using advertising's own techniques. The industry is accused of being one of the engines powering a convoluted economic mass production system which promotes consumption. Recognizing the social impact of advertising, Mediawatch-uk, a British special interest group, works to educate consumers about how they can register their concerns with advertisers and regulators. It has developed educational materials for use in schools. The award-winning book, Made You Look How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know, by former Mediawatch (a feminist organisation founded by Ann Simonton not linked to mediawatch-uk) president Shari Graydon, provides context for these issues for young readers.

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Public interest groups are increasingly suggesting that access to the mental space targeted by advertisers should be taxed, in that at the present moment that space is being freely taken advantage of by advertisers with no compensation paid to the members of the public who are thus being intruded upon. This kind of tax would be a Pigovian tax in that it would act to reduce what is now increasingly seen as a public nuisance. Efforts to that end are gathering momentum, with Arkansas and Maine considering bills to implement such taxation. Florida enacted such a tax in 1987 but was forced to repeal it after six months, as a result of a concerted effort by national commercial interests, which withdrew planned conventions, causing major losses to the tourism industry, and cancelled advertising, causing a loss of 12 million dollars to the broadcast industry alone.

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Negative effects on communication media Edit

An extensively documented effect is the control and vetoing of free information by the advertisers. Any negative information on a company or its products or operations often results in pressures from the company to withdraw such information lines, threatening to cut their ads. This behavior makes the editors of the media self-censor content that might upset their ad payers. The bigger both companies are, the bigger their relation gets, maximizing control over a single information.

Advertisers may try to minimize information about or from consumer groups, or consumer controlled purchasing initiatives (as joint purchase systems), or consumer controlled quality information systems.

Another indirect effect of advertising is to modify the very nature of the communication media where it is shown. Media that get most of their revenues from publicity try to make their medium a good place for communicating ads before anything else. The most clear example is television, where this means trying to make the public stay for a long time and in a mental state that encourages spectators not to switch the channel through the ads. Programs that are low in mental stimulus and require light concentration and are varied are best for long sitting times. These make for much easier emotional jumps to ads, which can become more entertaining than regular shows. A simple way to understand the objectives in television programming is to compare contents from channels paid and chosen by the viewer with channels that get their income mainly from advertisements.

RegulationEdit

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There have been increasing efforts to protect the public interest by regulating the content and the reach of advertising. Some examples are the ban on television tobacco advertising imposed in many countries, and the total ban on advertising to children under twelve imposed by the Swedish government in 1991. Though that regulation continues in effect for broadcasts originating within the country, it has been weakened by the European Court of Justice, which has found that Sweden was obliged to accept whatever programming was targeted at it from neighboring countries or via satellite.

In Europe and elsewhere there is a vigorous debate on whether and how much advertising to children should be regulated. This debate was exacerbated by a report released by the Kaiser Family Foundation in February 2004 which suggested that food advertising targeting children was an important factor in the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States.

In many countries - namely New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and many European countries - the advertising industry operates a system of self-regulation. Advertisers, advertising agencies and the media agree on a code of advertising standards that they attempt to uphold. The general aim of such codes is to ensure that any advertising is 'legal, decent, honest and truthful'. Some self-regulatory organizations are funded by the industry, but remain independent, with the intent of upholding the standards or codes (like the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK).

Naturally, many advertisers view governmental regulation or even self-regulation as intrusion of their freedom of speech or a necessary evil. Therefore, they employ a wide-variety of linguistic devices to bypass regulatory laws (e.g. giving English words in bold and French translations in fine print to deal with the Article 12 of the 1994 Toubon Law limiting the use of English in French advertising); see Bhatia and Ritchie 2006:542. The advertising of controversial products such as cigarettes and condoms is subject to government regulation in many countries. For instance, the tobacco industry is required by law in India and Pakistan to display warnings cautioning consumers about the health hazards of their products. Linguistic variation is often used by advertising as a creative device to reduce the impact of such requirement.

Future Edit

With the dawn of the Internet have come many new advertising opportunities. Popup, Flash, banner, advergaming, and email advertisements (the last often being a form of spam) abound.

Each year, greater sums are paid to obtain a commercial spot during the Super Bowl, which is by most measures considered to be the most important football game of the year. Companies attempt to make these commercials sufficiently entertaining that members of the public will actually want to watch them.

Another problem is people recording shows on DVRs (ex. TiVo). These devices allow users to record the programs for later viewing enabling them to fast forward through commercials. Additionally, as more seasons or “Boxed Sets” come out of Television shows; fewer people are watching their shows on TV. However, the fact that these sets are sold, means that the company will additionally receive profits from the sales of these sets. To counter this effect, many advertisers have opted for product placement on TV shows like Survivor.

Particularly since the rise of "entertaining" advertising, some people may like an advert enough that they wish to watch it later or show a friend. In general, the advertising community has not yet made this easy, although some have used the Internet to widely distribute their adverts to anyone wishing to see or hear them.

Another significant trend to note for the future of advertising is the growing importance of niche or targeted ads. Also brought about by the Internet and the theory of The Long Tail, advertisers will have an increasing ability to reach narrow audiences. In the past, the most efficient way to deliver a message was to blanket the largest mass market audience possible. However, usage tracking, customer profiles and the growing popularity of niche content brought about by everything from blogs to social networking sites, provides advertisers with audiences that are smaller but much better defined, leading to ads that are more relevant to viewers and more effective for companies marketing products. Among others, Comcast Spotlight is one such advertiser employing this method in their video on demand menus. These advertisements are targeted to a specific group and can be viewed by anyone wishing to find out more about a particular business or practice at any time, right from their home. This causes the viewer to become proactive and actually choose what advertisements they want to view[11].

Bibliography Edit

  • Bhatia, Tej K. 2000. Advertising in Rural India: Language, Marketing Communication, and Consumerism. Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa. Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Tokyo Press: Japan. ISBN 4-87297-782-3
  • Graydon, Shari (2003) "Made You Look - How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know", Toronto: Annick Press, ISBN 1-55037-814-7
  • Johnson, J. Douglas, "Advertising Today", Chicago : Science Research Associates, 1978. ISBN 0-574-19355-3
  • Klein, Naomi (2000) No Logo . Harper-Collins, ISBN 0-00-653040-0
  • Kleppner, Otto, "Advertising Procedure", Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall, 1966.
  • Leon, Jose Luis (1996) "Los efectos de la publicidad". Barcelona: Ariel, ISBN 84-344-1266-7
  • Leon, Jose Luis (2001) "Mitoanálisis de la publicidad". Barcelona. Ariel, ISBN 84-344-1285-3
  • Mulvihill, Donald F., "Marketing Research for the Small Company", Journal of Marketing, Vol. 16, No. 2, Oct., 1951, pp. 179-183.
  • Wernick, Andrew (1991) "Promotional Culture: Advertising, Ideology and Symbolic Expression (Theory, Culture & Society S.)", London: Sage Publications Ltd, ISBN 0-8039-8390-5

References Edit

  1. http://www.uta.edu/huma/illuminations/kell6.htm
  2. Sut Jhally, Advertising at the Edge of the Apocolypse
  3. http://interviews.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/03/03/1528247&tid=111
  4. http://www.commercialalert.org/
  5. http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/parents/marketing/marketers_target_kids.cfm
  6. Sut Jhally, http://www.mediaed.org/videos/CommercialismPoliticsAndMedia/Advertising_EndOfWorld
  7. Bhatia (2000). Advertising in Rural India: Language, Marketing Communication, and Consumerism, 62-68
  8. McChesney, Robert, Educators and the Battle for Control of U.S. Broadcasting, 1928-35, Rich Media, Poor Democracy, ISBN 0-252-02448-6 (1999)
  9. McChesney, Robert, Educators and the Battle for Control of U.S. Broadcasting, 1928-35, Rich Media, Poor Democracy, ISBN 0-252-02448-6 (1999)
  10. http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/P/htmlP/publicintere/publicintere.htm
  11. "Interactive - VOD" Comcast Spotlight website, retrieved October 05, 2006

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

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