Is advertising the definitive way to make us informed in our daily decision making or is it just an exceptionally authoritative kind of mass deception that companies use to persuade their consumers and prospects into buying their services or products that they (buyers) do not need? In the global market, consumers have been exposed to ever ever-increasing amounts of advertising message. Consequently, the openings geared towards advertisement by firms have been on the rise to make sure that the buyers get the information. The paper presented here will carefully examine whether advertising is aimed at provision of information to the general public and passing useful information to the customers or just to manipulate them and lure them into buying.
Advertising can be used interchangeably with the word marketing. Talking of marketing draws our minds initially to money, services, goods and more importantly consumers. The role of advertising should be to help the society and the public at large through adequately correctly providing information concerning services and products that are produced. Advertising is a kind of communication that is untended to persuade people; readers, viewers and listeners to take some action. Another definition of advertisement as described by various researchers is; the non- personal communication of information concerning products, ideas or services in a normally persuasive way which is paid for by the sponsors and passed on through various mass media.
On the other hand, the term manipulation has a meaning of giving malicious/ false information on a particular issue with an intention of achieving ones objectives. Manipulation basically makes use of lies to bring about benefits. There is a risk here though as if all the companies engage in spreading lies or false information about there products, the consumers will discover the truth and eventually the companies’ integrity in the eyes of the people will be lost, a fact that makes them to be extra smart in their manipulation undertakings.
Advertising can be categorized into two throughout this research. One category is the innocent way of giving information to customers concerning a given product or service while facing them. There is a second category of that has a manipulative outcome on people. In all circumstances, people exposed to one or another kind of advertisement are driven in to purchasing products purchasing they may not really have needed. This is the image of manipulation in advertisement that makes consumers more commodity fetishists.
Information or Manipulation
According to Day, (1999) information in relation to advertisement can be defined as knowledge, news or even facts about a given type of product. Nevertheless, we should bear in mind that one person's information is another person's trick, predominantly when advertisers talk inform consumers concerning their goods. Information presents itself in various forms. This can either be complete or incomplete depending on how the information has been conveyed. Furthermore, an advertiser can deliver a message that is either liable or unclear. Complete information, informs an individual everything that he or she should take heed of in order to buy a particular product: what it is, what it looks like, how it works, what its remuneration or profit and negative aspects are.
On the other hand, to provide complete information about anything is one of the duties that require a lot of time since it proves to one of the most difficult things in the field of advertisement. Definitely all of this process would require a documentary, not a saleable. Due to the fact that advertisement requires a lot of time, complete information is not possible to offer in an advertisement or a billboard. As a consequence, for advertising, information must always be shortened; not discussing everything there is to know about the subject becomes one of the most important aspects in this field.
These advertisements, as they are called, are an indispensable part of any given category of media. They are usually placed in radios, newspapers, television, or even on billboards by the roadside. Advertisements permit media to be sold at an inexpensive, and sometimes even free, to the customers. Advertisement is an important tool in business since through advertisers; media companies earn a lot of income in order to place their ads into the media. For that reason, the media companies make their money off of ads, and the consumer can view this material for an appreciably less price than the material would be without the ads Day, (1999).
Advertisers' main reason for doing all this kind of job is to sway the consumer to purchase their product but it is upon the consumer of the product make his/her own . Concerning this particular ad, located in sport magazine, attracts the outer-directed emulators. Advertisers manipulate clients by means of eluding the consumer into buying this product over a generic product that could have been used instead of the other, directing the advertisement towards a certain audience, and developing the ad where it is visually gorgeous.
For instance, the layout of the Multi Tap advertisement attracts attention when compared to other similar advertisements. The simple, black and white display of the ad stands out when compared to other ads, which are usually bright and colorful. This way in which the information is delivered creates an alternative to an otherwise multifaceted world. This world is a giant bargaining table, and with your choice or not you are always participants. We normally negotiate more than we realize. The people we most frequently bargain with are the sales clerks and service providers (Bishop, 2000).
The advertising industry is rampantly growing and in most cases provides job opportunities to the media. Advertising is a vital tool in business as it creates awareness to the consumers concerning a product that is available in the market place. It aids in the development of interest in a given products and this is the most important aspect of advertisement. It also enables the consumer to choose from a variety of products that are presented in the market place.
In the view of creating understanding, this act is usually aimed at creating a variety of choices that are delivered to customers to choose what they prefer. A variety of individuals are not aware of them, because they are prepared by clever artists or writers in order to ensure that the consumers only see the better side of the ads.
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Methods of advertisements
Most of the wonders promised in advertisements are not true but in the real sense manipulative. Currently, onslaught from the media are just meant to persuade the consumers that we need their products. Advertisements play with our emotions, which are why they use sports, beautiful ladies, and stars that are famous. They also use sexy images and fancy words to capture our attention, other wise; this does not add anything on the product being sold. But if we think about this deeper - to who’s benefit? The public need to be made more conscious of the methods used by advertisers to work on people’s psychological susceptibility. The advertisers worldwide are succeeding in making people change their very living and spending habits. It is anticipated that the price of a product may rise for up to 40% due to cost of posters and billboards (Bishop, 2000).
The advertisers succeed due to their contrived attacks on the sensibility of the consumers. On one hand, they try to exploit the power of the fear in people to be dissimilar. Not being perceptive, it is because of the power of the bombardments from the messages on either to buy or not. On the other hand, advertisers try to take advantage of the susceptibility of man to be a step ahead of the other, the desire to be great, and the desire to surpass.
Another means used by the advertisers can be termed as sexual arousal. They know that sexual desire is the most influential of individual desires. They then drive in sexual titillation in their advertising messages, using pictures, sounds or words to create this effect which in turn influence the consumers. These messages are not vivid; they are hidden, so they appear ordinary. The buried information then surfaces and is thereafter conveyed to the conscious mind, which acts upon it. If one is thirsty for example, the unconscious mind immediately decides the type of drink the person has to take, depending on the messages instilled earlier from the advertisements.
The onslaught is heavy. In these ways thousands of people in most instances suffer manipulation through the messages that are entailed in the ads.This holds back the decision made by individual on their own free will, making people to follow false goals and principles. Of course the marketing experts are groping for ways to keep sales soaring in the face of mounting saturation. The cry has been to update as a result. You will be told that this detergent has such and such new elements. The question has remained whether it wash better when compared to others. Another problem is junk mail. This concept is used to refer to explain materials used in advertising and promoting goods and services that are sent to people without request. This also normally found their way to the dustbin hence developing a massive waste to deal with. There will be reason for anyone to speak about this crucial concept of child labor and women violence which are violation of human rights incase we are making such a loud noise regarding child labor and women violence.
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What should the consumers take?
We buyers are supposed to take heed. There are no less significant changes according to the manner through which we recognize things. One ought to himself that in most cases these are propaganda aimed at convincing him that opinions of other people are not good within any time that one is exposed to any kind of commercials or advertising messages hence we ought to learn how to ask ourselves on the type of information that we get from them and that which can be of great significance to us when deciding if that product might be actually valuable and of great significance to us as buyers. We are supposed to find out on how to tune to those few that actually do offer a good deal on something that one can found to be of great use in or her life regarding the real needs.
Carrigan, and Attalla, (2001) asserts that consumers should therefore learn to know our options, act on strong information, see things the way they actually are and test our assumptions. Money has become difficult thus we should not waste money that we have earned through hard means. People are supposed to be educated on how to spend their money wisely apart from knowing their nebulous tricks applied in commercials, advertisements, promotional pamphlets and placards. This must one of the major subjects provided during the last years of primary school. Seeds ought to be planted at this earl learning stage.
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This subject should be also incorporated in secondary schools and colleges as a curricular. Capital diversification and rapid diffusion of advanced technologies and consumption patterns including knowledge is incredibly essential in this process of change towards large-scale economic amalgamation in the world’s financial system characterized by the liberalization of trade. Many of us have not been trained as money spenders but as money earners. We therefore learn it the hard way as a result thus paying very high prices as a result.
Our governments have also a responsibility. Dangerous and poisonous substances such as agrochemicals will result to misuse and mishandling of these substances if they are labeled and advertised misleadingly as a result of the current marketing competition. Consequently, farm workers, consumers of farm products and the entire community will be posed on health risks. Since we are all supposed to eat and be safe, all governments are supposed to care for the citizens. They should lead in coordinating action to salvage people from the useless items being advertised by the media (Bernstein, 1951).
Governments should develop institutions that will inspect and make sure that advertisements and commercials don’t just cheat people heartlessly since there is nobody else to come and rescue us from this predicament. These institutions should be authorized to expose publicly the methods that work against interest of the public. It should ensure that there is no cheating, exploitation, manipulation or lying of people by unscrupulous traders. For instance, advertisement of cigarettes is against the law in some countries. Therefore, this example should be adopted across the world since it is a scientific fact that cigarette smoking is harmful to human health.
Hackley, and Kitchen, (1999) argues that advertisement is not good or bad; instead, it is just a tool applied by companies in promoting their goods and services and provides us with information about them. This information is not close to the truth in most cases. It is usual for the companies to wish to promote and sell their goods and services so that they earn profits. They want to attain profits using any means possible, even if it means lying even though this is not a common thing for many of us. We want to attain our goals, even when we are not able to realize, we therefore manipulate indirectly so as to obtain what we desire.
We either use morality or good character as an excuse even though it is the same thing. We exploit people which we think that are weak when compared to us and attempt to manipulate them so that we can attain our objectives. Similarly, this is advertisement’s objective. It provides us with information that is in attempt to manipulate us so that the company can benefit. It is therefore natural since we do the same; companies do the same hence that is how the world is going.
Consequently as customers are supposed to realize that the company will do everything to attract customers and to fool them to buy their products. That does not mean that those products are actually as good as they make us to believe. For instance, we tend to purchase expensive commodities since we belief that the higher the price, the higher the quality. This is totally wrong since some advertisement and products are of low quality and wrong. It will therefore depend on us if we should permit ourselves to be manipulated or not. We are supposed to open our eyes and think twice if the information we obtained is good or just plain marketing to earn profit.
It is beyond reasonable doubt that through manipulation, despite the motives, snatches away the right to make decisions from consumers, who someone wants to be and want they want to do. Having been established in the above discussion, there is an urgent need for a democratic environment in the world of business. People have to be considerably allowed to make there own decision on the kind of products to purchase and consume. Competition forces have to be unconditionally set to act in the interest of the public and consumers have to be protected from harmful manipulation that sometimes puts their lives in danger.
In general, there are two opposing stances that are taken concerning this whole discussion concerning advertisement and manipulation. Researchers strongly assert in the first instance that ethics in marketing communications matters significantly. The other side of the coin downscales the essence of ethics and emphasizes on the responsibility of other various factors in consumer decision making like brand loyalty, price and convenience. The amount of pressure that advertisement exerts on consumers is only but one side of the story. The other side may strongly blame the lack of moral subservient on the side of consumers.