Advertising has become an essential integration of the marketing in the corporate business world and as such, it has become an important means of marketing. So to speak, advertising makes provision of the most persuasive way of a selling message being directed to the right prospects for the service or product being sold at the lowest cost possible. As such, advertising provides the means through which a product is made known publicly or rather described publicly with the sole aim of increasing its sales. It is actually a mass communication tool through which an individual or a firm pays so that there may be information being given, attitudes being developed and as such, the selling message is meant to induce action as it is expected by the advertiser. Again in this context, advertising provides a way through which a producer communicates and as such persuades the prospectus buyers to purchase the products or services.
In particular, concept analysis of advertising will incorporate the identification and determination of the scope of advertising concept as it is defined in the field of marketing. According to Janoschka (2004), advertising is a company’s external communication through which a company informs a large number of people about something (p.15). From a general point of view, advertisement is defined as a paid form of non-personal means of communication about an organization and its products. As such, the information is transferred or rather transmitted to a targeted audience through a mass medium such as television, radio, magazines, direct email, public transport, outdoor displays, catalogues, and radio and newspapers altogether (Janoschka , 2004).
Arguably, every type of advertisement communication has been associated with a creative concept underlying in its meaning. In particular, every good advertisement is based on a big idea that makes the message distinctive, attention getting and as such memorable. In reference to Koekemoer & Bird (2004), the strong theory of advertising assumes that advertising has the capability to affect a degree of change in the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs or behaviour of the target audience. In addition, the theory holds that advertising has the ability to persuade someone to buy a product which he or she has never purchased. At the brand and product-type level, advertising is able to increase the sales. On the other hand, there is a weak theory of advertising which provides that advertising is a means of improving people’s awareness and knowledge along with the aspect of reinforcing existing attitudes of the customers (Koekemoer & Bird, 2004). Additionally, the weak theory suggests that behaviour purchase is based on habit and as such, it reinforces existing attitudes and knowledge altogether.
Notably, advertising planning and decision making is made and as such takes place in the context of an overall marketing strategy. Another point to note is that advertising plan takes in the advertising objectives, message strategy and the media strategy in the larger point of view. In addition to this point, advertising is meant to support the sales force, increase consumer demand and market share altogether (Koekemoer & Bird, 2004). In line with this, it also generates a direct inquiry from customers of which this may be turned to sales at the end of it all. Furthermore, advertising helps in the positioning of the product given that the current market is described by high level of competition. At the same time, advertising makes it possible to build the credibility of the product, service and organization. As compared to other products in the market, advertising is meant to create the image of the product which is better as compared to the other products in the market.
More to this point, advertisement makes it possible for one to reassure purchasers and as such create awareness and trust of the purchasers that the company’s product is simply the best. Apart from this point, advertising has been associated with a capability to remind the consumers about the product and the successful use they have had with it. Accordingly, it enables the consumers to remember where they can find the product and as such, whenever they are in need of it, they are able to get it with ease.
There are outstanding functions of advertising and as such, it is important to bring them in the context. In this connection, advertising can be able to remind the audience which is targeted to purchase or buy the product or the service. As well, it creates the brand awareness of the particular product. Needless to say, advertisement can be used to announce a new brand or service with the sole aim of convincing the prospectus buyers to buy or purchase it. It is also a tool used to engage in market competition, increase sales, support sales and counter staff and thereof support stockists (Koekemoer & Bird, 2004). Arguably, advertising has been associated with its capability to increase confidence in a brand or a company and as such, announce the changes that may have taken place in the price of the product or service. Another point to note is that advertising is well equipped to change the attitudes of the consumers, stimulate the impulse buying, announce pack change or special offer, expand market and attract new buyers, remind consumers about products and features and as such reinforce a decision to buy and thus reduce the post-purchase blues.
Interestingly enough, there are other things often thought that advertising can do, but in actual sense, it cannot. In connection with this point, advertising cannot be used to sell an inferior product; this means that only superior and important products are sold through advertisement. Notably, many have thought that advertisement can reach everyone but this is often not the case. Likewise, advertisement may not lead to immediate sales or solve all marketing problems since marketing is a complex concept. In the same line of thought, advertisement may not be in a position to persuade everyone since there are other factors which influence the purchase behaviour of the consumers or buyers.
According to Tellis (2004), firms use advertising to persuade consumers about the merits of their products or services (p.27). In the same line of thought, advertising is done commonly whenever the supply of a certain product or service exceeds the demand. As well, it may be used in times when the knowledge of the consumer in regard to the particular product is low. Accordingly, when the confidence of the supplier to the product is low or limited, advertising may work towards building such a confidence. In times of high supply, advertising will bring about an aspect of persuading the buyers of the merits of their own brand of the product.
Although advertising has been the order of the day in the media today, big successes have not yet been realized in the field. In respect to this point, many resources have been invested in order to make advertisement to be effective and thus increase sales and the trust of the consumers among other such like aspects (Koekemoer & Bird, 2004). In line with this point, big successes have not been realized due to the fact that much of the advertisement which is practiced today is ineffective. This happens as a result of inattention to advertising, miscomprehension of the advert messages, resistance to persuasion and in the larger perspective the imitation of effective techniques in most of advertisements (Tellis, 2004).
The philosophy of advertisement
Fundamentally, advertising takes in the communication of a message to the public with the sole aim to attain a certain objective. In this sense, an advertisement will either serve the public service or the purpos of the business. Basically, advertisement is meant to advise a potential buyer on the goods for sale, their usefulness, effectiveness, price and all the other elements of the product designed to affect the decision of the buyer. Again in this context, the advertisement may be an advisory message being passed to the public may be advising the public to drive safely or drink safely in case of using products like bear and related products (Trehan & Trehan, 2010). Generally, advertising takes in the role played by three key players who happen to be the advertiser, the audience and the medium of communication. As such, advertisements are built on the fundamentals that it has to convince the audience and thus fit the target market. In this context, the aim of advertisements is to gain a large market share.
In this connection, the advertisement has to seek to know how the market looks like and as such seek how to reach the targeted market. It actually seeks to fit in the target market and as such seek to address its problems. In particular, advertisements adopt a strategy which is able to speak to the consumer in a way that the customer becomes more inquisitive (Trehan & Trehan, 2010). Following this point, advertisements are built on the philosophy that advertisements have to be designed in such a way that one grabs consumer’s attention. In line with this point, the advertisement should be visually satisfying at the same time giving a room for easy follow up. Arguably, the content of advertising should be informative and as such persuasive. So to speak, informative advertising is meant to bring to the attention or knowledge of the potential buyer the fact that a certain type of product is available for sale making the provision of its quality, usefulness, price and the availability altogether.
Likewise, persuasive advertising is meant to encourage the prospective customer to purchase a certain product which is being advertised or service rather. An advertisement in particular gives the consumer a choice in selecting and thus it is aimed at adding to the stock of knowledge of the consumer. In actual sense, advertising is meant to influence the brand attribute agenda in the sense that one can be influenced in his or her purchasing behaviour.
Outstandingly, advertising is meant to achieve an economic meaning in the sense that it works to increase the sales of the particular product along with the number of consumers inquiring on the product. Introspectively, advertising is designed to lower the cost of production, prices, and the ultimately the cost of selling by the seller. At the same time, it helps the seller to educate the public on the particular good, stabilize production, standardize and in the larger perspective improve quality and simplification of the products. Again in this case, fluctuation of prices is prevented through advertisements at the same time increasing the investment and the development of the associated technology (Trehan & Trehan, (2010). The scale of operation for the given product being advised is achieved by means of advertising while at the same time widening the consumer choice. Arguably, mass consumption, capacity of choice of the consumer and in the larger perspective developing the habits of purchasing of the consumers, is brought about by use of advertisements.
On the other hand, there has been the main underlying philosophy on which advertising is developed. As such, it involves more of persuasion in the sense that it is directed towards changing the attitude, opinion or behaviour of the consumer as a result of exposure to an advertisement. Exceptionally, the idea behind advertisement means that the advisement should in particular inform, persuade and ultimately educate the consumers in respect to products, services and ideas. In reference to Sharma & Mohan (2010), advertising is a very strong weapon used in marketing; ads in particular they do not only satisfy the needs of the consumers but rather through a meaningful message, they seek to capture the attention of the consumer. Accordingly, they address the interests of the consumers and given that the ads are usually repeated through the media, the company is therefore able to achieve the objectives of the company to grow in profits through increased sales.
From a different point of view, advertisements are driven by the aspect of creativity and as such, the creativity is directed towards bringing about a dramatic idea which is memorable and emotional. Fundamentally, advertising is meant to build the image of the company with the sole aim to attract more consumers to purchase the products of the particular company (Mehra, 2009, p.10). Under this category, advertisements deal with the quality, price and the availability of the goods being advertised. In count, advertisements are commonly used by the advertisers to position the product in relation to the target audience by managing the marketing mix for the given product. Besides the point of positioning, advertising is founded on the basis that it has the ability to change the attitude in the minds of the consumers (Mehra, 2009, p.10). .
Following this point, the advertisements are directed towards affecting the emotions of the consumers relative to dislikes and likes so as to impart action of the consumers who act by making a purchase. Advertisement as it has been highlighted may be reinforced by repetition, an aspect that brings about an increased knowledge on the product as one is constantly reminded of the product by the repetitive advertising (Mehra, 2009, p.11). In order to revive a product which is at a declining point, advertising may bring about this effect.
Janoschka (2004) further asserts that advertising is a persuasive communication and as such, it is not guaranteed that it may not be biased. This is to suggest that advertisements may be biased in order that they may achieve the target of convincing the audience to purchase the products being offered. In actual sense, the main objective in advertisements which at the same time provides the basis for advisements is to change and/or influence the attitudes of the consumers to purchase a particular product instead of another product.
The consumer is first exposed to the advertisement, an interest towards the product is created, a desire is as well built and finally the consumer takes the action to purchase the good. This is the ultimate goal of advertisement and in addition, advertisements seek to increase sales, persuade dealers to increase the stock, help wholesalers and retailers to sell more of the advertised goods and more so increase the business for the product from a general standpoint. Especially in the current market, competition is so high and in order to achieve high profits through sales in an environment described by a variety of the same products, advertisement needs to be strategic in order to gain a large market share in the competitive market. To sum it all under the category of the philosophy on which advertising is built on, it is imperative to bring out the point that it performs the function of informing, persuading and in the larger perspective reminding the consumers of the existence of the products being advertised and their associated benefits altogether. Therefore, advertising is built on the persuasive philosophy.
Ideology and meaning of advertisement
According to Brown & Turley (1997), advertisements often represent the reality rather than the cultural representation of reality. There are differences between the natural world of advertisement and the naturalized world of advertisement whereby the advertisement portray more of reality than the real world. In this sense, advertisemennts generate meanings which are focused onto products. As well, there is a significant social meaning that advertisements give to the products that are being advertised. Needless to say, advertisements give meaning to the products, the buyers of the products, the readers of the advertisements and the social world in which the advertisement is being made (Brown & Turley, 1997). The function of an advertisement is to create the differentiation between one particular product and others in the same category. As well, advertisements have the ability to give products different social meanings.
In addition, advertisements signify something about consumers who purchase and use the products. According to Trehan & Trehan (2010), a advertising has the meaning that it turns attention towards a specific thing. In the same line of thought, advertising means that the advertiser is to announce publicly or rather give a public notice in regard to a particular product or service. In other words, advertising is the act of turning the attention of the people towards products, services and the ideas by an identified sponsor. Another point to note is that advertising is used to communicate the information of business to the current and the prospective customers.
Accordingly, advertisements provides information about an advertising firm, the product features, its qualities, the place of the availability of the product, different procedures and schemes along with benefits associated with the use of the particular product or service(Trehan & Trehan, 2010). Again in this context, the meaning of advertisement in its simplest form is to make a public announcement of a product or service. In actual sense, the use of advertisements is to go beyond informing the public about the product to the point of persuading them.
Outstandingly, advertisements seek to persuade the prospective buyer, remind the existing buyers, remove the dissonance of public, create brand preference, brand royalty, neutralize the effect of the competitor and as such create the demand for the product and the increment of the sales thereof (Zajda, 2009). Along with this point, advertising is targeted to a particular group of people and as such it is not to a particular individual. Moreover, it is a mass communication through which the target audience is expected to respond by purchasing of the products or services being advertised. At the same time, the sponsor of the advertisements is deemed to have full control of the advertisement message and the appeal made thereof. Advertisements are usually carried through mass-media such as T.V., newspapers, telephone, internet, radio, direct email, outdoor displays and magazines among others as such. According to Zajda (2009), advertisements act as an ideology vehicle through which ideas, beliefs, and opinions of the society are reflected. Such ideologies are brought about by the use of signs which are contained in the ads message (p.191).
From a more practical point of view, various codes of advertisements, serve the purpose of making an ideology to look more natural and as such inevitable. Remarkably, ideology of advertisements uses signs as a means to convey a particular message. For instance, it has been noted that television advertising makes the use of specific strategies to persuade the viewers. As such, the rhetoric of the camera, text and aspects off lighting, sound affects voice-overs and the aspect of editing persuade the viewers (Zajda, 2009, p.191).
Trehan& Trehan (2010) further states that there are both primary and secondary functions of advertisements. As such, advertisements have the capability to persuade the audience of the usefulness of a product and thus make the audience feel the need to have such a product. More to this point, advertising helps the audience to understand that the advertised product is able to satisfy as well as fulfil the needs of the audience. It is through both rational and emotional appeal that the advertisement persuades the consumers to purchase the product or service. Taking the example of the LIC policy advertisement, it makes the audience to feel that by means of taking the LIC policy, their families future and their individual futures, are well secured (Trehan& Trehan, 2010, p.9). Along with this point, new products are brought to the notice of the public through advertisement and as such, it makes the audience to be aware of a new product and the benefits attributed to it. At the same time, an existing product associated with new uses can have its consumer base being expanded by making the audience to be aware of such uses. Changes in placement, price and product itself is as well accomplished by use of advertisements. Needless to say, special schemes and offers, brand preference, usefulness of a product and how to use it; all are made possible by the use of advertisements.
In reference to Sinclair (1987), advertisements have both an ability to denote a literal image and the connotative ideological meaning. For instance, it may take the form that food is exotic, aesthetic or in the larger perspective that food is as natural food. Such connotations influence the way viewers view the particular products. Along with this point, it is important to bring out the point that advertising has a crucial role in ascribing symbol meaning to consumer goods and as such form an integral part of the text in the social and cultural life. Notably, advertisement constitutes a powerful ideology within the culture of the consumers.
From another point of view, advertisements make it possible for the members of the society to use it as a mechanism through which to assimilate their cultural heritage and the ideologies of domination in the same way. In essence, ideology refers to the images, concepts and premises that provide the frameworks, through which one is able to present, interpret, and understand some point of view of the social life (Brown & Turley, 1997, p.202). Essentially, ideology has the capability to synthesise the diverse elements of a product to a distinct meaning which can influence the consumers. Commonly, ideologies are taken for granted as real, natural or common sense.
Ideologically, advertisements are presented as the most powerful tools and as such effective with the capability to change the beliefs, values and interpretations of the society. Attributed to advertisements, it is the aspect of them having a semiotic richness and a concentration of a rhetorical form (Brown & Turley, 1997, p.203). Different from other forms of communication, advertisements are so instrumental in the sense that it has the ability to influence and at the same time change attitudes. In this sense, advertisement is a concentrated attempt to semantically influence one viewing or reading it. Advertisements are as well accompanied by repetition of which this works to ensure that the advertising ideology remains constant and in day to day way of life of the consumers (Brown & Turley, 1997, p.203).
It is through a unique way that advertisements combine the apparent representation of everyday reality with an overtly ideology account of the particular reality. Needless to say, advertisements portray reality-as-lived against reality-as-possibly lived with the consumer good as the connecting point (Brown & Turley, 1997). Through the use of advertisements, it has then been possible to combine the power of truth with the power of the influence of ideology. Categorically, Brown & Turley (1997) points out that persuasion, influence, rhetoric, suggestion and seduction are the words which are used by advertisements in explicit meaning to function as ideological influence in the domains of consumer and the general market (p.202-204).