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From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, by MultiMedia

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History

A print advertisement from a 1913 issue of Encyclopaedia Britannica A print advertisement from a 1913 issue of Encyclopaedia Britannica

In ancient times the most common form of advertising was "word of mouth". However, commercial messages and election campaign displays were found in the ruins of Pompeii. Egyptians used papyrus to create sales messages and wall posters. 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, tradition of wall paintings may be traced back to India rock-art paintings that goes back to 4000 BC, see Bhatia 2000: 62-68 on the evolution of wall advertising. 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 (which were increasingly affordable) and medicines (which were increasingly sought after as disease ravaged Europe). Quack ads became a problem, which ushered in regulation of advertising content.

As the economy was expanding during the 19th century, the need for advertising grew at the same pace. In America, the 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. 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 by the 20th century, advertising agencies started to take over responsibility for the content as well.

The 1960s saw advertising transform into a modern, more scientific approach in which creativity was allowed to shine, producing unexpected messages that made advertisements interesting to read. 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.

Today, advertising is evolving even further, with "guerrilla" promotions that 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.

Media

Paying people to hold signs in public places is one of the oldest forms of adverting such as the 'board guy' pictured above Paying people to hold signs in public places is one of the oldest forms of adverting such as the 'board guy' pictured above

Transit advertising is combined with experiential marketing using pedapods in Australia Transit advertising is combined with experiential marketing using pedapods in Australia

Commercial advertising media can include wall paintings, billboards (outdoor advertising), 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, 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.

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[1] or used to replace local billboards that are not relevant to the remote broadcast audience[2]. More controversially, virtual billboards may be inserted into the background[3] where none existing in real-life. Virtual product placement is also possible[4][5].

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, and the pervasiveness of mass messages.

Unpaid advertising (also called word of mouth advertising), can provide good exposure at minimal cost. Personal recommendations ("bring a friend", "sell it by zealot"), spreading buzz, or achieving the feat of equating a brand with a common noun ("Xerox" = "photocopier", "Kleenex" = tissue, "Vaseline" = petroleum jelly, "Kotex" = tampons, "Maxi pads" = sanitary napkins, "Scotch Tape" = Clear Tape, "Band-aid" = bandage, "Visine" = eye drops, "Q-tips" = cotton swabs, "Rollerblades" = inline skates) -- these must provide the stuff of fantasy to the holder of an advertising budget.

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.

Impact

"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half." - John Wanamaker, father of modern advertising.

Billboard, New York City, (2005) Billboard, New York City, (2005)

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 adervertising, a common claim from cigarette manufacturers was that cigarette advertising does not encourage people to smoke who would not otherwise.[1] The (eventually successful) opponents of advertising, on the other hand, claim that advertising does in fact increase consumption.[2]

According to many media 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 truthfullness of the message may not be developed until the age of eight.[3]

Public service advertising

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 U.S. government agencies.

Social impact

Regulation

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 neighbouring 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 Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in February 2004 which suggested that food advertising targeting children was an important factor in the epidemic of childhood obesity raging across the United States.

In many countries - namely New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and many European contries- 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 organisations are funded by the industry, but remain independent, with the intent of upholding the standards or codes (like the ASA in the UK).

Critiques of the medium

Advertising wrapped around a train. Minnesota, US, (2005) Advertising wrapped around a train. Minnesota, US, (2005)

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. Some advertising campaigns have also been criticized as inadvertently or even intentionally promoting sexism, racism, and ageism. Such criticisms have raised questions about whether this medium is creating or reflecting cultural trends. At very least, advertising often reinforces stereotypes by drawing on recognizable "types" in order to tell stories in a single image or 30 second time frame. Recognizing the social impact of advertising, MediaWatch, a non-profit women's organization, 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 president Shari Graydon, provides context for these issues for young readers.

Public interest groups and free thinkers 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.

Public perception of the medium

Billboard in Lund, Sweden, saying "One Night Stand?" (2005) Billboard in Lund, Sweden, saying "One Night Stand?" (2005)

Over the years, the public perception of advertising has become very negative. It is seen as a medium that inherently promotes a lie, based on the purpose of the advertisement - to encourage the target audience to submit to a cause or a belief, and act on it to the advertising party's benefit and consequently the target's disadvantage. They are either perceived as directly lying (stating opinions or untruths directly as facts), lying by omission (usually of terms unfavorable to the customer), portraying a product or service in a light that does not reflect reality or even making up realities where their product has a new role. Yet as with many other things in life, the vast majority of the public do not care enough to act. One can either choose to listen to the many campaigns or to ignore them.

Effects on communication media

Another effect of advertising is to modify the nature of the communication media where it is shown. The most clear example is television. Channels that get most of their revenues from publicity try to make their medium a good place for communicating ads. That means trying to make the public stay for long times and in a mental state that will make 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 and make for much easier emotional jumps to ads, that 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.

Future

With the dawn of the Internet have come many new advertising opportunities. Popup, Flash, banner, and email advertisements (the last often being a form of spam) abound. Recently, the advertising community has attempted to make the adverts themselves desirable to the public. In one example, 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 Rolex watches and BMW cars featured in recent James Bond films.

Each year, greater sums are paid to obtain a commercial spot during the Super Bowl. Companies attempt to make these commercials sufficiently entertaining that members of the public will actually want to watch them.

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.

See also

References

  1. Memorandum by British American Tobacco from The Tobacco Industry and the Health Risks of Smoking (TB 28) paragraph 272, "Cigarette advertising does not cause people to smoke", presented before the House of Commons Select Committee on Health 13 January 2000, verifed 2005-12-31
  2. Frequently asked Questions: Tobacco Advertising, "persuades non-smokers (especially the young) to start smoking" from ASH
  3. Lawrence, Felicity (2004). “The Ready Meal”, Kate Barker Not on the Label, 265, Penguin. ISBN 0-141-01566-7.
  • 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

Bibliography

  • Wernick, Andrew (1991) "Promotional Culture: Advertising, Ideology and Symbolic Expression (Theory, Culture & Society S.)", London: Sage Publications Ltd, ISBN 0803983905
  • Graydon, Shari (2003) "Made You Look - How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know", Toronto: Annick Press, ISBN 1-55037-814-7
  • 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

External links

Awareness

  • [9] Educating the Consumer about Advertising: Some Issues
  • [10] Advertising in the Schools
  • [11] Copywriter Brian Millar's advertising blog

Critical views


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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

 
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