Advertising is a key feature of marketing in today’s era. It not only helps the products sell, it helps the consumers in making a sound choice.
Advertisements have been around since time immemorial, but today they are a crucial factor. Every multinational company, be it a food manufacturer or a beauty product seller, take the aid of advertisements to reach out to the public. Apart from bringing about awareness of social issues, advertisements have given birth to competition amongst creative people involved in the making of it.
Let us explore the plus and minuses of advertisements.
Positive effects of advertising
Advertising includes the public service advertisements. A sense of social awareness and welfare is embedded in all the citizens of a country when the public service advertisements are aired. The advertisements regarding the harmful nature of smoking and tobacco and the advertisements dealing with “save water” and “go green” have done a lot to heighten the awareness amongst public.
Apart from public service advertisements, advertisements marketing goods do a lot to improve the social standards of the society. In India, where a particular percentage of women still live in the ignominious darkness, adverts relating to sanitary napkins have done a lot of good. They have taught women the unhygienic mannerisms of cloth napkins and have promoted sanitation and hygiene.
Advertisements also help boost the economy of a company. Through adverts, companies are able to reach a larger consumer base which in turn increases their sales. An increase in sale equals to more profit, and not just more profit but more job opportunities. When the sales go up, the demand in the market for that product increases. With an increase in demand, supplies are increased which mean more manufacturers and working hands would be required. Apart from that, voice actors or models are often required for advertisements and this opens up a whole new field for those looking for employment.
Advertisement helps the consumers make a choice by presenting them with the pros and cons of their products. Also, in democratic countries, consumers are exposed to a wide range of lifestyles to choose from. Advertisement also helps people know about the kind of life people of various levels of the society lead. These, in a way, bind humans.
So we see, apart from being a mode of awareness and boost in economy, advertising helps bring about education, reform and is a good way to incur returns on investments.
Negative effects of advertising
This expensive feat, advertising, has a number of demerits. The major one is misrepresentation of facts. Advertisements tend to show the products in their glory, ebbing out the negative points. This leads the consumer to make decisions that aren’t always righteous in nature. For example, advertisements may show how a cream can make you look fair but they would not include the part that the cream may be toxic to some and may even prove to be carcinogenic in the long run.
Another major drawback of advertisements is the effect it has on the brains of children. They tend to want the products displayed on the advertisements oblivious of the level of harm it could cause. Junk food, sugary stuff and violent toys are all made popular by creative advertising. It is sending a wrong message to our young ones.
Advertisements have known to have a negative effect on adults as well. It sets in an inferiority complex amongst people. The fact that you NEED to be fair to win hearts or you NEED to wear an expensive perfume to win a lady is something promoted by adverts. They have set a point of view into the society that a female should be a thin, fair and beautiful who should work as well as be family keepers and men should be bulky, muscled pieces of flesh that should smell intoxicating and be virile 24/7. A false sense of insecurity is heightened through advertisements. Also, adverts give rise to impossible expectations that can never be fulfilled by products. Instant fairness and pimple removing agents are fantasy products that have no existence in the real world.
Advertising is an indispensable part of the society now. It has its merits and demerits, but in the end it is a form of art.
Quoting Tom Ford, I’d like to end on a neutral note, “Advertising is, of course, important because advertise is the final design. It’s the last layer that speaks to the customer, that tells them what you have.”