Advertising is a form of selling. For thousands of years there have
been individuals who have tried to persuade others to buy the food
they have produced, the goods they have made or the services they can
perform. The objective of any advertisement is to convince people that
it is in their best interests to take the action the advertiser is
recommending. The action may be to purchase a product, go to a
showroom to try the product, use a service, vote for a political
candidate, make a contribution or even join the Army. Like any sales
person, the advertisement tries to persuade. The form of advertising
in the following essay is based on magazine adverts.
Advertisements always contain a message or idea they want others to
take in which can be expressed in words, pictures, music or jingles.
It is often the jingles people remember from television, as they are
often 'catchy' tunes. The theory being that when you are in the shop
wondering which product to buy you may remember the jingle, containing
the brand name being promoted, and choose it before others.
Advertisements have a purpose, which is to inform or influence the
people they are aimed at- the target audience. This audience will vary
according to what is being advertised and the advert will be designed
to attract this particular group of people. For example the target
audience for a baby food would be young mothers, therefore the advert
would need to attract their attention perhaps by showing a happy
content baby. This would make them think that if they gave their child
the food it would be happy and contented. The target audience also
determines where the advert would be placed, in this case in a Mother
and Baby magazine or a woman's magazine of some kind.
Similarly the target audience for an advert about football boots would
be boys and young men who read football magazines. It might show a
goal being scored, giving the impression that if you wore these
particular boots you too would be successful and score goals. The
advert would be found in football magazines, on television in the
breaks of football match coverage or on boards around football
Advertisers use a variety of techniques to attract attention and make
us notice the message they are trying to put across. They try to
persuade in a way that is thought likely to work with the people they
are aimed at- the target audience.
Advertisements don't always try to sell products, sometimes they are
designed to give information, for example the recent advertising
campaign to inform people about the symptoms and dangers of meningitis
and the campaigns every year about dangers of drinking and driving.
Adverts can also be used in an attempt to change the way people think
and behave, for example Greenpeace try to change our attitudes...