Mass media are instruments that help marketers to pass information, communicate ideas and concepts to general public and targeted audience. They are very important tool that promote marketing goals. However, the use of mass media is can be counterproductive especially when the marketer chooses channels that are not appropriate for their target audience.
Sometimes, the message delivered maybe too emotional or evoking anxiety or fear or it could be controversial. However, advertising in mass media has its basic role that has conventionally shaped the choice of the channel, the type of message, and the audience to be targeted.
Conventional Role of Providing Consumer Information
In its basic essence, advertising is defined as the paid communication that is done via the mass media with the main objectives being to inform, persuade and remind clients. Traditionally, advertising usually incorporates crucial information for the customer like price, where to the product, what that product is (description) and benefits.
The primary goal of designing and advert is therefore to communicate with the target audience so that the marketer can elicit the purchase behavior. Advertising therefore communicates to potential clients about a new product thus building awareness or supporting continued use of an existing product hence reinforcing the purchase behavior.
With the intention to convince and inform and amidst competition for increasing brands of products, advertising has been dynamic and the most innovative business sector. The increasing technology has also propelled the revolution happening in advertisings and great improvements being observed each day.
One significant revolution is the didactic advertising montage in the American advertising sector. This form of advertising can as well be referred to as parable advertising not because it has the same meaning as the biblical definition of parables but because of the attempt by the advertisers to give a moral lesson to potential buyers.
These lessons are drawn from the everyday incidences and since the advertisers have in mind the goal to convince, they often exaggerate and greatly contrast their massages in dramatized advertisement. Advertisement messages seek to persuade buyers through suggestions rather than coercion and they also seek blunt acquiescence instead of active thinking.
The advertising message hence encourages people to incorporate the products being advertised into their lives by using daily event to accomplish this. After communicating a moral logic, the potential buyer is drawn into the story, carried along and released back to his/her situation in a manner that portrays the parable as the situation and the solution.
One famous example of a parable used has been the first impression parable. Briefly, the parable is about a certain family that suffered social crisis and struggled to get of it for a while. Their one day managed to convince their boss to host executive dinner at their place. The wife researched widely on the best food and drinks to offer while the man searched extensively on the best business subjects and stories to keep his guest engaged.
They were so carried away with this that they all forgot about their dull and untidy doorway. When the guests arrived, they were disappointed from the touch of the bell and entrance into the house. They were put off by the lack of modernity and dreary environment at first sight. In the end, no feat of cooking or exciting chatting could offset their first impression of deficiency in character by the family.
Many advertisers have adopted the idea of first impression parable in their ads. The Williams shaving cream for instance has catchy phrases to evoke first impression feeling…”the face that’s fit”… many people would agree that it’s the ‘look’ that one portrays that he/she will be judged upon. The most effective way of communicating this in advertisement is suggesting that the product builds self-confidence.
Advertising on mass media is also ancillary to Programming because media has grown to become a very significant force in the modern culture especially in western nations. The sociologists have even named this new phenomenon ‘mediated culture’ because culture is constantly being shaped by media creations. Individuals and the communities are usually communicated to from a number of media sources which bombard information in their minds.
All the different mass media tools do not just promote products as in advertisement but also evoke mood, inspire a feeling of what is important and to cause development of attitude among others. Advertising is therefore very important in programming of various multimedia. Its ability to reach thousands of audience across thousands of miles allows the development of celebrities like singers and actors. Besides, the issues of sponsorship emphasize the important role of advertising in ancillary programming.
Most of the advertisements on mass media is very expensive and the money obtained from this is used for funding media programs. In order to reach the largest audience possible, advertisers seek to place ads on the bigger television stations or magazines that have wider coverage or any other wide coverage mass media for that matter. This makes the media owners have greater clients when their coverage is wide and hence earn more as they can charge more as well.
Advertising also influences the programs aired in that a media company that received a lot of revenue from big companies like Nike or any other, cannot air stories of abuse of basic human rights in such firms. This is negative impact of mass media responsibility interaction with the advertisement benefits to the company and to the public.
Critical Theory: Consumerist Ideology
In marketing in modern world and from the critical discourse assessment’s point of view, Guy Cook argued that advertisement was a discourse in itself. Advertising entails both text which is basically the advert itself and the context which is in essence the customers who respond to the advert (Guy 23).
It is usually important to examine the significance of the advertisement based on the manner in which the target customers create meaning from it. The meaning of the product being advertised is often constructed based on their needs, tastes, desired, scope of knowledge, and the type of product.
Several components of advertising are very important, however, participants are the basic components. Very important aspects emerge from the assessment of this component, the explanations and intentions, convictions and knowledge, feelings and relationships and attitudes.
Uniquely, every participant is an observer and part of the context at the same time and therefore participant are senders and receivers. In advertisement, the person sending the message is not always the one addressing people, but the one relaying it. For instance, a television advert may have an actor, thought it may be sent by an agency. On the same not, the receiver is not always the addressee or target audience because the ads are aired on media which anyone can access. Anyone can therefore see the advert.
The function of the ad is what it intended to do by the creator and sender or what it was perceived to cause the receiver to do or respond like. The political and economic perception, mass media is a commodity produced on large scale. The goal of advertising through these media is to maximize the profits of the businesses. The main revenue of mass media is advertising and the consumers are usually sold up to the advertising firms who sometimes just represent unspecific needs.
Most of the time, the product being advertised could be promoting affluent lifestyle thus helping to promote the consumerist ideology. The mass media companies thus worry less about selling empty messages to the viewers and readers as long as they are being paid to do so and the advertisers are willing to pay the prices being charged for space. The audience is hence kept in safe haven of ideology by these media.
The Impact Advertising Has On Program Quality
The impact of advertising on program quality especially on television has to do with time and content. The adverts are usually regulated and the regulation covrs the time that the commercial are allotted and the limitation of the products or services to be advertised on certain program based on the target audience.
There are stringient laws for what is to and not to be advertised on the children’s programs. Time restrictions, also refered to as advertising caps may not be proper when there is over-advertising. Even so, these caps can decrease the diversity of programs by restricting the revenues for programs. The caps can reduced the overall qulity of the program, which include the direct enjoyment to the viewers.
Restriction of advertisement of certisn products and services like cigarettes or fast foods on children program are a reflection of paternalistic altruism, however appropriate taxing rather than restriction could e more efficient. Duration restriction of advertising are perceived to be socially damaging especially when it results in under-advertising, under-advertising is used to describe a phenomenon where there is less advertisement than the social optimal level.
Length restriction can be of great advantage if there is excess advertisement in the market. Over-advertising is seen when the nuisance to the readers and viewers more than the benefit it intended to offer. There is however still an ongoing study to assess whether indeed there is such thing as over-advertising and under-advertising and the effect on the market. However, caps can greatly decrease the quality of programs, the diversity of programming and the breadth of it hence affecting the profits.
The media industry has a unique economic structure that is very different for other industries. Basically, the media is an entertainment industry used to amuse viewers while at the same time, the broadcasts carry adverts. Viewers are hence exposed to these adverts just as a side benefit as consumers of entertainment.
The advertisers pay for this entertainment content so that they can be able to use intermediary time of the programs to pass messages to their potential clients. In this vein, the media is a platform that is used by both advertisers and viewers for it to generate revenue. This means that the media must deliver the clients to the advertisers and they do this by well thought-out selection of the level of advertising with an attractive program enough to entice potential customers.
Role of Media in Democracy Development
Across the world, mass media remain the backbone of democracy for every state. The media usually provides political information to the electorate where voting decision are based. The media helps to identify the problems facing the societies and they serve as media for debating and consensus as well as collection of solution suggestions.
The media also function as the government’s watchdog, and the people rely on them to uncover mistakes and other wrongdoings by the political leaders whom the community has given power. It’s hence sensible to demand that the media should perform certain standard with regard to these crucial roles, and the democratic community is contended that they do.
The most democratic role that the society expect the mass media to do is often that of a watchdog because those in power are charged with responsibility of serving with the best interest if the people at heart.
The functions attached to this include identification of the burning issues in the society that need address, surveillance of the social and political developments, and to offer a tool for deliberation for a wider range of views and opinions and requiring accountability from leaders.
The active involvement of the media in political process and resistance to bowing to pressure from external forces seeking to subvert media independence is very crucial in attaining the democratic goal of media.
The basic human rights are often inalienable and they can be communicated through media for people to understand their right and how to react when these rights are infringed. The freedom of expression right is an elementary value in the modern democracy and without it and the freedom of the press the political development that has been achieved in the contemporary world today, could not have been achieved. This is the basic reason why all right have to be protected.
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