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Exploring How Television Commercials Appeal to Their Target Audiences

Satisfactory Essays
Exploring How Television Commercials Appeal to Their Target Audiences

Television advertisements have been around in Great Britain since

1955,(the first was for Gibbs.SR toothpaste) when ITV began. The first

advertisements were simple. Usually they were just trying to bring a

product to the attention of the viewer and show it’s merits. Later

when television advertising became recognised as something of great

influence, adverts became more complex, appealing to certain audiences

that were more easily persuaded to buy their product than others. The

most obvious of these earliest target audiences were the ‘housewives‘.

The 1950s housewife was thought of as responsible for her family as

well as how they performed and behaved. Therefore if a child went to

school with a shirt that had dirt on it or a husband went to work

without a full breakfast it was deemed to be the wife’s fault. It was

this sense of responsibility that the advertisers worked on and tried

to enforce with adverts showing such situations. For example

,“executive”, an advert for cornflakes aired in 1958, showed a medium

shot of a man leaving the house without a good breakfast because he

“had no time to” ,then there is a cut to another ¾ shot of the man in

the office performing badly and losing clients. And even his secretary

(a woman!) is doing better than him. Informing him that she cannot

find the report because he hasn’t written it. The voice-over then

informs the housewife what she should have done: forced her husband to

have a nice bowl of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. We then see the husband at

work again ,smiling and with two telephones. Showing how much that

bowl has helped him through the day. This advert was more complex than

previously but not as complex as today’s. This type of advert made the

target audience feel guilty and made them think that buying the

product was the only way to avoid a similar situation. Advertisements

in this period played on fear, and these were the 5 fears that they

played on
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