Exploring Advertising

Exploring Advertising

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1. Idea of advertising.

Advertising is said to be with a potential consumer everywhere, we are so familiarized with it, that we do not even think about its form or nature. We may notice its presence while walking down the street, travelling by public transport or simply at home watching TV, reading a newspaper or on the internet. But what is it after all? How should we define it?
„Advertising to me, is really one of the mysteries of American business. I can inventory my stock can calculate the cost of my factories. I can figure my taxes, estimate my deprecation, determine my sales cost, derive my earnings per share. Yet there are Times when I spend as much as $18 million a year on advertising-and have no idea of what I am really getting for my money”.

1.1. Definition of advertising and the notion of an advertising slogan.

Generally speaking, advertising is seen as an act of communication which main aim is to promote branded products and to encourage people to consume more than they really need.
According to the dictionary, we can describe it as:
1.” the act or practice of calling public attention to one's product, service, need, etc., especially by paid announcements in newspapers and magazines, over radio or television, on billboards, etc.: to get more customers by advertising.
2. paid announcements; advertisements.
3. the profession of planning, designing, and writing advertisements.”

While talking about advertising, it is also worth mentioning what a slogan in advertising is, because for many people it is the slogan that creates a given advertisement. Taking into consideration, the definition from Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary:
” A slogan is a word or phrase that is easy to remember, used for example by a political party or in advertising to attract people people’s attention or to suggest an idea quickly”
And according to the dictionary, it is:
1.” a distinctive cry, phrase, or motto of any party, group, manufacturer, or person; catchword or catch phrase.
2. a war cry or gathering cry, as formerly used among the Scottish clans.”
By making it more clear, according to Kochan, the word originates from Gaelic: sluagh-ghairm [from sluagh army + gairm cry], which was first used in 1514.
Discussing the notion of a slogan, we should mention about its types:
a) Without a name of a brand e.g ”Just do it”
b) A name of a brand functions as an integral part e.

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g.” always Coca-Cola”
c) A name of a brand does not function as a primary part e.g. ”Hyundai. Drive your way.”
In order to consolidate the terminology, we may define a slogan ias a tool in the form of message which is referring to a specified group of people and having a specified goal. The slogan is said to be a characteristic notion, an expression, a sentence fittingly worded or a catch phrase which aims at recalling about the particular product, its name and characteristic advantages.

1.2. Origins of advertising.

As we have already discussed the notion of advertising and its first usage, it would be also worth answering the question: Where does this word by itself really come from?
It might be obvious that the idea of advertising must have been present even in the ancient times while exchanging goods. We may confirm that thanks to the found wall paintings which were informing about sport and cultural forthcoming events. In the Middle Ages there was also created a form of oral advertisement when merchants who wanted to participate in trade, were offering the best price for their goods. Step by step, with the advancement of trade, people started to use symbols which could be associated with goods they sell. However, definitely the major step ,which was beneficiary to the development of advertising, was the invention of printing press in the 15th century.
As we have mentioned the notion of advertising was first used in 16th century, nevertheless the idea of advertising that we know today started to shape up in the second half of 19th century. Thanks to the industrial revolution, there was a great evolution of technology and we may say about a full-scale production of goods. Newspapers started to act as mass media and many advertising agencies were established. In 1869 in Philadelphia, the first full-service agency was founded. Its owner was Francis Wayland Ayer, who called it after his father: N. W. Ayer & Son.
At the beginning of the 20th century, advertising started to spread even faster, thanks to the invention of radio which later led to the sponsorship of radio stations. At the end of 20th century, the introduction of cable television started to follow on the same basis, and soon there were created even special channels aimed at advertising.
The development of technology led us to the 21th century with newspapers, television, radio, magazines, and what is crucial to online advertising. Nowadays, the Internet is one of the most popular way of contact with potential customers, and the way familiar to us. Thanks to these all changes, advertising has become international and enables companies to sell products on different markets all over the world.
“Advertising has come a long way from its inception and there is much progress to be covered in the time to come.”

1.3. Means of advertising message.

Nowadays, advertisements are said to be very useful and persuasive tool aimed at getting new customers. However, in order to gain success, a company which wants to sell its products, needs to have a positive reputation. There are different methods used to send advertising messages to get through to potential customers.
We may distinguish different kinds of advertising, namely:
a) Product advertising (also known as brand advertising), educates the audience about its services or products to build positive attitudes and beliefs. It might be also known as display advertising or image advertising, while the products are displayed to be easily seen and an advertiser aims at creating their positive image.

b) Sales promotion advertising, its primary goal is to immediately influence on the audience and encourage to quick purchase. Major tools of this form of advertising are special discounts, coupons or contests.

c) Industrial advertising (also trade advertising) is targeted at retailers and other companies that are interested in distribution of products or services of a firm. It provides a stocking allowance and a promotion allowance for retailers that are eager to cooperate. According to Vestergaard and Schroder „industrial advertising typically lays greater emphasis on factual information than prestige and consumer advertising, and, inversely, less emphasis on the persuasive elements.”

d) Corporate advertising (also institutional advertising), provides information about a company as a whole, not about a specific brand. There are several reasons for introducing this form of advertising:
 Maintaining the goodwill of the company
 Establishing the awareness of company’s products and its name
 Providing information about company’s future plans and estimates
 Changing the attitude of people toward products and the company itself.
 Founding the company’s concern that may deal with special issues e.g. environmental ones.

Nevertheless, this form of advertising is often said to be a waste of time and not really beneficial for the audience.

e) Classified advertising is used by local companies or individuals. The advertisement is usually inserted on back or special pages so they will be noticed especially by readers who are interested in a particular product. The basic goal of such advertisements is employee recruitment .

f) Retail advertising, generally speaking, it is a method of advertising performed by retailers, local businesses. It covers sales promotion advertising and display advertising.
Apart from abovementioned methods of advertising, we may also classify the types of advertising according to the media that are used.
This kind of advertising might be said to be the first and one of the oldest form of advertising. It played a key role after the invention of the printing press. However, this type of advertising is losing its position because of high production cost. Newspapers or magazines are mostly produced for national needs so cannot enter different markets and they are inflexible in comparison to the Internet. Although the one of their main disadvantages is high waste circulation , many people still prefer reading a newspaper to news on the internet, especially older ones. It is enough that the owner of a business pays and a given advertisement is placed in a newspaper or a magazine.
However, to show observation of declining number of ads in newspapers, the table below shows the revenues from printed and online advertisements in the USA during past few years.
Print vs. Online Ad Revenue ( in millions of dollars)
Year Print Online Total
2003 44,939 1,216 46,155
2004 46,703 1,541 48,244
2005 47,408 2,027 49,435
2006 46,611 2,664 49,275
2007 42,209 3,166 45,375
2008 34,740 3,109 37,848
2009 24,821 2,743 27,564
2010 22,795 3,042 25,838
2011 20,692 3,249 23,941
Table 1. Print vs. Online Ad Revenue [source: http://stateofthemedia.org/2012/newspapers-building-digital-revenues-proves-painfully-slow/newspapers-by-the-numbers/]

However, while discussing newspaper advertising, we should include also following division:
A. CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING (also classified display) aims at using different practices e.g. short texts, white space, different type sizes, and simple illustrations to draw attention of customers.
B. RETAIL ADVERTISING is used by local sellers to attract new consumers. According to Kenneth E. Runyon it is:” a) sales promotion advertising, based on price features, sales, or specials; and b) image advertising, designed to position a retail store or a business so that it appeals to a particular group of consumers.” It may be also recognised as a form of „cooperative advertising; it is run under the name of a local retailer in order to encourage retailer support and take advantage of local rates, which are usually lower than national advertising rates.”
C. NATIONAL ADVERTISING is a form of advertising for owners of businesses which want to focus on the national market, rather than on local markets. It is used by companies in placing products in test markets to find support of customers. In this way of advertising, manufacturers are reinforcing the position of their own products.
D. READING NOTICES as opposed to the retail advertising, this form is much more expensive one. According to the dictionary reading notices are „short advertisements placed at the bottom of a column, as on the front page of a newspaper, and often set in the same print as other matter.”
Undoubtedly, radio is another media used in advertising, but seems to have many weaknesses. It is definitely very often used in a wrong way, and because of that, its advertisements are not so persuasive. What is more, there are also problems with the lack of attention of listeners and the absence of images which helps us to shape our way of perceiving sold products. Although currently it is overshadowed by television, it still functions very well thanks to its unique advantages. Radio is one of the most economical and flexible media because its costs are relatively low and may target people from different groups of age. It may function also as support for television ads, because it recalls consumers about the ad they already know. By contrast, television is occupying the role that radio used to have once.
As we have mentioned before, television became very important media in the 20th century, which endangered the existence of radio. Its powerful tool are commercials because of influencing on large groups of people by using sound and images at the same time. The strenghts of TV commercials are mainly: influencing people without agreement e.g. commercials displayed while watching a television program , its popularity- nowadays, almost everybody has a television set in his household , flexibility- advertisers may pay for as many commercials as they can only afford , and of course the possibility of presentation of the product in a genuine way-using sound and sight.
Currently, the internet is recognized as media of a new century, and definitely the most important and common form of advertising, which a few years ago would not have been regarded as truth. Today, having a web page is crucial for achieving a success in a business and is perceived as a way to:
- gain especially young customers
- be more sensitive to the needs of customers
- be informed about all technologies advancements
What is more, because of the presence of pervasive advertisements in the internet, it enables many companies to make customers aware of the existence of a product, reinforce their knowledge about a product and recall about it and send simple information which can help to shape the image of a brand.
Among different types of advertising, there also those which are difficult to classified, namely:
I. OUTDOOR ADVERTISING (also out-of-home advertising) is designed to attract the client to the product when he or she is outside home. This form of media is very often used to supplement the major media. The forms of outdoor advertising are:
a) Posters, their location and size should be adjusted to specified marketing areas, because of ethnical and demographical reasons.
b) Billboards may be found especially in high traffic areas and are placed on buildings or alongside highways.
c) Spectaculars, designed for personal needs are the most noticeable as well as the most expensive form of outdoor advertising. It is worth mentioning, that the recognizable place of spectaculars for almost everybody may be Time Square area in New York City.
II. TRANSIT ADVERTISING might be found outside on or inside public transport vehicles that is: bus, railway, subway and many other, and at stations .It aims at drawing attention of people who use public transportation and to make them familiar with a brand. Its major advantages are certainly visibility; they are difficult to ignore especially when passengers are sitting across from an ad.
The primary forms of transit advertising are:
a) Car cards are placed inside public transport vehicles in overhead racks to make them visible for passangers. Currently, they are often exchanged by LCD screens which display advertisement.
b) Exterior displays, they are located outside on transit vehicles in a form of waterproof posters.
c) Station posters, are placed at railway stations and at stations of subway.
There are also other forms of transit advertising, including merchandising buses which are really conspicuous, because they are covered with advertisements on outside and there are also special displays inside the vehicle.
III. DIRECTORY ADVERTISING, according to the dictionary it is „advertising that appears in a specific type of directory. A popular example of directory advertising is those companies that place ads in the Yellow Pages directory.”
IV. DIRECT ADVERTISING is a form of advertising that seeks contact with customers without an intermediary. It aims at attracting people to the product, so that they will look for it in retail shops. Its strengths are definitely: possibility of addressing to the individuals, flexibility, it might be confidential and it does not have limitations as far as a size, or formats are concerned. We may distinguish following types of direct advertising:
a) Direct mail, is a supplementary way of advertising .By this way, producer is sending a letter or an e-mail directly to the potential or current customer informing about products.
b) Mail order- aims at sending e-mails to the customers that have agreed to receive the information about a company and its new products. In comparison to the direct mail, it is often the only way of contact with customers.
c) Unmailed, direct advertising provides clients directly with advertisement when they are at home in shopping centres e.g. distributing samples, leaflets.
d) Telemarketing may be also an example of direct advertising. A company uses information about customers who bought products before, and contacts again to offer another good or service.
Because of popularity of mobile-phones, they also became a tool of direct advertising, by using text messaging to advertise products.

V. PROGRAM ADVERTISING is a method used usually in public places that is in cinema, opera, during concerts and sport events. The advertisements are displayed to the audience during public events so that they are difficult to ignore.
VI. FILM ADVERTISING basically uses films to draw attention to the product. Probably, the most effective method of film advertising are minute movies usually displayed in theatres and cinemas,
VII. EXHIBIT ADVERTISING, provides possibility for producers of bulky equipment or highly technical products to contact and offer goods to clients. This form of advertising is helpful in demonstrating products that are not easy to carry. Nevertheless, its main disadvantages are high costs.
VIII. SPECIALTY ADVERTISING, includes distribution of different assortment with a brand name or sales messages printed on, usually given for free to recall customers about a brand. Distributed items function as reminders.
IX. POINT-OF-PURCHASE ADVERTISING is a method of advertising that is actually the final chance of advertiser to influence on a customer to make a purchase of a product. It includes all types of displays that can help in catching a customer eye: window displays, banners, counter cards, shelf-talkers, gondolas and a variety of other devices.

1.4 Functions and objectives of advertisements.

Nowadays, advertising seems to be a crucial element in building a brand, and not paying attention to that, may cause that a company will fall down. There are several functions of advertising that can help to sustain demand for products:
a) Providing information is the most desirable element of advertising for customers, as they can get to know where products can be purchased and be aware of their price. Nevertheless, it might be argued that advertisements are devoided of information, because it happens that no such information are actually given.

b) Drawing attention is probably the basic goal of advertising messages. There are different techniques used to attract people’s attention: pictures, diagrams, colours, known faces (celebrities), special type sizes, and headlines in focus, special sounds or jingles in radio or TV commercials.

c) Building customer base and loyalty, is a very important goal of advertising, which later determines the growth of sales. A company should focus on building good relationship with customer and not to lose them. There is known practice designed to keep purchasing behaviour among customers. An example might be producers of clothes, which provide clothes for children. They are building loyalty in this way, because when children are growing up, they are becoming accustomed to a given brand.

d) Finding new customers, while it is obvious that customers may pass away or simply change the brand for another one. Such situations should be avoided, however are natural so a company should introduce new ways of advertising and be more persuasive to find new clients.

e) Increasing sales: Aside from providing information, the main goal of advertisements is building profits. While creating awareness of a brand, its users are becoming familiar with it .If a brand is credible, it may be recommended by users to their family, friends and thanks to that the sales will gradually increase.

Works Cited

Benedikt, A. Reklama jako proces komunikacji . Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Astrum, 2004.

Bralczyk, J. Język na sprzedaż . Warszawa: Business Press, 1995.

Kochan, M. Slogany w reklamie i polityce . Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Trio, 2003.

Runyon, K.E. Advertising . Columbus: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company, 1984.

Sutherland, M. ; Sylvester, A.K Reklama a umysł konsumenta : co działa, co nie działa i dlaczego. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, 2003..

Vestergaard, T. ; Schroder, K. The language of advertising . Oxford; Cambridge: Blackwell, 1995.

Tungate, M. Adland: A Global History of Advertising . London; Philadelphia: Kogan Page, 2007.

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