What are advertisements?
The term, 'advertising' has been derived from the Latin word Adverto which means to drive the attention towards something.Advertising involves the preparation of written or oral messages and their dissemination through paid media without personal contacts fro the purpose of making people aware of and inclined towards the use of a particular product of that firm or company.
Features of advertising
The main characteristics of advertisements are as follows:
Advertising is a non-personal from or presentation because there is no face to face contact with the consumers of the product.
It is a paid form of communication as the advertiser has to pay for the space or time hired by him for the purpose of advertising.
It is done by an identified sponsor. It is always done on or for the behalf of somebody called sponsor.
It can be oral, written or visual.
It is done through medias such as press, video, television, cinema, internet etc.
The basic function of advertising to is to raise the demand for the particular product.
Advertising is a basic form of mass communication as the advertisements are aimed at the large number of people.
Advertising id different from publicity as it takes place throughout the life time of a firm or the product.
Objectives and functions of advertisements
The ultimate objectives of advertising is to sell something- a product, a service or an idea.
To create demand: Advertising is aimed at stimulating a demand for a particular product by making people aware of the new products and the existing uses of the old products. It attracts attention, creates interest and arouses desire among the consumers.
To face competition: Advertising is designed to face new competition. it seeks to develop loyalty towards the advertised brand and to build up permanent customers. it wins over the confidence of the customers in the quality of the advertised products.
To build goodwill: Well planned advertising programs build goodwill for the enterprise and its products. Advertising enhances the image and prestige of the advertiser by highlighting the benefits of the products and services.
To support salesman: Advertising creates awareness about the merits and demerits of advertised products. By describing the unique features and use of products, repeated buying is encouraged. Advertised goods enjoy a ready market and little sales efforts is required for them. Dealers are always willing to deal in such stocks of goods.
To educate customers: Advertising provides useful information about the uses and features of the products. it educated customers in buying better functional goods.
To eliminate middleman: Advertised products enjoys recognition and acceptance from public. A direct link is created between the producers and the customers. Advertising reduces the need of an middleman for selling goos that reduces the retail price of that commodity.
To improve living standards: Advertising creates a better desire for a better living.It stimulates hard work and improve th standard of living of the people. If you are aspired to buy a nano car, you shall definitely work hard towards it to achieve your goal.
To introduce new products: Advertising is very helpful in launching a new product and making it popular in the market. It helps to convince the consumers about the superiority of a new product over the competitive products already existing in the market.
Importance of advertising Advertising plays a vital role in the modern business. Role of advertising in the business cannot be compromised with. It creates employment and improves the living standards of the people. Advertising has become an indispensable function due to cut throat competition among the traders and producers.
Benefits of advertisements for the business
Meeting competition: Since, today a number of products on the same need of the consumers are available in the market, it is obvious that no company can make profits for a long time if the consumers keep on changing their brands. Hence, advertisements attract the consumers towards a particular product and urges them to stick to that brand.
Steady demand: There are certain products that have only a seasonal demand. For example, umbrellas can be used only in rainy season but the advertising ask us to use it in summer to prevent ourselves from the direct rays of the sun. Hence, the firms does not need to close itself during the off-season.
Higher sales volume: Advertisements help the producers to reach out to the consumers quickly and improve their sales. If we are influenced by products, we buy the products which we do not need at that instant. Obviously, we are also influenced by the timely offers that the producers advertise.If the offers last only for a certain time, we show our hurry to buy that product as soon as possible.
Introduction of new products: The producers find it very easy to communicate the release of new products to the consumers in a very efficient and cost-effective way through advertisements. It simplifies the work of a salesman and also allows the customers to reach out to other products.
Economies of scale: Advertisements also allow the producers to increase the volume of production which in turn increases the benefits they get from production in large scale. It is a fact that if we buy th things in bulk, we get it a cheaper rate. The same thing is also applicable in production process. We can also eliminate middleman such as wholesalers that reduces the cost for the consumers by reducing the profit margin. Commercial Banks also grant loans to such firms whose products are advertised.
Goodwill: If a particular cosmetic company uses an actress or actor to advertise the products of its brand, it shall definitely develop a reliability for its products. The public shall trust that company and its products which in turn shall increase the valuation of the goodwill and the image of the firm. It helps the firm to face strict competition during the business conditions of depression when all the consumers develop a mistrust against a particular product.
Employee morale:When the employees know that the products if a firm are advertised and have developed sufficient trust in the public, they shall be assured that their jobs are safe and they shall receive bonuses on account of profits made by the firm. It also enhance the qualities of a good salesman.
Benefits of advertisements to the consumers
Convenience : When we know that we have to buy the product of a particular brand name, we shall not waste our time in searching out for the best one. We can make a choice even before we go to the market.
Education of the consumers: Advertisements help us to become aware of the uses of a new product ad the functioning of the electronic items. If there are no advertisements, we shall never be able to know about the new companies that enter the market or the introduction of new and better products in the market.
Fair prices: Advertisements reduces the cost of the product by providing the firms with the advantages of economies of scale and the elimination of the middleman .As a result, customers get goods at lower prices.< Many expensive products of yesteryears have come within the reach of the common masses due to continuous advertising and consequent reduction in prices. Prices of widely advertised products tend to be stable during adverse business conditions such as depression.
Better quality: As said earlier, the producers always try to retain their old consumers and make new ones by introducing some special changes in their product to make them differentiable from the others.Manufacturers are forced to maintain better standards of the commodity to retain consumers.
Contact between producers and consumers: Advertisements provide links or contact numbers of the product or th service so that the consumers can report their grievances against the use of certain products so that the quality can be bettered. Hence, it brings the consumers and the producers closer to each other.
Benefits of advertisements for the society
Generates employment:Advertisements provide employment to the people all round the world who are concerned in every field. Since, through advertisements producers increases the sales and reach out to the consumers quickly, it increases the employment level in the country as more labor will now be required to boost up the production.
Standard of living: Advertisements help in improving the quality of the products and allows the firms to introduce variable and different types of products with some special features. Hence, it improves the standard of living of people by allowing them to purchase goods relating to the current standards.
Sustains the press:We all get the newspapers at a nominal cost of Rs.2 to Rs.4 but there are so many costs involved in its production. Hence, to make it affordable for the lower class people, newspapers sustain themselves by publishing advertisements on every page. Similarly, many of us write articles in this site as we all get paid through advertisements displayed by Google.
Stimulates research and developments : If you have seen the cost sheet of any firm, you will notice that huge amount of money is spent on the research and development of the product. Every firm try to convince its old consumers and make new customers by developing some new types of products or improvement in the existing product.
Promote art and culture: Advertisements have promoted the art of our country by showing the customs and traditions of old tribal and rural people. It also act as a source of entertainment for the people, not all the ads perform this work but a few such as the Zoo-Zoo ads of the Vodafone.
Criticisms of advertising
Higher prices: Advertisements today involve huge expenditure thereby increasing the cost of distribution. Manufactures and traders charge higher prices from the consumers to cover up their cost.
Artificial living: Advertising amplifies the need of people ad encourages wasteful consumption. It persuades people to buy which they do0 not need or cannot afford. People are even encouraged to buy products that are harmful for their health like cigarettes, alcohols etc.
Misleading: Advertising is often deceptive and misguides consumers. Exaggerated and false claims are made in the advertisements. Bogus testimonials and other questionable means are used to sell goods. Here is where the joint stock companies spend huge amounts on advertising to kill new and potential concerns.
Wastage of national resources: Role of industries in Indian economy is incomparable. Manufacturers create trivial and artificial differences in the products to develop brand loyalty through advertising. The natural resources, capital requirements and labor that go into production amount to wastes as these could be better employed in the creation of new industries. Here, the public enterprises help the economy to save the natural resources as there is very less competition between the public enterprises.
Unethical: Many advertisements are highly objectionable because they undermine values and ethics. Vulgar advertisements like that of Axe offend public decency and encourage materialism in the society. It is also shocking that the television ministers allow such advertisements to be published. It is definitely an example of Corruption in India. We should thank god that soon the Jan Lokpal bill will come into force.