Role of Advertising and its impact on society.

Topics: Advertising, Tobacco advertising, Marketing Pages: 9 (2386 words) Published: July 20, 2006

For some years some subtle changes in the practice of advertising have been reshaping the society people live in. The force of advertising reaches out and touches everyone living and working in the modern world today. Advertising is claimed by its practitioners to be largely responsible for the good things in life and is criticized by its opponents as the cause of unpleasant things (Lee & Johnson, 1999). The impact of advertising on the society is a fiercely debated topic, and has been ever since the conception of advertising in its most basic form. There are negative and positive social impacts upon society from advertising in its various forms. For instance, advertising promoting public welfare has a positive social impact upon society, whereas advertising portraying women as sex objects has negative social impacts.

The purpose of this report is to discuss the role of advertising in today's society and how it impacts the society, people live in. Therefore it is essential to discuss the fundamental role of advertising. It is also important to examine different types of advertising.

Firstly the report will provide structured definitions of advertising from various authors. Secondly, the report will discuss the history of advertising. The report will also examine the role of advertising in today's society. Most importantly the report will critically analyze the impact of advertising, which has been a matter of considerable debate and many different claims have been made in different contexts.

A basic definition of advertising is provided by (Wells, Burnett & Moriarty, 2000) where advertising is the promotion of goods, services, companies and ideas, usually by an identified sponsor. Belch and Belch (2003) provide another simple definition where, advertising is a form of commercial mass communication designed to promote the sale of a product or service, or a message on behalf of an institution or an organization. However, Arens (2002) provides a clear definition of advertising where it is described as a composed nonperosnal communication of information, which is usually persuasive in nature about tangible and intangible products by recognized sponsors through various media.

A similar definition of advertising is provided by Lee and Johnson (1999) in their texts,which defines advertising as a paid, non personal cummnication about an organization and products that is broadcasted to a target audience through media channels such as radio, television, newspapers, magazines, outdoor displays, direct mail or mass transit vehicles.

History of Advertising:

History of advertising goes back to the ancient times where the most common form of advertising was word of mouth. In a paper written for the marketing journal (1996), the author implies that the early print ads were used mainly to promote books and medicines. As the economy was expanding during the 19th century, the need for advertising grew at the same pace. In America, the classified ads became popular, which filled pages of newspapers with small print messages and promoted all kinds of goods (Marketing Journal, 1996). The success of this advertising format led to the growth of mail-order advertising.

The 1960s saw advertising transform into a modern, more scientific approach in which creativity was allowed to shine, producing unexpected messages that made advertisements interesting to read (Marketing Journal, 1996). Today, advertising is evolving even further, with promotions that involve unusual approaches such as staged encounters in public places, giveaways of products such as cars that are covered with brand messages, and interactive advertising where the viewer can respond to become part of the advertising message.

The role of Advertising:

The previous section of the provided a basic understanding of advertising, however advertising in reality performs variety of functions, which helps organizations to increase the over all value...
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