The power of advertising

Topics: Advertising, Marketing, Online advertising Pages: 11 (2954 words) Published: April 9, 2014


The Power of Advertising

Gail Patterson

It is argued by many that television is the most powerful source of advertising (Grant and O'Connor; 2005, Jasperson and Yun, 2007) and is also the most likely form of media to be remembered and discussed by the public (Ford-Hutchinson and Rothwell, 2002, p17). This is confirmed by a number of studies that show a good response to television advertising, and corresponding commercial spending; a report in the Economist found that “Television remains the most-powerful advertising medium, with a 38% global share of spending on major media in 2004.” (The Economist, 2005, p48) Though for most purposes advertising expenditure indicates advertising return-on-investment, and in turn, advertising power, but it is not the only method of measuring advertising power. Television advertising may be powerful when appealing to certain demographics, but for certain markets, especially niches, television advertising will not be the most powerful: “Internet and e-mail will also grow in importance, because these ads can target specific audiences” (Metzler, 2005, p1). A new online computer game, for example, may be more successfully advertised using internet pop-ups (though these are generally viewed as intrusive) and targeted emailing, rather than a television slot, which may not be seen by the game-playing community (Silk, Klein and Berndt; 2001, McCoy et al; 2007). Furthermore, sales revenue may not be the primary driving factor behind advertising, emblazoning a company logo on t-shirts maybe a powerful method of promoting brand awareness; direct mailers from a supermarket may be the most powerful method of countering a local competition attack (Bawa and Shoemaker; 1987). Ogilvy (2004) argues that the most powerful mode of advertising is that which arouses consumer curiosity. Using this as a yardstick, it could be argued that internet advertising allows the consumers to follow their curiosity to detailed information about the consumable, in a similar way to infomercials on television. Clearly television and internet advertising had no share of the market a century ago. In a 1952 study by Abrams, advertising in the press accounted for over 46% of all advertising expenditure in 1930’s Britain, rising to 53% in the 1940’s (Abrams, 1952, 259-261). Market share and overall market size varies with time and is especially influenced by developments in technology and communications with the advertising industry exploiting every foothold wherever possible. Adding this dimension to the question illustrates that advertising power is very much determined by consumer behaviour (Ogilvy; 2004). To fully understand the power of advertising it may therefore be more useful in the long-term to consider the method of advertising rather than simply the medium through which it is transmitted. Ford-Hutchinson and Rothwell’s (2002) study examined public opinion of advertising and found that television and billboards were the most popular, followed by magazines and newspapers (p10), with ‘below the line’ media being less popular (such as direct mailers, door drops, sponsorship, the Internet, commercial text messages and advertising in supermarkets). Interestingly, advertising on the Internet was found to be irritating and not regarded highly, partially due to ‘pop-ups’. Over the last five years, many companies, Google being a leading proponent, have opted for less intrusive methods of advertising on the Internet with some success (Bingley; 2007). Demographics must also be considered as a number of factors (such as communication networks, living habits etc.) influence how advertising is received. In India, for example, a Nielsen paper found that word-of-mouth was the most popular form of advertising, followed by newspapers (which were deemed trustworthy). The study also detailed consumers’ trust in advertising and found wide variations between different countries (The Nielsen Company, 2005,...

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