Advertising is a business, an art, an institution, and a cultural phenomenon. Advertising helps consumers see the possibilities and meanings in the things that they buy. Advertising also liberates meanings that lie below the surface. Advertising is part of our everyday culture as it is omnipresent. On an average, we see close to 1,500 ads per day. Therefore their influence on the cultural consciousness and behavior of the public can’t be denied. In Indian scenario advertising has a very large influence in the mass media market place as it pays most of the bills and thus plays a major role in shaping the content and operation of the mass media in India. Advertising also plays an important role in the popular Indian culture because it shapes and reflects our life styles. It is usually the first to reflect social trends.
Example: The print advertisement of Scooty/Bike, AMUL.
Advertising promotes a higher quality of goods through the ability of the consumer to identify a particular manufacturer and thus creating a need for that manufacturer to maintain quality. Advertising also gives business the ability to roll-out new products fast enough to offset the costs of creating such products. Advertising protects industry from government and special control as it democratizes information to consumers as to what products are available. Advertising plays two following broad roles in the socio-economic landscape of a country:
- Economic roles
- Social roles
- Economic Role of Advertising
Advertising performs an economic function for an advertiser, affect economic decision of the audience and is an integral part of the whole economic system. Advertising stimulates demand, educate consumer about new product, policies, programmes services and organizations, increase competition and improve standard of life-style by helping to bring new product to the consumer. Advertising boosts the economy by helping to introduce new products faster and more effectively to consumer by supporting to achieve the economies of scale faster and by helping to remove the monopoly of the product.
- Social Role of Advertising
Advertising reflects society and society reflects advertising. At social level advertising plays upon, derives from and contributes to the social texture of a country. Various social changes are brought about or helped by advertising. Adult education, family planning and pulse polio campaign are the examples of few successful social advertising campaign. It makes role models who can create societal change. Advertising are efficient source of information for product quality, new material or merchandise, new technology and cost. ƒIt reduces distribution costs, encourage competition and increases product quality through brand identity. ƒIt supports mass media to maintain independence from government, political parties and other special interest groups.
Negative Role of Advertising in the Society
Objectionable and in bad taste – Some critics feel that advertising is objectionable because the creative effort behind it is not in good taste. Intrusive, repetitive, unreal, offensive and depressing are some of its unpleasant features.Excessive fear appeal – The fear appeal in advertising creates anxiety that is supposed to be subsidized by an available product. Such appeals may create emotional disturbances in some audience members. Products like fairness cream, insurance or a germ killing toothpaste all tries to play with the fear factor. Intrusiveness – An advertisement campaign moves with repetition from a period of effectiveness to acceptance, to a period of irritation. Manipulation – Advertisements have the raw power to manipulate consumers. Many companies have the capacity to obtain large numbers of advertisement exposures, which is not good for healthy competition.
Effects on Values and Life-Style
Advertising receives wide exposure as it is disseminated through mass media. It has an effects on what people buy and thus on their activities. It is a persuasive vehicle which has an impact on the values and life-style of society. The impact of advertising has its negative as well as positive side. The relationship of advertising to materialism – Advertising create or foster materialism. Materialism is defined as the tendency to give undue importance to material interests. People buy high-end luxury products for social status. It reflects changing values and attitudes that are created by more significant sociological forces. Advertising plays role in creating harmful stereotypes of women and ethnic minorities. Contribution of advertising in promoting harmful products – The harmful products like tobacco, alcohol are promoted through surrogate advertising.