The question if advertising is worth it has often been asked. While cynics believe that a large sum of money is spent on browbeating and cheating customers. manufacturers claim advantages, some of which may sound preposterous. Advertising is said to be as old as civilization and today it has become a serious adjunct to commercial activity. The modern world is geared to advertising.
Advertising serves many purposes. Distribution has not kept pace with scientific production and, therefore. advertising aims at scientific distribution The ultimate aim of all advertising is to sell goods and services. However, there are some immediate aims that are incidental. Advertising familiarizes the customer with the existence of a product or the availability of a particular service. It reduces the possibility of substitution. Institutional advertising creates goodwill among customers and prepares the way for the salesman. Advertising, generally speaking, enhances the profit of the producer and it provides a wide range of choice.
One would think that today the trend is away from information and it is towards persuasion. Quite often an advertisement is involved with the manipulation of social attitudes instead of providing information to help the consumer make a rational choice. One wonders if the advertisers consider us as not sufficiently materialistic. It would appear that the cultural attitudes have to be mobilized through advertising so as to be able to do the economic function of selling goods and services.
Advertising aims at reaching the right audience, employing the most effective appeal. The source of information about a particular article is the manufacturer and the agent of communication is the advertiser who sees us as reluctant consumers but able to make private decisions. One's decision to spend the money one has is determined by the amount one has and his set of priorities. But the advertiser sees our priorities in a different light and by cajoling us and by appealing to our vanity, weakens our sense of differing needs. He turns to areas that are vulnerable; he appeals to social success, established human values and human aspirations. The shampoo can do fascinating things for you!
There are different media of advertising. Once in the street, one cannot escape advertising: There are neon lights that wink and there are large posters. The painted wall is another medium of advertising. The window display makes a potential customer enter a store. Household goods and consumer goods are advertised in the mass circulation paper. Advertising assaults our ears. Often our radio or television programs are interrupted by advertisements. Then there are the motion pictures.
Though advertising increases the price of an article because it is the customers that pay the expenses involved in advertising, it reduces the price of the newspaper and magazine considerably. Advertising leads to increased demand and increased demand means increased production and increased employment. Increased demand results in a corresponding decrease in the cost per unit. Advertising reduces other expenses. It reduces enormous waste resulting from idle employees and unused facilities such as floor space and machinery. To a certain extent, advertising has been responsible for bringing about social revolution. It has led to the use of such devices as the electric heater, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner etc.
One may say that about one-third of the amount spent on advertising is worth it. Today advertising has become a profession and there are many advertising agencies. The modern world is attuned to advertising agencies The modern world is attuned to advertising and prudent advertising can he amply justified.