There are two systems of views on advertising. The first considers advertising as a means of persuasion, increasing the differentiation of products and enabling the consumer to choose from a mass of similar products of competing firms. At the same time, advertising is considered a tool that ensures the sale of goods and the turnover of the company. However, according to this system of views, advertising reduces the elasticity of demand for price. As a result, many advertisers in their messages to the consumer focus on the quality of products, a wide range and a pleasant atmosphere, try to avoid mentioning the prices or discounts.
Another approach related to the theory of economic information suggests that price elasticity promotes consumer awareness of the quality of close substitutes for this brand. The main assumption of this advertising information model is that advertising informs about alternatives and raises price elasticity so that a small price change leads to a significant change in demand. In this case, advertising messages are more focused on the price and comparison of this price with the offers of competitors.
Both approaches are regarded by economists and marketers as working and possible for use in different market situations and for different groups of consumers. The first approach works when it comes to non-regularly acquired goods - durable goods. The second approach is most applicable when advertising products of daily demand. But in any case, advertising is seen as an instrument, its goal is not just the desire to acquaint customers with products or companies. Most of the advertising messages try to persuade the buyer to do something or influence him, that is, persuade to do something. Declination of the buyer to action, i.e. to purchase, makes advertising an economic lever in the firm's activities.
Advertising as a social phenomenon performs several functions, it affects a person separately and the society as a whole in several directions. In his book "Sociology of Advertising Impact" O. Savelieva, considering the social role of advertising, identifies several such areas.
Socialization. This is the process of introducing knowledge and ideas about the norms, stereotypes, values, models of behavior that exist both in society as a whole and in certain communities. We can say that advertising adapts a person to the existing social world, with the help of which he is included in society.
Advertising broadcasts to various audiences the material, social, cultural opportunities provided by society. It forms the desire to use these opportunities, and also forces it to act towards satisfying this desire. As a rule, these actions correspond to the interests of society as a whole. For the most part, promotional designs are in the field of social norms and social values. The advertising world is surprisingly bright and clean, the children there are full and washed, old men are respected, men are successful, and women are caring.
Promoting progress. Advertising introduces new knowledge and ideas about new ways to improve one's life. Thus, it accelerates the introduction of technical and non-technical innovations in various areas of social practice. Does this advertising not only through the provision of information on innovations, but also through the preparation of consciousness for the upcoming changes, partially removing that protective barrier before the changes that are in the minds of each person. Advertising significantly accelerated the introduction into life of pocket calculators, personal computers, healthy eating systems, environmental ideas, etc. In a number of works on advertising, the first two aspects of the impact of advertising on society are combined by the concept of the "educational aspect of advertising".
Impact on the integration of society. Advertising translates texts, images, models of behavior to various audiences that promote the formation of common values, norms, and stereotypes in a society.
Let us dwell in more detail on the influence of advertising on the stereotyping of consciousness. The concept of social stereotype The American journalist, sociologist, diplomat Walter Lippman has introduced. In 1922, in his book "Public Opinion" he drew attention to the fact that the person himself can not embrace the world around him directly and in its entirety, the world is too vast, complex and variable. But since a person has to act in this world, he first reconstructs in his head reality in the form of a simplified model consisting of stereotypes. The very word was taken by U. Lippman from polygraphy (we recall that he was a journalist). This was the name of the solid form for casting text, with which the printed edition was then replicated.
A stereotype is a standardized, stable and, as a rule, a simplified image of an object or phenomenon in the mind of a person. A person perceives, evaluates a real object, focusing on the already existing in his head picture this object is a stereotype. If approximately the same pictures are peculiar to the whole society, then they speak of social stereotypes. It is stereotypes that serve as the basis for the formation of social habits, i.e. repeatedly repeated in a given society or group of standard schemes of political, economic, everyday, leisure and other behavior. The more common in society are the same stereotypes, the more society is stable, although its development slows down. Advertising offers mass audiences the same ideal models of consumer activity, the same "models of changes", improving their lives and thereby contributing to the typification of the consciousness of members of society in this area of social reality.
Impact on the differentiation of society. Society is a complex system consisting of various large and small sociocultural groups. It is their presence that serves as a guarantee of the development of society, since the source of any development is a contradiction, a conflict between a part and a whole, different parts of one whole. Advertising, as already said, contributes to the integration of society, but, at the same time, and its socio-cultural differentiation, since it is directed, as a rule, not to the whole of society, but to individual societies entering into it, individual strata and groups of consumers. Presenting to a particular audience a set of products desirable for a given socio-cultural group of goods, a desirable model of consumption, it thereby facilitates the identification of members of the group, separating them from other groups.
However, the ad does not close information about consumption patterns of certain groups, does not make it internal group information. On the contrary, by placing their proposals in the media, advertising makes models of consumption (style, fashion, taste, specific articles of consumption) intended for one or another part of society, including elite layers, open. Given that sociologists note the trend in modern society, when the so-called lifestyle becomes the criterion for differentiation (this theory was developed by the famous French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu), the wide availability of information on the various styles of life of various sociocultural groups contributes ultimately to the social mobility of society. >
Impact on economic development. Accelerating sales, advertising contributes to faster turnover of funds, higher profits at all stages of the movement of goods from producer to consumer. Advertising also exacerbates competition, forcing manufacturers to improve the quality of goods, modify them, reduce prices. From the development of certain sectors of the national economy - trade in the first place - depends on advertising. Due to the payment for advertising, there are media - print, radio, television. It is well known that the proceeds from the circulation do not cover all expenses for the publication of a newspaper or magazine, and non-cable electronic media do not charge fees from spectators and listeners at all. By offering attractive models of change, advertising makes the worker strive to get more opportunities to make these changes in his life. He begins to seek to improve his financial situation through improving his skills, increasing productivity, etc. Simultaneously, advertising promotes the formation of the so-called competent consumer, i.e. such a consumer who is informed and demanding. High consumer requirements are one of the most powerful incentives for the development of the economy.
However, the main acknowledgment is the following argument. The high living standard of developed countries is based on a mass production system. But it, in turn, is completely dependent on the mass market system. Advertising provides mass sale. Yes, advertising costs are expensive for products, for some types of goods (for example, perfume), advertising costs are up to 40% of the price. However, the paradox is that without advertising many products would be even more expensive, since it would not be possible to create their mass production and ensure initially low cost.
Promoting the formation of a democratic society. Advertising appears where there is a choice (consumer, political), it "serves" the human right to choose. Namely, the possibility of choosing from several alternatives is an indispensable attribute of democracy in general and civil society in particular.
Within the social role of advertising, you can also highlight several of its main functions. These are:
Informative - information about new or improved products
training - a story and a demonstration of how to use these new products;
comparative - showing a spectrum of similar products with explanations of the main advantages; it helps to compare products and their features, giving the buyer the opportunity to make a purchase decision, being already informed;
creative - a reflection of trends in fashion and design, which to a certain extent contribute to aesthetic representations of people;
value-oriented - the creation of new needs, the formation of attitudes to certain facts of reality, the focus on a new level of life.
Dedicated directions and functions of advertising show that advertising has an impact on society in several significant areas: social values, life style and level of well-being. By its activity, advertising strengthens the tendency of increasing material interests in a person's life. In turn, material values allow us to achieve new opportunities, to achieve new goals. In this advertising has the ability to some extent to change the direction and orientation of the material costs of the consumer, as well as his habits.
The level of influence of advertising on these or other aspects of life depends on the specific society in question. In other words, a special role is played by mental habits and moral attitudes existing in one or another social environment.
The value function of advertising is considered differently by different researchers. The authors of the fundamental work "Advertising: principles and practice" (W. Welles, S. Moriarty, J. Burnett) are asked by the question: "Is this interesting: is advertising following a trend or is it a leading link? Does advertising cross the border between the reflection of public values and their creation? Critics insist that advertising now and then breaks this border, working on unprotected groups, for example teenagers, too much. " The question and the answer following it show that, on the one hand, the authors recognize the right to advertise only the reflection of public values, but on the other hand they understand that advertising has reached the level and the creation of these values, somehow influencing different groups people.
Other researchers recognize the right to form public values for advertising, but believe that the formation of values through advertising is more instrumental than fundamental. In the tutorial "Advertising Basics" A. Mudrov writes: "Informing about the goods, advertising becomes an integral part of the cultural layer, making its own contribution to it. But it does not serve as a formative beginning of society's social values, unlike art, literature and religion. "
Analyzing a fairly large stratum of sociological and cultural literature, A. Chernykh concludes: "In today's world, the role of advertising is enormous. It creates internal mutually beneficial ties of trade, economic and other spheres of social life, forms a specific psychology and way of life for the mass audience. " According to the British researcher Judith Williamson, advertising now performs a function traditionally inherent in art and religion. We subscribe to this opinion, emphasizing that advertising has acquired such importance due to the development of mass communications.
A group of students conducted a study in which they found out the awareness of five-year-old children about advertising, cinema, painting and music. As tests, fairly common and well-known examples from each sphere were used. The result was very predictable. The greatest awareness of five-year-old boys and girls demonstrated in the knowledge of advertising texts and stories. Especially those that were broadcast on television.
Another question always remains in the field of view of researchers: is advertising able to manipulate people? Some argue that advertising dictates how people behave. They are sure that even if some individual advertising is not able to determine our behavior, the total effect of non-stop advertising on television, radio, in print and everywhere outside the doors of the house can have an overwhelming effect. In addition, advertisers are biased and often for the sake of their advantage they distort or do not include this or that information in advertising messages.
Manipulation, ethical issues become a field for many discussions, which today quite often go in the public regarding advertising. Some of these discussions result in the adoption of laws regulating the advertising situation. In addition, today the principles of advertising self-regulation are strong, especially in developed countries.
All the functional roles of advertising listed here are important for understanding its place in modern society, and also demonstrate various advertising opportunities. In addition, the functions of advertising are taken into account and taken into account when classifying advertising, which we intend to detail in detail below.
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