Advertising is the act of coming up with advertisements for various products and services, and putting the advertisements to the attention of the public. This, essentially, involves communication of information from the producer to the potential consumer of the product or service. Advertisements are usually paid for and are meant to persuade potential consumers to buy the said goods and services. Advertisement is usually done through identified sponsors via various media outlets.
One of the challenges that face advertising is the fact that there is very limited time to make the sales message. Then, it is not possible to ascertain who exactly the customer is or how he or she is going to respond to your message. For this reason, there is no possibility to modify the message in such a way that it fits the particular customer’s preferences.
Advertising has various advantages. One of them is the fact that it allows for amble time for the sales message to be formulated. This enables writers of the advertisement message to come up with the sales message, edit it as suitable, test it, and modify it where necessary until it has the best appealing effect to the intended potential consumers. Secondly, advertisers have enough time to research on their targeted audience. This makes it possible for the sales message to appeal to the intended customers even if the seller has not met the consumers in person. Thirdly, advertising is said to be far cheaper when calculated per potential consumer that the advertisement is likely to influence. As opposed to meeting the potential clients one by one, advertising makes it possible for sellers to reach their potential customers within the shortest time possible. This paper seeks to determine how advertising language affects consumer perceptions on products and services in the market.
Impacts of advertising on consumer perception on products and services
According to O’Neill, advertisements are edited and purposeful. They are rich in content and striking, involving and they emphasize on simplicity of language. At the end of the day, consumers see the society as painted by advertisements. William Lutz (31-39) says that advertisers make use of weasel words (borrowed from the act of a weasel stealing egg yolks from right beneath the nose of an unwary hen). These words tend to make sense, when they actually don’t. He quotes an example of “new and improved” as words that are commonly used in advertising. However, the said products usually happen to have had insignificant changes just to enable them legally use these words.
Secondly, advertisements create a sense of need and necessity for their products. They are made in such a way that consumers feel that they are badly off without these products. It is a way of manipulating the consumers’ psychology with the aim of selling their products. O’Neill shares in this point by taking note of various slogans that companies use to attract their consumers.
Further, advertisements often create a false sense of hope. This makes consumers develop a sense of a comfort zone in their lives. For instance, teenagers that adore certain celebrities would buy anything endorsed by any of these celebrities. To them, it does not matter whether or not what they are buying is of good quality and value to them. So long as it is said to have been endorsed by a celebrity that they adore, it works for them. In so doing, such consumers end up not getting value for their money. They also feel as good as their celebrity idols. This makes them reluctant to work hard and be achievers like their celebrity idols.
O’Neill agrees to this point. He refers to celebrity endorsements of products and services as faulty logic. He says that aspiring basketball players, for instance, feel that by buying sneakers worn by Lebron James or Michael Jordan, they could simply become good basketball players. Joseph Turow also notes that advertisers tend to exploit differences between different clusters of consumers. They research on the target groups and come up with advertisements that touch on the specific target. These differences are based on age, income, gender, marital status, race and lifestyle. In so doing, advertisers come up with advertisements that target these particular groups and are likely to influence their choices.
In conclusion, it is important to note that as glamorous and effective as advertisements may seem to be, one needs to be careful with them. Advertisements inform consumers about products, qualities and prices of goods hence helping them make informed choices. Advertising also helps eliminate middlemen from the supply chain hence lowering the cost of the products to the consumers. Advertisements also provide consumers with more products to choose from. This promotes product competition and in the process, consumers end up benefitting. However, one needs to research on any advertised products before they buy them.
The three authors under consideration in this paper agree that while advertisers are good, the sales message is always tailor-made to address a certain concern. The main objective of advertisements is to bring sales to the producers of the said products. This means that advertisers are going to do everything to get potential consumers buying the said products. Therefore, it is up to consumers to ensure that they make informed decisions on their choice of product. Consumer protection agencies also need to keep watch and ensure that advertisers meet the laid regulations. Regular consumer education by consumer protection agencies would be highly recommended.
Lutz, William. With These Words I Can Sell You Anything. Pearson: Longman, 2007. Print
O’Neill, Charles. The Language of Advertising. Print
Turow, Joseph. Targeting a New World. University of Chicago Press, 1997. ISBN 978-0-226-81749-1. Print