Text 2 “Functions of Advertising” Pre-reading discussion 1 . Can companies do without advertising? If not, why? State your point of view. 2. What is your reaction to advertising? 3. Has any ad ever made you get interested in buying a product? 4. Has an ad ever made you buy a product? Share your experience 5. How many roles does the advertising play? Read the text and answer the questions below: The particular roles that advertising can play are many and varied, although they fall within three broad areas: To inform To persuade To sell
In certain instances, advertising simply seeks to provide the public with specific pieces of information. In many cases, this has a neutral content, such as public announcements, or some forms of governmental advertising. In other instances, manufacturers may use advertising to inform previous consumers of some deficiency in their product. This is apparent in the case of product recalls, where the manufacturer uses advertising to communicate the particular problem to the widest possible audience in order to ensure a speedy dissemination of information and an equally rapid response on the art of the owners of such products.
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In the case of a manufacturer introducing a new product, there is a need to inform potential consumers about the new product. This may take the form of a simple announcement, or may provide details about the product, its functions and some form of comparison or claim about the product in the context of existing product offerings. In order to extend the appeal of an existing product, manufacturers may attempt to use advertising to suggest new uses for a product.
In many instances, responses to consumer research will identify efferent ways in which the consumer uses the product, and these may assist in the identification of new opportunities. A manufacturer may wish to inform the market of a price change or some other aspect of the product proposition. Recently, for example, Mars have focused advertising on the new formulation of their brand. The national daily newspapers frequently mount promotions wherein the price is reduced to encourage greater levels of trial.
Sometimes it will be necessary to provide some form of explanation of how a product works. When Tyson introduced its revolutionary new vacuum leaner, it needed to explain to potential purchasers the operating differences between its product and those of its competitors (the Tyson cleaner does not use a bag and claims to filter out more dust than rival manufacturers’ products). Service companies may need to provide information concerning the range of available services to the consumer.
This is clearly seen in the context of ban king services, where a company may offer the ability to maintain a current account with a queue book, credit card facilities, domestic and foreign services, such as the ability to withdraw funds hills on holiday abroad, together with deposit accounts, investment programmer and so on. The list of services may be quite extensive. If the manufacturer identifies a dissonance between the product performance and consumer perceptions, it may be necessary to use advertising to correct false impressions.
Similarly, when a product deficiency has been identified, it may be necessary to reduce consumer fears. As we will see, it is not only brands that are important. An increase Nagy important element of reassurance derives from the image of the company which produces the product. Advertising can assist in the process of building a company image. To persuade Either because of changes to the product formulation or because of a previous MIS-communication, manufacturers may wish to change customers’ perceptions of product attributes or benefits.
Much ’cause’ advertising attempts to persuade consumers to alter their attitudes towards a particular issue. Political parties utilize this form Of advertising, especially during the run-up to an election, to persuade the audience that their policies are the most appropriate and to motivate them to vote for a particular party. Government departments sometimes use this form of advertising to bring about a change in attitudes towards issues of general concern. In some market sectors, advertising may be used as a precursor to other activities.
It may, for example, attempt to provide specific information to the target audience in order to persuade potential customers to take a sales call. To sell Most advertising seeks to promote the sale of particular goods or services. To achieve this objective, the advertising provides the potential or existing customer base with information about the product or service. In the majority f instances, such advertising seeks to reinforce existing attitudes by explaining how the product is appropriate to the potential users’ existing needs or lifestyle.
Some advertising, particularly that off promotional nature, will attempt to persuade the customer to make a purchase now, rather than delay it until some later time. The advertising will convey a sense of urgency, often by placing some form of time constraint on the offer being made. This is particularly the case with ‘sale’ advertising. Potential customers are notified of the sale dates and reminded that they can only obtain the reticular ‘bargains’ at that time.
Similarly, retailers will make ‘time-limited’ offers which impose restrictions as to when customers can take advantage of the offer price. A key role of advertising is to bring about the building of brand preferences and to encourage brand switching. This is the form of most advertising campaigns, and the advertiser will stress aspects of brand priority and will sometimes make direct comparisons with competitive products. Often, it will not be sufficient merely to inform consumers of the existence of the brand.
It will be important to direct them to those outlets which stock the product and to remind them where to buy it. Many campaigns feature a list of stockings and this serves two purposes. On the one hand, it provides consumers with the necessary information to enable them to locate the product. On the other, it provides an incentive to the featured outlets to continue to stock the brand. Some products have a distinctly seasonal appeal. Advertising may be used to remind consumers that the product may be needed in the future and to ensure that the brand is kept in mind during the off-season.