In today’s modern world, everything depends on things that attract people more. Remember looking at posters, wallpapers etc. filled with some content on products or services? What are all these and why are they put up everywhere? Have you ever wondered why visibility is so important?
Well, this information you see is simply called ‘advertisement’. Businesses largely depend on this mode of communication to reach out to target customers more effectively. Everyone has a question, like: are they useful? If yes, how and what are the different ways of reaching out to people?
Advertisements are an effective and a crucial means of communication, supplying relevant information for the promotion of goods and services. It is a form of paid non-personal communication wherein business ideas and information on products are sent out to people. We have seen advertisements of cement companies such as Birla, Aditya, JK Cement and many more, just like we have for laptops, TVs, bikes, cars etc., where companies provide needful information about their products to attract customers to buy their products, increasing their sales and in turn, revenues.
Customers get easily attracted to catchy or interesting ads that appear in newspapers, magazines, TV and even social media.
Social media helps companies in focused targeting. This means you can decide who sees your ad and when. This can be done through paid campaigns on various social media platforms such as Facebook.
If your customers are in the age group of 18 and above, belonging only to your city, your ad will feature only on the devices of those people. Thus, such paid campaigns help firms target customers better and more effectively, while also curtailing costs incurred in campaigning.
Ethics in advertising stand on the border of the right and wrong. There are certain rules and restrictions that companies have to follow while advertising, so that they do not offend or harm the interests of either their viewers or competitors.
But what is unethical advertisement?
Well, using advertisements in the wrong way or making misleading or false claims to lure people into buying products are some ways of unethical advertising. Ads meant for children should be clear about the product, its uses, etc. This is because sometimes, children, under 12 years of age, do not quite understand what an ad is actually about. However, some say it is unethical to target children under 12 in the first place as they may not understand what an ad is, and might view it in a way they are not supposed to.
Ads are considered unethical when:
Simply put, ad ethics mean a set of moral principles and rules that companies should abide by while presenting their ads to the public. One of the best ethical advertisements are alcohol ads. Till date, no ad has shown actual liquor and instead use sodas, water etc. to sell their alcoholic drinks.
Similarly, ads for cigarettes and tobacco do not talk about these substances directly as these cause cancer and other diseases, and have been banned in countries including India, Norway, Finland etc. This type of advertising is called surrogate marketing, i.e. marketing the original product via other products.
Generally, big companies never lie as they have to prove their point to various ad regulating bodies. The truth is always said, but not completely. Sometimes, it is better not to reveal the whole truth in the ad, but at times, truth has to be shown for public betterment. In 1997, the Vatican issued an article on the three moral principles that ads must follow: truthfulness, social responsibility and upholding human dignity.
So, ethical ads are important in building credibility. By being open in their communication, companies show how they have nothing to hide and genuinely care about those buying their products.
Advertisements help businesses boost their profits by reaching more people and making them aware of their products and services, resulting in more sales. The following are some benefits of advertising:
Advertisements make your company money
What it means is ads attract more people within a short period of time and increase sales. When consumers see stronger and positive ads, they are more willing to buy those products.
Ads keep the consumers updated about your product
When a new product is ready to launch, ads provide relevant information so that when the product enters the market, its sales reach its peak sooner.
Ads give an edge over competitors
In this strong competitive world, people choose those who are more convincing over those who are not. Advertisement helps businesses to stay ahead of their competitors. Advertisements are how you convince the consumer that you are the one they should choose.
Advertisements attract new customers
Ads bring new customers into your stores, thus helping in market penetration. Again, more customers mean more sales. Besides, the more times people see your ads, greater is the possibility of them remembering your brand.
Advertising increases company traffic
More consumers visit business after seeing their ads. More customers mean more sales and more business for you. A survey of 3,000 companies found that advertisers who maintained or expanded their advertising over a five-year period found an increase of 100% sales and companies who cut their advertisements grew at half the rate than those who advertised steadily.
Creative and innovative methods of advertising are more effective than spending huge money on ads. Businesses get large benefits when they find ‘no-cost ads’.
One of the best examples for this is Starbucks. They write down the customer’s names on cups and call each customer by their name. Starbucks breaks the barrier of friends from strangers. This is how you make people feel welcome so that they buy from you again. You must have seen people posting pictures of their Starbucks cup with their names on it. This gives free promotions that is worth billions of dollars. Can you think of any other brand that has a similar innovative promotional strategy?
I think it is important we all recognise the power advertising has in influencing our choice of brands, both consciously and subconsciously. Our society is now dependent on commerce and many businesses depend on advertising their brands in order to stay in business.
But it is probably better to keep it regulated. Nowadays, companies have to adjust according to their consumers for a long-term gain. Ads play a vital role in bringing customers towards your business. A business should keep in mind the cost of advertising and the returns from it. Every business works differently. Ads should be unique in this super competitive market. Brands that present efficient ads are more likely to be favoured over other brands.