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How Do Advertisements Help Business Firms?

In this modern world, everything depends upon things that attract people more. Remember looking into some posters, wallpapers, etc., filled with some content on products or services? What are these and why are those put up everywhere? Have you ever wondered why visibility is so important?

Well, this information that 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 people?

What Are Advertisements?

Advertisements are a very effective and 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 see advertisements for cement companies like Birla, Aditya, JK and many more. We have ads for laptops, TVs, bikes, cars, etc., where the company provides needful information about their products to attract customers to buy their products, increasing their sales and, in turn, their revenues.

Customers get easily attracted to catchy or interesting ads in newspapers, magazines, TVs 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 like 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.

Unethical Advertisements

Ethics in advertising stand on the border of 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 their competitors.

But what are unethical advertisements? 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 and transparent about the product, its uses, etc. Sometimes, children misrepresent ads and do not understand what the ad is about, especially children under 12. 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 view it in a way they are not supposed to.

When Are Ads Considered Unethical?

  • Provide false or wrong information.
  • Degrade competitors.
  • Are against public and national interest.
  • Present immoral activities.
  • Use others’ personal information.
  • Derogate a caste, community or religion.

Ethical Advertisements

Surf excel ad
Representative Image.

Simply put, ad ethics mean a set of moral principles and rules which companies should abide by while presenting their ads to the public. The best example of ethical advertisements is those of alcohol. To date, there has been no ad showing actual liquor; instead, they use sodas, water etc.

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 like 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 points 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 the truth has to be shown for betterment.

Recently, the Vatican issued an article that said ads should follow three moral principles — truthfulness, social responsibility and upholding human dignity.

So, ethical ads are very important in building credibility. By being open in their communication, companies show how they have nothing to hide and genuinely care for those buying their products.

Ways Advertisements Help Businesses

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 and increase sales. When consumers see more strong and positive ads, they are more willing to buy those products.

Ads keep the consumers updated about your product. For example, when a new product is ready to launch, ads gives or provides information so that when the products enter the market, the sales are at their peak.

  • Ads give an edge over competitors:

In this strong competitive world, people choose those who are more convincing over those who are not. Ads help businesses to stay ahead of competitors. They are how you convince the consumer that you are who they should choose.

  • Advertisements attract new customers:
Airtel Ad
Representative Image.

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, the greater is the possibility of them remembering your brand.

  • Advertising increases company traffic:

More consumers visit businesses after seeing 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 5 years found an increase of 100% in sales. Companies that cut their advertisements grew at half the rate than those who advertised steadily.

Free Advertisements, Zero Cost Ads

Creative and innovative methods of advertising are more effective than spending huge amounts on ads. Businesses get large benefits when they find “no cost ads”.

One of the best examples of this is “Starbucks”. They write down the customer’s names on the cups and call each customer by their name. Starbucks breaks the barrier of separating 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 cups with their names on them. This gives free promotions worth billions of dollars.

Can you think of any other similarly innovative promotional strategy?

Conclusion

We all must 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 their long term benefits. Ads play a vital role in bringing customers to your business. So a business should keep in mind the cost of advertising and the number of 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.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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