Living in the information age, advertisements act as the necessary stimuli for consumers to acquire a product or service, so as to produce revenue for the company’s product or/and service that is marketed. In many occasions, advertisements act as role models, since people have been found to have the tendency of feeling better about their own bodies or actions, when these are aligned with the broadcasted advertising image. These groups are usually presented in modern ads, which in their scenarios reflect the inner needs of today’s customers. Thus, it is understandable why people want to buy a product so as to become a new member of that specific group the advertisement shows.
In fact, today is very easy to become that other person you imagine you should be, as long as you consume what an ad tells you that you should in order to be directly related to the product/service starring in the advertisement. Feeling better about yourself because the selected ‘cover’ best suits the occasion, is considered shallow in my opinion, as I tend to judge people not based on appearance and lifestyle choices, but mostly by understanding their intellectual abilities and examining their talents.
Penetrating a market- meaning a home- to produce profit, is the ultimate goal of a firm competing in any industry. Studying consumer needs, developing a desirable product, planning its promotion techniques, selecting an appropriate price policy, and reaching the selected target group, are in brief all the basic marketing steps a company must take to gain profit by selling. Nowadays, due to the enormous amount of products offered to cover a specific need, corporations have to diversify their propositions using a combination of the four most important marketing tools, price, place, product and promotion-also known as the 4P’s. Although all of these marketing tools have a tremendous effect on consumers’ satisfaction and product viability, promotion techniques are still considered as the only tool that is not yet fully used or explored. The primary factor for this is that advertisements are bound to change and adapt their imagery to that of contemporary consumers who constantly change their preferences.
During the twenty-first century, advertising has enormously evolved and today captures the interest of prospective customers, due to its shocking, funny, or easy-to-relate-to nature. For example, clothing, diet yogurts, cars, detergents, mobile-telephone service companies, ice creams, airlines, personal hygiene products and other marketed goods, have to compete by presenting in their advertisements a clear and unique brand image. For some product or service categories, the war is no longer between lowest price and best quality. What counts today more than ever before, is the ‘added-value’ element and how it is perceived by customers. This added value is the outcome that the customer gains when he subtracts the actual value of a product from the value he believes the product carries. Corporations have come to the point where this difference is only an idea, a quality that the person gains only due to the purchase. This quality can be the pre-mentioned ability to belong to a recognizable group of people, by using a specific brand (e.g. BMW versus Fiat, Colgate versus Crest, etc.).
These qualities that consumers believe they acquire by purchasing a product or a service are directly related to consumers’ mentality that society accepts or rejects people due to their choices and not based upon peoples’ abilities. Actually, advertising, being a widely accepted promotional tool, has begun to build not only brand images but also consumer minds. Belonging to a happy household today is translated as being a conscious selector who seeks information and chooses among a vast variety of choices based on carefully selected standards. When these standards are the outcomes of television role models, advertisements have additionally the ability to shape characters and develop groups. Living in the consumer-oriented age, households are governed by self-esteem needs that have to be fulfilled through their purchasing habits. Product attributes pass over to their users as advertisements stress daily and people tend to mimic the behavior patterns seen at these ads so as to feel better about whom they are. Based on such unstable grounds regarding personal identification and qualities, or ability to relate to others, peoples’ esteem will undoubtedly result in chaos. On the other hand, developing personal competencies by investing on education, friendship, dialogue, and soul-searching techniques, can produce more sustainable results that are based on well defined principles and not on trends or corporate benefits.
Summarizing, companies seek to develop successful campaigns that can increase profit margins and at the same time win-over happy customers. Those customers, who have as their primary goal not to be directed by corporate interests, must understand the significance of a firm’s strategic views. From the consumer viewpoint, recognizing needs and trying to fulfill them is not only acceptable but also desirable. On the other hand, becoming overwhelmed by these needs and sacrificing principles on the way to realize a dream some advertisement presented as unique, can be considered as personal corrosion. Careful filtering the data advertisements portray and continuous self-criticism will form a unique consumer group; that of a conscious kind in which all should be proud someday to belong.