What is advertising? It is a business, an art, an institution, and a cultural phenomenon.
The general public’s attitude toward advertising is ambivalent in that they like the individual ads while they hate advertising in general believing the profession to be glamorous while the morality of the industry are suspect.
Much of the value and power of advertising is that it provides “silent information” as to how we should interact and present ourselves. Advertising helps consumers see the possibilities and meanings in the things that they buy. Advertising also liberates meanings that lie below the surface. For example, Doyle, Dane, Burnbach’s Volkswagon ads turned the unlikely automobile (an amalgamation of a insect and a machine developed by Hitler ( Germany ) as his war vehicle) into a mobile social statement (in the 60s and 70s the Volkswagon van often had a peace symbol emblazoned across the front). Advertising is part of our every day culture. If we see, as estimated, 1,500 ads per day, clearly they must influence or even change the cultural consciousness and behavior of the public.
Certainly advertising promotes a higher quality of goods through the ability of the consumer to identify a particular manufacturer and thus creating a need for that manufacturer to maintain quality. Advertising also gives business the ability to roll-out new products fast enough to offset the costs of creating such products. Additionally, advertising protects industry from government and special control as it democratizes information to consumers as to what products are available.
Definition: “Advertising is a paid, mass mediated attempt to persuade.”
Advertising is paid communication by a company, organization (client/sponsor) or political candidate who wants their information disseminated. It is mass mediated in that it is delivered through communication media designed to reach large numbers of people. And it is an attempt to persuade, that is, to get someone to do something. Even it the ad is purely informational, it is still designed to get consumers to like the brand/company/person.
An advertisement is a specific message while an advertising campaign is a series of coordinated advertisements that communicate a theme or idea.
An audience is a group of individuals who receive and interpret messages sent from advertisers. A target audience is a particular group of consumers who are most intended to receive the message.
The marketing mix consists of several tools including conception of the product, pricing of the product, promotion and distribution of the product, service of person. Advertising is only ONE of the promotional tools relied on in the marketing mix. Advertising communicates the value of a product or service. Marketers must determine which marketing mix ingredients to emphasize and how to blend the elements to attract and serve customers. This is referred to as integrated communication, which is an effort to complement the overall marketing strategy.
Advertising has communication objectives designed to accomplish certain tasks within the total marketing program and is a marketing tool that is more effective when used to sole “narrowly defined communication issues” (i.e., create brand awareness which is a preference for a brand that leads to an increased share of the market, which in term increases profitability).
To be successful, advertising must exhibit a creative executive to gain the consumer’s attention and reach potential customers in an appropriate environment at a proper time. If the message is received when the target market is busy or not available, it makes no impact.
Advertising, as a mass communication, must reach numerous publics. These include: distributors; employees (creating pride and loyalty); customers; potential customers; stockholders (who provide operating revenue); the community-at-large (who can influence public opinion and thus help with efforts such as new manufacturing plants and warehouse locations).
An advertising plan consists of the following elements: advertising goals stated in terms of marketing goals and objections (these goals are communication); market segmentation (to define the market via demographic, geographic and psychographic factors); a budget; product differentiation (emphasizes product differentiation based on consumer perception – these can be tangible or intangible such as style and image) but ultimately it is important that the customer can differentiate this product from others; the creative efforts; the media to be used for the campaign.
Positioning is the process of designing a product/service so it can occupy a distinct place in the target consumer’s mind. Advertising communicates this distinctiveness.
A brand name differentiates one seller from another. It is the part of a trademark that is words (Nike) not the pictures (the swoosh).
Brand equity is the value assigned to the intangible value of an established brand.
Brand loyalty is when a consumer repeatedly busy the same brand and is therefore less sensitive to price increases. This is important as it allows firms to have the flexibility to raise prices to increase their profit margins.
In competition with generic and in-house brands, brands are assisted by perception and linking a brand’s image and meaning to a consumer’s social environment as well as to the larger culture.
Three strategies used in branding:
- corporate branding – where the corporation is more important than the individual product (i.e., G.E., Verizon, MetLife)
- a combination of corporate and product brand promotions – allows diversification from the parent company (i.e., ITT and Roman Meal bread)
- product first – good when the umbrella company sells multiple brands within a category (i.e., Proctor and Gamble)
A product must meet a perceived need or else it will fail (90% of all new brands fail). In creating a brand, the firm must consider if there is a real consumer demand, what timing is best for placing the ad as well as where to place the advertising within the media.
Advertising promotes differentiation among new products as well as communicating improvements and general information.
Value refers to the perception by consumers that a product or service provides satisfaction beyond the cost incurred to acquire it. Symbolic value refers to value in a nonliteral way (automobiles) and what the product/service means in a societal context. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for this value (hotels, cars, jewelry).
Factors to use in deciding to use advertising:
- volume of sales – as sales increase, the percentage of dollars spent on advertising decreases as the public has been reached.
- competitive environment and profit margin – if there is a lot of competition within the category (i.e., soft drinks, beers) then a higher advertising budget is required (with beer, the companies not invest in events rather than ads)
- philosophy of advertising – with some products a moving picture is needed (food)
- new product introductions – require heavy ad support
- maintaining leadership position within the category
The following are some of the different categories of advertising:
Retail advertising – tends to be a harder sell and often includes price, service, location and house of service (retailers, airlines)
End-product advertising – used by manufacturers to build consumer demand for a branded ingredient used within the manufacturing of products (Splenda)
Direct Response advertising – used in all types of media and includes a sense of urgency, a 1-800 number and allows the consumer to buy directly
Trade advertising – directed to wholesale and retail merchants and emphasizes profitability – the manufacturer may offer an initial trial of the product, increased trade support (perhaps additional consumer advertising), and announce consumer promotions
Industrial advertising – directed to the manufacturer for goods needed to create
products and does not seek to sell the product directly (i.e., tires for autos)
Professional advertising – professional product and services to the consumer such as law, medicine, dental
Public Relations/Institutional/Corporate advertising – all 3 names are used for this category but for this course, we will use the term “public relations advertising” – unlike general
Public Relations which is not a paid effort (materials are submitted in the form of press releases and video news released in the hope that the media will pick up the stories) but does attempt to create good public will for the product/service/person, PR advertising is a paid effort to establish a favorable attitude towards the company by: a. establishing a public identity; b. overcome existing negative attitudes; c. explain a company’s mission; d. boost corporate identity and image; e. persuade a target audience for later sales; f. promote and relate a company to some worthwhile product.
Nonproduct advertising – promotes a cause or idea such as abortion, anti-terrorism, gun control, animal rights (PETA) – often controversial and emotional
Service advertising – promotes a service – sells expertise and tends to maintain slogans/logos to increase consumer awareness – features the tangibles and since there is no product, these service providers often use testimonials – features employees to present the quality of the employees and guarantees value and service – stresses the quality of their service.
Advertising objectives lay the framework for the subsequent tasks in an advertising plan. They identify the goals of the advertiser (i.e., increase consumer awareness, change consumers’ beliefs or attitudes about the product, influence purchase intent, stimulate trial use, switch consumers from other brands, increase sales).
The Advertising Life Cycle
It is important to consider what point of the cycle the product is in.
Initially, a new product enters a pioneering stage, which is an introductory stage. During this stage the intent is to introduce ideas and educate the consumer as to the new product/service. There is heavy advertising and promotional expenses required during this stage to create awareness. Usually the product is not usually profitable during this stage as the research and development costs still need to be off-set.
It is during the competitive stage that the product reaches usefulness but not until the benefits over other brands must be established. Most advertising for the product occurs during this stage.
The final stage, the retentive stage, attempts to retain patronage merely on the strength of reputation. Little, or reminder, advertising is used. Many products stay in this stage for years (i.e., Morton’s Salt, Rumford Baking Powder).
At the end of the retentive stage a product may have passed its market life and die or may lose market share but still remain profitable or enter a newer pioneering stage and expand the market. This may be done by product modification or by simply using new advertising. Think of how Bayer aspirin entered a new pioneering stage when the advertising stressed the value of the aspirin in preventing heart attacks and strokes. The product was not changed but the message was. Hence it is not necessary to change a product to enter a new pioneering stage.
A newer competitive stage focuses on purchasing intent and a newer retentive stage relies on existing prestige to keep customers.
The stage that the product is in dos not have to do with time but rather what the consumer attitude and perception is at that point in time.
Creating brand awareness is a popular advertising objective as it is an indicator of consumer knowledge about the existence of the brand.
Strategic brand planning has to do with developing the brand identity. Product differentiation began in the last quarter of the 19th century with Levi’s branding in 1873, Budweiser in 1876, Coca-Cola in 1886. The brand is the most valuable asset a marketer has and it is created, where as a product is manufactured. A product may change, but the brand remains. The brand is a durable identity.
The Inner Brand is a tangible asset that no other brand owns and could include the package graphics, logo or even color (i.e., Coca Cola red, Pepsi blue, Avis red, Hertz yellow),all of which establish an image.
A brand has both a rational (content and theme of the brand’s communication and are the most visible part of the brand) and also emotional elements (how the brand is expressed through the style, tone and less visible elements). Interestingly in supermarkets 81 of the top 100 items purchased are branded and in pharmacies 92 are branded.
A customer will repeatedly use a brand it if continues to suit their needs, however needs do change.
Integrated communications refers to an approach in which all messages directed to a consumer on behalf of a brand (i.e., media advertising, public relations, direct response). It is aimed at building brand equity, that is the value that the consumer feels about the brand in relation to the competition.
Master brands compete across product segments within a category (i.e. Crest toothpaste, toothbrushes, tooth strips, mouthwash).
Global brands compete on a global basis (i.e., Coca-Cola). To do so, the company must be conscious of local attitudes and cultural differences. Some amazing mistakes have been made by global companies – amazing because these companies spend enormous amount of money to enter international markets and yet…
Gerber began selling baby food in Africa, and was using the same packaging that they used in the USA – that of a baby on the label. It was not until later that Gerber’s discovered that in Africa, companies often placed pictures on the label of what was inside since many African consumers can not read.
GM brought the Chevy Nova into South America and did not realize that “no va” in Spanish means “won’t go. When the car was not selling, the company changed the name to Caribe in its Latin markets.
Schweppes Tonic Water was translated into Italy as Schweppes Toilet Water
There are many such examples of big industry mistakes in entering foreign markets.