Advertising refers to all the actions implemented by a commercial or industrial enterprise to promote its products or services in order to boost the volume of sales. Its sole purpose in the first place is to attract attention and influence consumers’ choice. We can clearly distinguish two types of advertising. These are commercial advertising and brand advertising. The first seeks to publicize a product and convince the audience that the product is better than those of competitors.
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Hence, it encourages consumers to purchase a product. The second type of advertisement focuses on the image of the company and its reputation. In the world of advertising, we can also distinguish the means and media used for different media advertising campaigns such as posters, television commercials and billboards. Therefore, an advertising campaign is aimed at a target and it relies on a hook to attract public attention.
The oldest forms of advertising signs were painted or engraved on buildings at a time when printing did not exist. Today, advertising has a very important place in our society because it alters the behavior of human beings. The world of consumption is not limited. This essay explores and analyzes advertising appeals employed by advertisers when promoting their products and services. Besides, advertising strategies used by a BMW automobile company have been analyzed as a case study in the essay.
The BMW i8 advertisement presents a powerful commercial idea. The impression that HIV/AIDS and cancer have been cured is depicted in the advertisement (“BMW i8” par. 2). The advertisement is also accompanied by a lyrical tune that compels the targeted audience to desire listening to it continuously. For an advertisement to work, it must reach the public. The latter is the purpose of any campaign. For the above piece of advertisement, the advertiser had to identify and understand the motivations of consumers purchasing top class cars in order to adapt the message that transforms the product into an object of desire. According to Craig, there are four major theories of advertising strategies that may be used to target and influence consumers (3).
The BMW advertisement is persuasive and informative. Craig observes that this type of advertising is meant to convince or persuade consumers that a particular product is superior to others. The advert can be considered to be rational. The above advertisement also attempts to convince buyers that they will satisfy their luxury need once they buy the classy car. This advertising aims to inform the audience by explaining the advantages of a BMW car.
However, such an advertising strategy has been widely criticized. Indeed, we find that an individual does not always act rationally. Craig explores the economics of TV advertising especially when the aspect of gender is brought into picture. The BMW advertisement is inclined towards gender. It creates a mental image of a beautiful young lady who is similar to the car being advertised. Standardization of products is not easy when this type of advertisement dominates consumer market (Craig 5). When consumers reject the influence generated by this type of advertisement, it may lead to significant loss in terms of advertising costs.
The above piece of advert is also suggestive. This strategy is based on psychological need. It appeals to the inner desires of individuals desiring to own the car. According to Fowles, “an advertiser must strive to cut through the considerable commercial hub-bub by any means available-including the emotional appeals” (16). The advertisement also appeals to meaning. This type of advertising strategy gives the power to imagine because it unconsciously influences the targeted market to buy the product. Hence, consumers will not purchase a product owing to a good reason but simply because they feel a need that is not necessarily justifiable and has not been satisfied (Fowles 18).
BMW’s advertising is also mechanistic in nature. This advertising theory states that economic habits of a consumer is not always rational. This behavior allows passive buying especially when a TV or online commercial program is run continuously for a long time. Craig asserts that “programming manipulates gender portrayals to please the audience” (4). In other words, potential buyers of the BMW car can easily be influenced to adopt a reflex habit. Mechanistic advertising creates an automatic response from the targeted customers. The process involves the ubiquity and identity of the product and/or brand being promoted. Critics have denounced this view owing to the poor image and publicity anchored in people.
Besides, it can also be argued that the BMW advertisement is projective or integrative. This type of advertising is aimed at a well-defined social category. It enhances the standards of people by designing a product where the brand is promoted. The advert also arouses a desire among consumers to assert their social rank by buying and owning a BMW car.
The various strategies highlighted above have been applied through the functional models of consumer behavior theories. Freud and his famous theory of inconsistency led to the establishment of the psychoanalytic model. Moreover, the advertiser of the BMW car does not only promote the qualities of the product. The product is made visible in order to improve the imagination related to its appearance. There are several methods to achieve the latter. Examples include using celebrities, facts and figures, rehearsals, jingles and sound effects, bright colors, eye-catching text, meaningful words while playing images of family happiness, exciting scenarios, or even a feeling of being “cool” or relaxed (Fowles 19).
After analyzing the BMW’s piece of advertisement, it is equally prudent to conclude on a number of issues raised. To begin with, emotional appeals are used by advertisers because they easily arrest communication and assist in drawing close attention of the audience. Second, emotional appeals illuminate the inner desires of consumers. Use of mental and physical images often delivers a greater meaning to a piece of advertisement than words. From the BMW’s advertisement, it is possible to meet various needs of the audience. A typical example is the need for affiliation. The advertisement depicts that individuals who are connected to the product are highly likely to be successful in life.
The emotional appeals of advertisement discussed in the article by Fowles are often the main targets of advertisers. In any case, it is not possible to convince consumers to buy certain products if their emotions have not been influenced. Affiliation needs can be vividly brought out in advertisements through images of people celebrating together and being connected with other influential personalities across the board. It is indeed factual that advertisers usually target our unmet desires when launching their promotional campaigns. However, a series of procedures are necessary in order to accurately recognize and analyze advertisements.
First, do not ignore product information. Besides, consider the viewing angle. Taking photos of the subjects from below may not be appealing most audiences. It is more appealing to photograph subjects from above in order to increase the appealing nature of an advertisement. Besides, understand the target consumers in order to boost appeal of advertisements directed to them. Every advertisement should make only one appeal in order to avoid excess diffusion of ideas.
BMW i8, 2014. Web.
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Craig, Steve. Men’s Men and Women’s Women: How TV Commercials Portray Gender to Different Audiences. 1992. Web.
Fowles, Jib. Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals. N.d. Web.