Monday, September 19, 2011

Blog #2 Changes: A Perspective on the History of Advertising

By: Matthew Larson

            Advertising has changed dramatically throughout its long history.  It has shown bold messages with enormous amounts of diversity over time.   The oldest forms of advertising date back to before America was even colonized. As times changed and people evolved, the messages being sent to people had to be more persuasive and powerful.  Technology was the main driver of how people viewed and responded to advertising.  During the 50’s when television first became popular, messages were heard and many people got to visualize what the advertisement was describing to them. While it is certain that when the television came out, advertising would be forever changed; there is still a place for other types of media to translate messages.
            Back in the early 1830’s a publisher for the New York Herald named James Gordon Bennett revolutionized advertising by utilizing advertising to lower the cost of newspapers.  This idea changed how long a newspaper would advertise a certain message.  By doing this, advertisers could determine the effectiveness of the messages from week to week or in some cases on a daily basis.  Bennett also understood the entertainment value behind having ads that changed constantly.  Bennett knew that because there were very few magazines and radio outlets, his newspaper could benefit from having attractive advertisements.  They were looked at for days and weeks after the initial issue date to see if there were effective messages. 
Along with the newspapers, other businesses also turned to advertising. Large department stores in rapidly expanding cities, assistend in creating new advertising styles.  Total advertising volume in the United States grew from about $200 million in 1880 to nearly $3 billion in 1920.  Clearly advertising was changing the way Americans spent money.  With money becoming a larger factor, advertising agencies were started to manage high profile clients and businesses.  High demand for specific marketing concepts grew and triggered a new area of copywriting thoughts, ideas and artwork displayed in ads. This led to the growth of American knowledge and a control of Advertising over Media.  
Usually the ads are trying to sell a product or basic idea, but this is only an initial response to the question. Does it aim to persuade readers to buy something for the first time or to switch brands? The tobacco industry, has consistently stated that the ads for their cigarettes are aimed at maintaining brand loyalty or inducing smokers to their products. The most famous movement in target audience came in 1955, when the Leo Burnett agency rejunvinated advertising for Marlboro cigarettes. Burnett introduced the Marlboro man, which portrayed a model of rugged a cowboy on horseback, smoking “a cigarette designed for men that women like.” Marlboro eventually became the world’s top-selling cigarette brand. The Marlboro man became a recognized icon for many years to follow.
            Television advertising is the most recent and most popular form of marketing in the 21st century.  Networks get paid to place advertisements in certain time slots to reach target markets.  This works out for marketing firms, businesses and network television stations, because everyone is eventually profiting from the advertising.  The marketing firm’s job is to create an effective message; overtime ad agencies have evolved in their deliveries and creativity of messages to effectively reach different target markets.  This reflection of businesses has positively helped growth and stabilization, it will continue be the largest way to reach consumers.
            Advertising will always change and develop new areas to display marketing concepts.  This history of ads has changed dramatically and is a direct reflection of how technology and consumers have evolved.  Continuation of this is critical for businesses as they are as advanced as the consumers.  New ideas and advancement will determine whether or not a company can survive in the ever-changing advertising world.

A Brief History of Advertising in America, by: William M. O'Barr , Advertising Educational Foundation 2005
Fleming, Thomas. "How It Was in Advertising: 1776-1976", Chicago: Crain Books, 1976 p.6
Goodrum, Charles and Helen Dalyrmple. Advertising in America: The First Two-Hundred Years. New York: Harry N. Adrams, 1990

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Ever Changing World of Marketing and Advertising

Issues in advertising exist globally.  The issues begin with placement of advertisements in specific media outlets.  Certain ads can’t be placed on T.V. during certain times of the day because of censorship.  However, marketers have still been able to establish way of getting messages across to mediums of viewers.  “Sex sells” is an idea that we as humans are still animals and creatures of sexual habit; therefore, our response to skin drives us to want certain products, or pay attention to an idea.  Since marketing is considered a form of education, we as students/consumers are driven to believe in what is presented in front of us.  Not everything will always appeal to everyone in every market.  However, if just one person in each market can be reached, then the advertisement has worked and done its job.  Consumers are the biggest marketers for companies, because if our friends are doing it, then we want to do it.  It’s the classic case of monkey see, monkey do. 

                Globalization of products and ideas has also hurt some traditions.  The Western influence in China has some Chinese worried about the customs and values of their nation, according to a case study about Shanghai advertisements by Aubrey R. Fowler III, published in a ________.  With businesses like McDonalds, KFC and Coke making their mark in foreign countries, we begin to see a trend of WWAD, also known as "what would America do?"  As marketers, we set the trend of what everyone believes or buys into.  An example of this was when women started cutting their bangs straight across the brow line.  It was a trend that stuck around for a year, and then the trend faded as it should.  New ideas and innovation pushes out old and provides new for consumers.  With behavior changing daily and weekly, marketing efforts have become advanced to the point where with the assistance of technology we can get up to the minute statistics on what people are buying and how products are being used. 

                 Many marketing concepts never reach consumers because of the riskiness of the message.  However, businesses like Victoria’s Secret can place products on models to have them perceive a specific type of beauty.  This gives the consumer a perception that, that is what they have to be in order to obtain the product, or the message could be that this is the social perception of this particular product.  On the other side of this is Fruit of the Loom; their message displays that anyone of any shape or size can wear the products and feel comfortable about wearing them.  Both of them display the same message and are definitely of different quality.  But, which penetrates the market with a more effective message?  I asked several friends that were both male and female about the products and while males can’t really relate to Victoria’s Secret products, the ideas of the products were more shifted towards Fruit of the Loom.  Why? Because the message was better received. 

                In recent advertising news, Kraft has had to re-think its marketing concepts in the North American market after its split from the snack foods unit.  The split comes with a great deal of opportunity.  Kraft is determined to continue marketing in the grocery markets by effectively separating its foods, snack and beverages.  This separation will allow each area to market specifically to that niche.  While it is unknown what the outcome will be, Kraft Foods CEO Irene Rosenfeld has a positive outlook.  "If you believe that there is a new normal of slower consumption growth in North America -- and we do -- certain capabilities will be even more important in the future" said CEO Irene Rosenfeld in a recent issue of Advertising Age.  By going through this process Kraft hopes to take its businesses to higher levels of competition in a more global environment.
                Advertising and marketing is an ongoing, changing environment that many of us adapt to on a daily basis.  We are driven towards products and then quickly turned away from them.  Behavioral changes in consumer attitude will continue to push the evolution of how messages are received and perceived.  It is our job as both marketers and consumers to level the playing field with effective marketing strategies.