Friday, December 9, 2011

Blog #8: Critical, independent and creative thinking skills as consumers and professionals in advertising

By: Matthew Larson

                As consumers we are constantly changing our minds and decisions about how we spend money.  Advertising assists in the persuasion of thoughts and ideas.  All consumers are different locally, nationally, globally, and culturally.  With so much diversity, advertisers are constantly changings products and the messages that go along with them.  How advertisers keep up with all this diversity is how they make their money.  Marketing is a tool that has been used to gain access to consumer’s habits.  Once these habits are targeted, there are steps towards a final advertisement that is tailored to the needs of the customers.
                Not every advertisement will meet consumers’ expectations or needs.  But, messages aren’t meant to meet the criteria of all people.  Rather it creates groups that can be classified.  These groups then become the “target market”.   Target markets are then broken down even further to gain even more knowledge about consumers.  Here is an example, people who buy soda products.  A broad category but this is our target market, from there it becomes brand preference such as Coca-Cola or Pepsi.  Once brand preference is established then you can go even further as to figure out flavors of soda like Sierra Mist or Wild Cherry Pepsi.  Point being this is how advertising is established in a market. 
                With many categories and classifications there are also boundaries that have to be followed.  Companies often stretch these boundaries because the value of gaining a larger consumer market means more money in the scheme of things.  Marketers have started using real life situations and scenarios that consumers can relate to.  Messages have a shock value attached to them.  By placing a product or service on the same level that consumers can relate to this shocks them into at least checking out the brand.  Having seen a Go-Daddy commercial, men are given the impression of what happens next?  This value makes them want to check out the website. 
                Independently I am given choices to make as well, having knowledge of both sides allows me understand where messages are coming from and who they are trying to reach.  Not only are messages meant to maintain customers, but they are always trying to get more.  I feel as though advertising has become a competition.  The competition is to understand behavioral changes of consumers and then try to persuade them into believing that your product will benefit them with features that are attractive to their needs.  Challenges will always exist in marketing efforts because regulations by officials and government appointed agencies. 
                My thinking process has changed because of some of the research that I conducted opened my mind to things.  Advertising reaches me through humorous messages that get me to recall the time I laughed while watching an ad.  I then remember these messages as I am shopping and help me establish loyalty to that product.  Another way that messages reach me is by shocking me with something that maybe stretches the limit.  To me, advertising has changed the way I view messages and breakdown an ad.  As I grow and change the messages also have a different effect on me.  Messages will continue to grow and change with me.  Only time will show how I respond to new advertisements and marketing efforts.  If I become a part of the marketing profession I will be adversely changed in how I create ideas for other people to observe.