TOPIC: ISSUE109 – “The purpose of many advertisements is to make consumers want to buy a product so that they will ‘be like’ the person in the ad. This practice is effective because it not only sells products but also helps people feel better about themselves.”
WORDS: 484 TIME: 00:45:00 DATE: 2008-7-20 10:13:23
I consent with the above notion that the purpose of many commercial advertisements, be it on tv, Internet, magazines or otherwise, is to entice the desire of purchasing of customers by implying that they can “be like” these rolemodels depicted. This practice is effective in that it not only sells products but also satisfy the psycological needs of people. Commercial advertisement accurately capturing these psycological needs of its potential customers is usually the most successful one.
To start with, everyone in the modern society would more or less feel dissatisfied about themselves, attributing to the more and more readily available standards for comparison, which are brought about by personal experience at work, study and life, and more importantly, by the rapid expansion of mass media. Unsatiated feelings can stem from study, for instance, when a student finds himself getting scores lower than expectation in spite of his hard work. It happens in work too, for example, if a promotion is granted to a workmate whom you began working with at the same company at the same time. More frequent cases are the physical images of oneself, for instance, when a woman discovers her former T-shirts being too tight. Although there could be multiple reasons for such events, instead of exploiting the internal cause, such as study method, communication skills and lack of sports, people often have the tendency to blame their misfortunes on external or non-manipulatible reasons such as inborn intelligence, discrimination of boss and hormone change in the above three cases.
These dissatisfactories about reality open opportunities for advertisers to sell their product by creating illusions that people could become better, just as models they see in the commercials. The computer and electronic manufacturer Apple is nodoubt to be the most successful case. When asked about their feelings towards Apple products in a survey, most adjectives used to associate the young people’s perception of the band are fashionable, dynamic, elegant, good-taste and cool. These perceptions can be largely attributed to the company’s advertisement strategy, in which you can barely see middle aged or over-weight actors or actors doing “un-cool” stuffs. Interestingly, an actor with the above characteristics indeed casted in a series of Apple commercials, representing a product of the company’s long-term opponent Microsoft. Advertisements of clothings often address the sexual elements. For women clothing, the models are ubiquintously skinny, tall and beautiful, while for male, they are usually masculine, handsome and sometimes with some “cool” acts or speech depending on the target customers of the product.
Rationally, all people would know that they cannot alter much solely with the help of some over-priced products. Nevertheless psycological needs can be satisfied not only by reasoning but also by uncouncious means. The advertisements are effective, because they succefully associate their products with something they originally don’t possess. For example, iPod with youth, wine with success in bussiness, a suit with a great body etc.