28 Oktober 2012

The best way in advertising

                                                                     Download the Indonesian version of the article here

Do you pay attention to advertisements? Probably you do, because advertising is a reflection of people's needs. Advertising makes promises to us, and we listen because we want to hear those messages. For instance, we might drink diet Coca-Cola "just for the taste of it," or Pepsi because we want to share "the choice of a new generation." But advertising can be deceptive. When an aspirin manufacturer tells us "no other aspirin is better," we assume that brand of aspirin to be the best, unless we know that all aspirin is alike. As another example, I once bought a can of chocolate-flavored syrup only to find that it contained no chocolate; it contained only chemicals to make it taste like chocolate. Childers and Houston (1984) compared the importance of pictures to words in advertising. When the experimenters asked the subjects to pay attention to the visual content of an ad, they remembered the name of the product better than when they were told to pay attention to the words. Color and repetition are also effective in getting people to remember a product, but are not always used (Lee & Barnes, 1990). On the other hand, sometimes advertisers put too much information into an ad and consumers have difficulty remembering it, a phenomenon called information overload (Jacoby, 1984).Advertisers sometimes use very attractive, seductive, and sexually appealing models. Sex appeal is used to sell everything from automobiles to after-shave lotion and soft drinks. Most consumers (as well as advertisers) assume automatically that the use of sexually attractive models will enhance the success of a product. Actually, relatively few conclusive research results have been found about this issue. Sexually attractive models do get the attention of both men and women. People tend to look at advertisements using sexually attractive models more often than they look at other ads. But research shows that often the wrong audience is reached with the ad. For instance, both men and women look at advertisements containing pictures of sexually attractive women, but the actual advertising message is read more often by women. Thus, using an attractive female to get men to read an advertisement often doesn't work. Likewise, advertisements using attractive males are actually read more often by men. While more research is needed in this area, it appears that sex in advertising is not always effective (Caballero & colleagues, 1989).

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