Guide to Writing Essays about Advertising

Advertising is used to help show consumers what is available and to help them decide what they want

A number of different techniques are used in advertising to illustrate the positive and even negative sides of a given product. Usually, this is achieved in the way advertisements are used to draw the consumer’s attention to products. If you are to look at some of the research that has been done to get the general public’s view of advertising, you will see that a high percentage of the population look on advertising as being beneficial. The reason for this is that they consider advertisements to be necessary and informative.   

Nonetheless, despite this level of positive opinion, some people believe that advertising has many negatives sides, not least in the way it influences the consumer and society in general. Some things that cause advertising to be seen as negative are: 

  • the ethics underlying how advertising is done
  • the economic side i.e. it is not thought to be economically viable
  • the notion that the effects of advertising on the public are demeaning
  • the social aspects i.e. that advertising is not always truthful in the way certain products are promoted.  

The factors listed above are just some examples of how advertising is seen to have a negative impact on modern society.

As far as intellectual opinion is concerned, a lot of people from this group see advertising as something that has a corrupting effect on society, thereby generating criticism of the social structures of which society is made up. For example, some intellectuals argue that advertising teaches people a host of things that are at odds with what society wants to teach in terms of upholding good and essential values. Such people would argue that advertising introduces consumers to life’s “good things.” The inference here is that people are introduced to things that represent the pleasures the world has to offer. Such pleasures are items that people can only purchase upon seeing them advertised but that still do not guide them in their daily lives. For example, advertisements do not encourage people to be honest and kind, to behave in a mannerly way, to value friendship, to respect the laws to which we are subject to, or to understand duty. These morals are the ones that guide people and enable them to live together in a pleasant and conducive fashion. Yet, many advertisements promote flash cars, fine dining, fancy perfumes, and other luxuries. These items are offered to satisfy certain desires in humans but they do not help shape our society in a way that would be deemed morally desirable. Some people feel it is hugely important for society to give priority to those things that are important and steer it in the direction of happiness and well-being.

Where the ethical aspects of advertising are concerned, this is an industry that places a lot of emphasis on people’s sexual and emotional desires. This is contrary to what a lot of scholars deem important. Some say that advertising keeps the wheels of industry turning. While this is certainly the case, there are some ads that fail to comply with the ethical beliefs and values of various societies. Most societies, for example, would say that anything that touches on matters of a sexual nature is quite crucial. Some would say that these matters are not suitable for open discussion without considering the different people they concern. For instance, some advertisements should be aimed only at those who are of a suitable age to discuss such matters. Hence, only people who have reached an appropriate age should be exposed to products of a sexual nature. On the other hand, however, it is difficult for advertisers to aim their advertisements only at adult consumers. Because of this, then, most advertisements are put into the public domain without excluding those of a younger age. This has the potential to lead society into a moral decline with the young being exposed to a number of issues that are not in line with the morals deemed desirable by society.

Then there are the commercial or economical aspects of advertising

Numerous critics have taken issue with the fact that advertising is an activity focused on specific sectors. A lot of advertisements are focused on products that do not enhance productivity when people use them. Indeed, some people’s productivity can be reduced by using certain products, thereby diminishing the person’s importance to society. Some products reduce people to beings that are different to what they previously were. They grow less productive in the economic sense, thereby reducing the overall economic performance of the society to which they belong. Such products may include tobacco, alcohol, fast food, and so on. Fast food can cause people to become obese and their bodies weaker despite them becoming larger. Alcohol use can turn people into drunks and it can result in the consumer contacting one of a number of life-claiming diseases. The advertising of products that have such negative impacts should not be encouraged since they slow down the growth on an economy i.e. when people’s health is negatively affected by certain products.     

In terms of the ethical aspects, at least one professor has criticized the advertising industry by saying that ads do not tell the full truth. A lot of people would agree that advertisements present only some of the truth about the things being advertised. Essentially, advertisers draw consumers in with sugar-coated information about a product, which is not always the full truth. Their reason for doing this is to encourage more people to buy their clients’ products. However, this strategy often attracts large numbers of customers who are tempted to buy certain products in order that they may enjoy some of the great things they have seen advertised. Therefore, it is very important that advertisers provide adequate and as much information as possible about various products. It is desirable for them to provide honest and factual information. Essentially, not giving clear, honest, and factual information about products is a serious issue on the part of advertisers and it does not comply with the high moral standards that most societies aspire to. This failure is one of the main contributing factors to the negative perspective that many people and society in general have towards advertising. So, advertisers should be urged to provide sincere information in relation to the different products people might have an interest in.

Returning again to the economic side of advertising, it can be said that advertisements should be aimed at representing the primary issues within a society with a view to improving the economies in different countries. A number of scholars and economists feel that important institutions i.e. hospitals and educational establishments are among those that should be targeted in a significant way in advertisements. However, in many advertisements, emphasis is placed on a number of things that are not helpful to society in general. The aforementioned institutions should be the center of focus in a lot of cases since these are needed (and used) by all the members of virtually every society. However, instead of focusing advertisements in this way, advertisers often target different industrial sectors and draw attention to those things that distract people from their primary aspirations. Hospitals and schools should be the highest priority if an economy is to thrive. Schools educate people who go on to create strategies that help economies develop and grow. In a similar vein, hospitals are instrumental in providing effective treatments that improve the health of those who build societies.  

To fully understand how a lot of advertisements contribute in a negative way to individuals and society as a whole, it is necessary to look at an example of an ad that has all the component parts of a good or bad advertisement. Take the ad for sprite, for instance. Here, the slogan says that this drink helps people to “obey their thirst.” This is an advert that is used globally by Coca-Cola to market its product. It attempts to show that it is only those who drink Sprite who are interested in quelling their thirst. In reality, a person can satisfy their thirst with plain tap water or even bottled water, both of which are products everyone can afford. Hence, this advert is an example of one that shows how promoters use flowery language to persuade consumers.  

Based on the negative impacts of advertising as outlined above, it can be said that advertisers should – at the very minimum – provide honest and factual information in respect of any products they promote. This approach would enable consumers to make genuine purchases so that they end up with the product(s) they intended to buy. This strategy would, in turn, improve trust between producers and consumers.  

Advertising essay sample

Advertising Practice And Concepts

Outline of the paper

1.0 Introduction to  advertising practice and concepts

2.0 Role and functions of advertising within the context of the marketing mix of Tesco Supermarket 

3.0 Advantages and disadvantages of marketing communication tools in Tesco Supermarket

3.1 Personal selling

3.2 PR (Public Relations)

3.3 E-marketing

4.0 Discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of advertising media in Tesco Supermarket

4.1 TV advertising

4.2 Online advertising

4.3 Magazine advertising

5.0 Conclusion

5.0 References

Introduction to Advertising Practice and Concepts

Advertising is a form of marketing strategy applied to encourage, persuade, or stimulate the buyers-to-be of a particular product or service. It includes the delivery of persuading messages to the right people, at the right time, and at the lowest price possible. These are the basic elements of advertising concepts and practices. The advertising concepts also include the non-personal communication (information about sales promotions, media, publicity and various events) Tesco supermarkets use mass media as a tool to attract large audience therefore rising sales and increasing demand for their products. The supermarkets extensively apply media tools to inform the public on the availability of their products and services in the market. These techniques are essential in making the supermarkets known by the public. It also creates a good image of the store and makes it appealing to the potential customers (Thorson & Moore 2013, p.120). Effective advertising is vital for the company brands as it leads to differentiation of its functional attributes and products. Branding is a key advertising concept that triggers public appeal on the products provided by Tesco. In addition, it creates awareness on the existence of the consumer products and services in the shops.

Tesco is the UK’s leading retailer holding close to 32 per cent of the market shares.  It faces stiff competition from other large retail chains that include SDA and Sainsbury. In order to maintain its competitive position, the company continuously employs intensive advertising techniques. Tesco market leadership aspects are focused on maintaining its markets shares through promoting its brands and brand loyalty. This is achieved through collecting information on consumer buying habits, which significantly improves the likelihood of the company meeting its targeted market’s demand. Therefore, the development of the advertising concepts and practices seeks to attract customer’s attention and thus, improve sales.  Generally, advertising concepts and practices are used to provide information to the wide audience, assist in branding, raise brandy loyalty, and create a good image of existing brands. 

Role and Functions of Advertising

The role of advertising in Tesco Supermarket Chain in the context of the marketing mix relates around the 4 Ps (Price, Place, Promotion, and Product).  When Tesco markets its goods, it seeks to provide the right products, at the right price, in the right place, and get promoted by the best approaches. The function of advertising is to ensure that the elements of the marketing mix are fulfilled when promoting its products to the markets. Price is an essential element of the marketing mix that facilitates the generation of revenues by the company.  It also identifies its sales values.  According to market researchers, pricing must consider the time and other circumstances – need to mention which are the other circumstances (Yeshin, 2012). Advertising seeks to ensure that the pricing method is in line with the expected value of the products.  Thus, advertising function is to ensure that prices are affordable and match the customers’ perception.

Product

The product element of the marketing mix can also be influenced by advertising function of the company. The product itself is the central focus of the company aimed at meeting the needs of its customers. Advertising roles hear is to examine the customer tastes, preferences, as well as rival products. It also assists in understanding the production lines and concerns of the consumers on products such as the purpose and appearance of the products. Advertising policy of Tesco should apply the analysis of the various aspects of its products in order to make them appealing to consumers.

Price

The costs involved in delivering the products to customers vary from one location to another.  Advertising as a method of promotion seeks to ensure that the product reaches the consumer at a fair and affordable price. Tesco Supermarkets rely on advertising in setting prices on products based on their geographical location. Therefore, advertising performs appropriate price assessments for different locations to set the right prices (Green 2011, p.78).

Place

The aspect of place involves various elements that include transportation and storage of products to deliver them to the final consumers.  Generally, the ability of the supermarket to deliver products to its customers is called the distribution system.  Advertising here has a function of selecting the best distribution method in providing the final consumers with the products. As a result, in order to deliver its products to the final consumers Tesco relies on its advertising department.

Promotion

Promotion acts as a mean of communication between businesses and customers.  Advertising functions in Tesco ensure that the company has relevant promotion methods that minimize the overall costs of promotion.  It also provides adequate information to customers in order to facilitate decision making on the right products to buy. In order to perform successful promotion, the costs of advertising have to be increased. Thus, in allocating costs on its advertising activities, Tesco Supermarkets greatly rely on its advertising functions (Engan 2007, p.102). This enables the supermarket to develop appropriate costs structure of advertising and provide relevant information to customers. Generally, the role and function of advertising in the context of the marketing mix assists in the positioning and repositioning of the products of the supermarkets in the market. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Marketing Communication Tools

The marketing communication tools of Tesco Supermarkets provide relevant information to customers and assist in increasing their awareness on its products and services.  It should be noted that Tesco is responsible for revolutionizing the retailing techniques based on applying various marketing communication tools   such as personal selling, public relations, and E-marketing (Yeshin 2012, p.78).  The following section of the paper will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of the marketing communication tools applied by Tesco Supermarkets.  

Personal Selling

Personal selling involves the selling of products to the customers by meeting them face to face. Tesco engages in personal selling to inform and persuade the customers on quality and suitability of its products. Tesco Supermarkets enjoy a number of benefits by engaging in personal selling. Firstly, using this tool the company is able to gain customer attention. It allows the company to develop personal relationships with the immediate customers due to persuasive and interactive approach. In addition, it allows a two-way communication.  In personal selling, the sellers are able to obtain immediate feedback from the customers (Wang 2008, p.89).  On the same occasion, the sellers are able to address the concerns related to products. The application of personal approach by the company helps the customers to understand the products offered by Tesco better. It is also essential in building a strong relationship with customers as a method of promoting the goods thus assisting the company when selling expensive products. Therefore, personal selling is beneficial as the marketers are able to develop and maintain strong relations with the customers. 

Tesco widely applies personal selling as one of the most practical promotional methods of customer attraction compared to other methods such as advertising and public relations. However, the company faces some disadvantages of using the personal selling method. In personal selling, Tesco is limited to few customers. This method also requires much time and interaction in order to increase awareness on the products. This makes it difficult to cover a large number of customers.  In addition, personal selling is costly as it consists of the representatives’ salaries, commissions, bonuses and travelling costs (Shimp & Andrews 2013, p.45).  Therefore, the high cost of labor and limited numbers of customers covered discourages the use of personal selling by Tesco.

PR (Public Relations)

Tesco uses public relations to get various advantages; nevertheless, there are disadvantages involved when using this promotional method. The public-relations approach reaches a larger audience as compared to other promotional methods. The tool comprises media relations used to release media statements and information sheets to offer on-site media tours. This will encourage journalists to announce positive messages about the company. Social media will also assist in getting the attention of journalists who report the market of the business. Advertorials, newsletters, catalogues and brochures, business events, partnerships and sponsorships, employee and community relations applied are essential in helping to attract more customers and build customer loyalty. For example, if Tesco uses a TV advert to promote a new product, many people will see the information. In addition, this tool has a huge appealing power when providing information to the audiences by focusing their attention on the products offered.  However, low high costs of public relations tool does not make it the most economical way to reach the audience. In addition, it has various disadvantages that include lack of direct control by the marketers.  Once the message is delivered to the media, it cannot be altered. In addition, PR techniques can lead to adverse results if the messages are not well crafted.  These disadvantages of PR tools affect its full adoption by Tesco Supermarkets.  . 

E-marketing

The Tesco is usually keen on embracing innovations in its business processes. Email marketing makes it easy for the supermarket to communicate with its customers via the Internet. It allows the company to obtain many customers with its website.  Similarly to other marketing communication tools, email marketing has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is usually a cost effective method since the company incurs no printing or mailing costs.  The supermarket is able to send many mailing notifications to customers at minimal costs. This method promotes increased sales as many customers contacted through emails increase their interest in the products offered by Tesco (Castronovo & Huang 2012, p.67). This approach is vital in notifying the audience about the promotion sales, discounts, innovations and new products and services thus attracting them and raising their interest. However, this approach may be unsuccessful in case of spam mails. Tesco should obtain permission from the customers before sending its emails. If it sends too many emails, this will create a negative impression of the company. The emails sent may also not reach the targeted customers. Therefore, email marketing communication tool used by Tesco is not unambiguous. The company has to control and monitor all the methods it applies to maintain the permanent buyers’ loyalty and attract the buyers-to-be.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Advertising Media

Companies use advertising media to gain more profits and attract new customers. The selection and adoption of the advertising medium depends on the company’s marketing and sales plans.  Tesco uses different techniques and advertising media that include TV advertising, online advertising and magazine advertising (Leiss 2013, p.89). Each of the advertising media used by Tesco supermarket has both advantages, as well as disadvantages.

TV Advertising

TV advertising is one of the most powerful and influential advertising media.  It translates both audio and video messages of advertisements. According to research, the majority of people spend close to 5 hours a day watching television (Lamb 2012, p.78).   Thus, TV advertising is a vital tool of addressing a large customer base at the national and regional levels.  The advertising media convey messages using imagery, sound and action that convince prospective customers on the suitability and necessity of particular products (Lamb 2012, p.78).  TV advertising applies different programs that target different people as, for example, cartoons for children. Thus, the marketers are able to send the advertising messages to the right people (Schudson 2013, p.45). 

Tesco strongly relies on this method as it offers the flexibility of choice to consumers on the desired products from different companies. In addition, professionally created advertisements are highly attractive and may convince the audience to buy the products. However, TV advertising medium has various disadvantages such as high costs, for example.  Tesco spends large amounts of money, close to $250,000, on commercials.  This proves costly to many businesses. In addition, advertising has become extremely intrusive, and thus, people tend to avoid television advertisements (Hughes & Fill 2005, p.245). This limits the effectiveness of the television advertisements in providing messages to consumers.

Online Advertising

Online advertising has many advantages as compared to other advertising media. It involves social networks, banner advertising and Google search adverts among other approaches. Some of the benefits of Tesco engaging in online advertising include its low cost.  Online advertising does not require much spending and is less expensive as compared to the traditional tools of advertising.  It also covers wide areas as it campaigns on a global coverage reaching an extremely high number of people of all ages and social statuses.  It engages analytical methods in measuring the results of the advertising campaigns allowing the company to assess its effectiveness, as well.  Unlike other advertising media, online advertising has higher chances to meet its targeted audience. However, it has several disadvantages such as intrusive ads.  The majority of online campaigns are highly intrusive, and thus, the advertisements are usually blocked by the Internet users (Murray 2013, p.234).  Blocking ads limits the effectiveness of the advertising media in conveying its messages to potential customers. What is more, media also faces copyright concerns issues.  Online ads can be copied regardless of the legislation set (Bozman, Mueling & Pettit-O'Malley 2011, p.15).  This often affects the uniqueness of online advertising and may hinder the delivery of reliable information to the audience. Tesco should consider both the advantages and disadvantages of online advertising media in its selection criteria.

Magazine Advertising

Along with the abovementioned tools, Tesco uses magazine advertising in their attempts to remain competitive and profitable.  However, the technique records both advantages and disadvantages.  Some of the advantages of magazine advertising include that magazines are issued monthly and are read by different people. Advertising in magazines passes the message to different classes of audience depending on the types of magazines they purchase.  Magazine advertising is highly effective in targeting customers according to the types of magazines. In addition, it ensures a long lasting effect as compared to the press advertising. This makes messages to be spread to the buyers-to-be over a long period.  Over the years, there has been an increase in the popularity of magazine advertising, which is rather helpful in creating a large base of readers to see the advertising messages (Russell 2010, p.102). However, on the other hand, it faces various disadvantages.  Superfluous market over-segmentation makes it difficult to target specific audiences by the marketers. It also has long lead effects that indicate that markets must submit their ads in advance as regards the publication dates. This often leads advertisers to convey messages that do not fit the current economic conditions. Lastly, magazine advertising involves high advertising costs in relation to publishers’ insertion rates.

Conclusion

Tesco supermarket is one of the UK’s leading supermarket endeavors to maintain its current markets shares.  It engages in promoting brand awareness and loyalty.  Its advertising concepts and practices are based on the ability of the company to deliver persuading messages to the right individuals, at the right time, in the right place and at the affordable prices. The roles and functions of Tesco Supermarkets in the context of the marketing mix are based on the 4 Ps concept. These include price, place, promotion and product. Advertising functions of the company assist in positioning and repositioning its products in the market.  The company employs various marketing communication tools that facilitate conveyance of information to customers. The tools applied assist in ensuring that customers are aware of its products and activities in the market.  The main marketing communication tools used by the company include personal selling, public relations, and E-marketing. Nevertheless, each of the marketing communication tools has its own advantages and disadvantages. 

In addition, Tesco considers the usage of advertising media in improving its sales. The choice of the advertising media depends on the company’s marketing and sales plans. The various advertising media used include TV advertising, online advertising, and magazine advertising. TV advertising is one the most powerful advertising media since it applies both audio and video messages to pass its messages and attract the attention of would-be-buyers. However, online advertising is cost effective and has a wide selection of options including Google search ads, social networks, and banner advertising. Generally, Tesco should rely on the advertising media and techniques to maintain its market share and competitiveness.

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