Saturday, February 1, 2014

Assess the view that advertisements promise far more than they deliver.

In the current competitive world, we can see competition in everything and nowhere is this competition as fierce as in the field of business. To take edge in business, it is extremely essential to make compelling advertisements. They are the tools for business to communicate their product related information persuasively to the potential customers. Such commercials allure customers to purchase or consume more of a particular brand of product or service. Varieties of media like television, radio, cinema, magazine, newspapers, and the internet are used to deliver the advertisements. Advertising generally brings about positive response from the customers. However, the common question facing all advertisers is “will they be able to deliver what they have promised for in their advertisement?”

Advertisement expenses constitute a significant amount of a company’s expenditure which pays off well too. This has resulted in increasing the demand of products or services from the customers. Such demand is based upon the customers’ trust in the various promises made in the form of advertisement. Nowadays, television has become the most prevalent medium for advertisement. The TV advertisements are intended to grab the attention of the audience, keeping them focused on the TV show so that they hopefully watch the advertisement while waiting for the next segment of the show.

The advertisements generally exaggerate the quality of products. The advertisement of “Vatika Anti-Dandruff” shampoo shows that the dandruff is removed after using it once or twice, but in real life it does not happen to majority of people. Even after using it for numerous times, the dandruff problem does not go away. Similarly, in the advertisement of “Complan” a boy hangs in the school bus and upon seeing this, his friend suggests him to take Complan to increase his height. However, when taking Complan with milk, we don’t know which factor is responsible for the increase in height, since milk itself is a good source of Calcium, Proteins and Vitamins. So, the question is whether the product complain is cheating upon customers with its fascinating advertisements to make them believe into it as the height grower when in fact the milk is doing the magic. This is mostly the case for children who don’t drink milk without using any kind of sweetener. Nowadays, advertisement of a similar product “Horlicks” have started saying, “Our product boosts the milk’s nutritional value” to justify that product, which makes it even more likely that such products are optional.

Researches indicate that many adolescent girls and boys are unduly influenced by the standard of beauty given in advertisement. For instance , “Fair and Teen” is a facial cream specially made for adolescent girls. It is intended to make their skin clear and bright. However, after using it many girls develop an allergy in their face and need to take medical treatment. Also, such advertisements claim that their products can make people better-looking. However, good look does not primarily depend upon the tone of our skin, but upon the facial structure, skin clarity, and people’s perception. Similarly, hair gels which promise a shiny and stylish hair to boys have significant side-effects such as hair fall and damage which are never talked about in the advertisements.

However, some advertisements deliver the promises they make. Once I bought Sony Ericsson cell phone, which started malfunctioning within a few days. Upon complaining about it at the service center, the staffs tried to mend it but were unsuccessful. As a result, they provided a brand new phone, as per their guarantee scheme, to ensure customer satisfaction. Similarly, an advertisement about a tooth paste teaches people to brush their teeth daily and remain healthy, rather than promising something which cannot be fulfilled. It is an example of advertisement which doesn't promise too much just to influence the customers’ purchasing decision.

We often become victim of the fake promises that the advertisements make. In fact, we should never trust the advertisements which promise more that what is really possible to deliver. In many cases, with our general knowledge and experience, we can easily distinguish such advertisements from the ones which seem reasonable.

Author: Sandesh Prasain
The author is an Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level student at British Model College, Thapathali, Kathmandu.

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