POWER OF ADVERTISEMENTS
Advertising has the power to create awareness, the power to set an agenda, the
power to suggest and, influence the power to persuade and the power to convey
new information. The power that advertising has is usually short lived or that can
be referred to as short term power (conveying new information, building
awareness, enhancing credibility, etc).
Advertising has been defined as the most powerful, persuasive, and manipulative
tool that firms have to control consumers all over the world. It is a form of
communication that typically attempts to persuade potential customers to
purchase or to consume more of a particular brand of product or service. Its
impact on society throughout the years has been amazing, especially in this
technology age. Influencing people’s habits, creating false needs, distorting the
values and priorities of our society with sexism and feminism, advertising has
become a poison snake ready to hunt his prey. However, on the other hand,
advertising has had a positive effect as a help to the economy and society.
In a world where attention is the biggest asset, advertising is the new podium for
Ever since the advent of advertising, advocates of social change have called it a
tool for corporations to shove their agendas down the throats of commoners.
Movies like Fight Club have their entire plot built around the idea that advertising
is an evil practice that creates a spiritual war inside society. However, advertising
is not just about taking money from the poor to fill the pockets of the rich. It is a
medium that enables visionary creative minds to broadcast their ideas onto
people from all parts of the social hierarchy.
A well-crafted advertisement has the power to capture the attention of its
audience in a bid to bring about some intended change. We’re all aware of
shimmering billboards, and over-the-top TV ads that sell products and services.
However, light needs to be shed on the fact that responsible advertising can
advocate for a progressive society by bringing sensitive topics like climate change,
human trafficking, racism, identity politics, gender inequality, and more into the
limelight. Even though some social ads tend to be commercial in nature, it is great
to see corporations talking about issues that the general public deeply cares
about. Simply put, a social issue Ad not only allows creative to use the power of
advertising to captivate the masses, but it also helps in bringing about meaningful
change in society.
Here are a few examples that reinforce the idea that when used with the right
intent, advertisements can be much more money-making machines:-
● IAA – Freedom Fighter
Let’s free our nation.
One more time. #StopPollution. Issued in public interest by IAA.
● NOAH – The fine art of exterminating an entire species.
Rhinos have survived predators, climate change and disease for 50 million
years. But it’s Asia’s soaring demand for rhino horn that will doom them:
every 14 hours a rhino is killed. Help us save the last rhinos.
● Amnesty International – Sexual Abuse
Sometimes imagination is the only way. Every day two girls are victims of
sexual abuse. We must denounce.
● ActionAid – Non-equal rights
Up to 94% of Brazilian women have to work at their jobs and at home.
That’s 30 hours a month working more than men. And 24 hours a day of
● Children of the Street Society – Be careful what you agree to.
In Canada, Children of the Street Society revealed a shocking campaign to
raise awareness of the danger of sharing intimate photos.
● Generations Against Bullying – Speak Up.
Be strong and speak up. If you see someone being bullied, all you have to
do is say something. Just getting involved in a non threatening way stops
the bullying in less than 10 seconds 85% of the time. That’s the difference
between a bystander and an upstander.
We might have a positive impact through advertisements, but like a coin has two
sides, there is a negative impact that the industry of advertising leaves. Take a
look at companies promoting fairness in Asian countries. We have manipulation
and deception that promotes habits like smoking; discrimination and obsession;
violence; promotion of unhealthy food etc.
We need to create an extremely sensitive base where we understand the
consumer mind which needs recognition and evaluation of alternative purchase
decisions and post purchase decisions of presentation of the data available to us.
- By Dr. Meghul Chadha