The following essay will analyse the attached Samsung mobile advertisement, in terms of the type of advertisement, the psychological approach used and the target market to which the advertisement is aimed at. A comparison with other advertisements would also be looked at in order to support the general argument of the essay.
Advertising is a pervasive form of communication. Society is bombarded with paid-for messages from the morning they wake up until they go to bed at night. Advertisements appear on television as consumers watch their favourite weekly shows, on billboards as they commute to work, in magazines and newspapers as they read an interesting article, on radio while they listen to the music of their choice and on the internet where they communicate with their friends far and wide, advertisements appear wherever humans are present. It is estimated that the average consumer is exposed to more than a thousand images a day. (Tellis, 2004:3) Thus advertisements impinge on consumers' awareness and can greatly affect their thoughts, beliefs, actions, attitudes and decisions, making advertising an extremely powerful tool for communicating to the general public. Many people in society make the assumption that advertising is only done by corporations in order to sell their products to consumers and make quick money off it. These individuals also believe that advertising is an accident of the free market system, an evil force that consumers have to endure for the sake of free speech in our capitalist society. However in reality, advertising is a vitally important force for many reasons. (Tellis, 2004:3)
Advertising firstly creates fierce and healthy competition between corporate organisations. In a free capitalist market companies constantly competes with each other, offering potential customers better quality products or services at lower prices than their rivals. Companies make use of a brand image to represent a consistent level of quality at specific prices. Corporate organisations then use advertising to communicate to potential customers what these brand names represent and what the particular prices are and where the consumers can find the products or services. (Tellis, 2004:4) The various forms of advertising enable companies to communicate to the potential consumers promptly and efficiently as needed, thus making advertising an essential tool in the workings of the free capitalist market. (Tellis, 2004:4)
Secondly, companies make use of advertising as a primary tool to communicate to customers about new or improved products or services. Since the beginning of the 'Industrial Age' during the 19th century, the quality of consumers' lives has greatly improved primarily due to the availability of new or improved products or services. (Tellis, 2004:4) The great vitality of most free capitalist markets rests on the ability of companies to market and sell these new or improved products or services to consumers. In order to do so, corporate organisations need to communicate to potential customers and inform them of the current innovations at hand and to persuade them of the values associated with these innovations. Advertising thus becomes the primary tool corporate organisations use to achieve this task, while at the same time ensuring the vital functioning of markets for new or improved products or services. (Tellis, 2004:4)
Advertising thirdly provides major support for media in any free market economy around the world. Several forms of media including broadcast television, satellite television, magazines, newspapers, and most of the internet, reach consumers mainly free or way below cost. The reason for this is that advertisers pay media companies to display their advertisements. The media companies in turn do not have to charge customers the full cost of the chosen media. As such, advertising subsidises the chosen media. Consumers' primary form of information and entertainment comes from the media, thus advertising helps improve and maintain the free flow of information and entertainment to society. (Tellis, 2004:4)
Fourthly, advertising as an industry in itself is enormous. Total expenditures on all forms of media for the year of 2007 stood at $385 billion worldwide. (Wikipedia, 2010) The advertising industry employed over 300,000 professionals in over 21,000 companies at the turn of the century with growth in employment projected to rise to 32% compared to 15% of other industries. (Tellis, 2004:4)
The fifth and final reason for the vitality of advertising to the free capitalist market is that, the public subsidises advertising expenditures. Advertising expenditures in many free market economies are tax deductable. This means that corporate organisations can charge these expenditures as costs of doing business in order to reduce their pre-tax profits. In Layman terms, the general public pays for a small fraction of the cost of advertising that is equal to the advertiser's marginal tax rate. (Tellis, 2004:4)
Advertising can take the form of various mediums. "Commercial advertising media can include wall paintings, billboards, street furniture components, printed flyers and rack cards, radio, cinema and television adverts, web banners, mobile telephone screens, shopping carts, web popups, skywriting, bus stop benches, human billboards, magazines, newspapers, town criers, sides of buses, banners attached to or sides of airplanes ("logo jets"), in-flight advertisements on seatback tray tables or overhead storage bins, taxicab doors, roof mounts and passenger screens, musical stage shows, subway platforms and trains, elastic bands on disposable diapers, doors of bathroom stalls, stickers on apples in supermarkets, shopping cart handles, the opening section of streaming audio and video, posters, and the backs of event tickets and supermarket receipts. Any place an "identified" sponsor pays to deliver their message through a medium is advertising." (Wikipedia, 2010)
The attached Samsung Mobile advertisement is a form of press advertising. Press advertising is form of advertising that utilises newspapers and magazines as a tool for communicating to potential consumers. These encompass either a very broad readership base such as major national or international newspapers and magazines to a more narrowly targeted readership base such as a local newspaper or magazine. (Wikipedia, 2010) The use of a textual based advertisement is a major reason behind the use of press advertising as medium, it makes it essential. The viewer or consumer requires a certain amount of time to read through the advertisement and then to process the given information on the Samsung Mobile advertisement. If Samsung Mobile used a billboard as a medium to advertise the attached advertisement instead of the preferred press advertising medium, the given information of the advertisement would be lost or misinterpreted by the viewer or consumer, as not enough time was spend on the reading of the information in the advertisement. Thus the message or purpose of the advertisement would be ineffective. The use of press advertising as a medium to communicate to potential customers would also render itself more cost effective than the use of television or billboards as a medium.
In the corporate environment, advertising would either adopt a rational or emotional psychological approach in order persuade a potential customer in buying the specific product or service, or in certain cases both approaches would be utilised. The attached Samsung Mobile advertisement uses the emotional approach successfully to grab the attention of the viewer or consumer. Emotional advertisements can utilise the three most common components, namely; arguments, emotions and endorsements. Arguments are appeals that persuade the consumer with the use of evidence or force of logic. An emotional approach would persuade the consumer by arousing certain emotions, such as anger or love. Endorsements on the other hand utilises the use of a lay endorser, an expert in the field or a celebrity who vouches for the effectiveness or quality of the product or service either by claim or association. (Tellis, 2004:23)
Of the variety appeals that companies can use to advertise, the emotional approach would be regarded as the most effective form of persuasion for a number of reasons. Emotional appeals are firstly more interesting and can more easily cut through the clutter and grab the attention of the consumer than other forms of appeals. Secondly, emotional appeals require less attention by the viewer or consumer. Thirdly, emotional approaches are far more vivid and easily remembered than other appeals. Fourthly, an emotional approach contains far less counterarguments, thus resulting in less resistance from the viewer or consumer. The fifth and final reason why an emotional appeal is more effective than other appeals is that it evokes a more immediate action by the consumer. (Tellis, 2004:23)
The attached Samsung Mobile advertisement effectively utilises the emotional psychological approach or appeal with the use of a textual based advertisement. The text used in the advertisement reminds the viewer of reasons why he or she unfortunately cannot join their family and loved ones during the festive season, for reasons such as having to work during the festive season or living far away. The text or information contained in the advertisement are written in a hand-style format in order to create a more personal touch or feel to the advertisement and to engage with the viewer at such a level. Certain words are also circled and underlined to emphasise the importance of these specific words relating to time that could be spent with the viewer's family during Christmas. Hand drawn illustrations for example like snowmen, reindeer and turkey dinners are used to enforce the text based information by creating a festive feel and a personal emotional touch of previous festive times.
An essential component for effective advertising is the ability to understand the selected target market for the specific product or service. Knowledge or information regarding this matter can be achieved by the company involved utilising a process called market research. The main purpose of market research is to have a clear understanding who your target audience or potential customers are. A target market consists of those individuals or specific groups that have common characteristics or needs which the participating company can satisfy with their products or services. The goal of market research is to develop a profile of the potential consumers with the use of gathering information through a comprehensive study of demographics and psychographics. (Jinnet et al, 2006:19)
The term demographics refers to the statistical information gathered regarding sex, age, ethnic background, occupation, education, income, family status and geographical location. Sex is an important element regarding market analysis, as traditional buying patterns are ever changing, for example, not only men go fly-fishing. Age distribution dictates certain trends associated to a specific age group. Ethnic differences would indicate specific product preferences, language differences and population shifts. (Jinnet et al, 2006:20) Population distribution would help the specific company involved to create a better understanding of the size and location of the target market. Trends indicate that people are moving to the cities suburbs at increasing speeds. The family status of a target market has changed in the past decade with two new distinct groups emerging, single people living on their own and unmarried couples living together. Education, occupation and the level of income are other demographics to be considered in a target market. Specific educational level points to a change in product or service preferences. (Jinnet et al, 2006:20)
Target markets are can also be defined as psychographics. Psychographics refers to the specific lifestyle, personal behaviour, self-concept and buying style. These factors are just as important as demographics as they can indicate why consumers buy and use certain products or services. The lifestyle factor refers to the consumer's manner of living and involves personal characteristics, interests or activities. Personal behaviour is attached to the specific values of the consumer, which can be linked to the consumer being sceptic or cautious. The term or factor of self-concept refers to how the consumer views themselves or how they would like to portray themselves towards the public. Self-concept is strongly linked to the demographics of location, family size, income level and occupation. The buying style of the target market is crucial to the success of the advertising campaign of a company. Elements such as how often does the consumer buy the product and/or what the reasons were for buying the specific product or service. Trends show that new products are normally bought by adventurous and open-minded consumers rather than less adventurous individuals. (Jinnet et al, 2006:21)
The attached Samsung Mobile advertisement targeted a specific target market that can be associated to young professionals. Young professionals aged between 21-30 years of age, which live mostly on their own and are adventurous enough to leave the 'comfort zone' of living near their family or loved ones. Individuals that are educated, career driven and have a disposable income in order to buy the latest Samsung mobile phone in order to communicate with their family during the festive season.
If comparing the attached Samsung Mobile advertisement to other existing mobile advertisements, one can observe the use of either the emotional or rational psychological approaches to sell a similar product. The Sony-Ericsson C905 advertisement utilises both sexual emotions and rational appeal, combined by the fact that the advertisement was the first of its kind to ever use a photograph taken by a mobile phone camera and not a professional stand-alone camera.
The Sony-Ericsson W705 uses a rational approach to advertise the mobile phone main selling ability - crystal clear sound. An inner city environment covered in egg containers are used in the advertisement to indicate that the sound produced by the mobile phone is as perfect as a recording studio used for professional artists.
The Nokia mobile phone advertisement utilises a rational approach to indicate chaos, but with the help of this specific Nokia mobile phone the consumer will never get lost as it has the function of GPS (Global Positioning Service) - used instead of a traditional road map, the GPS function on the mobile phone can give the user directions to their final destination, thus making the consumer's experience easier and more enjoyable. (See attached Figure 3)
In conclusion, the above essay effectively analysed the attached Samsung mobile advertisement, in terms of the type of advertisement, the psychological approach used and the specific target market to which the attached advertisement was aimed at. Varies comparisons was made to other existing mobile phone advertisements and their respective psychological approaches identified.
- Figure 1. Mobile Shop. 2009. Sony-Ericsson C905. http://www.mobileshop.com/blog/mobile-phone-news/sony-ericsson-c905-rather-tasty-woman-advertising-win-for-mobile-phones/ Accessed 27 March 2010
- Figure 2. Ads of the World. 2009. Sony-Ericsson W705. http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/sony_ericsson_walkman_downtown Accessed 27 March 2010
- Figure 3. Ads of the World. 2007. Nokia. http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/nokia_string Accessed 27 March 2010
- Jinnet, J., Pinson, L. 2006. Steps to small business start-up: everything you need to know to turn your idea into a successful business. United States of America: Kaplan Publishing. p19-21
- Tellis, G.J. 2004. Effective advertising: understanding when, how, and why advertising works. California, United States of America: SAGE. p3-23
- Wikipedia. 2010. Advertising. Accessed 27 March 2010