An advertising agency’s job is to work with its client to produce a visual/auditorial campaign to promote the client’s product to the consumers.
The advertising agency will use billboards, television commercials, radio broadcasts, leaflets handed out to the public and viral advertisement as the means to spread the word to the public. The agency must also work to find out what their target demographic is and how they expand the product’s appeal to reach more customers, and thus increase sales. Usually the entire advertisement will be handled by the agency because they would be the most qualified to get the job done: “Great advertising has to rise off the page”(Hiam: pg 127: 2004).
In order to get the information they require, advertising agencies will use primary and secondary research techniques. Primary research would include questionnaires handed out to the public, shopping surveys where they ask you questions over the ‘phone and interviews with people to get more in-depth information. Secondary research would include examining previous adverts, either their own or a rival companies’, to see what made them successful, what techniques have been used that connect with audiences and how much money they have made from those campaigns in sales figures.
The advertisement agency will employ many tactics in their campaigns to attract customers; these include Bandwagoning, Branding, use of a Slogan, Emotional appeal, Celebrity endorsement and Humour.
One of the biggest tactics employed by advertising agencies is Branding; if their client is a particularly large company with a huge userbase like Sony or Apple the ads could highlight the brand’s name and use its reputation to sway customers in their direction. Companies that have a long history of quality products are most likely to use this technique as it’s an easy form of advertising for them because their name is associated with good things and public opinion is something very highly valued by any business. Coca Cola’s Christmas ads use trucks coloured bright red with the Coca Cola brand label illuminated on the side with Santa Claus drinking their product.
Bandwagoning is a type of advertisement that conveys to the audience that the product is popular and that possessing/consuming/being involved with this product will make them popular as well. Bandwagoning is one of the strongest techniques in advertising as many big name brands use this technique in their advertising, such as Apple with their Ipod, Iphone and Ipad commercials and the New York Jets. The Jets’ commercial shows thousands of people in a stadium supporting their team and the commercial’s Tagline says “Now that we’ve moved into our new stadium… Isnt it time you did too?”
Celebrity endorsement uses famous people like Actors, Musicians, Sports athletes, Comedians etc, to convince the audience that the celebrity knows best and they should agree with them. In this Coors Light commercial famous martial arts actor Jean Claude Van Damme was hired to promote their product. Van Damme’s popularity coupled with his humorous promotion of the product could persuade people to buy the product.
‘Plain Folks’ is a advert that uses everyday people, normally families of parents with two children or a group of young people, who most of the audience can easily relate to. The ‘Wii would like to play’ commercial features ordinary people from different walks of life such as a middle class family, a group of young people , Elderly couple with their adult children, red necks and academics; which shows the audience that the product has a wide appeal.
Emotional Appeal is one of the most powerful types of advertisement. These types of commercials attempt to provoke emotional responses from the audience and hope that they will react to it in the desired manner. The NSPCC open your eyes advert shows the audience the effect of suffering on the children making them feel sympathy, and encourages the audience to give money to help these kids. Animal welfare adverts such as the advert for Dogs trust uses similar strategies granted the Dogs trust commercial is not as dark as the NSPCC one is, it is lighter in tone and more of a positive outcome.
Humour is where the advert attempts to make the audience laugh so they will associate good feelings with the product and thus remember it. The Go Compare advert uses real life Opera singer Wynne Evans to sing about the advantages of Go Compare to two seemingly uninterested men, the humour comes from the lyrics and the characters reactions to the situation they are e.g to normal men stand out in a crowd of people singing.
Another useful strategy is a slogan, this is a phrase that is catchy and sometimes humerous like ‘Go Compare’ which uses an Opera singer in humorous light by having him sing the slogan of the brand. Slogans can also inspire their audience such as Windows 7 which tells the viewers that many of its features are inspired from ordinary people’s ideas. Other famous slogans include Adidas= Impossible is nothing (you can defy the odds). Swiftcover.com = Get a Life Get Swiftcover (Implies you can quickly get car insurance without taking up too much of your Free time). Coca Cola= Open Hapiness (positive feelings come from this drink).
An image is very potent tool to use in advertisement, an extraordinary example would be that Santa Claus in his red outfit is copyrighted to Coca Cola. Coca Cola uses this to their full advantage by associating the convoy of delivery trucks with the coming of christmas. see the commercial here
The audience that would relate the most would be children because they would start to associate Coca Cola with Christmas lights and Santa claus, Adults could also get something from this advert as it could represent nostalgia from when they were kids because coca cola has been using the Santa Claus ad since the 1930’s. The Coca Cola christmas convoy adverts were so popular with the consumers that when the ad fell into disuse in 2001 people actually phoned the Coca cola Information centre to say that they associated the convoy with the beginning of the christmas season. It was brought back in 2007.
Coca Cola’s 2007 christmas commercial brought back the fabled convoy of trucks with christmas decorations on them due to popular demand. This is reflected in the advert with all the Adults and Kids come out onto the street to see the trucks like it was a parade. As for the future Coca cola still uses Santa Claus in their adverts and its more than likely they will continue to use him.
In Contrast to the Family demographic of the Coca-Cola Christmas Commercials there is the Pepsi commercial Pepsi Generation which starred Michael Jackson and specifically targeted 80’s-90’s youth culture. All the adults featured in the commercial were Black men in their early twenties with the “cool” look but the kids were boys and girls of multiple races although they had the same dress style as the black men. Michael Jackson music plays in throughout the advert which would appeal to the younger audience as well. overall this commercial combines sound and visuals to target an altogether different from the coca cola commercial.
A strong auditory message can be just as effective as a visual one, The tone of the voice mixed with the choice of words and music can leave a lasting effect on an audience. An example would be the NSPCC Open your Eyes Advert which has a deep strong voice with simple words with haunting music to intensify the message. the Point of the advert is to provoke an emotional response in the viewer in order to get them to donate money to charity. I think this is a powerful commercial that does what it sets out to do quite well with black and white imagery, the Children’s facial expressions, the music which is kind of choral music with a sad feeling, and the Narrators words and tone which simple and bleak yet it delivers a message of hope to the audience that they can play a part in changing these Children’s lives.
In Contrast to the NSPCC advert we have the Muller corner advert which has a very melodramatic satirical tone to it with Reo Speedwagon’s classic 80’s track Cant Fight this feeling playing in the background. This advert is quite a humorous take the Horse running on the beach cliche with melodramatic voice actor’s message of making the audience feel good for eating Muller Corner yoghurt as it allows cows to roam free. the NSPCC was dark in Black and white with a serious tone, this Advert had a wide open, calm and free feeling which is the total polar opposite the forbidding and claustrophobic environments that the kids were in.
In conclusion I’ve learned that there are many sectors of advertising and that alot of work goes into it, Primary and Secondary research have very important roles in any industry that requires an understanding of the current market. There are also many techniques available to advertisers to use in order to attract particular consumers to their product for instance glamourous women for perfume adverts and ordinary men for alcohol commercials. Most importantly I’ve learned the role of the advertising agency in the production of advertisements in all their forms.
Hiam. A (2004) Marketing for Dummies. Indiana, Wiley Publishing Inc.
Youtube.com (online) accessed 11/10/2011