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In a world of numerous products offered by different manufacturing companies, advertising strategies used by the business establishments could be both appealing and blinding to the eyes of the consumers. Why is this so? This is due to the fact that marketing strategies and advertising approaches have different impacts among people in the society. At times, these marketing strategies are designed to attract the weakest point of ‘avoidance’ of the audiences in the market to be able o lure them to buy the products being advertised.
This is what is strongly made mention by Solomon Jack as he said: “We American’s dream of living above the crowd of attaining a social summit beyond the reach of ordinary citizens…. and herein lies the paradox” (410). True, due to the human want of being above what is considered normal and acceptable in the society; people opt to appreciate advertisements that ought to set them in a higher level of being socially elevated from others.
Everybody wants to feel special, and this is what advertisements in the marketing world cater to. Elitist versus the Populist
Jack Solomon includes in his writings the existence of the advertising division in the marketing industries. According to him, these two divisions involve the way that advertisements ought to have an impact towards its target audiences in the market. Hence, he further describes that in many ways, both approaches of advertising tend to lure more and more attracted consumers from time to time. How well do these functional advertising perform their duty of attracting the market? Discussing both approaches separately would help ensure better understanding of the system that they both utilize to attract consumers.
The elitist approach involves catering to the individual demands of the consumers. This mainly refers to the needs of the target market as an ‘individual’. Here is where the thought of ‘being special’ comes in. Hence, the advertisements ought to help the consumers realize that by buying the products being advertised, they are to be able to feel being special among everyone else in the society. At times, it is not simply the convenience that a product gives or the quality it holds. Sometimes people tend to buy products that help enhance their image in the society.
On the other hand, the populist approach caters to the need of an individual in becoming a part of a group. The fact that everybody needs to feel the sense of ‘belongingness’, populist approach offers an option to the buyers with regards to becoming a part of a large group of society, which again has a certain alleviated status among others in the community. It must be noted that psychologically, it is indeed a necessity for humans to want to be ‘special’ among others. They want their individual styles and want to be much above than that of the others.
This is the reason why even populist approach tend to put a person in a group which I many ways post an advantage against others. Hence, in a concise discussion, it could be said that both the elitist and the populist approach have different ways of attracting the consumers. However, they both promote one theme: ‘the consumer’s being special’. Yes, the main goal of every advertisement, whether printed or visualized through television presentations is to adhere to the wants of the market, which is composed of the human society.
Whatever the ‘people’ demand from the products that they ought to buy should be the main target offer of every advertisement postings. Examples of Printed Advertisements The following photos are presented to show how advertisers tend to attract the consumers through the use of different approaches to their ‘inviting strategies’. Advertisement A: This advertisement pertaining to a cigarette brand shows ‘passion’ as one of the factors of life brought about by the product. As seen in the picture, the one holding the cigarette is not the one playing the guitar but instead the guitar itself. Music denotes
passion, and smoking in this ad is posted as a ‘cool’ act, which brings a passionate image to the person who uses the product. The magazine where this ad is posted is intended for the feminine audience. As it is known to all, women give high regard to such attributes as passion. To have an appealing effect to the audience, this advertisement took the chance of using the said attribute in inviting its target market by implying the individual ‘wants’ of its supposed consumer. Advertisement B: This advertisement shows the metaphor reference of a woman denoting the stylish design of a new architectural trend posted by the host company.
The use of an ‘old, dull wall’ background shows how the company aims to make a difference to the traditional architectural approach in designing through the use of ‘tiles’. At first glance, this ad may be misleading. At first, it may denote new fashion trend. However, if the ad is looked at more closely, it could be seen how the company used the effect of women’s adherence to fashion as a factor that shows how architectural designs could as well be stylish and ‘sexy’ in terms of being suitably new in the eyes of both designers and the owners of the buildings being designed by architects.
Advertisement C: The advertisement of celphone posted above caters to the certain need of the traveler to be connected to the people he has left behind as he travels. Shown as a cargo Why We Buy, How We Buy page 6 bag or a traveling case with wheels, this celphone brand shows how much it is able to keep up with the busy lives of travelers. It does denote both the quality and the convenience that the product highlights for the consumers that are being invited to buy the said product. Conclusion
Yes, whether an advertisement is an elitist or a populist approach, it’s main goal is to attract people’s interest towards its message to the target market it opts to serve. For a fact, Solomon adds in his book that: “There is no such thing as realistic advertisement” (411). Indeed, advertisements use different ways of exaggerating the images of their posted invitations towards the consumers, mainly to catch their attention. However, not everything mentioned in the advertisements to be true is indeed real.
This is the reason why it is very important on the part of the consumers to be much wise in choosing what products they ought to buy. In an aim to guard themselves from plain marketing strategies of the products, consumers must be aware of their need to gain more knowledge about what the products could actually provide them aside from the feeling of being special from others before buying any product at all. Why We Buy, How We Buy page 7
Solomon, Jack. (2005). Masters of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising. SIGNS of LIFE. Bedford/St. Martin’s; 5 edition. Page 409~Page 419.
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