“Advertising” The advertising industry is universal, spending vast sums of money, employing many very talented people and operating throughout the world; unfortunately, when we experience its activities we tend to accept them without question, instead of examining them closely. A naïve view of advertisements might be to regard them just as ways of relaying necessary information: a sign simply reading ‘Golden Lion Cafe- open 9 a.m. to midnight’ is no more sinister than a ‘ Road Closed’ notice to alert us to impending road-works. However, the owner of the café might be tempted to add ‘Full three-course lunch only five dollars’. ‘Full’ and ‘threecourse’. Suggest we will get a lot to eat, and the phrase ‘only five dollars’ seems to assure us of good value. We have entered the persuasive world of advertising—a dangerous world for us because many advertisers are both potent and ruthless. A dictionary will tell us that ‘to advertise’ means to turn someone towards something; the intension is to encourage us to do something, usually to buy a product or a service. Advertising methods employed range from the obvious to the very subtle, but they are surprisingly similar in all parts of the world, although names and details may vary from place to place. At times we seem to receive a direct instruction. Traveling ice-cream sellers for many years cycled along with their loads and paraded a peremptory notice ----‘Stop me and buy one!’ Similarly, we are often urged- ‘Don’t miss this bargain’; the almost bullying tone may well be continued by huge notices at the side of the road, often in vivid colours and with striking images, all demanding that we buy, buy, buy…… Advertisements on many television channels are broadcast at a higher volume than the entertainment programmes themselves, again seeking to exert pressure on the prospective customer. In various ways the product may be made memorable: a catchy saying or tune may stick in the mind and continually bring back a recollection of the article advertised; vivid, unusual packaging may make an item instantly recognizable and difficult to forget; an exciting or romantic location associated with the product may enhance its appeal. An important weapon in the advertiser’s armoury is humour. If it is true that we tend to be drawn towards, and to like, humorous people, is it not very likely that we shall react in a similar way to products presented to us in an amusing fashion? To convince the public that what is offered is credible and effective, a mock-scientific approach will often be used. We are assured that the yoghurt containing a specific ingredient will ensure that we are protected against all common stomach complaints; of course the vital additive has a long, scientific name and the claim is supported by an array of seemingly irrefutable evidence. The inclusion of an effective but invariably ‘natural’ component in a shampoo will guarantee soft, silk hair. An impressive-sounding chemical resulting from months of research will, when added to our engine oil, allow years of trouble-free motoring. Thus we sometimes allow ourselves to be blinded by supposed statistics, and a cunning advertiser will offer a persuasive comparison between the article offered and similar products from competitors; not surprisingly the competing items are presented as poorer in quality and higher in price. How Gullible we are!
About Author: Muhammad Ali Khan is from Chitral, recently karachi resident and is Student.He/She can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org