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Thursday, September 6, 2012


As described in the dictionary, advertising is the “action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements”, and this capability in the hands of those individuals/entities with the resources to carry out such, have the potential to be an effective force for change. However, change can be either positive or negative and it’s not often possible to differentiate between those whose intent is bent on deception as oppose to those genuinely using this effective tool. Therefore, the object of this post is to provide a cross-sectional view of this instrument’s basic premise up-front in order that the greater awareness tools available will enable this skill to be implemented in separating fact from fiction in advertising methods, regardless of the players involved. While familiarity with bait and switch after the fact methods is widely known, the main thrust of this post is to provide before hand knowledge to avoid falling gullible later.
Selling is an “art form” based either on coercing, manipulating, seducing and convincing individuals to: sign up for, commit to, behave in a manner different than normally practiced and carrying out purchases of products and/or services whether or not the need exists. The simplest method of advertising is the use of a “pitch” person approach, whether male, female or other (ex. a mascot type character). However, this approach is the easiest to abuse mainly because the emotions of individuals are being appealed to just as occurs when a suitor (wanted or otherwise) appeals to a prospective person of interest and where tales of abusive “pick-up lines” are commonplace, along with the dissastrous relationships and/or "lemons" that are strewn along the way, abound. In addition, other abusive practice includes the use of “family” members (for example children) in ad placements (see the post WHY DO “VIRTUAL” SOCIETY TYPES RELY ON “SOFT TOUCH”ADVERTISING?). More difficult to engineer are ads using or involving everyday members of the public as spokespersons. These can be the most effective because they involve individuals with whom the public can identify with depending the target audience, to achieve their desired objective. However, those with ulterior motives can also abuse this method. Case in point, some advertisers go out of their way to highlight that “REAL” customers are being used in their ads. Most likely, those taking the time to draw attention to this fact are probably not being truthful in their ads in this matter.
Finally, it must be pointed out that most successful establishments, carve out a niche in their prospective marketplaces that others then try to duplicate on, which their successful marketing/advertising campaigns are based, whether its from the costs, upscale, boutique or trendy, etc. type approaches in the various marketplaces. On occasion however, a complete paradigm shift occurs in a market, (ex. an earthquake takes place), which completely transforms a marketplace “overnight” (for example the introduction of digital watches versus the previous Swiss-based market standard, analog type), making a different set of players capable of vying for ad dominance market share in he new environment. However, most market shifts and the outmoded advertising methods of the losers take place over longer periods and the successful methods of the new player(s) are visible with their growth/successful advertising evident. Five and Dime stores and airlines are examples of such market losers to mention a few. This practice is also successfully used in the remaking of political candidates over time from unacceptable to being viewed as traditional and advertising whether skillfully marketed and packaged or the proverbial “wolf’ being remade in “sheep’s clothing”, approach, all rely on change, (see the post CHANGE). In closing, let me reinforce that now armed with this information, we can choose to: refrain from signing up for unneeded things, end over committing, making alterations unless they actually enhance and avoid purchasing either products or services simply because it’s a fad. In this manner, WE CAN BECOME MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE PURCHASERS, RESIDENTS AND/OR CITIZENS ETC, ALIKE, EVEN IF ONLY A FEW OF US DO.   

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