Why We Love Advertisements
Lets face it. Advertisements are here to entertain (or at least try to) and to sell us with products and/or services that companies offer. These ads are created by marketers, businesses and big corporations who are vying to get your attention with hopes that you’ll buy their stuff and that you’ll be a loyal customer.
Advertisements come in many forms – infomercials, T.V. commercials, radio ads, print, web and web text/video ads. You see the ads watching T.V., when you listen the radio, surfing YouTube and literally all over the internet – banners, links and pop up’s. Of course, by far the best kind of advertisement is word of mouth.
Now before you write to me with hate mail, bring out the pitch forks and burn me at the stake, the reality is nobody loves advertisements or infomercials or what ever else we may call advertisement. So the question to ask here is why are there so many of them and so often? Why have any advertisements at all if all you do is go to the kitchen to make yourself a sandwich, use the bathroom, click to close that pop up or simple choose to ignore them altogether?
As much as we dislike advertisements, we actually need them. Why? 1. We have short term memory and 2. We need to know what’s new. Let me explain.
1. Short term memory
You may have heard “advertising rule of 7″, which is the number of exposures to an ad against the customer (a.k.a. you) likelihood of being influenced. These ad’s repeat and repeat until they become old (you know this because you’ve seen them enough times) and you get to a point where you are now irritated about the ad or the ad isn’t something for you and you choose to ignore it, becoming even more irritated because they’re being repeated over and over wasting your time.
It’s not to say that you have a short term memory however in order for you to know that ad isn’t new, you had to have to watch, seen it or heard it 7 times before knowing its there.
Need an example? When was the last time you saw a cigarette commercial? Can’t remember can you? Let me help you out. According to Wikipedia, in April 1970, Congress passed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act banning the advertising of cigarettes on television and radio starting on 2 January 1971. The Virginia Slimsbrand was the last commercial shown, with “a 60-second revue from flapper to Female Lib”, shown at 11:59 p.m. on 1 January during a break on The Tonight Show.
Now think when the last time you saw a car commercial of any kind. Point taken, right?
You see, if we don’t see these ad’s over and over we will forget about them.
2. We need to know what’s new
Imagine if something really big and cool were to come out and you didn’t know it even exist? First of all, do we really need that something “big and cool”? That’s a matter of opinion, like the new iPhone that comes out. For some of us, we need it – that new shiny phone and hopefully before any of your friends get it before you. Case in point – when the XBox 360 came out, I stood, ummm sorry, I spent the night sleeping on the sidewalk of the building that the store was selling them. I really wanted one that bad and when I got it, I wasn’t disappointed. Was it worth the sacrifice of spending the night in front of the blue box store? Yup. Especially, when there was many people just like me wanting to get one and the store only had 24 to give sell and I was number 13 in line! Ha! Victory is mine!
The point is that we need to know what is coming out and what is new for our world. We don’t necessary need to be the first to get one but imagine if you just now heard of the Xbox 360 or the new hover car coming in early 2014. Its not so much that we need it, right now, but we need to know of its existence and we know where to get them. At times, it feels like we see an advertisement that we didn’t it even know exist and now all of a sudden we have to have it.
Most of what I’ve said here is product related or product driven. What about the business that’s a service oriented business like web design, health spa’s, speakers or other like minded service business? There’s no ad’s for them and you definitely don’t see people camping out waiting for that new service that the company will be offering at midnight. One reason – its not for the general public nor is it a want or need. Not everyone needs a website or use the health spa or need a speaker for their child’s tenth birthday. These businesses are normally business to business companies and advertising to the masses would be a waste of time and money. It just doesn’t make much business sense in this case to advertise. Doesn’t mean that these business don’t advertise to other business. In fact, many a business do just that. Google sends out $25 in Google Ad’s gift card when you purchase a $100 or more in Google Ad’s every once in a while to other business.