Advertisements have become an integral and unavoidable part of our social living. They catch your attention unasked and leads you to believe that you are in urgent need of the product on display even if you don’t really need it. On the other hand, to sell something you need to display it so we cannot be against the advertisement system completely. What is really disturbing is the misleading and intimidating information they broadcast while advertising for a simple product. Once you have laid hands on the actual product you can see that the whole thing was mere bluff and you got yourself voluntarily cheated. You cannot complain for they won’t listen and you can’t throw it back because you paid for it. Sensible shopping is a vague term and none can deny how they went caught into the trap of buy one get one free without noticing that the actual price was already increased and perhaps quality compromised.
Ads are necessary for marketing:
1. Advertisement are marketing strategies to let consumers know their options and alternatives, to be able to compare before they invest the hard earned money into something valuable. To be able to decide wisely is an individual’s trait and if he picks up the wrong product, it is not the advertisement that should be blamed. Customers won’t even know what options they have if advertisements are banned and eventually they might end up buying inferior product at a price that could get them a quality product.
2. Advertisements are made attractive and entertaining so that it catches the attention of viewers and readers. A simple advertisement with mere information about the product would be just too boring and we might just skip through them in newspapers, websites and billboards. Catchy images and ideas are not meant to cheat consumers but to give them just an idea about the pros of buying the product on highlight.
3. In todays world consumers are far more sensible and they do understand the risks of buying without comparing. Advertisements do catch the viewer’s attention but most users would definitely look for product details before buying them. Now that checking product description online has become easier advertisement cannot be considered worthy of cheating consumers unless the consumer buys products blindly without checking out reviews by those that have used the product.
4. Advertisement also meets the sponsorship need of events or companies where advertisers pay for ads. The price of tickets for cricket matches would be even higher if they were not sponsored by ads. The everyday newspaper would cost more if it weren’t for advertisements in catchy graphics. Finding jobs would be difficult if the companies did not advertise their interests and demands on newspapers and websites.
5. Apart from marketing, some advertisements are also meant to spread awareness and for social causes. Polio awareness program proved successful owing to various ads on billboards, television, newspapers and pamphlets. Aids awareness, clean India mission, educating girls campaign, tobacco ill effects, and many more social causes have greatly benefited from advertisements.
Ads are designed to cheat:
1. Advertisements are misleading in more than one ways. They are aimed to make you believe that you dreams are going to come true with that product. Fairness creams they say can turn you from dusky to flawlessly white, which is scientifically impossible. I am not a racist but technically if these advertisements are to be believed, Negros would have become extinct by now. Ladies and young girls are so affected by these beauty products that they desperately want to use them and turn into Yami Gautam sooner than later. These products need to be stopped from claiming such nuisances immediately.
2. The biggest of all the cheating strategies adopted by advertisement companies is to provide discounts and offers. What consumers fail to see is that the product under discount scheme has the price tag of raised value which eventually misleads consumers to but more than one product at when the consumer actually needed none. We unknowingly get into the lure of buying things at cheaper price and end up spending more than what our budget permits.
3. Sexual content used to advertise simple products is quite misleading, especially for children who begin associating the product with the act they view on advertisements. Deodorants, liquors and even some edible products are made to look sensuous, which by all means is misleading. Materialism is conveyed through some ads that undermine values and ethics.
4. Humans have a tendency to want what they don’t have and these overtly glorified ads just triggers the sense of wanting what is available and feeling that it could make you happy. Shopaholics can never stop even if they are down to five feet below the ground on debt because it makes them unhappy and even depressed to see that they do not possess something that they would love to have.
5. Mouth-watering junk food advertised with catchy images and videos increase our cravings for unhealthy food. Even adults are not so immune to the lure these chocolates and chips create and children are mostly affected by the ill effects of consuming junk food. High risks of obesity, diabetes and hypertension is associated with these junk food that sometimes go ahead to mislead with claims of being healthy.
Advertisement has both sides of pros and cons and cannot be completely banned even if the cons overshadow the pros. Advertisement is a very effective means of communication between the seller and the buyer and without ads we would be living under ignorance about new products and their values. However, it is necessary that the government develops some policies to prevent misleading, intimidating and sexual content from ads. Now that the new food law calls for no junk food in and around school campuses, it would be apt for the government to restrain advertisements of these junk food too.
Spoken English in Bhubaneswar Spoken English in Bhubaneswar