WHAT IS ADVERTISING?
Advertising is the creation of messages in a number of forms and genres which seek to elicit a response from a mass or more specific audience.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
1. It's a massive industry. The UK advertising industry in 2007 was worth 19 billion pounds.
2. It is everywhere. On your phone, on your t-shirt, on your tv, on the back of the bus seat, on billboards, in your magazine, in your head...
3. Possibly, it creates or supports IDEOLOGIES to which we subscribe, consciously or not. An example - advertising is often blamed for the creation of unreal female (and male) role models which has led to an increase in cases of anorexia and bulimia. Remember this ad in Causeway Bay? It caused a lot of controversy. Do you know why?
4. It pays for nearly everything in the media. Take 'Friends' as an example. Sponsored by a wine company, the show was essentially designed to attract a young, affluent audience (which psychographic and demographic profile would they fit?) so that they could be exposed to the adverts in the middle of the show. The ADS are the important part, not the SHOW! Your magazine? The cover price is not enough to pay for production and distribution. The advertising is what pays for it to be made. Who pays for the internet? Why is so much stuff free (youtube? FAcebook? Myspace?) Advertising pays for it all! Sporting events? Pop concerts? The News? Without advertising, these things would not happen. No Olympics, no World Cup, no Live Earth, no Miley Cyrus, no Ross and Rachel or Chandler and Monica, no Facebook, no Fox News...
In many ways, advertising is the single most important function of the Media becasue, without it, nothing else will happen.
5. This means that advertisers have a great deal of control over what is broadcast. It was common in the fifties and sixties, for example, for advertisers to censor what was shown in dramas or sitcoms they sponsored if they thought it was unsuitable. Advertisers, for example, have a lot of influence about what is published in your magazine.
A less harmful (possibly) example is PRODUCT PLACEMENT. If you've seen Will Smith in I, Robot, I bet you know what brand of shoes he likes. Can you guess who paid for much of the film to be made? Lots of other products jammed in there, too; have a look...