Advertising is the promotion of a product or service and is pervasive in contemporary society.
To maximize sales, companies will pay a premium for wide exposure through the mass media. Advertising space is common, but not restricted to these realms; billboards, public transportation, movies (product placement), schools, clothing, even bathroom stalls carry ads and the industry is constantly finding new ways to advertise.
The United States has the largest advertising market, accounting for half of the world's advertising expenditures (estimated at 500 billion in 2004 by the New Yorker). Japan holds a secure second place over Germany and the United Kingdom but still at less than one fifth of the U.S. total. In the United States, the number one target market for most major companies is the youth market. American youth spend over $70 billion a year as consumers and also influence their parents’ purchases (The Educators Reference Desk). Marketing to youth begins in early childhood where approximately 90% of the ads shown during children’s programs promote food and drink products. Companies believe that young people are more inclined to be loyal to their favorite products if they are influenced early on.
Most companies employ other persuasive tactics to lure the youth dollar, like enlisting celebrity endorsers. Actors, musicians, and athletes earn a lot of money to promote everything from cereal to expensive clothes and lifestyle choices. Companies hope that youth will define their personal identity through a loyalty to what they buy, wear and eat.
Although the majority of youth are attracted to logos, brand names, and popular chains, many others resist brand culture for political reasons. One example of resistance is the culture jam movement in North America. Founder and publisher of Adbusters magazine Kalle Lasn and other media activists are “concerned about the erosion of our physical and cultural environments by commercial forces.” Culture jamming aims to “change the way information flows, the way institutions wield power, the way television stations are run and how food, fashion, automobile, sports, music and culture industries set their agendas.”
With this introduction: how well can we say, we are doing in Advertising in Nigeria, have we truly discovered what advert is all about? Where are we now? Where are we heading in the next 5year in the business of Adverting in Nigeria? In my next post I will be answering these questions and more, stay posted.