The 8 Most Important Role of Advertisement in Mass Communication
Various methods and channels of communication discussed by us in the earlier chapters including oral communication, visual communication, written communication, audio-visual communication and non-verbal communication involving signs and symbols are all used in a very creative and appealing manner.
Quite often, the services of specialists and specialized agencies having highly advanced communication skills, and creative abilities are used to make the strategies effective.
2. While advertisements can be extremely effective in reaching out to the targets and conveying the message, the very fact that they are paid for brings the cost element into focus, and the resultant need for getting mileage or value for money.
Good advertisements should attract attention and carry mass appeal. The message should be carried across to the target audience. The form of advertisement, whether TV, radio, print media or hoarding is to be decided on the basis of the target audience as well as the cost consideration.
The cost that can be incurred will have to be seen against the reach that the advertising will ensure. TV, radio and cinema slides have the potential to reach out to illiterate sections of the people as well, whereas advertisements in newspapers, magazines and souvenirs target the literate sections.
While TV and radio advertisements cost in terms of time taken, advertisements in newspapers and journals cost in terms of space occupied and also the position taken.
3. Newspapers sell space in terms of column centimeters, and journals in terms of pages availed. Front page of a newspaper, cover page of a magazine, colour advertisements and premier locations usually carry a higher tariff than ordinary pages and black and white messages.
Carrying full page or half page colour advertisements in all editions of a prominent English national newspaper would entail very substantial cost, and hence the message has to be very thoughtfully developed.
A list of statements eliciting a true or false reply furnished at the end of this chapter will help in gaining further insight into newspaper advertisements.
4. Radio advertisements are very cost effective and have the potential to reach out to vast sections of people, especially the illiterate sections. Unlike the print media and the electronic media (TV), where written messages and visual messages assume significance, in a radio advertisement, it is obviously the audio or vocal message that gets conveyed.
The radio signal now covers around 95 per cent of the country’s population and has a tremendous reach. Radio stations air programs in English, Hindi as well as numerous regional languages, which provides an additional advantage to the advertiser.
Although this medium has been relatively more popular in the non-metro centres, where the penetration by TV is limited, the launch of FM channels and relays in major metro centres and towns has further enhanced the appeal of this medium.
Mass production of radio sets has enabled the price of a radio to come down below Rs 100, making it even more popular. Communication by way of radio advertisements is thus well poised to take further strides.
5. Television advertisements have emerged to be an extremely popular and creative method of communication. The availability of numerous channels constitutes a wide choice for the advertiser. Well over 70 per cent of the country’s population has access to television.
The TRP ratings periodically bring out relative popularity of the programs and the channels. Multinationals, banks, mutual funds, insurance companies and a host of other businesses bring out creative TV advertisements with the help of their advertising agencies to gain and retain mind share or mass appeal.
The cost of the advertisement varies depending upon the time it takes, the popularity of the program/channel, the time of the day (prime time or otherwise) and such relevant factors.
Since the cost involved in developing and carrying TV ads on an ongoing basis is very substantial, the message has to be thoughtfully developed, and there is a high element of creativity involved in compressing the message in a visually appealing manner within the time allotted. Quite often, the advertisements are repeated to catch attention and achieve recall value.
6. Hoardings or billboards are another type of communication with the target audience. Boards fitted on the top of a building or specially erected structures offer advertisement space to businesses.
These billboards are available in or near intersections, junctions, traffic signals and other such prominent locations in towns and cities. They attract or catch the attention of people travelling or passing by, and help convey the message of the advertiser.
Outside towns and cities, they can also be seen extensively on the highways. Hoardings are available both on ownership and hire. Hiring costs would depend on the prominence of the location and the period for which it is taken.
7. In order to make the advertisement appealing and cost effective, creativity and expertise are essential. That is the reason why organizations take the assistance of advertising agencies which help them in developing advertising campaigns appropriate to each medium.
Apart from giving advice on the advertising mix and assisting the organization in getting appropriate time and space on the media, such agencies also develop the artwork to suit the medium of advertising.
In developing the message for the advertisements, the language used, the visual picture, the colour combination, the position in the newspaper or magazine, the music and models used and several such factors assume crucial importance.
Excellent artwork becomes ineffective if the readership of the newspaper is limited, or the language used is inappropriate or the position is such that it is lost amidst supplements.
Since advertising is an expensive means, the choice of the media mix should be carefully done keeping in view the relative costs and the target audience.
8. Effective advertisements are those that compress the essentials of the message, within the given time or space, in an appealing manner with the help of a combination of words, figures, pictures, theme, models, tone, music and colour.
The key word is creativity. Advertising agencies employ copywriters, art directors and other creative force to help develop attention- grabbing ad campaigns through various media. Advertising calls for specialized skills and will have to be developed through dedicated efforts.
Advertorials constitute a recent development in the field of advertising. They are offered largely by newspapers and they refer to a combination of advertisement and editorial.
Particularly relevant for businesses on special occasions like anniversaries, launch of new products and opening of new offices, advertorials are jointly prepared by the business organization and ad agencies with the editorial team of the newspaper concerned.
Advertorials may occupy as much as a full page, or even more, and stand out for their distinctiveness. The cost to the advertiser is not for the full space since only a part of it is considered as advertisement and the remaining as editorial or presentation by the newspaper team.