Advertising Past and Present
Print advertising before 1970 was different in comparison to the present form of print advertisement. I have selected print advertisement of Coca Cola. There will be a discussion of target market, changes in advertising, impact of social, cultural and ethical issues. Target Market Target market plays a vital role in the success or failure of print advertising that if not considered effectively can result in a loss of valuable resource and time. Before 1970, the expectations of customer were not so modernize, but after 1970, a dramatic shift in the demands and expectations of target market has changed.
In past print advertisings, target market generally comprised of specific age group, gender and occupation (Lancaster & Reynolds, 2005). Nowadays, print advertisements are generally oriented towards people of all age group, gender, race and occupation. In past form of print advertisements, the focus of marketers was mainly to target a particular group. In present scenario, target market is selected on the basis of all key factors like geographic, demographic and psychographic.
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Before 1970, the target market for Coca Cola was mainly youth (Hill, O’Sullivan & Hill, 2003).
After 1970, the target market for Coca Cola has changed to every age group people. Print Advertisement of Coca Cola in 1964 (Magazine Ads, 2010). Print Advertisement of Coca Cola 2009 (Coca Cola Open Happiness, 2010) Advertising Changes As a trend of globalization the form of advertising has changed significantly. It is also observed that advertising in past was not as vivid and innovative as it is now (Hill, O’Sullivan & Hill, 2003). Use of innovative tools, tactics and symbols become the trend of present form of print advertising that is quite different from the past form of advertising.
Print advertising strategy of Coca Cola has changed dramatically that reflects the shift. Advertisers now only focus on the attractive message and content to entice the attention of the selected target market for particular product or service. There are different aspects and factors that are responsible for the dramatic changes that have occurred in the advertising pattern. These are as follows: Taste & Preferences: For an advertiser, taste & preferences of target market matter a lot in the success or failure of a developed advertisement.
In past, the taste & preferences of target market were not as highlighted and visible for the marketers due to that their advertising strategies were not as influential. Now, due to changing scenario, taste and preferences of the target market has changed dramatically (Hill, O’Sullivan & Hill, 2003). Nowadays, customer become intelligent and chooses only those products that are advertised effectively. To fulfill the expectations of customers, use of marketing mix has also changed in the present form of advertising.
Currently, marketing mix is presented in an elaborated form in the print advertisements (Goi, 2009). Consumer decision making: Decision making of consumers has also changed the advertising pattern in a tremendous manner. In past, consumer behavior was predictable, but in present, due to availability of alternatives, consumer behavior is unpredictable. A slight mistake in the advertising strategy can result into the loss of millions for the marketers. To retain the customers and ensure a loyalty from the target market, marketers have altered their advertising strategies (Arens & Weigold, 2008).
Decision making of consumer has also improved with the increased market knowledge that motivated them to analyze and select the best option in the form of product or service. So, to align the advertisements with the decision making of target market, advertisers have changed their strategy. Competition: Competition is another factor that has acted a great role in the shift of advertising from past to present level. With the advent of global market, extent of competition has also increased. Competitors started to counter attack on the advertisements developed by their rivals in the same market.
For example, PepsiCo and Coca Cola are the two competitive beverage firms that uses counter marketing to pose challenges. In past, the extent of completion was not as high as it is now in present scenario (Lancaster & Reynolds, 2005). Due to the intense competition, marketers have changed their advertising focus and pattern. Message content used in the advertisings has also changed to attract the attention of the target market. For example, the trends of buy three get one free is now increasingly used by the marketers in the advertising messages of the home care, beauty care and personal care products.
Offers and discounts become also common in the present form of advertising. For example, purchase of one item is associated with a discount (20%, 25%, 30% etc). Use of catchy slogans and message become the trend of the market that also motivated the advertisers to alter their advertising format (Lancaster & Reynolds, 2005). Cultural factor: Cultural factors like values, beliefs, assumptions, language and norms are also responsible for the change in the advertising patterns from past to present level.
Due to cultural differences, the marketers have changed their advertising strategy to fit with the cultural environment of a particular nation (Arens & Weigold, 2008). For example, use of female models in the advertisements has now increased in comparison to the past advertisements. Economic factors: Economic environment also play a great role in the advertising patterns. It has also changed the strategies used by the marketers to develop their advertising campaigns in present time.
For example, at the time of economic downturn, Coca-Cola Spain has developed an “Open Happiness” advertisement to motivate the stressed target market for purchasing (The Coca-Cola Company, 2009). The intention was to convey the people that future always has happiness. So, to address the challenges of economic environment, advertising methods have changed dramatically. Social influence: Social environment also play a great role in the shift of advertising from past to present scenario. Society norms, regulations and traditions have motivated the target market to follow their patterns.
This change in target market activities has also forced the advertisers to change their advertising messages and patterns to comply with the social environment. For example, use of Tobacco advertisements without terms and conditions is prohibitory (Arens & Weigold, 2008). Due to the social influence, advertisers have started to mention that tobacco is injurious to health in their advertising message. To reflect corporate social responsibility to fulfill the societal norms, advertisers have modified their advertising way.
Ethical influence: Ethical standards have also influenced the advertisers to change their strategy to formulate messages for the advertisements. In past, the ethical related practices were not as influential as in present scenario, so to comply with the ethical norms and regulations, advertisers have changed their strategy (Lancaster & Reynolds, 2005). Use of different appeals is performed in a cautious manner by the advertisers now to maintain the credibility of their advertisements in the eye of target market. Regulatory: Regulatory environment also had a great influence over the advertising patterns that resulted into the change.
Strict regulations and norms exercised by the governmental bodies have also influenced the advertising patterns (Arens & Weigold, 2008). To comply with the regulatory framework, advertisers have changed their strategies that resulted into a shift. Conclusion On the basis of above discussion, it can be inferred that advertising in past was different in comparison to the present form of advertising. Print advertising used in past times has changed in present scenario in terms of color, text and dimensions. It is also identified that the external market environment has a great influence over the advertising policies.