Appreciating the Subtle Effects of Advertising
If you were to sit down and ask a person whether or not they believed advertising influenced them, the majority of people would say no. One of the reasons for this answer is because people look for major effects from advertising on them. Most people believe that if advertising does not get them to change from one brand to another, it is not affecting the. The truth is though that advertising is designed to work in a subtle way that produces minor effects over an extended period of time. Now, from time to time advertisers do try to make an immediate effect in the buying habits of a person. They do this for example when they roll out a new product and are looking to attract an immediate swell of attention.
However, in the vast majority of cases, advertisers are not trying to immediately persuade or win over the mind of people who see their advertisement. Instead, they are attempting to make small changes in the way that people perceive their product. These are changes that are so small that people do not even notice they are happening. But even these micro-effects of advertising will eventually influence the brand people purchase if all other factors are the same. That is, if people have the option of purchasing the product that is being offered by advertisers or a generic product, and both products are the same price and offer the same quantity, the subtle effects of advertising will encourage people to purchase the name brand product.
It is very rare that a television advertisement is going to get a person to think this is exactly what they need and then get them to run out and purchase the item. Most people do not reflect on what they see in advertising until something else triggers them to do so at a later date. This could be everything from corporate signage to a billboard advertising a brand on the street to a conversation with a friend at the dinner table where a particular product is brought up.
Really, it’s not the ad itself that matters. What marketers are trying to do is leave people with a positive feeling and a good impression that they will later associate with the brand. The goal is to create a memory, even if it is very faint, that will predispose a person to see a particular brand in a positive light when it is compared with its alternatives.