This is an age of advertising. A big part of their capital is being spent on advertising by the businessmen, traders, firms, companies, entrepreneurs and shopkeepers. In these times of expansion, modernization, integration and liberalization of business, there is boom in consumerism. And so, naturally, there is boom in advertisement. Advertising has become universal and many faceted. One can’t escape or avoid it. It is there on the railway platforms, bus stands, trains and buses, trams, at the market places in the streets, on the roof-tops, on the silver screen the small screen of TV, in journals, magazines, and newspapers, even on electricity and telephone bills. Its forms are very many, amazing and boundless. Hoardings, bills, slogans, neon signs, prints, announcements, tableaus, small but colourful processions etc. are some of these forms.
The senses of consumers are being increasingly assaulted by these advertisements. And ultimately, it is an assault on our pockets and incomes. These advertisements lure, oblige and pressurize the people to buy. There are tantalizing offers of rebates, discounts, free gifts, free homes deliveries, buy now and pay later, and so on.
Advertisement is a great psychological weapon to lure customers. It also increases the prices of items to be purchased. For example, when a lady buys a cosmetic item for Rs. 100, she pays about Rs. 20 or so towards its advertisement expense. In case of brand and standard items, the percentage of payment towards advertisement may be even higher.
But advertisement offers a far greater choice in terms of quality and variety to the customer. A whole world of choice is before him and he can choose an item to suit his taste, pocket and occasion. This also leads to a healthy competition among producers and sellers, resulting in reduction of prices.
Advertisements generate employment opportunities as well. Commercial advertisements on radio, television and in newspapers, periodicals and in the form of hoardings provide employment to millions of people. There are many advertisement agencies that specialize in this field and possess great expertise. These advertisements also help in subsidizing the prices of newspapers, magazines and various means of entertainment like radio and TV.
Advertisements appeals to our sense. They catch our eyes, attracts us, appeal to our sense of hearing, fire our imagination, exploit us psychologically and then they compel us to buy the product. The good and meaningful advertisements are colourful, inviting, catching, novel, distinct and brilliant. They are often repeated to make desirable impression on the viewers or listeners.
Budget on advertising has been increasing by leaps and bounds in recent years. It is a must for each and every businessman to increase his sale. It is no use producing goods without selling them on reasonable profit margins. Advertising is a power and effective means to achieve this goal.
Advertising is both art and technique. If fairly practiced and used, advertisement is for the benefit of all. But in many cases the advertisements are deceptive, and simply to fool the consumers. Dishonest and unscrupulous people use advertising to serve their own selfish ends. They are a big spot and shame on the fair name of the healthy and competitive business. Against such people there should be proper consumer awareness and movement in the long run, it is honesty that pays.