Advertising feature a dark skinned woman or

Advertising is a sponsored activity
with a target of inducing awareness and to persuade and remind consumers the
presence of the brand in the market (Makasi, Govender & Rukweza, 2014). The
purpose behind advertising changes as a brand develops. When brands are first
introduced into the market, advertisements provide information about the
features of the product and how it is different from existing competitors. They
increase curiosity and draw new consumers towards the product, thereby creating
brand awareness. Once the brand is established, advertisements look to increase
sales and retaining old consumers while attracting new ones. They also help
enhance product image and ensure consumers do not forget about the product. The
end goal of any advertisement is to persuade a consumer to buy a product and
increase the sales of the brand.

are created with the target audience in mind. It is important that marketers understand
the consumer so as to attract them towards a product. Thus, consumer behaviour
is an important factor in brand and advertising strategy. Consumer behaviour
are the decisions and actions that influence the purchasing behaviour of a
consumer (). It is the cultural, social, individual and ethical influences
on consumer buying behaviour as well as the thought processes of the consumer.

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People do not passively consume the
information handed out to them. They are driven and influenced by internal and
external factors and their behaviour is a result of the interaction between the
factors. Some of these factors include purchasing power, beliefs and values,
taste, family and culture, past experiences and reference groups.

play a massive role in increasing sales by targeting social and individual
needs of the consumer. In a way, advertisements satisfy as well create a need in consumers.

They tap into the underlying reasons
of why we buy products, such as material gains, to gain acceptance and validity
from society and to also make a statement.

Everyone, to a certain degree, has the need to feel accepted by the
society and their peers. Fairness creams,
for instance, use the need to be beautiful. These advertisements reinforce the
idea that to be desirable is to be fair and most of them feature a dark skinned
 woman or a man who is self conscious
about their looks and regains confidence and appeals to the other sex once s/he
uses a fairness cream. Advertisements also target the prestige and the need to
own luxury brands to be viewed favourably by the individuals of the consumer’s
reference group.

Advertisements also enunciate
the uniqueness of their product and aim to make the consumer feel special for
investing in the product. Consumers enjoy exclusivity and advertisements create
this feeling with their product. They also want to believe that they are using
the best possible item within their purchasing power. The beer company Dos
Equis’s marketing campaign with ‘the most interesting man in the world’ catapulted
to fame. The brand by elucidating how
even the world’s most interesting man indulges in Dos Equis in the rare occasions
he drinks beer. These kinds of advertisements also lead to increase in brand
equity, or at least perceived brand equity and increase brand worth.

There comes a prestige from owning a high equity brand. Consumers feel
justified when a brand charges a premium for their product simply because it is
a luxury brand.  

sometimes use celebrity endorsements to increase their brand equity. Consumers, especially teens feel validated in their choice of
brand when an individual they look up to or identify with use the same product
as them. When celebrities advertise a product, the product’s perceived quality
or it’s overall superiority increases. The worth of the celebrity is imprinted
on the brand. Consumers might also believe that the celebrity will endorse a
product producing only good products and will believe in the quality and genuineness
of the product.  

to Johnson (1984), the money spent on advertising corresponds and contributes
to brand equity.


Equity is the value of the brand name. Rather than the product, it is judged purely
by the brand name itself and a consumer’s perception of it. A well known brand
name generates more income simply from brand recognition. Achieving a positive
brand equity is hard and maintaining one is harder as it takes years of consistent
performance. There are different stages of developing a brand equity –
awareness, recognition, trial, preference and loyalty and advertising
strategies for consumers in each of these levels differ.

equity has different dimensions as proposed by Aaker (). They include – brand
awareness, brand loyalty, perceived quality, brand association and propriety assets.

Brands try to reach out to consumers through all these channels, advertising
being one way.

When a
brand is first introduced, the primary purpose is to announce and provide
information about the product. The advertisements for these brands aim look to
— all the features of the product or service.

contribute to positive brand associations. Brand associations are “non-conscious but reliable behavioural predisposition” (Krishnan
& Chakravarti, 1993) and they are important in establishing brand equity. Consumers
believe a brand and it’s products to have certain qualities and attribute
personality characteristics to the brand and this occurs at a sub conscious
level. When advertisements create positive feelings in us, we project those
feelings onto the brand and thus, the product. For instance, most people find kittens, puppies and
babies cute and they develop feelings of warmth and happiness in individuals. McVities
Digestives advertisements (TVadsRated,
2014) equates their biscuits to the feeling when one
cuddles a puppy or a kitten.  

It is also
important for brands that we identify ourselves with the brand and their values
and message. Creating such an association leads to the development of brand
loyalty. Thus, brands try to bring forth an oppourtunity for such associations by
way of advertisements. For instance, Nike through its advertisement ‘What are
girls made of’ tries to convey what kind of women use Nike – those who are
strong, perseverant, graceful, brave, independent and passionate. Nike also
simultaneously imbues their products with these characteristics — and we come
to associate these characteristics with wearing Nike.

with high brand equity have consumers with greater brand loyalty. Loyalty is
important in maintaining the longevity of a
brand. It is when consumer’s are deeply committed to one brand and prefer to
buy their product/ use their service consistently even when other marketers
persuade them consistently. Samsung recently
released an advertisement prior to the release of Apple’s iPhone X (Samsung
Mobile USA, 2017). This advertisement manages to increase brand value of Samsung while simultaneously bringing
down that of Apple’s. It’s a clear response to Apple, subtly undermining Apple’s
performance in comparison to Samsung’s. The advert in a way indicates how
advantaged the consumers who have used Galaxy are. Thus, advertisements aid not
only in promoting their product buy also bringing down the value of the
competitors product. This is important because consumers constantly and
automatically compare one product with another and advertisements need to make
a product stand out, to aid effective recall of the product in the future. Thus,
advertisements also need to dissuade consumers from buying a competitor’s

are also used to depict a brand’s success and thus high brand value and equity.

Established brands emphasise on their longevity and thus indicate the quality
of their product. Nike’s advert for Nike Air Vapormax shows Nike’s consistent
performance over the years while constantly striving to bring better shoes. This
also puts a consumer at ease as they understand the brand is trustworthy.

brands use advertisements to recreate their image if they experience a pitfall,
leading to a decrease in brand equity. For instance, Dominoes created a
documentary style advertisement after receiving poor reviews from the public on
their increasingly substandard quality of their pizza. The advertisement shows
how and the effort undertaken when they re-invented their pizza. Advertisements
of such kind help reinstate a consumer’s trust in the brand if they have had
bad experiences with the brand and increase brand loyalty, a result of a
consumer’s trust in the product. They also send the message that the consumer’s
welfare and opinions are important to the organisation. Thus, advertisements
help to not only create a belief about a brand, but change it too, if need be.

of brands enter the market everyday and there already exist millions of them. An
advertisement’s primary aim is to make a consumer remember the advert and thus,
the product. However, marketers need to take into account a consumer’s selective
attention as well as selective retention. Thus, much thought goes into making an
advertisement memorable. Some advertisements use humour, such as the viral-hit
of Australia’s Metro Trains, ‘Dumb Ways to Die’, listing out many ways to die,
the stupidest of them being from the tack line. Other advertisements use a
sentimental and emotional story while others use the shock factor by creating
jarring imagery. An example of the latter is PETA’s ‘Grace’, which features a
little girl saying grace at a Thanksgiving table explicitly talking about the
treatment of turkeys (PETA, 2009).

This form of
advertising might not be the most effective because individual’s tend to shut
down information that is unpleasant.

indicates that individuals respond best to humour and

especially broadcast advertisements visually show a consumer

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