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Advertising is the marketing strategy that involves the purchase of space in a media vehicle to promote a product, service or brand, with the objective of reaching the company’s target audience and encouraging them to buy.

It is part of our lives. It’s on the streets, in the malls, inside our homes, in the newspaper, in the magazine, on the cell phone, on the internet. Wherever you look, it is there.

We are talking about advertising , so present in our day to day!

Advertisements have an important role: they serve to promote products, services and brands, with the aim of stimulating commercial relations.

However, for this, they invade our routine – and we are often not in the mood. Who has never lost patience with that annoying YouTube ad? It seems that there is always an advertising disturbing, wanting to sell something all the time!

But is she really that boring? I bet you’ve laughed out loud watching a commercial on TV! Advertisements also thrill, entertain, make people laugh and cry, and even inform about a new store in the city or an unmissable promotion.

In this post, we will analyze everything about advertising, from its definition to its dilemmas, to understand how it works and what its role is. Come on?

In this post you will see:

  1. What is advertising
  2. Advertising x Marketing
  3. Misleading and abusive advertising
  4. Advertising History

What is advertising?

Advertising is the marketing strategy that involves the purchase of space in a media vehicle to promote a product, service or brand, with the objective of reaching the company’s target audience and encouraging them to buy.

However, this is a limiting definition of advertising, which involves much more than the purchase of a product.

Advertising is also an area of ​​knowledge , within Social Communication, which studies not only the technique of the activity, but also its role in social and cultural relations. After all, if she is so present in our daily lives, she participates in our lives.

It is not by chance that advertisers are always keeping an eye on the cultural and behavioral trends of society, so that the advertisements generate an identification with the consumer.

Therefore, advertising can also be understood as a reflection of the society of its time, as it reproduces the current behaviors and values.

Despite this, many people believe that advertising does not simply reflect society – it encourages and shapes behavior. Therefore, it needs regulations to prevent abuse, as we will see below.

Therefore, advertising is controversial. Sometimes, she is seen as a villain, for encouraging consumerism, influencing behaviors and invading our routine.

At other times, she may be the young lady, who is not to blame for the ills of society and still fulfills the function of informing and entertaining with creativity.

Marketing x Advertising

There is a common confusion between marketing and advertising. After all, both activities aim to sell a product or service. So, are they the same thing?

No, there is a difference. To better understand, let’s return to a traditional marketing concept: the Marketing Mix, better known as the 4 Ps .

Price, Place, Product and Promotion are the four basic elements of a marketing strategy, and the balance between them makes a brand stronger with its target audience.

In the Price P, you must think about the company’s costs and profit projections, but also the profile of the target audience, who must be willing to pay that amount.

P de Praça refers to the places where you offer your products, such as the physical or virtual store, as well as the distribution and storage channels.

Product OP involves strategies on the product’s tangible (color, shape, packaging) and intangible (quality, reputation, status) attributes.

But it is in the Promotion P that we want to focus on this post, because that is where advertising comes in.

Promotion are all strategies for promoting the product to reach the target audience. Advertising is one of them, but it can also involve actions of press relations, public relations , sponsorships, among others.

Therefore, advertising is a marketing tool . While marketing is concerned with understanding the target audience and developing strategies to serve them, advertising is focused on reaching them with persuasive communication.

To work, marketing needs alignment between the 4Ps. Have you ever wondered if the advertising campaign reaches the target audience and arouses interest, but the online store is down?

The Promotion worked, but the Square did not, and the brand did not achieve the desired sales.

Misleading and abusive advertising

Advertising manages to influence consumption habits and motivate the purchase of a product.

With this power in hand, there are many ads that make misleading advertising , that force the bar (or, we can say, that lie) about the qualities of the product and can lead the consumer to error.

Another type of advertisement that is harmful to consumers is abusive advertising , which encourages discrimination, violence, fear, or disrespects children, the environment, people’s health and safety.

But there are a lot of people looking to avoid this type of advertising. Among many other limitations to advertising activity, the Consumer Protection Code defines what is misleading and abusive advertising and provides penalties for those who incur these practices.

In addition to consumer protection entities, advertisers themselves are also concerned about this.

In the 70s, in response to a bill that would propose prior censorship to advertising, the market created its own rules, gathered in the Advertising Self-Regulation Code .

Today, this code guides the work of CONAR , which brings together representatives from agencies, vehicles and advertisers in defense of advertising ethics .

Children’s advertising

Among the ads considered abusive, special attention is paid to children’s advertising. Children do not have the insight to know what is real and what is not – and advertising manages to mess with fantasy and imagination.

Therefore, for the law, the child is considered vulnerable and needs to be protected from advertising practices.

CONAR condemns, for example, merchandising in children’s programs and the use of imperative expressions, such as “ask for yours”, “access now” or ” buy Baton ” – an advertisement that would not be currently broadcast on Brazilian TV.

In this type of ad, there are also a lot of people watching. In addition to consumer protection and advertising regulation entities, advertisements aimed at children also come under pressure from child protection laws and institutions .

Alana, with its project Criança e Consumo , is one of the most active entities, seeking to raise awareness about the impacts caused by advertising directed at children.

However, there is a discussion about the limits of these restrictions. While advertisers defend the right to information with ethical child advertising, child protection movements advocate a ban on advertising directed at children under 12.

Advertising History

Without the technology we have today, the only tool to promote a product or service was the salesman’s language. But a lot has happened from word of mouth to the current mobile ads.

The first major transformation for advertising was Gutenberg’s invention in the 15th century. The mechanical press allowed the reproduction of texts in addition to the manuscripts and also emerged one of the main media outlets: the printed newspaper .

In 1625, the English newspaper Mercurius Britannicus published the first newspaper ad. In Brazil, this happened only at the end of the 19th century, with texts produced by poets like Olavo Bilac.

Advertising did not yet have the persuasive character that it later came to have – the goal was just to present the product or service.

In the Industrial Age, advertising took on an important role: encouraging the consumption of mass-produced goods in urban centers. With that, the market became professional.

In 1841, Volney Palmer, who negotiated spaces between newspapers and companies, created the first advertising agency , in Philadelphia (USA). In Brazil, the first agency was created in 1914 and was called A Eclética.

In the early years of the twentieth century, the auto industry was the major driver of advertising. Henry Ford said, “Stopping investing in advertising to save money is like stopping the clock to save time.” Makes sense, right?

In the following decades, radio and magazines encouraged the advertising industry , but it was television that revolutionized it. In 1941, the first TV commercial for the watch brand Bulova was aired at a cost of $ 9 (see this historic ad here !).

Audiovisual gave wings to creativity, and the ads became much more interesting and persuasive. Along with this, advertising has become the subject of studies, research and criticism, in order to assess its impact on society.

In the most recent decades, another revolution for advertising has emerged: the internet. Advertising spaces on search engines, portals, blogs, e-mails and social networks represented a new and great opportunity for advertisers.

With digital marketing , it became much easier to reach the target audience and accurately measure the results of a campaign, something that until then no vehicle allowed.

However, advertising is challenged by these new media, which question the traditional model of advertising and agency .

Today, brands need to engage with consumers by offering good content to them, and not invading their routine with boring ads. How, then, can advertising be more relevant?

In addition, digital marketing has democratized access to advertising: today, any company can create ads on Google or Facebook . And now, what is the use of agencies?

The market is reinventing itself. To keep up with the changes, the certainty is that you cannot take your eye off technological and consumer innovations.

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