I recently conducted a small survey-based market research to analyze the impacts of television advertisements on consumer behavior. Apart from the survey, I collected secondary data from published research works from the industrial, academic and government sectors. Going one step ahead from the conventional research methodology, I developed and used a new method for advertisement analysis called “Circumstantial Reverse Mapping of Ideas.” I used the method to analyze an ad campaign and individual ads to determine the basic premise and intentions behind the ad content.
The major findings of the study (including but not limited to) are:
1. Consumers tend to show an element of emotional vulnerability to television advertisements.
2. Television advertisements have multiple elements that catch the attention of the audience, irrespective the liking/aversion towards the ad as a whole.
3. Television advertisements are tailor-made to match the heuristics of the target audience.
4. Television advertisements are allowed to include information without substantiating part or whole of them with scientific explanation or reasoning.
5. There is a consumer behavior pattern for every segment of the audience of television advertisements.
6. Television advertisements are a result of detailed market research involving profiling of the target audience to identify the prejudices and preconceived notions they might have.
7. Modern television advertising concentrates on selling ideas that involve the product/service rather than selling the product directly.
8. Advertising industry is aware of the fact that the target audience has varied levels of social awareness and uses it to its benefit.
I used the analysis, survey data and secondary data collected to bring out the background work and intentions that I think are responsible for the television advertisements we watch. My intention of this study is to create awareness among the public regarding market research and how vicious tv ads are made to manipulate with the consumer’s mind.
Let’s take a stand against unethical advertising. I am a marketing fan and I love advertising. I just hate the way it is exploited for monetary reasons, risking the welfare of the consumers and the society at large.
Never believe any television ad without looking for source of information, source credibility and at least one attempt at a fair, rational questioning of the idea presented. It is because we jump to conclusions, we make ourselves a captive of our own sub-conscious bias and prejudice which the television ads easily manipulate to push products into our communities.
On behalf of the consumers, I would like to request the advertising community to stop playing with consumers’ innocence and stay away from using tricks to sell products and services into the society. Just because there are advertising tricks to sell anything, certain businesses are motivated to create products that can cause harm to the consumers. If the products and services have real value that can positively impact the society, then those products would never need a deceiving ad that uses random images coupled with unsubstantiated claims of unscientific information, cleverly termed “Puffery,” to mislead the consumers to buy them.