, Research Paper
How Advertising Affects What You Buy
English 1A MW 4-515
November 13, 1994
Thesis: Advertising has different effects on consumers, it changes their
prospective on what is, and what is not, worth buying, what they buy and when
they buy it.
1. How advertisers target a certain background or area
for their product, and how they get your attention.
2. What advertisers use to get you to buy their product,
such as symbols or slogans.
3. Description of five key points of their strategies;
what makes advertisers good or bad.
4. What people used before nylons; what advertising did
for the new Nylon product.
5. What advertising did for a new type of car; how people
reacted to the early advertising. Why the original
idea was changed and how that effected the desire for
one of these cars.
6. What advertising did to get rid of left over war
goods. How the people reacted to the stars when they
were confronted by the idea of using what they do.
How the company went about changing their product,
and how it changed. What inventions made the
7. What makes advertising effective for public relations;
direct advertising; public relations themes;
advertising to consumers.
8. Criticisms of advertising; who the advertisement
appeals to, is it biased, conflicting claims, is it
9. How advertising developed; what the first one was
doing; what lured people to doing it; and what
advertising people do.
“Advertising has developed and supported great industries, bulwarked-”or
increased- “entire economies, and changed a sufficient number of human habits”
(Wood 3). Like that paragraph says, advertising effects people in what they do
and how they do it. It has effected the Kleenex company, the Nylon
manufacturers and a company of a new type of car, the Tucker Corporation, from
the 1940’s. Advertising has changed due to these people by their ways of making
people notice their product. Preston Tucker advertised his new car early, and
received many replies on what the car was about; the Nylon company advertised a
day in which their product would start selling and the country ran out of
stockings to sell; and the Kleenex company used advertising to decide which of
two products they should sell. Advertising has different effects on consumers,
it changes their perspective on what is, or is not, worth buying; what they buy,
when they buy it and how much are bought. Advertising “symbolizes and
concentrates in its image all that is considered good and bad in present day
commercial and industrial capitalism in America.” (Bensman 9).
When advertisers plan their strategies for the sale of a certain product,
they look at who would use the item. If the product was make-up, the type of
person that would use it would most likely be a woman, around the age of
thirteen and up. The advertisers would then find an ideal looking woman to
model for ads to show the makeup on a person and try to get women to use it.
The way that the advertisers describe the model will also get your attention;
they might say that she is not really beautiful until she puts on the makeup, or
something along those lines. Advertising is an effective method of public
relations communication for several reasons. It is economical, making it
possible to carry out a public relations message to a large number of readers at
a relatively low cost per reader. It can be highly selective and concentrated
on a particular segment of the public such as stockholders, suppliers, or
opinion leaders. Intensive community coverage may be secured through the use of
local newspapers, radio, or television advertising. Which will provide enough
space to tell a complete story and inform and educate people. The advertiser
can control the timing and space given a public relations message by buying a
certain amount of time on the air, or space in a specific article or paper
(Canfield 493). Advertisers grab your attention with funny, or serious,
statements and pictures. They aim at getting you to at least look at their
article to see a picture or name of the product they are trying to get you to
Sometimes advertisers use just the product itself trying to get you to
notice it, and maybe if you see it in the store you will know what it is.
“Other advertisers have had to seek out the symbols, characters, brands and
slogans with which they identify and advertise their product” (Wood 270). The
slogans are aimed at being “catchy” so that you will remember them, and keep
repeating, so you can remember it, and buy it. Advertising can then be a type
of telephone effect, you say it in front of someone else they hear it remember
it and start saying it themselves, then they say it to someone else and they
remember it, and so on. So word of mouth was a reliable source, as well as the
newspapers, radio, and television. “Vocal advertisement came first; visual
There are five creative strategies that advertisers use:
1. Objective (what advertisers should do).
2. Target Audience (who is your consumer).
3. Key consumer benefit (why the consumer should buy you product).
4. Support (reason to believe in that benefit).
5. Tone and Manner (a statement of the product “personality”).
(Kenneth, Roman & Mass 3)
With number one the agency that represents a product will see what kind of an
angle with which to come forward to the public. What they decide will effect
how their ad will go with the public. They do not want to offend anyone, but
they want to get people’s attention. With number two the agency will see who
the product will be affecting. If it is for men, they will do a commercial that
will catch men’s attention. With number three they will try to convince the
consumer that they need this item, and cannot live without it. Number four will
support that claim, and number five will give a catchy phrase that will help the
consumer remember the name of the product, so that when that person is at the
store they will remember that they wanted it and hopefully they will buy it.
An example of how advertising has worked comes from the late 1930’s
when nylon was first produced, and the making of the nylon stocking, by DuPont,
sent a wave of delight throughout the world. Silk stockings were used before,
and according to Frances Picchioni, “They snagged very easily and made me very
frustrated.” “Test wearers, of the new nylons were quoted as saying the
garments endured ?unbelievable hours of performance.’”(Panati 346). They were
passing in strength and elasticity of the previously known textile fibers.
DuPont started advertising early about the “miracle yarn” and the stockings that
were made from it. They advertised a day that DuPont would start the sale of
the nylon stockings, and they called it “NYLON Day”-May 15, 1940, which is when
the stockings were to be first sold. The stores had to make their own stockings
to be sold and were given a certain amount of yarn and were told to follow the
directions exactly and not to sell until the fifteenth of May. When the day
came, stores ran out quickly and the DuPont company could not make enough for
all the people that wanted one and by the end of that year the company had sold
three million dozen stockings (Panati 346) (Encyclopedia).
DuPont took a item that almost all women have and made them more durable
and more appealing by making this new textile, and made the interest stronger by
making women wait, dream, and fantasize about. Their doing this made their
product more exciting and more desirable. If the stockings were distasteful,
women probably would have still bought them, but the nylons were very nice and
they did last a long time like they said. One reason for that might be because
of the fact that since they were scarce, women took better care of their new
nylon stockings, than they did the silk ones of the past. After all, women had
legs, and never before in history were they so publicly displayed and admired as
they were for these advertisements.
Another product that excited the world was a fancy new style of car.
Preston Thomas Tucker, the maker, put a two page article in the FIC magazine
about his car idea and within a week he received one hundred fifty thousand
letters inquiring about his car and how they could get them. He had new and
improved safety devices, safety belts, shatter-proof glass, and moving head
lights. This is how he won over the people with which he worked. New and
improved cars were then able to be made, though it took him quite a while to get
the first one running. The advertising used to try to sell stock in his company
was original. They did it with the future in mind, and targeted men and women
coming home from the war that were interested in a new car. One of the slogans
used for the car was “The car of tomorrow today.” The problem with his trying
to sell stock was that he lost the company to a high headed man, named
Bennington, the president of Plymouth Corporation, at the time. The Senate was
in on it, and they all planned to get the Tucker out of business. Problems came
up, the car worked great, but there were financial and legal troubles, and only
fifty cars were ever made. (Tucker: The Man And His Dream.)
During World War II Kimberly-Clark invented cellucotton, which was used
as an air filter in GI gas masks and as surgical bandage. When the war ended,
they had a warehouse full of these cellucotton sheets. So they looked at
alternatives, and so occurred the birth of the Sanitary Cold Cream Remover. The
way that this company advertised was by using Hollywood stars and Broadway
dancers, saying that you could be like them. These were a disposable substitute
for the cloth facial towels, and a package of one hundred cost only sixty-five
cents. The manufacturers hired Helen Hayes, Gertrude Lawrence, and Ronald
Coleman to model in articles using these tissues, and American women were told
that Kleenex Kerchiefs were the “scientific way,” as well as the glamorous way,
to remove rouge, foundation, powder, and lipstick. In five years their sales
steadily increased. Then mail came in saying their husbands were blowing their
noses in their kerchiefs. So the company became confused on what to do. They
went to Peoria, Illinois and asked people to redeem one of two coupons to
receive either a free cold cream remover or a free box of tissue, with which the
new invention of Andrew Olson the pop-up tissue box was available as well. With
two advertisements, one for each, reading “We pay (a free box of tissues) to
remove cold cream,” or “We pay to prove Kleenex is wonderful for handkerchiefs.”
Sixty-one percent responded to the handkerchief ad (Panati 206). The
advertising helped in deciding what idea the company should follow, and what
What makes advertising effective in public relations? In public
relations, the owner of a company is trying to sell himself and his product to
the people that are interested in buying his product. The person that might
want to purchase that item will want to trust the person he or she might buy it
from. If that person does not trust the dealer, or business owner, the consumer
might think twice about the item; though, these days no one really cares who
makes the product, just as long as it works. “Three functions of the
communication process are to inform, influence, and convince the public.
Advertising performs these same functions.” (Emery, Ault, Agee 18).
What people were looking for in the advertising agencies were the head
up over the other products that were out in the market that was similar to what
they were trying to sell, so they would see if they could change there product
in some way to make it easier to sell. “…if such improvements would give one
brand of beverage an advertising or marketing advantage over its competitors,
that would be a change worth considering.” (Petroski 207).
In conclusion, the advertisements of today are far more different, with
the computer technologies, it is becoming more and more expensive to get things
advertised. Television and radio are more expensive these days. With the
different variations of popular products people will just get the cheaper
product. Getting your product on the market is not as important as getting it
there the cheapest as possible, because people are just looking for bargains.
Bensman, Joseph. Dollars And Sense. New York: Schocken Books, 1983.
Canfield, Bettrand R. D.B.S. Public Relations: Principles, Cases, And Problems.
4th ed. Illinois: Richard D. Irwin, Inc., 1964.
Emery, Ault, And Agee. Introduction To Mass Communications. New York: Dodd, Mead
and Company, 1963.
Encyclopedia. Computer Software. Grolier Electronic Publishing, 1992.
Kenneth Roman and Jane Maas. How To Advertise. New York: St. Martins Press, 1976.
Panati, Charles. Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things. New York: Perennial
Petroski, Henry. The Evolution of Useful Things. New York: Alfred A. Knopf,
Picchioni, Frances. Personal Interview. 30 November 1994
Tucker: The Man And His Dream. Dir. George Lucas. With Jeff Bridgers. Paramount,
Wood, James P. The Story of Advertising. New York: The Ronald Press Company,