How Advertising Affects What You Buy Essay

, Research Paper

How Advertising Affects What You Buy

Catherine Crawford

English 1A MW 4-515

Dr. Bergmann

November 13, 1994

(Research Paper)


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

transition easier.

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

second,”(Wood 23).

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

people liked.

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.

Works Cited

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

Library, 1987.

Petroski, Henry. The Evolution of Useful Things. New York: Alfred A. Knopf,

Inc., 1992.

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,




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