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Technology, Science, and Advertising



Advertising, like any transmission of information, requires a medium, and the biggest impact that technology has had on advertising is the expansion of media outlets. Initially vendors had to rely only on the spoken word and hand written signs. Then the printing press allowed for the first rudiments of mass media marketing, as advertisers could reach wider audiences through handbills and the inclusion of advertisements in books.

Radio, television, and the Internet have further expanded media options for advertisers. In addition, logos printed on clothing and other products, billboards, and even skywriting ensure that our world is increasingly saturated by advertisements and brand names. In fact, it is estimated that the average North American child views roughly 40,000 television commercials per year (Strasburger 2001). As advertising becomes more sophisticated and the products more technologically complex, consumers today are less able to judge quality than they were even 100 years ago, when they themselves were involved in the production of simple crafts and thus more skilled in judging the quality of the things they bought. So as advertising becomes a more pronounced element of our cultural environment, the context of a global system of production causes our understanding of the goods being advertised to decline. This in turn means that we rely more heavily on regulatory agencies and advertising codes of ethics to ensure fairness and truth in advertising.

Technology has not only changed media and the societal dimensions of advertising but it has changed the nature of advertising as well. Handbills and other printed materials are relatively passive and static, whereas television commercials, and to an increasing extent internet advertisements, tend to be dynamic, employing rapidly changing images.

The increasing pace of modern, technological societies and rising costs of marketing tend to condense both political and product advertisements into short clips. Improvements in information technology allow marketers to more quickly and flexibly respond to changes in consumer behavior. On the downside, however, increasingly complex technological tools and information systems can overload marketing managers and distract them from the creativity and judgment that remain central to successful advertising strategies.

The emergence of advertising on a large scale coincided with the rise of consumerism-fueled industrial capitalism. Although the development of new technologies for transmitting advertisements and managing marketing strategies is a key element of this process, so too is the continuing creation of marketing as a science. The traditional advertiser's dilemma was expressed in this way, "I know half my advertising is wasted, but I don't know which half!" In response to this inefficiency and the demand to create new markets to increase sales (or in politics, the demand to win over more voters), various social and behavioral sciences have been applied to advertising. Marketing research and motivation analysis are just two of the terms that signify the rise of a systematic science of advertising.

Techniques include mathematical models, game theory, multivariate analyses, econometric analyses, psychometric approaches, and choice models (see Sutherland and Sylvester 2000). Several institutions carry out this research, including the Academy of Marketing Science, which publishes the journal Academy of Marketing Science Review (AMS).

Advertising is open to several interpretations, but one of the most influential remains Vance Packard's indictment of the advertising industry, The Hidden Persuaders (1957). Packard examined the use of psychoanalysis and other scientific techniques to understand human behavior and guide campaigns of persuasion and manipulation. These image-building campaigns are launched at both consumers and citizens; they are both about what to buy in the market and how to act in the polis. He labels these efforts "hidden," because they take place beneath our level of awareness. Packard is more convincing in his modest claims that we are duped into believing that rather than buying lipstick, oranges, and automobiles we are acquiring hope, vitality, and prestige. Although sometimes constructive or amusing, most of these practices "represent regress rather than progress for man in his long struggle to become a rational and self-guiding being" in Orwellian interpretation which is probably hyperbolic.

2. Read the text again and answer the following questions:

1) What is marketing?

2) Name marketing components you know.

3) Give the definitions of public relations and advertising.

4) What was the material used by vendors for advertising?

5) In what spheres do advertisers have further expanded media options?

6) Why are consumers today less able to judge quality than they were even 100 years ago?

7) In what way did the vendors get in touch with readers initially and how advertisers could reach wider audiences now?

8) How has the technology changed the nature of advertising?

9) What is the marketing tend of modern society?

10) What is the essence of Vance Packard's The Hidden Persuaders?

3. Enlarge your vocabulary. Translate the following words and word-combinations:

1) components of marketing;

2) they are also applied in;

3) a broad spectrum of communication;

4) influencing their behavior and perceptions;

5) to rely only on the spoken word and hand written signs;

6) handbills and the inclusion of advertisements in books;

7) the first rudiments of mass media marketing;

8) to ensure fairness and truth in advertising;

9) to be dynamic, employing rapidly changing images;

10) flexibly respond to changes in consumer behavior;

11) the demand to create new markets to increase sales.

4. Match the words to their definitions:


a) advertising;

b) marketing;

c) Public Relations;

d) a producer;

e) a transaction;

f) mass media;

g) technology;

h) costs;

i) to overload;

j) inefficiency;

k) marketing research;

l) motivation;

m) persuader;

n) awareness.


1) act or activity of marketing and promotion; promoting, drawing attention to (generally in order to sell goods or services); act of publicly announcing (also advertizing);

2) act or process of buying or selling at a market; development of a strategy for the sales of a certain product; promotion and selling services; distribution of goods$

3) public relations, relations of an institution or organization with the general public; actions of promoting goodwill and distributing information for a company or organization, PR;

4) manufacturer, one who produces goods or services; one responsible for general supervision of a motion picture (or play, television program, etc.);

5) an agreement, communication, or movement carried out between separate entities or objects, often involving the exchange of items of value, such as information, goods, services and money;

6) a section of the media specifically envisioned and designed to reach a very large audience such as the population of a nation state. It was coined in the 1920s with the advent of nationwide radio networks, mass-circulation newspapers and magazines, although mass media was present centuries before the term became common. The term public media has a similar meaning: it is the sum of the public mass distributors of news and entertainment across mediums such as newspapers, television, radio, broadcasting, which require union membership in large markets such as Newspaper Guild and AFTRA, & text publishers. The concept of mass media is complicated in some internet media as now individuals have a means of potential exposure on a scale comparable to what was previously restricted to select group of mass media producers. These internet media can include personal web pages, podcasts and blogs;

7) industrial science; the science of systematic knowledge of the industrial arts;

8) the total spent for goods or services including money and time and labor;

9) an excessive load; the excess beyond a proper load;

10) unskillfulness resulting from a lack of efficiency;

11) a formal, planned approach to the collection, analysis, interpretation and reporting of information required for marketing decision-making;

12) the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior;

13) one who convinces, one who persuades;

14) consciousness; having knowledge of.





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