The main focus of this study is to evaluate the relationship between media and advertising. This is based on the assessment of the qualitative impact of the media on the effectiveness of advertising.
It is common knowledge that the quality and uniqueness of different forms of media enhances their effectiveness in advertising.
The paper also explores the influence of mass media advertising on the social culture and ideologies, production and consumption of products/ services, and its role on globalization.
Use of media in advertising has not only improved the quality of advertising, but also the range and scale of its audience.
Advertising significantly depends on the quality of the product being promoted and the quality of the advert itself. However, many people forget the significance of the media on which the ad is publicized.
The general concern of media strategy is always the size, range, and the frequency subject related to the audience. Media is often regarded as a tool that offers exposure to the ads both locally and internationally.
Although studies have shown that media can provide a framework that wields influence on the effectiveness of advertisements, there is lack of methodical approach from these studies or in reality to investigate such effects (Calder and Edward, 2004).
Media is nowadays viewed as a social medium that takes part in developing a strong nation, unifies people by communicating values and norms in their messages.
The media act as a means of secondary socialization and plays a big part in socializing people into the present social lifestyle. The introduction of the market economy has brought a substantial private capital into the media market of many countries especially those in the developing nations.
Following the liberalization of the markets, media is no longer funded by the government; instead, they gain their revenues through advertisements.
The contents of the media messages have also changed considerably with more emphasis being given to entertainment and advertisement (Calder and Edward, 2004).
The way people experience the media affects their reaction to the ads in the publication mostly in the print media. For instance unique stories of high quality, presentation creates a positive response on the media used.
Therefore, an advertisement in a print media which is extraordinary and of high quality is more valuable than its counterpart which lacks the same features (Joan, 2005).
The political class always perceives media in all of its aspects, as a means of communicating ideologies.
This may be the reason why media has often attracted huge attention in the debates involving the politicians, and some of them regard it as a facilitator and the root course to social problems.
Pornographic ads on the internet have received a lot of condemnation from all quotas, and most parents view it as a threat to their children’s security and welfare (Calder and Edward, 2004).
Influence of mass media advertising on social cultures and ideologies
The media encloses a preponderance of popular cultural representations, more often enforcing gender stereotypes and defining social constructs.
These stereotypic influences have been felt in all aspect of social set up including leadership, education, how people define themselves, and establishment of the cultural values and biases.
The most common and well-documented media construct and stereotype has touched on the gender identity (Arens, 1999).
Gender labeling and their media representation through different advertising media within the context of popular culture have changed how people identify themselves in the current society.
For instance, young females have had changed attitudes, perspective and how they measure themselves from the media representations mostly on the billboards, TVs, and Magazines.
The current generation especially young females have become vast consumers of the media. Women have even gone a step further to determine gender identity within the media (Joan, 2005).
Enhanced education coupled with an increase in income among the young females along with the current consumer identities has had a strong impact on feminine perceptions.
This perception has been created and emphasized through media images and pronouncements (Calder and Edward, 2004). Nowadays it is very mucked okay and enjoyable to look at women as bodily beautiful or sexy.
Many mass media advertisements across the world have pictures of models in revealing pose only wearing underpants. The admiring effects of these pictures have changed the way society view women or how young women view themselves.
Opponents argue that these mass media advertisement presents women as mere sex objects. Proponents on the other side argue that these give women a place and freedom to decide on their future (Arens, 1999).
Therefore, the excess images and stories within the popular culture surrounding female representation by the media ads create a thin boundary between the real world and the images on the media.
Analysts in the entertainment sector term this as a hyper-reality of incessant connotations, deception, and effective intensities. Consequences of the above representation are how women identify and measure themselves in contemporary society.
The media through different adverts have become sites for defining rules of sexual behaviors. The current generation of women feels that they are free to express their feminine side in an extremely sexual and object-like manner (Joan, 2005).
Media messages and images have the diversity of meaning some universal while others restricted to the local set up. The heterogeneity of these messages or signs defines cultural differences while the advent of globalization gives these signs or messages a peculiar universal meaning.
Analysts argue that some media advertisements such as billboards ads are inevitable to avoid, unlike the other mass media.
People have the choice of switching off TVs or Radios in case the message or picture being passed across is likable to them; similarly, magazines or newspapers can be trashed for the same reason, but no one can close his/her eyes when the messages or images on the billboards are not appealing to them.
Once the messages/images on the billboards have hit people’s eyes, they can never be erased plus no one can ever tell where and when these billboards will pop up (Arens, 1999).
Influence of media advertising in production and consumption
All through history, the introduction of advanced media technologies has had considerable effects on the shape of the products and the society at large.
These forms of media have prompted the introduction of new products into the market and new images resulting in the steady transformation of the people’s cultural practices.
Simultaneously, these cultural practices also influence the development of new technologies, products, and images. The link between the medium and message being passed across has a vigorous influence on the peoples’ habits and cultural integration (Joan, 2005).
Media advertising has played a big part in encouraging all sorts of behaviors and stereotypes. The Marlboro advert across the world created an icon in the world of cigarette smokers. Among the young generation, the Marlboro image represented some sort of influence and autonomy.
The advert also created a false impression among some section of the public that if you smoked Marlboro cigarette, you could have the cool look and traits of the Man represented on the advert.
This advert originated from America but spread to the rest of the world like a wildfire introducing on its way a new generation of chain smokers (Arens, 1999).
Media advertising on the youth sports centers, amusement parks, cinema halls and other locations frequented by the young people have influenced the youth a great deal towards the theme being sold.
In some countries, ads on cigarettes and alcohol have been banned due to the influence it has on the younger generation. Media advertisement not only influences culture in a particular country like the US but have also been used as globalization tools.
Nowadays in whatever destination you find yourself in you can never miss out on a coca cola ad and this has led to the creation of popular culture in the global arena through the consumption of common/similar products (Arens, 1999).
Media ads as agents of globalization
Media ads have contributed a lot to the spread of lifestyles and ideas across the globe even to the remotest parts of the world.
For instance, western ideas and lifestyle have sneaked into other cultures through the use of media adverts that even the leadership of some countries feels threatened.
Citizens of the third world nations are embracing American fashion and clothes from European fashion designers as a result of these media advertisement. Gucci products and Nike labels are nowadays a common feature in these countries.
African natives caught the glimpse of Michael Jordan through the media, and now even the US citizens cannot believe how basketball has grown in Africa with several African players taking part in the NBA (Joan, 2005).
Media presentation has led to the idolization of certain personalities participating in different fields especially in films, music, sports, and fashion industry among others. Portraits of Angelina Jolie have made her a household name all over the world, and every youth’s dream is to be like her.
Likewise, the spread of hip-hop music all over the world is also attributed to the mass media presentation of American Hip Hop icons. Hip-hop music has also brought with it the Hip-hop culture which includes Hip-hop fashion and the American slang.
Nowadays when you are walking across the street all over the world, you can see not miss out on the characters dressed in baggy jeans and sneakers (Arens, 1999).
Use of media in the advertisement of different types of sports have created die-hard fans especially in sports such as soccer, American football, baseball just to name but a few.
In some countries where some of these games are not so popular people get to learn about them and even develop into professional players for instance soccer in the US.
Americans have become strong soccer fans, and this has boosted the morale of their national team which participated in the 2010 world cup in South Africa. If a person wants to dispute sports as a form of culture, then he/she must visit England.
Their soccer is part and parcel of their daily life and billboards of the major clubs are all over their cities. Sports analysts explain that most of English citizens “eat, sleep and drink football” (Joan, 2005).
Another instance where Billboard is the greatest element of popular culture is the American movie or Hollywood industry. Billboards of Hollywood’s stars have had a strong appeal on people of all walks of life in America and the rest of the world.
Their influence mostly inclines towards fashion trends such as haircuts, dress designs, makeups, perfume label among others.
It is every young person’s dream to live like a Hollywood star. Media ads of celebrity icons not only influence personal traits but also the way people spend their leisure time. Most people have become so enslaved on the lifestyles of these celebrities (Joan, 2005).
The emergence of the advanced technologies in the mass media such as the internet has seen improvement in the quality and scale of advertising. Media and advertising are like Siamese twins- none can do without the other.
Media depends on advertisements as their main source of income while advertisement uses media to reach its audience more effectively. Use of the contemporary forms of media in advertising has seen the spread of different cultures and ideologies all over the world.
This has also increased peoples awareness about the products being sold in the global market, therefore resulted in the transformation of people’s lifestyles. Advertising through the media within the context of the popular culture has changed how people identify themselves in the present society.
The young generation is the highest consumer of the media advertisement, and this has influenced their behavior and lifestyle significantly.
Use of advanced media technologies in advertising has opened even the remotest parts of the world to the global market, and this has promoted globalization.
This has also expanded the market for these products. Through internet and cables, people are nowadays able to access different types of goods in the local and global market and order for them instantly.
They are also able to pay for them through the same media for instance through PayPal. In this case, media advertising has not only made everything easier for the producers but also the consumer.
Arens, W. (1999). Contemporary Advertising. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Calder, B. J., and Edward C. M. (2004). Qualitative Media Measures: Newspaper Experiences, under review. International Journal of Media Management, Vol 4.5. 89-101.
Joan, G. (2005). Art and Advertising. London: I.B. Tauris.