Images and Reflections


Advertisements are in front of our eyes and in our faces at every turn, in every available nook and cranny and it is impossible to avoid them.  There is even a successful ad campaign that gloats when a person chances to look at the ad in passing “You just proved advertising works”.  I am glad that I was able to contribute in a small way to reassure the doubting advertising industry.  However, just glancing at an ad and buying the product in question based on looking at the ad are two separate issues.  


Advertisers would have us believe that advertising is as old as civilization and as important.  If this was true, successful cavemen might have been the ones who possessed better cave drawing skills and ancient prosperous Egyptians might have had more steles.  

Advertising has evolved into a science involving a battery of psychological and clinical tests and the input from a host of focus groups delineated by gender, race, orientation, age, financial status, social grouping and geographic location.


Advertising experts state that the consumers usually buy products based on ads that they can relate to and identify with.  Many advertisers have become sensitive to demographic shifts and changes.  For instance, more advertisers now feature minority models in their ads to reach out to the minorities in society.  


As a minority member, I have often wondered if all minorities relate to and identify with the minority model depicted in the ads.  Since there are now so many minorities from all corners of the world, it is not possible for advertisers to include each and every minority in society in the limited space for an ad.  So, there is a possibility that a percentage of the minority population may not identify with the minority person pictured in the ad, especially if the gender, age and other social criteria associated with the model are at odds with a section of the minority consumers.