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.