How does advertising work?

Essay by muselimanUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, April 2004

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Advertising is a persuasive communication attempt to change or reinforce ones' prior attitude that is predictable of future behavior. We are not born with the attitudes which we hold toward various things in our environment. Instead, we learn our feelings of favorability or unfavorability through information about the object through advertising or direct experience with the object (e.g., tasting a new brand of beer), or some combination of the two. Furthermore, the main aim of advertising is to 'persuade' to consume in order to generate new markets for production.

The end product is the advertisement itself, however, the first step in the process is the production. The creative process behind it is similar to a mechanic analogy outlined in a book by Robert Green. A mechanic tackles a car problem just like an advertiser deals with an advertising situation. A car is brought into the shop in hopes that the mechanic can improve the car's current state.

The mechanic looks at the car, and he might even do a bit of research about the problem depending upon the situation. The mechanic must decide what course of action to take. The effectiveness of the mechanic depends on how good the car runs. On the advertising side, a client approaches an advertiser because they want to improve their business in some sort of way. After some research and concepting some ideas, the advertiser then determines how best to serve the client. The effectiveness of the advertising is measured in sales.

The initial goal of production is to find the right target audience, create the best message for that specific target audience in the most appealing way that will lead to an actual sale. When I say "sale" I am not necessarily referring to a sale of an actual product. Some advertisers want...