Advertising Strategies Essay

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Advertising strategy is the  set of decisions an organization takes with respect to the employment  of  advertising to  reach  one  or  more objectives among a specific target group. Each advertising strategy is based on  the marketing strategy that encompasses the strategic decisions regarding all marketing activities, such as packaging, price, distribution,  and  promotion. Within this set of marketing activities, advertising is part  of the promotion strategy. Besides defining target group and communication objectives, main parts of the advertising strategy are message strategy and media planning  strategy. A further  difference can be drawn between message strategy and creative execution strategy. The message strategy determines what communication objective is addressed by an advertisement;  the  creative  execution  defines how this objective is addressed. Though the ultimate  goal  of  advertising  is  to  maintain  and increase  the  level of  brand  sales, most  often advertising is employed to  reach  intermediate goals. Most important of these is communicating how a brand is positioned among its competitors. Other   often-employed  intermediate  goals  are brand  awareness, generating a general positive feeling toward the brand, and purchase intention. An important question is how the most effective message strategy can be selected. Generally it is advised, besides maintaining  and  increasing brand  awareness, that  the  advertising strategy should match the main purchase motives of consumers. Many overviews of message strategies have been published and  there is no generally agreed-upon  typology. Nevertheless,  a  central element  of  most  typologies  is  the  difference between informational advertising that appeals to the rational mind and emotional advertising that appeals to the feelings of consumers.

An example is the well-known FCB grid which consists of four quadrants, defined by two dimensions: level of involvement and a thinking–feeling dimension. In the thinking dimension, often an important consumer motive is to solve a practical problem. In the high-involvement/thinking quadrant, the purchase is important to consumers and they make a rational decision based on functional information. Therefore, in this situation an informational message strategy should be used. In the low-involvement/thinking quadrant, buying behavior is habitual and consumers want to spend as little time and brain activity as possible on purchasing products, often fast-moving consumer  goods. The primary  aim  of advertising is to remind consumers of the existence of the brand. In the high-involvement/feeling quad-rant,  the consumer  motive is ego gratification, that is, the need to defend, enhance, and express one’s basic personality. The advice is to apply a message strategy that aims at relating the brand to the personality of the consumer. The low-involvement/feeling  quadrant  is reserved for  products where involvement is low and the purchase decision is based on sensory gratification, that is, the desire to please one or more of the five senses. The message strategy should stress how the brand stimulates personal satisfaction, and advertising should induce product trial so people can experience the brand. Finally, social acceptance can be relevant in situations of both low and high involvement. The message strategy can address the need to be viewed favorably in the eyes of others.

Once the main message strategy is chosen, campaign developers can choose from a long list of creative execution strategies. How many product advantages should be mentioned, and should the best argument be mentioned first or last? Should the information be one-or two-sided? Should the conclusion be explicit or implicit? Should an endorser be employed and, if so, should this be a celebrity, expert,  consumer,  attractive  or  erotic model, or perhaps an animated character? Should the format be a testimonial, demonstration, product comparison, slice of life, or dramatization? Should humor be used, or fear? unfortunately, there are no easy answers to these and many other questions. A particular executional factor may be highly effective in one advertising campaign, but may cause detrimental results in another campaign. The effectiveness of each executional factor is dependent  on many variables, primarily the chosen advertising objective, the product category, and the motives and personal characteristics of the target group.

Bibliography:

  1. Armstrong, S. (2010). Persuasive advertising: Evidence-based principles. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  2. Franzen, G. (1999). Brands and advertising: How advertising effectiveness influences brand equity. Henley-on-Thames: Admap.
  3. Rossiter, J. R. & Percy, L. (1998). Advertising communications and promotions management. Boston: Irwin and Mcgraw-Hill.
  4. Stewart, D. W. & Furse, D. H. (1986). Effective television advertising: A study of 1000 commercials. Lexington, MA: Lexington.
  5. Van den Putte, B. (2002). An integrative framework for effective communication. In G. Bartels & W. Nelissen (eds.), Marketing for sustainability: Towards transactional policy-making.  Amsterdam:   IOS   Press, pp. 83–95.

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