Free Essay: Aggression in Advertising
Advertising is a common and effective approach that organizations use to entice buyers into making purchases. To capture the attention of a target audience, advertisers use a wide range of methods, including aggression. While some of these strategies are effective, it is worth noting that they have far-reaching effects on consumers and advertisers. For example, some manufacturers use advergames to enhance their brand image in the market and win more customers. Nonetheless, these games are likely to have negative and positive effects. For example, companies realize increased sales as violence escalates in society. This analysis focuses on aggression in advertising, including the effects it has on customers in relation to violent behavior. Importantly, it elucidates the influence of aggression on consumers and marketers, including modern trends and future approaches in the world of advertising. Moreover, it explains how manufacturing and advertisers are turning to advertise games to lure consumers into making a buying decision.
Aggression on Advertising
The main purpose of advertising is to win more customers and increase the sales of a product by enticing buyers. As a result, most advertisers use aggression to win more customers and sensitize the market on new products and brands. While this is becoming the trend in business, aggression in adverts has a range of effects on consumers and advertisers. In particular, aggression uses advergames to reach and win its target audience in the market and enhance brand image. For the brand, these games are effective in attracting customers as they propagate violence in society.
Additionally, aggression in advertising arises when the advertiser uses violent messages to convey their message. This may have dire consequences on customers as some may develop the desire to try out some of the actions in the advert (Leonard & Ashley, 2012). Throughout this paper, the researcher focuses on the impact of aggression in advertising, customers’ response, and the general view of aggression on ads.
Trends on aggression on advertising
Leonard and Ashley (2012) agree that customers have the ability to detect aggression in adverts, regardless of their degree. Thus, customers are able to differentiate between violent and nonviolent ads, promoting different brands in the market. To achieve this, customers compare the viewpoints of the perpetrator and the victim in the advert. This ability of consumers to detect various levels of violence in an advert is essential in understanding the ultimate impact of aggression in advertising.
The use of violent images in adverts is a common strategy in advertising. With this violence, the advertiser is always keen on drawing the attention of viewers. According to Pelsmacker & Bergh (1996), such images shock customers, making them pay attention. In some cases, advertisers choose violent images with the view of inducing humor into the ad, attract more viewers, and improve the brand image in the market Potter & Warren, 1998; Creamer & Parekh, 2008). Blackford, Gentry, Harrison, and Carlson (2012), assert that violence is a common ingredient in the commercial advert, with most brand advertisers coupling it with humor. This is a common feature in popular adverts, even though most viewers do not understand the intention of the manufacturer. Blackford et al. (2012) allude to an advert in which a bowling ball lands on a man’s head in promoting a particular soft drink. In another instance, a boss throws his colleague out of the window for suggesting a ban on a certain beer during meetings to tame skyrocketing expenses.
Blackford et al., (2012) cite a case where employees break into a snack machine, with a snow globe, looking for a particular snack to the extent of harming the supervisor. These are examples of how advertisers use violence and humor to win customers’ attention through the media. Besides this form of violence, advertisers also use advergames. These games play a major role in promoting a given brand in the market. For instance, in Battle for Everything of Coke Zero 2012, players attack aliens to save the earth from the exotic population. They use different assorted weapons and airstrikes to defend the earth. In the game, players are free to unlock game materials and advance their artillery by sourcing security codes from Coke products. The game has a lot of fun and humor, which is likely to entice the attitude of customers towards the brand. Lee & Youn (2008) contends that product manufacturers always design advert games to promote products in order to establish relationships between customers, the game, and the product. This works well as customers develop a positive attitude towards the brand featured in the game (Waiguny, Nelson & Marko, 2013).
Aggression in advertising further portrays women stereotypically in a range of products, without respect for their rights. Such adverts infringe the rights of women in every way (Capella, Hill, Rapp & Kees, 2012). In most cases, magazines carry appealing ads, which are sexually oriented, making them visible as they are always spread widely (Soley & Kurzbard, 1986). Without such distinction, it would be difficult for different readers to identify consumer magazines (LaTour & Henthrone, 1994). Many readers select magazines for general reading only to meet provocatively dressed women promoting various products.
The use of explicit sexual content in advertising has become a common thing in modern-day and age (Capella et al., 2012). According to Cappella et al. (2012), (as alluded to in Lukas, 2009), most advertisers promote sexual violence against women in leading media outlets. Researchers conclude that advertising closely connects violence against women (Capella et al., 2012).
Effects of aggression in advertising
As mentioned earlier, violent advertising has far-reaching effects on customers and the advert owner. For instance, excessive use of women stereotypically in ads has made society conclude that women are sex objects to satisfy the pleasures of men at any time. According to research, women are likely to be subordinate because of their depiction in adverts as sexual objects meant to satisfy the appetite of men. This also leads to acceptance of violent behavior directed at women, which may result in sexual abuse (Capella et al., 2012). In their 2012 survey, Capella and others argue that the use of aggression in adverts may have huge effects on the advertiser because of the cost. He further claims, (as cited in Roehm & Brad, 2007), that controversial adverts could harm the corporate image of the firm and the brand’s equity in the market, as it may become the subject of ridicule on social media like Facebook and YouTube. Thus, the marketing department ought to ascertain the negative effects of aggression in adverts before executing such promotional strategies.
Moreover, advertisers should seek to understand the reaction of consumers to different ads, which depict various forms of violence. Capella et al. (2012) believe there is a lot of violence in society, which is largely attributed to aggression in ads since consumers do not see this media violence as an independent un-dimensional concept. Aggression in adverts also triggers a negative reaction from customers even though advertisers consider their methods effective in luring the public into making a buying decision. For example, Mars Inc. ended airing a sneaker ad, which depicted Mr. T’s machine-gunning snickers at a man with unsuitable feminine attributes. This is because the company received complaints, as it was perceived to propagate violence against gay people. Even though there was a public outcry, the firm initially thought that the advert would be effective in stamping the image of their brand in the market (Creamer & Parekh, 2008).
The use of provocative images in print advertising equally has a wide range of negative effects on the company and the brand. According to Whitelocks (2013), macho adverts can arouse deviant behavior among young male adults. In a research carried out by Manitoba University on twenty-seven print ads, about 56% of images in the magazine hyper-masculine, which encouraged violent sexual behavior. The research further identifies young males as the most vulnerable group of people, with low income. This is because most young males are in the learning stages of life, thus the media has a strong impact on their gender-based behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. Additionally, adverts with too much explicit sexual content may spark negative thoughts and attitudes in elderly readers Whitelocks (2013).
Furthermore, according to research, most ads promote elements of hyper-masculinity, which denotes violent, dangerous attitudes or toughness towards women. Hyper-masculinity is also related to other deviant behaviors like dangerous driving, use of drugs, and violence against others in society. Thus, high usage of hyper-masculinity in advertising could have negative and far-reaching effects on society Whitelocks (2013).
In summary, aggression in adverts remains a controversial debate in the world. While this is the case, it is evident that violent ads largely contribute to deviant behavior in society. They also dent the corporate image of the advertising as such strategies may receive a backlash from the public. In some cases, advertisers use provocative images of men and women, leading to mixed reactions from the target market segment and the public. Violent adverts further affect the brand and could send away potential customers instead of attracting them. To guide advertising, there is a need for the government to have laws, which define the boundaries of aggression in ads to avoid violation of other people’s rights.
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Capella, M. L., Hill, R. P., Rapp, J. M., & Kees, J. (2012). The impact of violence against women in advertisements. Journal of Advertising, 39(4), 37-51. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/860002471?accountid=1611
Leonard, H. A., & Ashley, C. (2012). Exploring the underlying dimensions of violence in print advertisements. Journal of Advertising, 41(1), 77-90. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/963335168?accountid=1611
Waiguny, M. K. J., Nelson, M. R., & Marko, B. (2013). How advergame content influences explicit and implicit brand attitudes: When violence spills over. Journal of Advertising, 42(2), 155-169. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1448810209?accountid=1611
Whitelocks, S. (2013, May 9). How sexist advertising causes men to adopt ‘violent and sexually aggressive behavior’ as they aspire to the macho ideal. Mail online. Retrieved form http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2322136/How-sexist-advertising-causes-men-adopt-violent-sexually-aggressive-behavior-aspire-macho-ideal.html