Beyonce approves this ad.

There are many ways advertisements reach out to us.

Though we see many, many advertisements everyday in almost every aspect of our lives – driving, online, watching TV, there are only a few that really stand out to me. My all time favorite advertisement is Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign. Launched in 2004, the campaign features prints, commercials, and even YouTube videos that open discussion about the definition of beauty in today’s society. The campaign has featured many different approaches to the topic throughout the years, such as sketches of the way someone sees themselves vs. the way strangers see them. The sketches show that nearly every single time strangers see the person much more beautiful than how they see themselves. 

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To read more about how Dove changed their image from just a soap brand to opening a discussion about real beauty, click here

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Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign is a very smart business move because the advertisements utilize emotional messages styles that appeal to women, the target audience for Dove products. By Dove taking a stance and saying that everyone is beautiful the way they are, the feeling transfers over to the company. So, women who agree with Dove’s campaign and like it, are more likely to invest in the products.

Similarly, the car company Subaru has recently been promoting their products by featuring adventurous trips and dogs. Subaru did research and found out that nearly all Subaru drivers own dogs and enjoy outdoor activities such as camping. So, their ads cater to this target audience by incorporating these elements into their commercials and prints. 

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The common theme I noticed with these two ad campaigns is the importance of reaching out to a target audience. Both the Dove and Subaru ads were specific and really catered to particular demographics. 

On the other hand, there are ads such as the two below, featuring well known and popular celebrities. Being the face of a brand can draw in a lot of consumers, so it is a very smart move. Unlike the ads above, the ads featuring celebrities do not reach out to anyone in specific. They just say “Taylor Swift drinks our product so you should too!” Or “If it’s good enough to Beyonce, it’s definitely good enough for you!” This works though when the star has a huge fan base.

These types of ads totally work on me. I’m not gonna lie…at the end of the day, I want to drink the same thing as Beyonce. 

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Both means of advertising are successful for different reasons. Though campaigns that are specifically for one or a few audiences can sometimes isolate the product, leaving out possible buyers, it gets the most out of the product. Using famous people to be the faces of brans could also be hindering if the certain star happens to have a controversy in the media which causes his or her fan base to decrease significantly. 

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Advertising To Young Consumers – Ethical or Not?

We are bombarded with countless ads on TV, online, on the radio and in print. We see so many advertisements each day it’s almost impossible to keep track of them. These ads are targeted towards many different audiences of consumers to sell certain products, like Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign is clearly targeted toward women, and Old Spice is targeted toward men. The commercials aired on TV make it obvious. One of the sneakiest ways the industry makes their money is by advertising to children. But is it ethical?

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From a business’ perspective, it’s definitely smart to advertise to children. Toddlers at home, sitting in front of their cartoons on TV watching commercials for the newest toys can easily persuade their parents to buy it for them. They do not know any better. However, it can be argued that advertisements directed at kids are taking advantage of them. For example, a Disneyland commercial would be irresistible for a young child who has never visited the theme park. I’m sure Disney creates their ads with kids in mind, therefore they use techniques and tools that specifically attract kids. It’s inevitable that they bring up those kinds of ads with their parents.

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 Advertisers know that kids are inherently very trusting of what they see and hear. Children don’t take much into consideration when they are faced with an appealing ad or commercial. Money or need for a product vs. wanting a product are not concepts that they understand. They are the perfect kind of buyers in the eyes of business.

I don’t think that directing advertisements at children is very ethical, however, I don’t foresee any changes in the industry in the future. Companies will always create products for kids, and there will always be a need to market these products so that the public knows about them. Because of children’ nature, I don’t think there is a way to introduce products to them in a way that is completely innocent.

To read more about this topic, click here