Addicted To Advertising
Can you imagine a world without advertising? In every corner of the world we can find advertising banners, screens, posters. There are even places that have become known thanks to advertising. Would anyone today associate the Times Squre in New York if it weren’t for the giant screens covering the air of all the nearest buildings? Whether we watch ads or not, whether we like them or hate them, they play an important role in our lives.
The invention of machine printing initiated by Gutenberg can be regarded as the beginning of the advertisement we know today. Easier access to knowledge and information as well as much cheaper distribution of printed materials made the information no longer elite. This landmark moment in the history of mankind caused that what was reserved in the past for certain social groups began to gradually become universal.
Gutenberg’s invention led to the spread of printing on a larger scale. Access to information for different social classes meant that it lost its elite status. This moment can also be considered as the beginning of mass information, as well as the first medium for conducting mass advertising campaigns.
This first step by Gutenberg brought societies all over the world closer together. It is not, of course, directly about the physical creation of unity, but unification connected with equal access to information. This is probably how the first target groups started to form.
Advertising is also information. Although in the first years of the existence of advertisements, proposals or advice printing no one called advertising, such was their purpose. Drawing the attention of recipients to a specific problem.
Hundreds of years after Gutenberg’s time we can say that it was a breakthrough in the history of mankind. Information has become a real value and advertising has become one of the greatest forces on our planet.
Advertising is closely linked to technological development and the introduction of new solutions. Over the years we can see that advertising has found its place in every new medium. Newspaper, radio, film, television, Internet. In every new way of mass communication there is a place for advertising. Look around. At first glance we can find a few or a dozen or so elements or objects that are advertisements.
The consequences of this are obvious — information and advertising had to have an impact on people’s lives. The question is: to what extent? However, the answer to this is not unambiguous.
Advertising is intended to interest the recipient of the product or service. But with the technological development and the consequences that follow, our way of life, values and approach to various issues change as well. One of the elements that have a significant impact on our behaviour is advertising. It promotes a certain lifestyle and certain behaviours. Whether we want it or not, it is thanks to marketing campaigns that we know what to wear, what equipment to use, or how to spend time with friends or family.
This action has a huge power and a real impact on society, including the part of society that is not interested in the advertised content. The invisible pressure from society influences the fact that individuals who are resistant to advertised content are also influenced by it.
It is worth noting here that we ourselves have become the carriers of advertising. By buying certain goods or using services, we influence our immediate surroundings. This range depends, of course, on many factors — our popularity, our interests and even our character. This is not as obvious as, for example, wearing clothes with a large visible manufacturer’s logo. It’s all about replicating patterns that we observe every day.
A natural phenomenon associated with this is the fear of control by large brands. Analyzing advertising in the modern world we may conclude that we have been “programmed” from above and we do not buy products that we actually need, but we buy those that need to be bought — because this is fashion, because we are afraid of the opinion of our environment.
This vision may seem shocking. However, let’s not forget how our lives change for the better thanks to marketing campaigns. Thanks to advertising we are the best informed generation in history. We know about the latest innovations immediately after announcing a specific invention, and often even much earlier. Our lives become easier, we have access to resources and tools that can improve our health and even save our lives.
What will be the future of advertising? We could just as well ask what the summer weather will be in five years’ time. We can only suppose, but we do not know it for sure. Advertisers must also take into account changes in social structures. People’s approach to life is changing with regard to leisure time and ways of spending it.
People’s approach to life to free time and ways of spending it is changing. Therefore, more and more mass media are becoming less effective due to the failure to keep up with these changes. The shape and functions of future technologies are a puzzle for each of us. There is one thing we can be sure of. Advertising will not disappear from our lives. It was, is and will be.