Essay on the Function and Place of the Advertising Agency in Advertising Campaign

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The function and place of the advertising agency in an advertising-cum-marketing campaign cannot be over-emphsaised.

An advertiser usually finds it worthwhile to make use of the services of an advertising agent in connection with the launching on the market of a new product. He reaches this decision after due consulta­tion with his advertising and sales managers. Various factors influence the decision regarding the choice of the agency.

It is desirable that the agency should have wide experience in the advertising of products falling into the same category as the new line to be marketed but in no way competitive with it. It must, of course, be an efficient agency with a good record and reputation. A review of current advertisements prepared by the agency for other advertisers will be a good guide.

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Having made his recommendation, the advertising manager will then arrange meeting between the directors of the agency and members of the board in his own company when the qualifications of the agency and the question of terms will be discussed. After appointment, a full-scale meeting will take place, at which the directors or at least the sales directors, the advertising and sales managers -and even heads of certain departments, will attend, when the proposition will be explained in full detail.

The agency director in charge of the account, together with his contact executive who, with him, will keep in constant touch with the advertiser, will familiarise themselves with the products, the method of manufacture, packing, wrapping, etc.

There follows, if necessary, market research and a series of interviews with the sales manager who will explain his marketing plan and target turnover for the first year, which incidentally will largely decide the appropriation necessary to attain the objectives and funds allocated for use by the Advertising Agency.

Outdoor Advertising :

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Outdoor Advertising is one of the many ways of advertising that are available to the manufacturer who wishes to make, through advertising, direct contact with his potential customers. All advertising media are complementary to each other and each has its special contribution to make to the build-up of an advertising campaign.

The advertiser and his agent must select the most penetrating and economical means for the conveyance of the selling message and, therefore, the correct selection of advertising media is of the highest importance and forms one of the corner-stones on which a good advertising campaign is built.

The Selling Argument:

Today, in this world of competitive branded goods there are two main divisions of the selling argument:

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1. By the reasoned selling argument and informative advertising-why he or she will be better off in some way or the other.

2. By ensuring that the brand name is repeatedly impressed on the potential customer so that having once bought the product-and found it good-the name becomes* fully associated with the need.

From this basic study of the advertising processes and the media available all advertising can be broadly divided into two groups which fit into the selling pattern outlined.

Indoor Advertising:

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First, there is indoor advertising, comprising the newspapers, periodicals, films, radio, television and direct mail. These media provide the best opportunity of putting over a reasoned selling argu­ment. The advertisements are addressed to the reader, listener, or viewer at a time of leisure, when he or she can absorb the message.

Outdoor Advertising:

Secondly, there is outdoor advertising, comprising posters, transportation advertising and neo-signs. These media provide a frequ­ency of repetition, unobtainable by any other means of a simple selling message, a brand name and an illustration of a package. Out­door advertising, therefore, provides the best means of ensuring brand familiarity.

Most advertising campaigns should, therefore, be a combination of these two methods of persuasion and a balanced use of these two groups of media.

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Poster Campaign:

A simple illustration on a poster may provide all the argument needed for selling a product to the mass market: The bulk of the advertising appropriation would then be spent on outdoor advertis­ing. Again, the use of the product may be so well known that poster advertising alone will do all that is necessary to ensure brand famili­arity and that the name becomes fully associated with the need.

A poster campaign should be built up like a press schedule. Different newspapers are selected for the press schedule because of their different readerships, so different poster sites are selected for the
the functioning of an advertising agency same reason. However, it is the location of a poster site which deter­mines its readership.

There are no set displays, though within certain limits there are accepted figures for what constitutes a full-weight campaign for a town or region. These figures are based on the use of a 16-sht. double crown posters only, and it is by the use of 16-sht. double posters, spread as evenly as possible throughout the area to be covered that the real strength of poster advertising is developed and figures of coverage and frequency, as mentioned earlier, are obtained.

There are four main questions to be answered:-

1. How many different people in a town have the opportunity to see the posters of a campaign?

2. What proportion of the town’s population do they represent?

3. How many times each week, on an average, does each member of the audience see the posters of the campaign?

4. How do these figures vary for different campaigns?

First, the number of people in the sample who pass typical campaigns is found and how often they pass. These figures provide the answers to the first three questions. The fourth answer comes when data from all towns has been compared.

It is found that for campaigns accepted today as standard, the audience that is the number of different people who have an oppor­tunity of seeing the advertising in one week is 40% to 50% or even 60% of the town population. Also, it is found that each different person has on an average 20 to 30 and in some cases as much as 40 opportunities per week of seeing the advertising.

These figures, of course, vary with the weight of the campaign, but it is relatively easy to reach approximately 60% coverage; additional sites then only add small increments to the cover, but add considerably to the repeti­tion factor. For example, in a town with a population of 100,000 a campaign using sixteen 16-shot double crown posters will reach 80% of the population and the repetition factor will be 20, and a campaign using twenty-five 16-sht. double crown posters will reach 87% of the population, with an increase in repetition value to 30. Twenty-five 16-sht. double crown posters would be considered a reasonable weight campaign for a town with a population of 100,000 for a household product sold frequently.

Outdoor advertising, and in particular pole-ads, is a medium of repetition-repetition that adds the brand familiarity. It is a most flexible medium and one in which campaigns can be built to meet the particular needs of the advertiser ; probably to the disappoint­ment of many, there is gives no simple rule for the advertiser to follow when planning and executing an outdoor advertising campaign. Hence the final advice is to employ the specialist advertising agent or one of the poster contractors themselves to advice on the plan and execution of an outdoor advertising campaign.

Radio Advertising:

In India radio advertising has come to possess vast potentiality. Vividh Bharti programmes of Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras have their Commercial Services. To make them attractive, the pro­gramme usually comprise of light music of the regional taste with commercial messages broadcast in between the songs. The four Commercial Service programmes cover the entire country in respect of their respective regions-Northern, Western, Eastern and Southern.

Most of the progressive firms find it profitable to relay their message in the Commercial Publicity programmes. Any good adver­tising agency is supposed to be aware of the procedures involved in issuing out the business messages and to give maximum publicity in minimum possible words. There are professional organisations mainly located in Delhi and Bombay, undertaking to tape the messages with the help of sound models.

T.V. Commercials:

T. V. spots have also become a source of effective publicity in recent years. There are a number of T.V. Film Producers in Delhi and Bombay who present the 5 to 30 seconds of T. V. messages in well- designed movies enacted by charming models on behalf of firms manufacturing and selling numerous products.

The role of design in Advertisement Business:

Design is the art side of communication-the visual side of printed pieces, television, presentations, packages, trademarks, publi­cation-all the things that affect in visual ways as well as verbal ways, all the things we look at in communications. Design comes from a background of art training. The graphic designer brings the under­standing of line, colour, texture, mass, and form to his work-all the visual influential things into the field of communications.

Design in art terms means the arrangement of elements that make up a work of art. Painters call it composition. In film it is called editing. It is the sense of visual element working together to influence the viewer. It may be the visual images working one after another on the pages of an annual report. It may be the sequence of images hitting the viewer in fast cut scenes in a television spot. It may be the sequence of elements arranged in important and dominant style on a single page to make an ad photo, type, logo.

The visual impression is more than just the type printed on the page. Novels and reference books are on title colourful in visual ways. The present day annual report of any reputed firm is designed with pictures, selected typography, and a visual flow that gives an impres­sion of advertiser’s personality that goes beyond the words. What is the intent? Should the piece communicate an aura of being prestigious? Progressive? Hard-working? Any of these personalities can be either created or amplified by visual design-the province of the graphic designer.

Business codes and advertiser’s objectives, marketing and merchandising methods, customer groups, and human behaviour analysis are all part of the complicated world they work in. With all this, the first job in design for printing is suitable typographic hand­ling. With high respect for the printed word, the designer seeks to help the reader by giving visual order to the page. The task is to be assured that the copy is clear, readable, appropriately presented.

But the reader also is a viewer. Surrounded by television and a mass of sophisticated print material, he has reached a zenith of selectivity. The competition for attention has become so stiff that merely giving visual orderliness to the page is not enough. In the reading situation it is the whole page that is the view-a view that must compete with the conditions surrounding the reader.

The graphic designer knows that if the page can be made visu­ally interesting even the copy has a better chance. Working with attractive pictures, imaginative typography, and particularly with design pattern, he forms the whole page, the whole spread. This gives an impression of vitality and personality that holds the reader’s attention. The designer uses his knowledge of human perception to help the reader ”attend”.

This presentation power is now exemplified by television with its quick-cut, fast-action screen work. Many impressions flood in, in almost simultaneous sequence, feeding both visual and aural perceptions.

The Visual Personality:

Identity marks have been around for as many years as civili­zation-the signature mark on primitive handcraft, the guild marks and heraldry of medieval era, the trademarks of our commercial time.

Some trademarks identify only one product. But now with the increasing diversification of corporations, many are meant to% identify the whole corporate entity. These emblems, or “service marks” (legal term), serve as visual reinforcements of the advertiser’s name.

A trade mark does not in itself constitute a corporate person­ality-that is the total impression a company may make on the public through its public relations and advertising efforts. The trade­mark will grow or suffer in relation to the other factors.

Corporate emblems have become important-as certification identities in the commercial arena. Visual identification has become so important that many companies have extended their programme to include exclusive lettering alphabets, distinctive colour scheme, matching architectural considerations, coordinated product design, and consistent formatting for printed material.

These attentions have created strong personalities for big firms with their designed products, controlled trade-mark use, special lettering style, and carefully planned colour mixes.

While our verbal language is the most technical of our message systems, visual language operates as a simple and more easily absorbed form of communication. In this recognition language, the better identity programme will reflect the character of company’s product or service. It will provide “content clues” for easier recognition.

The use of emblems:

The best emblems are simple in form, readable in large size on a poster. Recognizable in £ inch size in an ad, Emblem and Name style must be individual and suitable for all the places a company identified itself. They are many: letterheads, envelopes, business cards, utility stationery, company literature, ads, television, products, delivery trucks, packages, wrapping paper, announcements, Diwali or Christmas cards, catalogues, building signs etc.

The graphic designer, artist and human being, tries to put a story into the emblem-a story of common symbolism or a story with recognition clues will relate the identifying mark to a dignified human value.

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