Research Paper: Psychology of Advertising: Since Early Times

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Psychology of Advertising:

Since early times, advertising has been a form of exalting or gaining publicity for goods and merchandise. Actually, since the beginning of civilizations, advertising has been in existence as an informal concept. However, most of the advertisements in the early years were either the oral advertising or the verbal proclamation of the benefits of commodities by merchants along the streets. This has since changed after the advent of paper and writing with advertising taking a more formal shape. For example, papyrus and rock painting were used for advertising by Egyptians and Ancient Greeks.

The modern English advertising in magazines dates back to the end of the 17th century while America's newspaper advertising began in the early years of the 18th century with estates' advertisements. Since the 20th century, advertising has become a vital aspect for commercialization of goods due to the growth of mass media. This growth of mass media has led to the discovery of different avenues of communication such as newspapers, radio, television, magazines and the Internet.

During this period, people began to understand the potential of advertisements and it soon became a business in itself to the extent of the establishment of advertising agencies. The first advertising agency was set up in the United States in 1841. Later on, advertisement methods became more formalized, systematic and controlled with the advertisements of products appearing as on newspapers, handbills, leaflets, magazines, billboards, as commercials on radio and TV and on the internet. The World Wide Web has now become a very powerful means of taking the message to the customers. Nonetheless, it's important to note that for advertisements to appeal to customers, advertising must work in accordance with the principles of psychology and sociology. In fact, for an advertising professional or an advertiser to have an impact on the minds of consumers, he/she has to be both a psychologist and a sociologist (Roy, 2008).

Cognitive psychology and the psychological processes of attention, perception, association and memory largely form the basis of the principles of advertising. For any advertisement to be effective, it must first focus on the attention that it is able to capture of the consumers. While strong messages, strong visuals and glaring colors are at times used on billboards and hoardings, attention capturing clothes and attractive models are sometimes used for commercials.

After the attention is drawn with the use of colors, sounds and words, the focus is now on preserving consumer interests through association. In this case, themes or commodities which a particular section of customers could connect with are used. As a result, association has more to do with relevance or context of the advertisement. For example, for baby food advertisements, mothers and babies are featured. This associate value is also as a result of the certain colors used by companies to promote their products and the company logo which helps in giving a brand's identity.

Apart from focusing on the quick understanding and perception of consumers, association should also serve the purpose of ensuring the consumers retain the advertisement in their memory for a long time. This memory and retention is therefore a significant aspect of the psychology of advertising because an advertisement that can be easily remembered by consumers for a long time will be the most effective. The other important factor in driving attention, developing association and in memory or retention of a product's image is the development of a "brand." The naming and distinct identity of a commodity in advertisements is through branding. The most important elements in advertising are the message of the product, the motto of the brand and the mind of the consumer.

Therefore, for a long period of time, psychology has been used as an effective means of selling products or services. Through the understanding of the fundamental concepts that affect human psychology, a company can either increase the sale of their products or alternatively assist a consumer to understand marketing strategies which get them to buy products (MomGrind, 2009).

Persuasion is defined as the changing of attitudes through the presentation of information about another attitude. The presented information is either processed centrally (leading to a permanent change in attitude) or peripherally (where the attitude change is susceptible to later change). Both of these two routes… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Psychology of Advertising: Since Early Times."  Essaytown.com.  March 29, 2010.  Accessed June 18, 2019.
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