Not Another Advert

Do you ever watch TV and get bored with the adverts or can’t wait for them to end, so the show you were watching comes back on? I think we all have experienced this and as Christmas is around the corner, the adverts in-between TV shows and movies, I noticed how mind numbing they were. All promoting, advertising and emphasising why their product, brand or service is superior to their competitors. When I asked my brother who was sat next to me watching TV at the time; what the advert before the previous one was about, he looked perplexed and surprised that he couldn’t even remember what the company was, let alone what it was advertising! It was bizarre as neither could I, despite having watched it not a mere minute before. Schmitt et al (2003) found that non-viewing behaviours such as social interaction and continuing chores were more common during TV programming suggesting less visual attention paid to the adverts shown.

People typically tend to ‘switch off’ when adverts come on, unless of course something really grabs their attention, people normally tend to remember and recall the beginning (primacy effect) and the end (recency effect) of the adverts which is a psychological concept called the serial position effect (Terry, 2005). This could be very useful for companies to research into, as dependent on when their particular advert features amongst several others, they want to be recognised and recalled the most. In support of this Pieters and Bijmolt (1997) suggested that when considering the costs of production and goal of maximizing consumer brand recall, the commercial is better placed first as opposed to last, as the primacy effect was noticed to have produced a higher recall than the recency affect.tv-commercial-break-workouts-img-15684

Companies thus have the task of making adverts as impressionable as quick as possible due to the limited commercial airing time they have. As Danaher (1995) found a decrease and fall in audience viewing was most common between commercial breaks, as viewers appear to be able to predict and sense the allotted ad break patterns and subsequent ad-avoidance behaviour is determined by the audience’s prediction. This may also depend on the adverts that follow after and during the program as Coulter (1998) suggested that the individuals emotional responses during a program and then the commercial breaks following after are linked, whereby the adverts are perceived in the same manner if it follows the emotional content of the program just prior to it. Furthermore positive impacts can influence consumer behaviours and perceptions towards a brand due to the length and content of commercials (Patzer, 1991). On the other hand there is also possible weaknesses as brand priming is associated with TV advertisements and exposure when advertising and marketing brands. As research by Brasel and Gips (2011) and Chartrand (2005) who found that brand priming can affect consumers incidentally or unconsciously thus influencing their perceptions, attitudes and behaviours. Thus raises the question of whether it is ethically sound for a company to do this as it may influence people without their due consent.

In addition due to the impact TV advertising can have on its viewing audience; when advertising a company’s brand during a popular show or something viewed by a large a lot of people such as major sporting events, it can have profound effects on recall and overall increased brand awareness. As Pavelchak et al (1988) suggested emotions (arousal and pleasure) are commonly found during the ‘Super Bowl XX’, where arousal was more significantly related to peoples’ brand recall than pleasure. Which may be the result of the high intensity situations created when watching these games inducing more arousal than pleasure. The below picture is an example of a commercial break that take place during a baseball match and as the above sporting research suggests may influence the viewing audiences perceptions and behaviours towards brands.

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So as Christmas is around the corner the number of Christmas related adverts have also increased quite noticeably, advertising everything from food shopping, purchases to be made for loved ones and friends, to festive events that will be occurring. Obviously these adverts appeal to people in varying degrees, as Christmas food shopping appeals to the parents, whereas the latest action figures targets children. John Lewis in my opinion are excellent at doing this take the example below is highlighting Christmas values buying presents for loved ones, which is put together pretty well with the soft music playing in the background.

Another advert from John Lewis which aims to impact you on an emotional level as John Lewis could quite easily have spoken about the discounts and great items to buy for Christmas, yet went about it in a emotional and moving way which would be far more likely to connect with the audience thus making them more memorable.

This advert to me was quite profound that the snowman would go above and beyond for his other half. To go on a journey for them through capturing the struggle he had to endure and potential dangers that were quite humorous, to not only buy some thoughtful Christmas gifts but also to ‘Give a little more love this Christmas’. Thus being powerful and succinct in their message, John Lewis convey that they are a brand that cares for its customers, as loved ones should for one another.

In summary companies have a number of considerations to make when airing their adverts such as the actual timing of the advert, as the ones straight after or during the main program gain a higher recall rate. Furthermore the content of the advert, as research has found that if an emotional state is associated with the advert they are more likely to be remembered and recalled. Companies obviously have to tailor the advert to encourage positive images thus ultimately give the audience the image of their brand they wished to be portrayed as making them more memorable and strengthening their brand awareness.

I hope you have all enjoyed reading my blog as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it!

Merry Christmas!

References:

Brasel, S. A., & Gips, J. (2011). Red bull “Gives You Wings” for better or worse: A double-edged impact of brand exposure on consumer performance. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 21(1), 57-64.

Coulter, K. S. (1998). The effects of affective responses to media context on advertising evaluations. Journal of Advertising, 27(4), 41-51.

Chartrand, T. L. (2005). The role of conscious awareness in consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 15(3), 203-210.

Danaher, P. J. (1995). What happens to television ratings during commercial breaks?. Journal of Advertising Research, 35(1), 37-47.

Pieters, R. G. M., & Bijmolt, T, H, A. (1997).Consumer Memory for Television Advertising: A Field Study of Duration, Serial Position, and Competion Effects. Journal of consumer research, 23(4), 362-372.

Patzer, G. L. (1991). Multiple dimensions of performance for 30-second and 15-second commercials. Journal of Advertising Research, 31(4), 18-25.

Pavelchak, M. A., Antil, J. H., & Munch, J. M. (1988). The Super Bowl: An investigation into the relationship among program context, emotional experience, and ad recall. Journal of Consumer Research, 15(3), 360-367.

Schmitt, K. L., Woolf, K. D., & Anderson, D. R. (2003). Viewing the viewers: Viewing behaviors by children and adults during television programs and commercials. Journal of Communication, 53(2), 265-281.

Terry, W. S. (2005). Serial position effects in recall of television commercials. The Journal of general psychology, 132(2), 151-164.

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Adrenaline Junkie… I dare you!

What inspires people to want to do adventurous and exciting things that others may deem as impressive and perhaps crazy? As with all adrenaline induced activities it largely depends on the person; as the possibility of the activity being potentially dangerous or simply gets your heart beating out of your chest, to some may seem like the ultimate experience to ‘feel alive’ whereas others wouldn’t even contemplate it and dread the thought of it. I would like to think of myself as the type of person who would be up for pretty much anything that fuels adrenaline, of course like most I have my cut off points, I’m not totally mad.

The prospect however, of doing something that can kick start your sympathic nervous system into gear of fight or flight, is intriguing and enticing at the same time. Farley (1991) claimed that risk taking could be associated with creativity, as one of the strongest positive characteristics found in humans. Furthermore Cater (2006) stated that when people seek adventurous activates instead of wanting actual risks, participants want the excitement and fear of doing them but not at the cost of  potential high injury. Which evolutionary speaking makes sense in terms of survival, to not put your self in harms way to the degree where the cost of getting hurt or worse, outweighs the benefit of enjoyment through fear and exciting activities. On the other hand, the rush of adrenaline to some people makes it even more worth it…

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Could people do this for the sense of escapism to break free from what seems like a monotonous routine? Cater (2006) expressed that people in this modern society, which is shaped by consumer demand, despite working hard to make things safer, an increase in the amount of risk-taking behaviour has been found, seeking out these unforced risks in a desire for adrenaline and fulfillment. Therefore, this arbitrary type of thinking can be considered the reason as to why people want to consciously choose the more risky activities, due to the rush of adrenaline and any other intrinsic motives.

Research has also found regions within the brain become active when presented with rewards of excitement such as the prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum (Knutson et al, 2000). Further supported by Steinberg (2008) who suggested that the areas such as the prefrontal cortex and limbic systems, that are known to contain the receptors for dopamine, become stimulated at higher concentrations, thus creating the feeling of pleasure which is subsequently linked to sensation seeking.

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Furthermore Plog (1991) claimed the number of thrill seeking and high-risk personality types is increasing rapidly amongst the general population, whereas the number of low risk personality types is equally decreasing at the same rate. The flow experience was a theory developed by Csikszentmihalyi (2008) that explained how dependent on the popularity of activities; they may initially have no tangible reward or benefit, but the intrinsic psychological benefit is the emotional reward itself. A further theory that correlates with the flow experience is The Adventure Experience Paradigm that graphically demonstrates the correlation between risk and competence (combination of knowledge, behaviour and experience etc) when participating in the activity (Priest and Bunting, 1993).

In relation to brand exposure when advertising and marketing brands on consumer behaviour, brand priming has been found to effect consumers either unconsciously or incidentally in relation to cognitions, attitudes and behaviours (Brasel and Gips, (2011) and Chartrand, (2005). Further noted by Brasel and Gips (2011) was that the double-edged effect of brand exposure by Red Bull to having both positive and negative effects. Results from the study indicated that participants when racing cars in a virtual game; all held the consensus that the Red Bull car was faster and finished approximately 7 seconds faster when compared to the other cars, whilst also having an negative effect of having more car contact and collisions. Thus the brand identity of Red Bull can have a dual effect on consumer perception and behaviour, due to Red Bull being associated with speed, aggressiveness and excitement but ultimately risk. An example of these aforementioned qualities can be depicted in the below picture which shows wingsuit flyers, who are sponsored by Red Bull and are ultimately doing this for the thrill at the cost of high risk and potential injury.

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So the prospect of living precariously in order to get that adrenaline and experience the ‘buzz’ of excitement and potential fear, appears to entice people into doing something adventurous, so people can say ‘yeah, I did that!’. Some people go above and beyond in doing these types of things like in the video below.

If you thought the above video was crazy, the same people are in the next video who have been traveling the globe, doing all types of adrenaline fuelled activates like base jumps, sky diving and wingsuit flying. The below video is pretty much as close as you can get to having the ability to fly!

So perhaps this phenomenon of thrill seeking behaviour is to be regarded as unique, different and eccentric with a carefree attitude to live for the moment. As discussed earlier rather than being risk averse, people are gradually becoming more adventurous as a form of self-expression to break the mould and stereotype set by society perceptions of ‘what is normal’.  So maybe the question you have to ask yourself when faced with the option to do something out of the norm or your comfort zone is, are you willing to take that risk… and jump?

References:

Brasel, S. A., & Gips, J. (2011). Red bull “Gives You Wings” for better or worse: A double-edged impact of brand exposure on consumer performance. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 21(1), 57-64.

Cater, C. I. (2006). Playing with risk? Participant perceptions of risk and management implications in adventure tourism. Tourism Management, 27(2), 317-325.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2008). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Harper Perennial.

Chartrand, T. L. (2005). The role of conscious awareness in consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 15(3), 203-210.

Farley, F. (1991). The type-T personality. Self-regulatory behavior and risk taking: Causes and consequences, 371-382.

Knutson, B., Westdorp, A., Kaiser, E., & Hommer, D. (2000). FMRI visualization of brain activity during a monetary incentive delay task. Neuroimage, 12(1), 20-27.

Steinberg, L. (2008). A social neuroscience perspective on adolescent risk-taking. Developmental Review, 28(1), 78-106.

Plog, S. C. (1991). Leisure travel: making it a growth market….again!. Wiley, New York.

 Priest, S., & Bunting, C. (1993). Changes in perceived risk and competence during whitewater canoeing. Journal of Applied Recreation Research, 18(4), 265–280.

If You Believe, You Can Achieve!

What drives you…I mean really drives you? The factors, context and variables may differ, but you know what I speak of. That deep, almost animalistic need to succeed buried deep within, that pushes you to better yourself and striving to achieve your goal. This state is otherwise known as motivation, which can be derived from a number of facets and can be contextualized intrinsically or extrinsically. felix_baumgartner_quote_wallpaper_2_by_l_johnson32-d5iaitp

From a student’s perspective the idea of doing an assignment sometimes does fill me with dread, so I may throw on my headphones to get motivated! I’m sure we’ve all had one of those occasions where you feel you need music to fuel you, drive you and provide you with new found energy and inspiration giving you that push and desire to complete your goal. Furthermore Blood et al (2001) found when participants heard music that was euphoric and produced pleasant emotional responses (‘shivers down the spine’ and ‘hair standing up’); changes in neural mechanisms within the brain, were found to increase cerebral blood flow to the ventral medial prefrontal cortex, amygdala and orbitofronal cortex. Also mentioned in the study was that these brain regions also become activated with pleasurable stimuli such as sex, thirst and food, which have been considered as necessities to be fulfilled in both the physiological and basic needs of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1943). Thus music can be highly influential and motivational to an individual giving encouragement to complete the task.

Dependent on the goal and objective of the individual, motivation can be utilised to overcome and supersede any current doubts to achieve their ambition. The concept of mind-set also ties in with motivation as Gollwitze and Kinney (1989) suggested that people who are contemplating a decision create a mind-set in order to provide possible action outcomes expectancies, in comparison to those who create an implemental mind-set to encourage an illusionary optimism. Furthermore, Taylor et al (1995) found that people typically employ realistic thinking when assessing goals and obtain more favorable and positive thinking when wanting to apply them to those goals.

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So in the consumer world, motivation can be used as a distinct and powerful tool in many ways, such as increasing brand awareness and influencing the purchasing of merchandise or services by the consumer. An example of marketing motivation is increasing consumer’s physical fitness and health, which is a massive sector that can be targeted in numerous ways. Mediums of portraying motivation to become fitter and healthier could be through social media like Facebook. More specifically advertising promotions with anything and everything in-between gym memberships to healthy drinks etc can be used. Ryan and Deci (2000) suggested that relatedness, competence and autonomy are 3 innate psychological needs that once fulfilled significantly increase and strengthen self-motivation. Thus, if applied to the example above, companies can tailor their marketing to increase self-motivation of consumers to become healthier and fitter through e.g. using their equipment or consuming their products.

In relation to motivational advertisements some of the most recent ones I’ve seen and loved, were from Nike, which I have found really inspiring and uplifting to do things, even writing this very blog! The first of which (below) shows a number of athletes with the famous actor Bradley Cooper narrating, explaining how people have abilities, but the key is to always push yourself and explore the possibilities.

This next advertisement I found incredibly profound and moving due to the powerful narrating, as it features a wide range of scenarios and examples of people using motivation to achieve their goal. The video is one which made me want to watch it to the end, due to the inspiration and ‘get up and go!’ attitude I suddenly developed. I wonder if it will have the same affect on you…

From these adverts I found Nike are not only inspiring people through highly motivational commercials, but through using motivation as the key driver, they are also promoting and increasing brand awareness and reputability. Thus, we all have tasks, objectives, ambitions etc, but where we can struggle sometimes is the lack of motivation. Whether motivation is obtained through music or speeches in commercials, it can have a profound affect on the target market which companies can capitalize on, potentially influencing your psychology and behaviour to hold them in a more positive regard.

References:

Blood, A. J., & Zatorre, R. J. (2001). Intensely pleasurable responses to music correlate with activity in brain regions implicated in reward and emotion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98(20), 11818-11823.

Gollwitzer, P. M., & Kinney, R. F. (1989). Effects of deliberative and implemental mind-sets on illusion of control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56(4), 531.

Maslow, A., H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370.

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American psychologist, 55(1), 68.

Taylor, S. E., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (1995). Effects of mindset on positive illusions. Journal of personality and social psychology, 69(2), 213.

‘Seeing is Believing’

Have you ever wondered how good a TV viewing experience can really be? With digital technology constantly changing and improving, the attempts made by entertainment companies to captivate your attention and to highlight the differences of how it’s ‘better than before!’ and ‘innovation at it’s finest’. With companies such as Samsung, Sony and Panasonic always having an urgency to thrill you with it’s razor shape details and quality attributes, all in the pursuit of pleasing you. We as consumers are constantly engaging and processing visual stimuli, seeking out these new features in the latest product, ensuring it is better than it’s predecessor in the aspiration of having the ultimate viewing experience! As according to Pine et al (2010) the consumer is always teaching the company about their preferences and demands, thus entertainment companies aim to give the people exactly what they want whether it be better picture quality, sleeker design or being more energy efficient etc.

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With the advancements in television attributes and qualities, it’s amazing to think how far technology has come or better yet, as old fashioned as it may sound ‘What will they think of next?’ To put this a little more into perspective TV, just like evolution, has developed over time in its attributes:

  • Black and white
  • Colour
  • High definition
  • 3D
  • 4K

All to enrich and enhance the audience’s viewing experience; whereby the move to high definition was seen as a massive jump in viewing experience, with companies such as Sony providing the capability to see brighter colours and sharper details making the whole viewing experience more vivid. I’m sure you can think of at least one instance, when watching a film or TV show, where you’ve felt you’re almost part of the film and living it! Furthermore since the development of 3D, some people have suggested that the naturalness and overall viewing sensation was higher due to the special effect of added depth, thus suggesting to have a psychological impact upon the viewing experience (Seuntiëns, 2005). However, companies when producing televisions that have 3D capability, have to take certain factors into consideration when emitting high quality images in 3D that are visually comfortable, but still perform their purpose. Furthermore, Huynh-Thu et al (2011) indentified issues of 3D and its affect on the human visual system (HVS); more specifically the adaption and switching of views from the left eye to the right when perceiving binocular depth cues. This can result in visual discomfort such as headache and eye strain, due to the adjustments the eyes have to make in order to cope with additional cognitive information.

This may account for some people who report headaches or 3D not really affecting them in the way intended. In spite of this, 3D television’s aim is to achieve a superior viewing experience and immerse you in what ever you’re watching. From the commercial below, Samsung, a technology giant, speaks of creating a new species of television, where the individual can delve into an entirely new world of viewing experience.

After all, wouldn’t you want to see your favourite film or TV show in its highest picture definition and optimal colour clarity? When processing visual stimuli in regards to watching television, the Gratification-Seeking Process found viewers who were actively engaged, were more receptive and had a greater viewing experience and satisfaction afterwards (Lin, 1993). Furthermore with the association between gratification and TV viewing, people were found to crave and view television as the most affective way to escape to an alternative reality (Rubin, 1984).

In reference to the 4K TV which can be considered a new dawn of innovation in the respect of producing pure excellence of the highest order and modern sleek design. The advert below from Sony have attempted to out do themselves once again, by showcasing their creativity and imagination through vivid use of colours and innovation, through producing a TV that produces four times the detail of full HD! Note, no C.G.I. was used in the advert, as would be normal, but rather to enhance the detail for a 4K television, every rose petal is real, – all 8 million of them! Take a look, and if you want the best picture quality (naturally-who doesn’t?) change the definition from 360p to 1080p via the settings cog.

My dad was actually seriously considering buying the 4K TV, because when we saw it displayed in the shop it blew everything out the water! With the rich and vibrant colours and crystal clear clarity it displays, but sadly it comes with an equally eye popping price tag!

So considering how technology has advanced, television companies have expressed the qualities and characteristics their products posses, in order to entice and attract the viewer to buy the next best TV available. There are some issues related to viewing 3D as discussed, but the overarching consensus for most people, is they would most likely want a television performing to its highest and optimal level without causing visual discomfort, so we as consumers can just sit back and enjoy the show.

man-watching-tv

References:

Huynh-Thu, Q., Barkowsky, M. & Le Callet, P. (2011). The Importance of Visual Attention in Improving the 3D-TV Viewing Experience: Overview and New Perspectives. IEEE Transactions on Broadcasting, 57(2), 421-430.

Lin, C. A. (1993). Modeling the gratification‐seeking process of television viewing. Human Communication Research, 20(2), 224-244.

Pine, B. J., Peppers, D., & Rogers, M. (2010). Do you want to keep your customers forever?. Harvard Business Press.

Rubin, A. M. (1984). Ritualized and instrumental television viewing. Journal of Communication, 34(3), 67-77.

Seuntiëns, P. J., Heynderickx, I. E., IJsselsteijn, W. A., van den Avoort, P. M., Berentsen, J., Dalm, I. J., Lambooij, M. T. & Oosting, W. (2005, November). Viewing experience and naturalness of 3D images. In Optics East 2005 (pp. 601605-601605). International Society for Optics and Photonics.

Oh “Food, glorious food!”

Ah the temptation of foods, it seems food advertising companies have listened to Oscar Wilde when he famously said “I can resist anything except temptation”. We sometimes have that craving, that desire to fulfill what seems like a void, by eating a meal or snack which would be perfect to satiate our appetite, and feels just right for that moment in time. So with the often extensive possibilities to eat, we can be influenced by adverts and commercials to want to eat something irrespective of whether we wanted it in the first place! For example, foods typically depicted as fast foods have and still prove extremely affective in their advertising to entice consumers to purchase their products. Thus by displaying and showcasing vibrant colours of luscious foods, appearing rich in taste and pleasure, the consumer might be influenced to fulfill the basic need of hunger to progress to the next stage as stated by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1943). I believe everyone has a guilty pleasure for an item of food, whether they are doughnuts, ice cream or pizza. Mine is cookies, and to anyone who knows me, they know it to be true, as they are my weakness as kryptonite is to superman!

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Yet I’ve always had the principle that you can eat whatever you want as long as it’s in moderation, although adverts ostentatiously showing foods in attempts to attract customers, is what often creates the demand. Focusing more closely on companies such as McDonalds, KFC and Subway they typically are regarded as fast food, and have capitalised due to its main appeal of being fast and convenient. As after a long day at work, a quick burger for instance could abruptly stop the growling and almost animalistic noises your stomach can make! Looking at McDonalds, they attempt to depict their products as delicious and satisfying, adhering to the consumer demand to appear the most viable and practical option over other fast food competitors. In addition Wang et al (2004) found that upon the presentation of food found to be appealing; areas such as the orbitofrontal cortex would become very active, which deals with aspects like motivation, and thus subjectively may account for hunger and cravings when presented with appealing food. The advert below, features an attractive actress who initially is bored with a typical chicken burger, but once the new ‘McSpicy’ is introduced her mood changes and the advert becomes more sexually stimulated, suggesting it’s the far better alternative than the predecessor.

In relation to brand advertising, adults were found to consume more food when watching food commercials on TV, which were not related to conscious choices or reported hunger (Harris et al, 2009). Further noted in the study was that food advertising was seen to have a dual effect on the participants, in not only influencing brand preference resulting in increased likelihood of recall, but also priming and inciting automatic eating behaviours. Furthermore evidence of the effects of branding on children was found by Robinson et al (2007); who found when children were given identical foods from McDonalds either in the original packaging or in unbranded packaging, children preferred the food branded as McDonalds. Therefore it’s remarkable to think that the power of branding can be so significant to influence pleasure and taste perceptions, just due to brand identification and association. Which concurs with Morris and Dolan (2001) who found that foods were not only more likely to be remembered when people were hungry but also, specific details are more likely to be recalled in times of hunger.

KFC also proves affective through its TV advertising to attract customers to buy their food; where through a humorous advert (shown below) gives the scenario of three work colleges going for lunch and one in particular eating more than he should’ve, take a look!

KFC have purposively targeted the typical routine lunchtime job perspective, to illustrate the company’s underlining message of being quick, convenient and so tasty he even ate the bones!

For Subway they pride themselves on the customer being able to ‘eat fresh.’ and to have the ability to see your product being made to your specifications and requirements right in front of you. So the food typically fits the customers needs with healthy choices and an array of additional confectionary items you can add. So you might now be thinking, how do they get people’s attention?

Well, what better way when advertising their brand then to grab your attention like this!!

Subway-billboard

Although some may find it inappropriate; this was golden in my eyes, as I think regardless of gender this billboard would really catch your attention and through making it so incredibly memorable, it may pop into your head the next time your out and want something to eat! So through using clever advertising it will increase brand awareness by grabbing people’s attention.

So as succinctly as I can, due to the ubiquitous nature of food stimuli found in the environment, when we see an advert through any number of media outlets, if the product is aesthetically pleasing, we may be more likely to remember it and want it next time when we are hungry or even when we’re not.

References:

Harris, J. L., Bargh, J. A., & Brownell, K. D. (2009). Priming effects of television food advertising on eating behavior. Health Psychology, 28(4), 404.

Maslow, A., H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370.

Morris, J. S., & Dolan, R. J. (2001). Involvement of human amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex in hunger-enhanced memory for food stimuli. The Journal of Neuroscience, 21(14), 5304-5310.

Robinson, T. N., Borzekowski, D. L., Matheson, D. M., & Kraemer, H. C. (2007). Effects of fast food branding on young children’s taste preferences. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 161(8), 792.

Wang, G. J., Volkow, N. D., Telang, F., Jayne, M., Ma, J., Rao, M., Zhu, W., Wong, C, T., Pappas, N, R., Geliebter, A., & Fowler, J. S. (2004). Exposure to appetitive food stimuli markedly activates the human brain. Neuroimage, 21(4), 1790-1797.

Mmmm Chocolate…

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There are many who love it, many who need it, and even those who say they can’t live without it! As someone who has a massive sweet tooth, pretty much all the above applies to me and most likely you reading this blog. So why is there such a fondness and liking for chocolate? As we could quite easily cope without it and yet we eat a lot of it! More specifically in Britain we consume approximately 660,900 tonnes of chocolate a year averaging to around 3 bars a week per person (Divine Chocolate, n.d). Furthermore, the UK chocolate industry is estimated to be £3.96 billion with an ever-growing market increasing by 35% over the next five years due to sales (Divine Chocolate, n.d). In fact thinking about it; most celebortary events such as birthdays and Christmas, there’s always a few chocolate related presents, but I’m not complaining!

So one of the biggest and most reputable companies in the industry is Cadbury’s, invented in 1824 by John Cadbury. From what once started out at as a groceries shop selling cocoa and drinking chocolate, has since grown to become one of the leading international figureheads of producing chocolate (Cadbury, n.d). Jacobs and Scholliers (2003) claimed within the inter-wars of competitor confectionary  companies, brand confectionary has increased rivalry and expansion of advertising and marketing strategies. Cadbury’s thus, in 1900 produced some of the most impressive and eye catching press advertisements of that era, which appeared in magazine campaigns and displayed around the UK, through the artistic work of Cecil Aldin. Cadbury in 1928 introduced its ‘glass and a half’ symbol which was only intended for Dairy Milk but has now become one of the symbolic icons of the brand, and subsequently since then Cadbury’s has stressed through their advertising the richness and quality of their products (Cadbury, n.d).

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Cadbury’s have also become very iconic with their choice of colours; as they use purple to signify royalty and excellence with white text denoting to the colour of milk, that refers to the aforementioned power of their ‘glass and a half’ advertising strategy, that is displayed above through their icon. The symbolic power of utilising colours can be seen as a powerful tool in generating not only international brand awareness and identity; but also enabling consumers to differentiate their product over competitors, and therefore is seen as an important aspect of marketing the company’s brand image and how it is portray to its consumers (Grimes and Doole, 1998). As Saunders and Guoqun (1996) stated that consumers motivation has shifted to having a stronger perception and assessment of brands, so therefore companies need to adhere to the consumer requirements, in order for consumers to be enticed to pick their product over a competitor.

In relation to TV commercials, The Cadbury’s “Gorilla” ad 2007, has stuck in my mind ever since because of the humor, originality and creativity of the advert, which made an instant impression on me. So little wonder, the advert became very popular and collected a handful of awards including one of the most prestigious and sought after awards at the British Television Advertising Awards, by seeing off competitors to win TV commercial of the year accolade (Sweney, 2008).

Another humorous advert by Cadbury was the ‘Eyebrow Dance’, which although doesn’t really have much relation to the product, simply because of its unorthodox nature it becomes more memorable and impressionable.

Even though Christmas is still a while away Cadbury have big marketing and advertising plans to revamp its entire product line, as it supports it’s brand for the first time at Christmas, by introducing new Christmas TV commercials through to the re-design of in store packaging designs as pictured below (Joseph, 2013). All in attempts to increase a stronger brand association with the festive period, they are using their power brand of ‘Dairy Milk’ to push and encourage incentives to purchase their Christmas collection.

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So in summary Cadbury has over the years evolved through its adverts and how its branded; by typically using humor and innovate ideas to make their brand more memorable. So you as the consumer when next buying a chocolate bar, would buy one if not more of their many, many varied products and to tell the truth they taste pretty damn good!

References:

Census data revisited. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2013, from Cadbury, The Story website, http://www.cadbury.co.uk/the-story.aspx

Census data revisited. (n.d.). Retrieved October 31, 2013, from Divine Chocolate, Chocolate Industry Today, http://www.divinechocolate.com/uk/about-us/research-resources/resources/chocolate-facts.

Grimes, A., & Doole, I. (1998). Exploring the relationships between colour and international branding: A cross cultural comparison of the UK and Taiwan. Journal of marketing management, 14(7), 799-817.

Jacobs, M., & Scholliers, P. (2003). Eating Out in Europe: Picnics, Gourmet Dining and Snacks Since the Late Eighteenth Century. Berg Publishers.

Joseph, S. (2013, July 25). Cadbury unveils first multi-brand Christmas marketing campaign. Marketing Week. Retrieved from http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/cadbury-unveils-first-multi-brand-christmas-marketing-campaign/4007463.article

Saunders, J., & Guoqun, F. (1996). Dual branding: how corporate names add value. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 14(7), 29-34.

Sweney, M. (2008, March 13).Drumming gorilla beats ad rivals. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/media/2008/mar/13/advertising.television1

‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’

As digital technology is ever changing and adapting with the modern world, the constant needs and demands to be meet by the public has become fundamental in gathering information, data and knowledge and yet we still want to consume more! The expectation of the latest technology being more superior and advanced to the previous model or version, has become almost a prerequisite in having the best in every aspect. As after all, you would want the best features for a product or service considering you, as the consumer, are parting with your hard earned cash! From this perspective it’s understandable how some people ‘get hooked on’ certain products, to develop a brand loyalty and preferences, even to the point where people would buy products or services whenever a new release is in the public domain, irrespective of whether they need it or not.

ipad-china-applecare

Speaking of brand loyalty, the above photo demonstrates this perfectly, as it not only shows affection from the ‘Genius’ Apple staff, but also from the individual at the front with the rather clever catchphrase on his t-shirt of Apple products starting with ‘I’ reading ‘IBUY IPAD NOW’.

So looking at the company Apple, Finger (2013) claimed Apple have created their ethos to revolve around the innovation of new products, improving on existing ones and remaining at the frontier of new technologies. As since the return of Steve Jobs in 1997 with its annual intakes of approximately $3 billion (Stone, 2011) Apple has risen to a staggering market value of $651.5 billion with $695 per share (Silverblatt, 2012), despite Steve Jobs having passed away in 2011. Apple nonetheless has continued to prosper by developing new innovative concepts and designs for their products, as Steve Jobs once stated,  “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works” (Hudspeth, 2013).

An example of how different Apple wanted to be from their competitors and how they marketed themselves, was the introduction of the ‘iMac G3 Tray-Loading’ in 1998 which boasted a variety of coloured shells that separated itself from every desktop in the market (Design Resources, 2009). This was a genius idea as it created a sense of personalization and variation enabling customers to distinguish between other competing computer brands at the time; thus completely revolutionizing the computer desktop industry, where soon after other companies started adopting the same marketing strategy. From the picture below it even states ‘Think Different.’ which is so simple and succinct almost adopting an Occam’s razor approach.

iMacs

Since there is an emphasis on design development and innovation, it’s only too fitting that it should be expressed by the late Steve Jobs himself, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” (Woo, 2013). Thus accounting for why Apple is currently the most valued company in the world; as Apple’s estimated brand is valued at approximately $98.3 billion with an increase of 28% from 2012, knocking Coca-Cola offthe top spot as having an approximated brand worth of $79.2 billion increasing by only 2% from 2012 (Lopez, 2013). So clearly there is a big attraction to Apple and of course there are some people who may dislike Apple; however from my perspective it’s not hard to see why people fell in love with the technology giant. As they aim to enhance productivity through achieving the highest level of performance and functionality, whilst instilling a sense of pride through their products, which you gain through ownership.

iphoneline_getty

In relation to Apple advert commercials I admire the messages they convey, or at least the ones I interpret. More specifically, what I like about Apple adverts is the sense of interaction you feel with the catchy music and the multiple apps and games that are often shown, which makes them more fun and memorable. The evolution of Apple adverts can be seen from the video below, showing the transition over generations of the iPod Touch 1Gen, 2Gen, 3Gen, 4Gen And 5Gen Commercials.

Something I noticed watching these, was they tended not to show the people actually using the iPod, but more the capability and functionalities they possessed. As from this video you can actually see the transition from only displaying hands (1Gen, 2Gen, 3Gen) to featuring people and the people using them (4Gen, 5Gen), all whilst supporting their brand identity and promoting the idea of fun using their products.

From this above video promoting the iPhone I gain the impression Apple were aiming to be more true to heart, as this makes it more memorable and personal, creating a stronger bond with the viewer through an endearing and engaging manner which they may relate to in comparison to other commercials.

So in light of all this, Apple over time has adopted different marketing and advertising strategies to separate themselves from its competitors, whilst increasing Apple’s brand awareness and identity through connecting with its customers in a personal and memorable way.

References:

Finger R. (2013, March 27). Apple: What’s It Really Worth. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/richardfinger/2013/03/27/apple-whats-it-really-worth/.

Hudspeth, C. (2013, August 17). 25 Wise, Inspiring Steve Jobs Quotes That’ll mak You Want To Change The World. Thought Catalog. Retrieved from http://thoughtcatalog.com/christopher-hudspeth/2013/08/25-wise-inspiring-steve-job-quotes-thatll-make-you-want-to-change-the-world/.

Lopez, R. (2013, September, 30). World’s most valuable brands: Apple No.1; Coca-Cola falls to No. 3. Los Angeles Times Business. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-worlds-most-valuable-brands-apple-coca-cola-20130930,0,5922948.story#axzz2iZa6aMq1.

Design Resources (2009, January, 22). The Evolution of Apple Design Between 1977-2008. WebDesignerDepot. Retrieved from http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/01/the-evolution-of-apple-design-between-1977-2008/.

Stone, B. (2011, October 06). Steve Jobs: The Return, 1997-2011. Bloomberg Business Week Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/the-return-19972011-10062011.html.

Silverblatt, H. (2012, September 14).  Apple Is Bigger Than The Entire 1977 US Stock Market. Things Apple Is Worth More Than. Retrieved from http://thingsappleisworthmorethan.tumblr.com.

Woo, B. (2013, February, 14). ‘Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower’. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/bwoo/2013/02/14/innovation-distinguishes-between-a-leader-and-a-follower/.