Businesses throughout the world spend millions of dollars every year just on advertising because they want to attract more customers to their products.  Advertising is the public promotion of a product or service.  Ads always appear on television and on the radio, in the newspapers and magazines, on billboards, and inside movie theaters.  They also are all over the place on the internet.  Everyone is influenced to some degree by advertising ads everywhere in our society, but as a consumer, you need to be able to make your choices on facts, not ads. 

Most of the time, ads let you know what products and services are available, but they do not really give you with important information revelant to the product.  For example, an ad may say that a specific medicine contains an ingredient that most doctors recommend using.  This statement is prbably very true.  However, this ingredient is in all of its similar medicines.

An ad may tell people readin it that a certain store is selling a product at the lowest possible price that you can find anywhere.  However, unless you drive to every store to check to see what the price is at other stores, you will never know if this claim is actually true or false.  An ad can often mention  that it has recorded data from scientific studies.  But unless the ad explains how the studies were done or provides the data and the actual results for the public to see and review, a claim based on these studies may be either false or misleading for the buyer of the product. 

Advertising Methods

Advertising can often influence people to buy certain products, and that is why businesses spend so much money on advertisements.  The most common advertising methods are listed here:  scientific studies, the band wagon approach, testimonials of past buyers, comparison of the specific product with other related products, the ad's emotional appeal to the customer, and the product's price appeal to the customer.

I will show you the message and example each type of advertisement is trying to send your way.

  • Scientific Studies - scientific tests (according to the company of the highlighted product) have proven the product is effective - "Tests prove that Brand X works fast"
  • The Band Wagon Approach - everyone is using the product therefore you should use the product too - "Don't be left behind - use Product X."
  • Testimonials by Previous Customers - the product is effective because trustworthy people have recommended it as a good product to use - "The medicine recommended by doctors and their families"
  • Comparison to Other Products - the product is more effective and of a higher caliber than its peers - Brand X now has 20% more painkiller than Brand Y"
  • Emotional Appeal - the product is safest for you and your family, loved ones, family members, etc. - "Choose Brand X - your family's health depends on it"
  • Price Appeal - the product gives you more for the money you are spending on it - "Brand X - the most for least"