Advertising and Promotion

Introduction

The promotions industry is a complicated industry with various organisations taking an active role in the communications process. Advertising is a means to impart messages to a target audience by means of a medium, such as radio, television or print, wherein the primary objective is to sell a product or service or to inform the general public.

The various organisations in the promotions industry include the advertisers (organisations, firms, individuals who have products or services to promote or sell), the advertising agencies (who take an active role liaising between the firm and the different media for the promotion of product or service), and the suppliers. The agencies could be an external organisation, but there are times that an advertiser does not hire an agency but would instead get the services of its own creative people.

Advertising agencies have an important role in this process. They have what the advertiser wants in communication – to let people know.

Advertising is a different way of communicating. Yes, it is informing but done in a creative way. People working for advertising are creative people, good at imagining ideas that would stimulate other people’s thinking and imagination. A creative ad by a good marketer will tell people to buy the product – immediately buy the product or service.

But that is easier said done than. Good advertising is done meticulously, examining the cause-and-effect scenario in one’s mind, being a psychologist, and by learning the ropes through experience and skill.

Big advertisers, corporations and global organisations, spend a lot of money to conduct an advertising campaign. Many organisations provide a big cut from their entire budget to advertising and promotion. They believe that advertising is the surest way to their customers’ hearts and mind. Without advertising, they cannot sell well. With advertising, they will their customers’ loyalty.

The structure, role and relationships between the parties in the communications industry

Organisations involved in marketing conduct advertising and promotion and many other techniques to introduce and sell their products. The advertising and promotions industry is composed of interacting organisations with each having an important role in the communication process. The main players are the advertisers that provide the finances to support the advertising process. Advertisers are organisations, private and public firms, manufacturers and producers or service-oriented firms, which hire advertising agencies to conduct an advertising campaign. There are also advertising agencies and suppliers.

The advertiser has to transact business with three institutions in the advertising campaign. These facilitating institutions include the advertising agency, the media and the suppliers. They are external organisations from the advertiser’s organisation.

Advertising agencies help advertisers in creating ads and commercials over different media (radio, TV, print, the Internet, etc.) to promote products and services. Advertising agencies hire resource and skilled personnel, mostly creative people, to conduct various advertising activities. (Leiss et al. 1997, P. 161)

Advertising is a form of communication. It exists to promote products and services. There are some criticisms to this framework on the purpose of advertising. Some would say that advertising raises the prices of products and services. Advertising becomes an insignificant part of goods. A TV commercial, for instance, becomes an added cost on the product with all its superfluous aims and objectives. Big amounts of money are added without resulting in benefits to the consumer.

Advertising agencies conduct and participate in activities in advertising, creating and testing different methods to attract customer attention, and determining if the ads have a psychological effect upon the consumers. They make use of multi-media – TV, radio, print ads, and now the Internet – buying space and prime time on behalf of their clients to be able to present their advertising on particular goods or services.

The agency and research suppliers help in searching for opportunities, creating and testing effective advertising ideas, and buying space and time from various media available (broadcast, print media, the internet, etc.), while the latter supply the means so that the advertiser and collaborators could advertise.

Control institutions in the industry include the government and, of course, competition. Advertisers are very much affected by government regulations that affect their products and services. Competitors, on the other hand, are always there to present their own way of advertising others’ products.

The promotion’s role in a company depends on the type of company and the product they sell. The objective of promotion is to communicate with people and organisations with the aim of persuading to accept or buy the products of the company. Some companies hire television or movie personalities to endorse their products. Promotion is afforded the highest in budget allocation by some organisations. (Lancaster & Reynolds 2002)

There is also the market segment in which the advertisers are targeting. They, in fact, set another kind of control in the advertising process. Their acceptance and reaction to the advertising campaign is a form of external control. The advertiser has to target an audience and relay a message. Without this message, there is no point in advertising.

The field of advertising that is composed of several institutions is illustrated in the figure below.

Institutions involved in Advertising.
Figure 1 Institutions involved in Advertising.

Technological advancement and continuous innovations have motivated organisations and businesses to react by reorganizing and reprogramming outdated functions activities, or realigning them to the present trends for improvement and competition. Personnel and field people, ordinary employees, including middle-level and top management, are refocused along the line of technological innovations.

IT applications provide easy handling of strategic operations and other supervisory and managerial functions. Changes in the system demand new ways to integrate functions in the organisation. Successful system integration efforts provide a competitive edge. Motivations to integrate revolve around technological issues and globalisation. (Jenson & Johnson 2000, p. 29)

Structure of the promotions industry

The Centralized System

The centralized system is composed of an advertising department with advertising or communications manager operating under a marketing director. This is usually applicable when a company does not have many divisions, product-lines or brands to advertise.

A centralized system is applied to an organization wherein there are common requirements within the organisation. The advertising function of an agency depends upon the objective of the organisation which may centre on the type of product the company produces, the allocated budget, the company structure and the organisational size.

A centralized system has a department which has the responsibility for all advertising campaigns. Most organisations prefer the centralized system because of the flexibility involved wherein advertising programmes are developed and coordinated centrally or from a centre point. In this situation, fewer people handle management and the programmes being implemented.

In other words, since management is being handled by experienced and creative people, the process becomes easier. But this does mean that problems don’t come up. The advertising department cannot handle so many tasks that may involve marketing strategy and the many intricacies of the brand. The company also may produce more products and brands, and it is in this situation that decentralisation becomes practical.

The Decentralized System

With decentralisation, advertising can become easy if there are more products to be promoted by the company.

This type refers to large corporations with many divisions. An advantage to this is that each brand is assigned to a manager or department and receives the desired managerial attention with respect to the needed problem solutions and opportunities. This system allows more flexibility for the particular brand, whereas, in the centralized form, it allows flexibility on a limited product.

Additionally, planning, budgeting and many areas of advertising are addressed quickly and effectively. Each product or brand is assigned to one brand manager: planning, budgeting, sales and profit performance and overall marketing program. The organisation may hire advertising agencies and other marketing communication specialists to handle advertising.

Decentralization of promotions is aimed at improving business functions, coordination and collaboration among the employees within departments. With the advent of technology, the Internet, many business organisations decentralized, with the Internet as a tool of communication to the different, far-flung branches. The IT system has tremendously helped with product or service promotion.

A disadvantage with the decentralized system is that brand managers who are assigned for advertising and promotion are inexperienced on this area and so they have to be trained first. They maybe learned or experienced with respect to planning and administrative tasks but not with advertising. (Koekemoer & Bird 2004)

The In-House Agency

An agency within a firm is called in-house agency. The advertiser sets up or operates its own advertising agency. The primary purpose is to cut costs and to maintain creativity. Other organisations look at art and creativity as a way of selling and be popular to the public. Advertising ideas can be more effective if the people working for it are working within the organisation.

An organisation that chooses to have its own advertising department is equipped with creative people who conduct advertising according to the wishes of top management. The organisation is selling and promoting a product or a few products that advertising it over television or the different media becomes easy for people organic within the organisation.

Role, organisation and function of advertising agencies

Why do firms hire advertising agencies for their advertising campaign? An established agency has all the creativity and expertise and can offer wonderful ideas about advertising techniques. Agencies can offer problem solution techniques.

The advertising industry in the United States is a huge industry worth about $300 billion and another $600 billion spent in the various parts of the world. All forms of promotion and advertising could reach a trillion dollars in spending. (O’Guinn et al. 2012, p. 52)

Hall and O’Malley (as cited in Dahlen et al. 2010, p. 299) formulated four frameworks which can be the basis for advertising appeals:

  • Sales-oriented – this states a measurable input/output situation;
  • Persuasion-oriented – a situation that allows the consumer to think more sequentially;
  • Involvement-oriented – the target audience is allowed to be a part of the process of advertising;
  • Salience-oriented – the brand and the advertising are radically presented.

Advertising is “a paid form of non-personal communication” (Jobber & Lancaster 2003, p. 468). Its aim is to sell a product or products to a target audience through the different media available. Advertising is cost-efficient because it reaches a great number of people at a low cost per person. But advertising does not provide immediate feedback and to measure its effect on sales is hard, has less persuasive impact than say personal selling.

Before, advertising agencies acted as agents for the media, for example, the TV station in which the ads were placed. The agency then received a certain amount of commission from the amount the client paid the media firm, for instance, if the transaction to buy time or space for a TV ad was $1 million, the ad agency would then receive a commission of $150,000. The client or advertiser, therefore, did not spend any amount for the ad agency because the amount of $150,000 came from the media firm that produced the ad. The commission basis was the method of the transaction between advertisers, advertising agencies and media firms. This continued until the 1980s.

Another type of income that advertising agencies can generate is markup. The agency gets outside services of photographs or other agencies, and for this, it gets 17.65 to 20 per cent commission.

Many agencies do not produce advertising but depend much on referrals and public relations. Other smaller ones conduct promotions in the form of direct mails and advertising through the Internet. (Ogden 1991, p. 19)

Impact of advertising and promotion on customer behaviour

Consumer behaviour is not elicited by just a single stimulus but a complex of conditions. The consumer is being influenced by the “stimulus situation”. But the stimulus is a complex of conditions and not a single condition alone. Therefore, consumer behaviour is the result of a “constellation of stimuli”. When a consumer buys a product, he/she is influenced by the taste, the price, the packaging, and the consumer’s past experience of the product.

The traditional way

People look at promotion in different ways. Some would say that promotional activities such as advertising and personal selling do not picture the real attributes of a product, thus they distort the real picture because they provide selected information.

The role of promotion in an organisation is to communicate with the aim of “directly or indirectly facilitating exchanges by informing and persuading one or more of the audiences to accept the firm’s products” (Jobber & Lancaster 2003, p. 457).

Marketers provide exchanges by emphasizing information about their company activities and products on different interest groups, for example, environmental and consumer groups, current and future investors, government agencies or society as a whole.

Customer satisfaction is the major aim of the marketing concept. First, an organisation must find out what will satisfy customers. With this information, it then attempts to create satisfying products. But the process does not end there. The organisation must continue to alter, adapt and develop products to keep pace with customers’ changing desires and preferences. The marketing concept stresses the importance of customers and emphasises that marketing activities begin and end with them. (Jobber and Lancaster 2003)

The Hierarchy of Effects

The consumer first resists to the firm’s marketing communication, but continuous persuasive messages would later convince him/her, and so a purchase is made. Consumer’s resistance is countered by the effects of advertising; that is why it is called “hierarchy of effects”. The consumer is perceived like a computer that processes information in a sequence, a mental process that is according to rules.

A variation of the hierarchy-of-effects is called AIDA or “Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action” sequence which was formulated by Strong (as cited in Hackley 2005, p. 28) in which the consumer reacts to the advertising messages according to internal human processes “from unawareness to awareness”. The customer becomes interested in the brand after that, and a purchase is made.

Three major trends in marketing and the impact on advertising and promotion

Branding and brand proliferation

Some interpret brands according to the philosophical connotation. Benjamin Lee and Edward LiPuma (as cited in Lury 2004) argue that one way in which to make culture “catch up” with the economic processes is to make branding a part of culture. Branding should be understood as a cultural form.

The brand “mediates the supply and demand of products through the organization, co-ordination and integration of the use of information” (Lury 2004, p. 4). There is a Latin saying that says nomen est omen, which means “a name is an omen”. This does not mean that a brand is an omen, or what most understand it, a bad sign. There must be the decoding of that omen. Examining the brand name translates into decoding of that omen, its area of legitimacy, knowhow and competence. (Kapferer 2008, p. 194)

Branding is focusing on the strategic aims of the organization. When we talk of Mercedes-Benz, what comes to mind are prestige and quality, car racing, price that cannot be equalled by other competitors that only the elite and the moneyed can afford. That is the brand not the name. Mercedes-Benz is superior quality, expensive, a leader in the automotive industry, an organization that cannot just be defeated.

In other words, we cannot just say that it is a name – it is Mercedes Benz. Jones (1999) says that to call a product by its name is to distinguish the product “as something more than an object”. The brand carries with it the name of the owner or organisation, its past and present. When we build a brand, we are not only selling a product, we are making a long-term franchise. Brands build loyalty, make profits, and are asset to the owners (Jones 1999).

The term for the unbranded is ‘generic’. There are generic products for many kinds of brands. They are sometimes called imitations, remake, fake or pirated (in the case of cds and dvds), ‘made in China’, etc. And these so-called generics really look like or function like the branded ones. But loyal customers look for their brand; meticulous and ‘class’ consumers find their ways to seek their brands they are crazy about. They will never substitute their brand for cheap imitations. That is called loyalty.

Branding therefore is so important. In promoting a product or service, you bring along the brand. If you have a product without a certain brand and prestige, what good does it have? It becomes generic. It may bring you money, not prestige. But the brand carries with it customer loyalty. In advertising, the important thing is the name. Put the name in front of the TV commercial, and it speaks for itself. The product becomes prestige and quality. The viewer knows that it belongs to him/her – it is remembered and it is forever.

Internet

The Internet is a revolutionary means of communication that can reach a wider audience, particularly the young demographic who are into the Internet craze. Businesses and organisations can post whatever they want to advertise and inform their preferred audience or segment, at a very low cost. Organisations, big and small, private and public, individuals, students and professionals, are all doing it – advertising to clients and audiences via the websites. This is advertising and promotion through the virtual world, cyberspace. It is of low cost and sometimes free.

The Internet connects individuals and organisations throughout the world. It has enhanced the information revolution and globalisation. Because of technological development and advances, new industries are formed.

Information technology and the Internet have revolutionized the processes in organisations. There are many functions now that can be outsourced or serviced by employees not organic in the company or organisation. For example, call centers and business process outsourcing organisations provide service to other organisations with the use of the internet. Businesses in the United States, the UK and other European countries use call centers in the Philippines or India to answer to clients’ queries about product warranties or other business functions. BPOs from these developing countries also serve clients in the United States and other countries.

Globalization

We are now in the age of globalisation – the Internet, information revolution, knowledge-based economies, global organisations and global economies, etc. We can connect or talk with business partners at the other side of the globe. With a computer connected via the Internet, we can have indefinite access with people anywhere and anytime. This is the world of the cyberspace, of digitization, fast-pace communication and high-speed means of transportation.

The traditional ways are gone, absorbed but melted down by the digital; new economies, new ways and processes of business and transaction are conducted by way of pushing a button.

“It is the characteristics of globalization rather than the territorial dimension that makes a difference.” (Sussland 2000, p. 2)

Organisations conduct business and transactions much different from the traditional ones. There is a wider scope; it is more effective and faster.

Van der Bly states that in globalisation “the international economic integration … can be pursued through policies of openness, the liberalization of trade, investment and finance, leading to an open economy” (p. 875). Important aspects of globalisation include internationalisation, liberalisation, and increased competitiveness.

In globalisation, advertising and promotion are faced with more challenges and ambiguity. With globalisation, national borders are not important; there is the interconnectedness of organisations and businesses while countries focus more on deregulation and privatisation of industries and the importance of world markets. (Mills et al. 2009)

Researchers have studied the effects of globalisation on organisations. One of these effects is the convergence in political institutions, systems and organisations or global firms. Convergence is defined as the growing similarity of “key patterns in employment-related aspects of countries, industrial relation systems and employment career paths of individuals” (Mills et al. 2009, p. 570).

Advertising and promotional activities of organisations are influenced by these factors. Advertising may focus on employment and career opportunities of workers in organisations. Convergence occurs when there is resource dependence which is a primary characteristic of the increase interdependence of nations and organizations in the globalisation age.

Characteristics and objectives of below-the-line techniques

Jobber and Lancaster (2003) state that, “When an organization combines specific ingredients to promote a particular product, that combination constitutes the promotional mix for that product.’

Advertising is a non-formal communication that uses the various media, paid by the organisation to promote its products.

Advertising’s aim is to influence the decision-making process of consumers or customers. The ultimate aim is to make the customer buy the product. “Buy this, it’s good, it will make you happy!” This is what advertising and promotion is all about.

Sales Promotion

Sales promotion was a considered a promotional gimmick or a “peripheral marketing activity” but lately it has gained significant interest from many companies because of the many advantages. Other promotional methods that can generate sales include price reductions, coupons, gift certificates, competitions, lotteries and cash bonuses. (Jobber & Lancaster 2003)

Sales promotion has different techniques and methods to encourage customers to buy. It includes: encouraging the customer to come back, building of customer loyalty, encouraging customers to visit particular outlets, building up stock-levels, widening product distribution, etc. The main areas of activity in sales promotions include consumer promotions, trade promotions and personnel motivation. (Jobber & Lancaster 2003, p. 173)

In the United Kingdom, sales promotions have been gaining popularity and considered matured since the 1970s. Advertising agencies conducted sales promotions aiming at particular client segments in order to combat competition from sales promotion agencies. During the mid-1980s, economic pressure forced companies to reduce advertising budgets, and so advertising agencies started resurrecting advertising integrated with sales promotion activities. It also fostered the emergence of sales-promotional agencies and a closer relationship between agency and client. (Jobber & Lancaster 2003, p. 173)

Public Relations (PR)

Some of the PR activities that organisations should indulge include press releases, newsletters, advertorials, interviews, and much more. Objectives vary for PR activities of an organisation. It includes building goodwill or straightening out negative publicity. A PR activity can be used to launch a new product or improving customer and employee relationships. Executives have to meet the press sometimes and PR activities can help it. ss

PR activities can also be used to shape public opinion or build goodwill by way of public activities or programs that catch public’s attention. PR activities should be a part of the regular activities of companies to answer negative feelings from the public sector.

Sponsorship and Value Marketing

Sponsorship is one way of promoting the aims and objectives of an organisation. It is also one of fulfilling the company’s CSR aims. A lot of companies sponsor humanitarian activities and organisations to promote their companies and particularly their products. Ford Motor Company has been in the fight for breast cancer cause. It is one of the sponsors of Susan G. Komen’s Breast Cancer Foundation, providing financial, material support and other kinds of support. It is also active in other humanitarian causes by forming the Ford Force which is composed of Ford employees and members of society. Its primary objective is to support the fight against breast cancer, involving women and other stakeholders.

Other organisations sponsor cultural or sports events because their names get associated with such popular events.

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is defined as:

‘An interactive system of personal and intermediary-free dialogue which uses one or more communications media to effect a measurable behavioural response at any location, forming a basis for creating and further developing an ongoing direct relationship between an organization and each of its customers individually.’ (Brassington & Pettitt, as cited in Kitchen & De Pelsmacker 2004, p. 64)

Direct marketing has gone through various innovations due to technological innovations, database technology, the Internet and its many features such as e-mailing, telemarketing.

Direct is a one-to-one interaction with the customer, which makes this something like personal selling. Due to its being personal in nature, direct marketing uses different ways of contacting customers, such as direct mail, telemarketing, emails, and the sales person does not need to be physically present and the customer does not need to go to a shop to answer to the sales person’s requests. Information regarding the products is coursed through the various channels. (Kitchen & De Pelsmacker 2004, p. 65)

With the availability of new technology, direct marketing makes use of databases which store vast information about customers and their preferences. Direct marketing is now used to gain strong and “long-term customer relationships”. Effects of direct marketing can be easily measured because information is easily obtained through websites and databases. Customer satisfaction is an important part of marketing.

Customer relationship marketing creates value for the customer. The marketer must continue to apply innovations in marketing; answering complaints of customers is one. It is continual improvement.

New trends in marketing include seeing to it that the customer wants a “remake” of the product. This aims for the customer’s coming back – that is customer loyalty. But customer satisfaction does not necessarily mean loyalty on the part of the customer. Having a continuous communication with the customer is a step to the right direction. Customers have to be asked to rate the importance of certain products. Or they have to be asked about their willingness to repurchase and to recommend the products.

Packaging and Merchandising

How a product is packaged, including the development of the design and label is part of below-the-line promotional mix. Packaging should not be overlooked as this is the client’s first impression on the product that might last long. Packaging is also used in other functions, such as protection for the product while it is in the supply chain. Proper packaging makes the product secure. Packaging bears special instructions, logos and other important information about the product.

Personal Selling

Some authors argue that selling should be an extension of the marketing concept. Sales persons should be able to identify customer needs and help in the decision-making process of the customer from the time the customer chooses up to selecting what best suits the customer’s requirements.

When the sales person conducts an interview, i.e. as the customer is in the process of picking his choice, he has the opportunity of conducting personal persuasion. The product’s superior features can be emphasized at this juncture. The sales person can be considered a “need identifier” and “problem solver”. The sales person should be truthful and not a trickster and magician because this is the age where organisations want customers to come back. (Jobber & Lancaster 2003, p. 102)

Schuster and Danes (as cited in Jobber & Lancaster 2003) found in a study that in personal selling there are some techniques that make it successful along with the conduct of personal interview, such as: “asking questions, providing product information, making comparisons, and offering evidence to support claims, acknowledging the customer’s opinion or agreeing to the customer, supporting the customer, etc.” (p. 102). There are six phases in the personal selling process: “the opening, need and problem identification, presentation and demonstration, dealing with objectives, closing the sale, and follow-up”.

Advertising can be designed to differentiate, remind, inform and persuade

Advertising focuses on products and product attributes. It emphasizes the benefits and advantages of buying and using this or that product. Sometimes too, advertising focuses on the brand. A brand is a name of a product. If it is to be successful, it must be functionally efficient, superior or perceived as superior to other competitive brands in terms of quality perceived by the users.

A brand carries with it the name of the owner or organization, including its history, effects and uses of the product. A brand is a product of long and careful study and build-up of qualities that consumers would like to admire and then remember. It is accompanied by an emblem that symbolizes its identity. It is represented by a logo which helps identify and recognize the brand or guarantee the brand, provide the brand durability and enable the company to capitalize on it. Brands develop loyalty from customers, generate more profits and are an asset of the company. (Jones 1999, p. 2)

Advertising that capitalizes on a brand will enumerate the many attributes of the brand. The name of the brand carries with it many meanings.

The Coca Cola brand is a great example. Mention the name, even with a picture and you will feel the refreshing taste. Put some spices by a video of a bottle of coke, its contents poured into a glass with crystal ice cubes in it. Then add some more by having a beautiful lady, a popular actress or celebrity holding the glass, sipping its contents. Add some more, i.e. don’t forget the sound. What you have is an unforgettable advertising over television that entices the audience to drink and ask for more.

“Coke, it’s the real thing!”
“Coke, it’s the real thing!”

Customer relationship marketing is an objective of advertising. An advertiser has to apply innovations and creativity in advertising and marketing. They call it continual improvement in business.

A popular concept of brand relationship theory is phenomenological research theory which emphasizes “lived” or “felt” experiences (Heding et al. 2009, p. 155). This is closely linked with the existentialism branch of philosophy where existential topics of life, death and time are the basis for understanding man. The relation of brand and consumer is investigated. This expounded and emphasized in advertising.

A branch of advertising is visual merchandising. This has become sometimes obsolete according to some authors but it is not. Visual merchandising is a way of presenting products in windows or department stores. This is different from advertising on billboards or the Internet where the customers only see pictures. In visual merchandising, the customer physically feels the product. Visual merchandising is also termed retail shelf merchandising. It is as effective as other forms of advertising. Merchandise is a term related to marketing while marketing involves business transactions.

In visual merchandising, the objectives of advertising are presented artistically. There is a cause and effect – the window displays act as the stimuli and the customer’s response in the form of buying decision acts as the effect.

An effective advertising creates a psychological effect on the customer. It creates mental images that stimulate the customer to closely scrutinize the merchandize and make a decision to buy. A unique and memorable experience creates a psychological effect on the customer – she has to decide to buy that product. (Pegler 2006)

That, in effect, is a successful advertising campaign.

Advertising is one of the most effective marketing tools. It is also referred as a communication instrument of the advertiser or the maker of the product or service.

A store acts as a distribution centre. Stocks and inventory are kept and ready to be sold. Products need to be presented to the consumers. Advertising presents the best the brand can offer. Meticulous customers carefully examine the brand while loyal customers have faith in promise of the brand. Advertising makes a good presentation, creative ways with artistic designs in graphics and pictures. Products have to be presented well and made like a “tempting mistress” so the customer can caress, smell and eventually buy it. An advertiser who cannot present a product artistically and beautifully will miss the opportunity to sell it. A well-planned and well-thought of advertising will entice a lot of customers.

The best advertisers are artists who consider advertising as a way of expressing without the thought of accumulating a lot of profits. Artists hired by advertising agencies hail from the field of art and fashion, and even theatre, to create a drama of life. That’s why, others consider advertising as a philosophy or a way of life. Soft drinks, jewellery, clothing, fashion – all of these can be presented in a grand artistic advertising.

The Coca-Cola website

At first impression, it speaks of the company’s objectives, mission and philosophy with just one picture – a bear with her cub, sleeping, at peace with the world. Coca-Cola sponsors this kind of animal care for many things. One of these is its desire to be associated with “caring with animals”.

The site portrays that a coke is always larger than life. A drink can refresh you. Coca-Cola uses peace of mind, caring for animals, and life’s enjoyment as one of advertising tenets.

The company’s website is a picture of the organisation’s philosophy – a cub and his mother at peace with humanity.

Coca Cola
Figure 2. Coca Cola (Coca Cola Company n.d.)

In contrast to the Coca Cola website is the picture below. This is not a part of any decent advertising campaign, nor a part of a website, but someone, some unknown “warrior” posted it and so it created a form of communication. Is this a form of advertising? In a way, it is.

The Battle of the Colas
The Battle of the Colas.

Is advertising used for differentiation? To enhance competition? Or to destroy enemies? Like any other thing or phenomenon invented by man, advertising can be used to foster evil desires such as greed, envy, covetousness, destruction, etc.

It is also one of the worse things that the Internet can create – destroy other’s image without being properly identified.

The phrase “rejoice over a fallen enemy” fits here. The “war of the colas” is a form of cause-and-effect communication. One is down and still will be put to destruction. That is war; that is competition in the world of advertising. Moreover, it is human nature – to rejoice at other people’s downfall. Others rejoice because that is what makes advertising exciting.