PublicityÂ is an intentional attempt to direct the public's awareness towards a particular product or services (Burnley,1998 pg 110). Publicity advertising aims to bring a product or services as a public notice. Publicity of a product will create interest from the consumers to know more about the product. According to Ehrenberg (2002, pg3), publicity need not claim or imply differentiating values for the brand "I saw you on television but can't remember what you said." The publicizing function drives to breakthrough into audiences' mind. As an example, when HP launched their new Envy computer, they are using a trademark of "Technology of Luxury" to enlighten consumers that the new HP Envy is bringing a sense of luxurious and elegant in their brand new product. The fundamental purposes of publicity are to create brand awareness, enhance attitudes towards a company and its brands, and possibly influence purchase behaviour (Burnley,1998 pg 110). The main focus of publicity is not on how many people are willing to buy to certain advertised brands, but more to the incremental awareness of that particular brand in audiences' collective mind.
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Some advertisements are providing something new to the audiences, but most of them repeating the same things as the consumers already aware of. The most heavily advertised brand from a big companies like Nike, Adidas, Coke and so on which are popular enough is still advertise their brand up to now (Ewing, 2000). Publicity usually does not seem to be trying to convince customers to change what they feel about a brand, or act loyal to a certain products, but it is mostly seeks to have customer feel, thought and reminding them about something of that particular brand has offered. As stated by Ehrenberg (2002, pg 5), there are several different ways to publicize brands which are proclaiming the brand, the brand as the product, providing information, establishing distinctiveness, appealing to emotions, and proffering a reason. Firstly, many advertisements proclaiming their brand distinctively like NIKE. It is being assumed that NIKE has been popular enough so that they could just use their brand name to remind people about NIKE. Secondly, the other way to publicize the brand is by using the brand as the product. Many advertisements in effect say that the brand is an example of the product such as "US Airway: Together we fly". US Airway is an US based airline company. While experienced customers might know that US Airway is much similar with the other US airline companies like United Airlines, but the advertisement reminds them of US Airways, so that when they need to travel around, they would just think of US Airways. Thirdly, providing information could be one of the other ways to publicize a brand. Numerous advertisements figure out an attribute of the brand on their advertisement like "Intel Inside". Information could be new at most of one occasion, but it soon would be a mere reminder. Furthermore, establishing brand distinctiveness is one of the way how publicity advertisement works. "Polo the Mint with the Hole" is memorable yet in a meaningless way. Besides, the other ways to publicize the brand is by appealing to emotions. Some advertisements deliver attention throughout family values, sex, humour, animal, music, being ethical, or other experiences (Ehrenberg, 2002 pg 6). "Nescafe - the best part of waking up" is one of the examples of publicity advertising. They are not intending or persuading people to buy their product, but they are just reminding people that a coffee brand called Nescafe is the best coffee that suitable for them, so they will keep reminding customers about this particular brand. Moreover, a few advertisement would use a reason why we should prefer to use their products compare to other competitors such as Sony Bravia (LCD TV company) - Color like no other, or Toshiba - Leading Innovation. While an experienced customers will again know that their brand is also as good as this brand, and they will not choose to switch their brand. This type of publicity is even not really successful to persuade people to buy, but they are only bringing the fact to become a public notice.
In contrast, persuasion advertising works in a very different compare to publicity because both concepts have different aim to achieve. As publicity is trying to bring the products to become public notice, persuasion is trying to persuade consumers to react towards that advertised brand. Ehrenberg (2002, pg3) identifies persuasion as a rational, active thinking activity, which involves the manipulation of thoughts to create beliefs and change attitudes. Persuasion in advertising aim to changes the attitudes, or persuades the consumers to buy a certain products. It is obviously differ with publicity in terms of their main purposes while they are really emphasizing to persuade people to react towards certain brand and the measurement of success is the deed of their audience. To persuade someone is to offer them reason why they should change their attitudes, reconsider about what they feel at the moment and hence probably do (Ehrenberg, 2002 pg3). Advertising is about selling. Pleading its case throughout the strongest, most persuasive means, advertising informs, entertains and sells the products to the audience. Occasionally, it even inspires. If advertising is about selling, then persuasion is how we get there and persuading people to react along to certain brand (Heath, 2006). "Go Green to Save Our Earth" is a clear example while persuasive advertising not only aim for people to be aware of it but rather than that also their deed. Furthermore, in brand advertising, actual attempts at persuasion have found in the minority (Ehrenberg, 2002 pg3). There is no enough evidence which can clearly describe that persuasion advertising is the most preferable way to advertise a brand. It is not an easy task to make sure that persuasion advertising will run smoothly. Successful persuasion is even rarer. Some researcher has been recognized that in most markets there were little 100% loyal buyers (Health, 2006). It simply says that most buyers in the market are not only buying one brand, but they are buying from a range of brands in their repertoire. In fact, advertising can create, re-awaken or strengthen brand awareness, and can be one factor that facilitates trial purchase (Patterson, 2007 pg 65). It could be envisaged a defensive role for repetitive advertising as reinforcing already developed repeat buying habits that would be a waste.
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There are several ways on how persuasion advertising works and relates which would best describes in hard selling, hard information processing, strong theory and intrusive theory. Firstly, most advertisements nowadays are trying to convince people to buy immediately like Giordano always using "Buy Now, While Stock Last" or "Limited Edition". This can be measured as hard sell. Hard sell in advertising might help to persuade consumers to purchase the products (Ehrenberg, 2002 pg 6). This type of advertisement will only last until the promotion end and it is most likely will not be suitable for a long term. Secondly, persuasion advertising would be relates with a hard information processing. Some advertisement provides information about certain specific features of the offering (ie. product offering, availability, etc) (Heath, 2006). Consumers use that information to guide and build their preferences and to aid in their purchase. The result will be reflected in the purchase of the advertised product by the consumers. Many people will usually use this hard information processing in the high involvement products. For a high involvement product, advertisers will require to give more features and details about the products with such promotions to influence buyer to purchase. Thirdly, persuasion also relates with strong theory while advertising could enlarge people's understanding of products, change their attitudes, and convince them to purchase certain advertised products (Ewing, 2000). Strong theory of advertising believe that advertising is the engine which drive the demand while it is simply saying that advertising has to be able to increase the sales of the products which is the main purposes of persuasion advertising. Besides, strong theory is also believed that the most successful advertising is attacking and aggressive which will increase the aggregate demand in entire product categories. Last but not least, the worst part of advertising which would lead to a negative brand salience is intrusive advertising. Intrusive advertising would neither help increase the aggregate sales over all categories nor relevant to the viewers (Chang, Morimoto, 2006). People will prefer to avoid an unwanted an intrusive advertisement. TV commercials succeed to react as intrusive advertising. Based on some research, it supports that intrusive advertising could hurt the advertised brand and when the advertisement is extremely intrusive, consumer will later recognize the brand.
In conclusion, based on the discussion that has been given away above, advertisers nowadays should spotlight on the publicity rather than persuasion advertising. There are several reasons why they should focus more on the publicity rather than persuasion advertising. Firstly, there is no clear evidence shown that advertising was able to persuade someone to buy or act loyal to certain advertised brands. Much advertising should focus to increase the salience of the brand which defined as the size of a brand in the market's collective mind. It is the propensity of the brand to be thought of or noticed in the buying situations, how often and how many people think of the brand. Secondly, based on buyer and consumer behaviour theory, a good salience measure involves consideration of range of cues and how they reflect the size of the brand. Therefore, brand need to be linked to as many cue as possible, linked to the cues relating to that category. Thirdly, another argument saying that persuasive advertising will only produce a short-term effect while publicity will work through memory of the audiences as mostly audiences will recall things easily for the one that they familiar with. It is most important for the advertisers to emphasize in the concept that will last for longer period so that it will give greater impact. Nevertheless, people also found that persuasive advertising will be heavily affected when people find that this type of advertising is repeatedly boring and even irritating to the audiences. In contrast, pure publicity can usually been repeated for a long time but audiences will not being affected because they seem to enjoy what the advertisers are trying to advertise and they know that advertisers are just reminding them. This is due to the fact that publicity advertising is usually more creative which would achieve greater impact. To conclude, while most persuasion advertising does not surely give a better impact throughout the sales of products, publicity would be a better concept for advertisers to really focus on to increase their salience of brand.
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