Have you heard of the saying that you’ve got to spend money in order to make money? That’s the foundation of the advertising industry. Advertising has one specific goal in mind: to give anyone the exposure they desire to a specific population or targeted group within a defined community.
The United States Sales Industry
US pharmaceutical companies spend twice as much on advertising as they do on research.
The ultimate goal of advertising is to put a specific brand, company, product, or service into the top of a consumer’s mind. That way, when a consumer has a need for that item, the first thing that they think of is that specifically advertised product. How important is this? The statistics from Google searches are an indicator of this: over 90% of clicks on any given search are made on the top result listed.
Three Fast Facts About the Advertising Industry
1. More than $500 billion is spent each year on advertising campaigns around the world.
2. By the time the average American reaches the age of 65, they will have been exposed to over 2 million television commercials.
3. In the United States alone, more than $15 billion is spent on advertising that is directed toward children.
Takeaway: Advertising isn’t unethical or immoral. Some advertisements have had a profound effect on society. Think about the commercial that introduced the Apple Macintosh for the first time. It was directed by Ridley Scott and emulated the movie adaptation of Orwell’s 1984. It’s been 3 decades and people still talk about this advertisement – which only ran once on US televisions. In many ways, an advertisement is specifically designed to make you feel good.
Other Facts About the Advertising Industry to Consider
1. Children are targeted by advertisers because the American Psychological Association notes that kids under the age of 8 are unable to generally discern them as a promotion and instead consider them to be unbiased facts.
2. Fast food companies spend almost $2 billion every year.
3. The average American child watches over 100 television commercials every day.
4. Most watches in an advertisement are set to the time 10:10 because it gives the watch the appearance of a smiling face.
5. In the 2008 Presidential election, the Obama campaign spent over $310 million on advertising alone.
6. Life was the first magazine to make $100 million in a year just through advertising.
7. Most children are exposed to media at least 7 hours per day, which means advertising exposures will hit record levels with this generation.
Takeaway: The reason why many people tend to despise advertising is that each ad tends to play on some sort of psychological need. Food ads air during typical meal times. Toy ads air when kids are more likely to be watching. There’s a focus on sex, being popular, or being happier because you get or use a specific item. Yet it is through this advertising that products can become part of the mainstream, people can become happier, and this correlation creates a symbiotic relationship between customer, business, and advertiser that will never be broken.