CASE # 1
Issue 1: Advertising educates consumers.
The attached ad is advertised by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. The Hartford is one of the largest investment and insurance companies based in the United States, with offices in Japan, Brazil, Ireland, England, and the United States. It is a leading provider of investment products annuities, mutual funds, life insurance, 401(K), etc. The Hartford serves millions of customers worldwide. The attached print ad is taken from the National Geographic magazine (May, 2006 issue) which is known as a leading global magazine. By giving this ad in this global magazine, the company can reach its global market place. The freedom of advertisers to create messages combined with the mass distribution of such messages gave them tremendous power to influence the thoughts and actions of society. Such power and control can be used for the betterment of society or it can be easily abused, if used as a means to manipulate or dictate. One of the positive social aspects of advertising is that advertising educates consumers. This social aspect mainly focuses on the following points: Advertising is the most efficient and economic means of providing consumers with beneficial information about the availability of products or services. Advertising is clearly a powerful instrument for the elimination of ignorance. Advertising reduces search time so that consumers can make informed product decisions. The attached consumer print ad is aimed to target baby boomers that are near retirement and facing investment and income management challenges. The ad focuses on retirement statistics and the importance of retirement planning. The first page of the ad uses the following language in a box in bold text format: "Only 1 in 4 people are very confident they have saved enough for retirement". The second page (which is beside the first page) highlights the words: "Be the one". It follows:
"Prepare to live your future the way you always saw it. With the latest investment products and solutions from The Hartford. Because you're not preparing to retire you're preparing to live." Thus, the ad emphasizes that The Hartford offers products and services that can help create a secure financial future. The visuals communicate that "The Hartford can help give you confidence about tomorrow, so you can really live for today." Thus, this ad is an endeavor to educate the targeted baby boomers to start proper financial and investment planning now so that they can save enough for their retirement. The ad displays one older man and one older woman who seem to be confident about their retirement. Many people are not aware of financial and investment planning opportunities. This ad would create awareness among them. Some people are ignorant about their retirement planning. This ad can be viewed as a strong attempt to make those ignorant people to plan for their future. The ad is properly designed to catch the eyes of the targeted baby boomers around the world. This ad is focused on providing the right high quality investment and insurance products and solutions to help the targeted baby boomers meet their needs and map out their plans for a secure financial future. The ad offers the latest investment products and solutions from the Hartford. These include:
Clearly the ad is informative. The ad further directs to visit their Website (hartfordinvestor.com). This allows the consumers to learn about the above mentioned products and solutions of Hartford in detail and much more. It appears that the ad focuses on the company's logo," Prepare to Live." This is aimed to feature a symbol of the strength, stability and integrity been providing to the Hartford clients and policyholders for over years. This gives the viewers of the ad to understand what makes Hartford unique and different than other financial...