Going Global: Advertising In The 21st Century
Jeromy J. Clark
In order to remain effective, the advertising industry has to adapt to changes and trends in society. Because of this, the general pattern of advertising plans will appear to essentially mirror their target market, or a specific group of people in that society, from the picket-signs of years ago to the high-tech advertisements of the 21st century. There are a number of factors that come into play, each affecting the other as well as changes and trends in groups of people in society. Some of these factors are the culture and values of the target market, their use of technological advances, their degree of communication and connectivity, and the economic conditions of that group- just to name a few. Naturally, those factors in each group contribute to the same factors in society as a whole. By exploring the history of the advertising industry, one can identify the relationship between these factors, and how advertising plans have evolved as a result of adapting to changes in these factors. Several of these adaptations in the advertising industry have proven to be effective, and so have carried over, becoming characteristics of advertising strategies still widely used even in the 21st century. Changes in society such as population size, technology, competition, buying resistance, or otherwise, require that advertising methods and strategies adapt and evolve to ensure an adequate customer demand to support that business. This is how society and economics drives the development of advertising. Every population on this planet has an economic system, or mode of exchange. As populations grow, they have emerging needs, and businesses take shape to provide products or services to fill those needs. "After a major hurricane hit Miami last year, Home Depot shipped in plywood from nearly every store in the southeast and still couldn't keep up with the demand. Profiting by creating natural disasters is, of course, the stuff of comic books and spy novels, but recognizing and satisfying unmet needs is the key tenet of the demand chain. When successfully leveraged, this focus on the demand chain (as opposed to the more commonly-observed supply chain) can enable a company to grow its revenue by creating ‘insatiable’ demand..." (Emerald Insight Staff, 2004, p. 209) Those businesses will advertise in some shape or form in order to make sure that members of their population will come and get them. "Economics has driven the growth of advertising since its earliest beginnings and has made it one of the hallmarks of the free enterprise system." (Arens, Schaefer, & Weigold, 2009, p. 7) Advertising had been a way to influence customer demand, even years ago when at a barter-and-trade level economic system. Back when people lived in small communities, there was not a need for mass production or mass sales, and the only advertising necessary was within the earshot of their voice- but it was there. "Economists and historians have determined that we experience major transitional shifts approximately every 200 years: transitions that alter economic structures, influence our culture and affect our personal beliefs and values." (Szukala, 2001, p. 10) During the preindustrial age, as populations grew, markets expanded and product demand grew with them. This growth revealed the need for advertising to develop as well. (Arens, Schaefer, & Weigold, 2009, p. 10) With the invention of the printing press advertising began to take the form of type in signs, posters, handbills, and newspapers. (Arens, Schaefer, & Weigold, 2009, p. 12) The industrial revolution brought about urbanization, which drove businesses into mass production, which in turn led to manufacturers advertising their unbranded goods at wholesale to retailers. (Arens, Schaefer, & Weigold, 2009, p. 12) During this time, not many manufacturers advertised directly to the public, so it was up to the retailers to...
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