The Tripod - Women, Advertising and Media

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THE TRIPOD - WOMEN, ADVERTISING AND MEDIA

Ms. C. Shalini
Head, Department of Commerce(Marketing Management)
M.O.P Vaishnav College for Women(Autonomous) ,
Chennai-600 034
Tamil Nadu, India
&
Dr. Lalitha Balakrishnan
Head, PG Department of Business Administration
M.O.P Vaishnav College for Women(Autonomous) ,
Chennai-600 034
Tamil Nadu, India

THE ‘WHY?” OF ADVERTISING:
Advertising has very powerful influence on the content of most media that is available to the public audience. Advertisers who are allowed to sell their goods within the context of the media that is being created often cover the costs of creating, producing and distributing media. Since it is the advertisers' money that is allowing for the production of media, the companies that are using this resource tend to have a lot of say as to how the content is presented. They feel this is necessary for attaining a marketable audience. This influence often dictates how extreme the representations are and to what extent controversial or eclectic information is presented. Marketable audiences have a reciprocal influence on media. Without an audience to aim their sales pitches at, advertisers would have little or no incentive to fund the projects that house their ads. So the demographics of a 'marketable audience' are also key in determining what type of content is displayed. This is where the viewers of media can start to have an effect on media. The responsibility of the viewer is to be critical in how the advertising effects their attitudes as consumers. Advertisements are often misleading, in that they represent only the best aspects of a product and leave out information that would deter someone from buying their product (e.g. environmental effects, economic effects, social effects). The viewer needs to take some responsibility in researching the products and services that they put their money toward, and should refrain from patronizing companies that have a detrimental effect on society. This is difficult, however, when advertising can be so misleading. Viewers need to also recognize how much they are being catered to by advertisers. Some demographic groups are catered to more than others. Groups that do not, as a whole, represent a 'marketable audience' may see fewer advertisements aimed at them. Such groups include ethnic minorities and social subcultures. particular identity. Most advertising seeks to create ads for the homogeneous middle ground. THE TARGET AUDIENCE:

When women are the target audience, a particular formula is followed to present them with an idea of what type of products they should be buying. Products that are aimed at women include beauty aids, household cleaning products, kitchen products, clothing, medicines and diet aids. Services that are aimed at women tend to include health maintenance, beauty maintenance, relationship services, diet services and magazine subscriptions. In recent years, due to the increasing role of women in the professional workplace, women are included in the marketable audience that includes all business professionals. These services include information services, financial advisors, and training services. Inclusion into this latest group is probably a positive move in the direction of improving women’s' social-economic status as consumers. But, the overall message that is given to women through the media is that they are the homemakers and that they need to look their best so as to entice their own supposed audience of men.

WOMEN AND THE MEDIA:
During the past decade, advances in information technology have facilitated a global communications network that transcends national boundaries and has an impact on public policy, private attitudes and behaviour, especially of children and young adults. Everywhere the potential exists for the media to make a far greater contribution to the advancement of women. More women are involved in careers in the communications sector, but few have attained...
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