Influence of Mass Media Advertising on Consumer Behavior


At present, the study of the impact of advertising on the consumer behavior is one of the most urgent areas of marketing. Advertising brings to the audience the information necessary for the purchase and use of goods, encouraging them to take active actions upon products. Thus, this impacts a person emotionally and psychologically. Advertising increasingly interferes with the life of people managing it at the conscious and unconscious levels. Primarily, mass media advertising serves as a means of communication between the commodity producer and the buyer. Advertising motivate buyers to make better choices in their purchases concerning their availability and the place of purchasing.

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The paper aims at reflecting how mass media advertising shapes consumer behavior. The purpose of the research is to show the reader that advertising has become a socio-cultural phenomenon, since it contributes to values and tastes of the audience. Various ways of transmitting the advertisement through different channels of mass media will be analyzed. Therefore, mass media advertising is a powerful tool for distributing messages on different products and services, and shaping the purchasing culture.

Advertising has become a popular sphere of human activity. Mass media, as a rule, conveys various messages about the most diverse subjects surrounding consumers in everyday life. Thus, advertising connects the commodity producer and the buyer. Mass media advertising is important for both consumers, who learn about the products, and producers, who use it to stimulate the sale and consumption of their goods. Currently, mass media advertising plays an essential role in society because it helps the audience shape their buying behavior.

Advertising as a Sociocultural Phenomenon

Advertising has a long history of its existence, which originated simultaneously with the market. The literature reveals that already in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, small traders highly praised the merits of goods creating a prototype of oral advertising. Admittedly, the term advertising stems from the Latin word reklamare, which means loudly shouting or notifying. Nowadays, its penetration into numerous spheres of human activity becomes more and more obvious because advertising surrounds people everywhere. At home, it comes in the form of television or radio advertising; on the way to work, billboards, brochures, signs, advertisements on vehicles also attract attention. In addition, it occurs in newspapers, magazines, and on the Internet. Therefore, there is a huge amount of means of transferring advertising information.

Primarily, mass media serves to establish the relationships between market participants in the process of selling goods. Many studies suggest that in modern society, advertising is viewed as a socio-cultural phenomenon because it conveys spiritual experience in the form of models of consumer behavior that change individual attitudes and life values in the contemporary transcultural space. Mass media makes advertising a part of the cultural environment, which is an important factor in the formation of human aesthetic consciousness. Moreover, some of the advertising messages, performed in a professional and creative manner, can be attributed to the works of applied art. It is worth noting its closeness to the development of culture. Therefore, it does not only inform potential buyers but also actively arouses their emotions hence shaping the aesthetic standards.

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The Role of Mass Media Advertising in the Formation of Consumers Preferences

Individuals use various goods and services in order to maintain the body in a normal state satisfying their basic needs. Each person is a potential consumer who acquires certain commodities under the influence of particular motives. Specialists assume that mass media advertising makes a consumer an essential participant in the development of marketing relations because their interests and preferences in the choice of products affect the formation of demand and supply. Remarkably, modern purchasers cannot exist without a versatile system of consumption. At the same time, it has its own peculiarity, which consists in the fact that consumption exceeds the acquisition of the most necessary issues for life, namely food, clothing, and items of industrial production. Today, mass media advertising ensures more comfortable life; therefore, people acquire not only essential goods that support their activities but also the items that facilitate their daily routine.

Furthermore, the consumption of products and services becomes gradually separated from its initial value of satisfying basic needs. In particular, it regains a wider sense because in the process of consumption, a person communicates information about his/her preferences, status, and about himself/herself as a member of society. Oftentimes, mass media advertising encourages people to demonstrative consumption with the primary goal of showing their own wealth. Thus, in their efforts to exhibit their status and prestige, many individuals begin to waste their money on some goods or services not because of their usefulness but for the sake of show. Advertising, at the same time, has an impact on consumer behavior encouraging the audience to buy the products that are not necessary. Especially, it affects the youth, who have not fully determined their preferences yet.

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The Role of Mass Media in the Formation of a Consumer Society

Mass media has become one of the main tools for the formation of the consumer society because of its ability to conduct a new ideology. The evidence shows that the consumer society is built on the mandatory condition of an uninterrupted consumption process. Indeed, the sources of consumer motivation are not their natural needs but the representations artificially generated by the social environment. As mentioned above, advertising strategies emphasize the socially important phenomena, particularly fashion, prestige, status, etc. At the same time, even such an important factor as purchasing power fades into the background because of the power of motivation. The essence of the consumer society is not whether a person can buy the advertised product, but whether he or she wants it. Therefore, mass media advertising moves consumption from customers wallets to their heads.

Currently, the mass media has become the main source of advertising. Additionally, it serves as the main carrier of advertising. However, the media is not only a channel for broadcasting advertising. Lantos admits that mass media advertising aims at erasing cultural prohibitions. In fact, traditional culture is a set of restrictions or external bans. On the contrary, the culture of the consumer society appears as an authorization system or a set of recommendations. In this case, the propaganda toolkit of the mass media perfectly realizes the task of the consumer society, i.e. not to put limits on the consumers needs. Thus, numerous advertisement publications promote the dependence of the social status on the use of particular goods and services. Therefore, the consumer behavior becomes an identifier of the situation in the society and a reason for increased self-esteem.

Advertising Distribution Channels

When examining the mass media as an advertising medium, several basic characteristics should be considered. Hence, print media, in particular newspapers and magazines, are available through three main forms of distribution: subscription, retailing, and free distribution. As for the electronic media, there are four main ways of distributing such as TV and radio broadcasting, cable TV and broadband radio access networks, satellite TV and radio broadcasting, as well as the distribution of TV and radio programs via the Internet. It has appeared important to consider the degree to which the printing edition meets the customers requirements for the transfer of its corporate style used in the advertisement of images and color solutions in general, as well as the specifics of the advertised product or service.

Currently, the Internet is the leading channel of mass media advertising. At the same time, the basic principles and technologies of online advertising differ in many ways from those adopted in traditional media such as television, radio, and the press. Unlike passive channels, namely radio or television, the cyber domain offers active participation. Moreover, the real time information and the availability of feedback make the World Wide Web a preferable advertising tool. The literature reveals that the Internet is one of the most important global markets for advertising media, which attracts an increasing attention of advertisers. The variety of the online resources provide great opportunities for targeted segmentation, huge audience, and services.

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Mass media has a great potential to influence the consumer behavior. It is a powerful tool to distributing messages about different products and services surrounding individuals in their daily life. The main channels of mass media help distribute advertisement among the target audience. Nowadays, the most widespread channel is the World Wide Web. It also determines a consumer society and peoples preferences. Therefore, mass media advertising plays a vital role in the public life because it shapes consumer-buying behavior.

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