In the modern age
Advertising has gained great prominence in the modern age. Modern advertising is chiefly dominated by the genre what is known as “Commercial Advertising”.
In ancient times
Since the earliest times, man has desired to display his wealth, intellect, faith, beliefs or virtues, and attainments and design in one way or the other. The early tribesmen indulged in wars with each other, one tribe fighting against the other under a chief tribesman. The victorious chief cut off the head of the defeated chief and displayed it on the door of his house. This was a display or advertisement of the victorious chief’s valour. Even at present, the display of medals on the fatigue of an army man means the same thing. This argument can be stretched in every field and can mean even certificates, testimonials, trophies, colours and so many things.
Rise of money power
There can be some innocent or ameliorative advertisements aimed at general human welfare. Ashoka, the Great’s rock edicts conveying messages and purity of life can be considered under this category.
Unfortunately, as civilization has progressed, human compassion has declined. Every unit depicting the rise of the power of money signifies the corresponding decline in religious compassion in the human feelings. Human beings may still be thinking in their minds merely of money and tactics for earning and garnering it, when sitting in most meditative and prayerful poses in various congregations. Such is the power of money.
This power of money is most unabashedly displayed in modern commercial advertising when women’s scant bodies are exhibited like a commodity even in an advertisement where women have practically no role to play as in advertisements pertaining exclusively to men’s wear such as vests, underwear, etc. It simply means that the companies concerned have money enough to pay and they pay it to befool the people.
It is even surprising that in certain cases, where equality of genders should be depicted, only the message of male domination is conveyed. An advertisement intending to highlight the vital ingredients in a tonic for children, such as protein, minerals, vitamins, etc. often shows only a well-built male child on the silver screen as if the female child doesn’t need any nourishment. Is it not an open and, maybe, criminal expression of gender discrimination and inequality?
Brand and their Massages
Some advertisements may be quite good and up to the mark. Such one is the one advertising the efficacy of mineral water of a particular brand. A child drinks it, gives some to his pregnant mother, and then gives a small dose of it separately for the coming one. He does not speak a single word, but his speechless action and gestures are enough to convey the desired and useful, healthy message. But such advertisements are rare. A lot of research and training are still required in the field of advertising.
Advertising is also concerned with brands and products. A brand is different from a product. Everything produced in a factory is a product but when it is sold under a particular name given to it by concern, it is a brand and advertising entails “brands” more than mere” products”.
Stephen King has rightly said,
“A product is made in a factory. A brand is bought by a consumer.”