Undoubtedly, advertising for products has been altered with all of the changes in media technology over the past 100 years. For example, car dealer marketing used to rely heavily on their salesmen who worked at the dealerships, now, because of technology there is such thing as car dealer websites, where consumers have the ability to look up dealerships online and figure out either answers to their questions or which dealerships they want to go to instead of going directly to the lot, so the auto industry’s way of advertising has changed significantly in this example. From the radio to the internet, advertising is continuously adjusting changing due to the advances in technology.
With the advent of the radio came sponsorships from most large businesses. Before the radio, companies would almost always take out advertisements in the newspaper or maybe send out mailers. The radio made it possible for companies to put their names on radio shows. With a sponsorship like this, the actors and actresses would have to talk about the product either during the show or at a break. Radio also made it possible for corporations to advertise their products on a national level, not just in local newspapers, so the audience that businesses could target at one time because much bigger.
When television came onto the scene market, it gave companies the ability to show their product, like how to use it and how it actually looked. Television made it possible to target specific sub-sets of the consumer population instead of just everyone. For example, companies were able to do some research about the types of people who were watching specific shows at specific times and then put advertisements on that would interest that audience. The biggest breakthrough television offered was the ability for companies to show off their product. With radio, the target audience could only hear a description of the product, which is easier to tune out. When individuals can actually see the product they become more engaged with it, especially if they can see how easy it is to use or how delicious it looks. Also, it is important to note that companies did keep one thing alive from the days of radio advertising and that is sponsorship, or what is now usually called product placement. For example, a few of the auto companies pay television stations to have characters on specific shows driving the company’s new automobile.
Finally, the introduction of the internet to American society changed advertising once again as large businesses started coming up with interactive sites that people could go to and become even more engaged with the product. Businesses are able to track what sites their customers use and advertise directly to them. For example, companies will give a lot of money to social networking sites to be able to have access to the potential customers’ information that is put on the social networking sites.
Advertising has definitely changed with changes in media. It will be interesting to see what happens as new technology comes about and the privacy issues that are sure to arise with companies increasingly using the internet to get information about their target audience without the knowledge of the consumer.
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