Advertisement in the contemporary world has resulted in an indispensable mode of communication within the market. According to the Riff, Lacy and Fico (2014), advertisement is a method of communication that individuals, companies, and businesses employ to change and influence the manner in which customer see their commodities and persuade them that such goods and services are advantageous to them. The significance of advertising has increased steadily as many brands are now heavily depending on social media and broadcast media such as television and radio to attain their goals. These aims can be; creating awareness and knowledge in the marketplace, and increasing sales among others. The advertisement may take various forms such as social media ads, video ads, search engine marketing, broadcast advertisements, and email marketing among others. While the scope of advertising continues to grow and evolve, it is playing a significant part, in shaping the ever-evolving norms of society both at a national and global level (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Therefore, with the growing importance of advertisement in people's lives, much concentration is being placed on its impact from a user's point of view in both digital broadcast media such as TV and radio and social media.
Young children as target users in some adverts are most cases negatively impacted by various advertisement in through digital broadcast media. This is because they permit their minds to be contrasted and moulded. They grow copying everything surrounding advertisements since they are prone to all external influences. Thus, in most situations, it is possible they misunderstand information transferred via an advertisement. This makes them have misinformed opinions concerning different issues which may cause them to develop desire to own some commodities being advertised. For example, Eric Schlosser, a prominent journalist authored an article titled, Kids Kustomers. He wrote that the primary role of most adverts targeting children is to make them desire advertised commodities and nag their guardians and parents to get them the products (Hayko, 2010). Relating the article with my sister's behavior who is five years old, I discovered similar impacts of broadcast advertisement as those conveyed in the article. My sister always pressed my father to buy her Bitty Baby Dolls due to a continuous advertisement on the television. This portrays that advertisements are attempting to concentrate children attention to make them desire the advertised commodities and press their parent to buy them. Thus, with such type of impacts, broadcast advertisements create a wrong impression on the minds of the young child regarding surviving without the requirements of worldly joys (Hayko, 2010).
Advertisements in digital broadcast media and social media are also unethical since it is creating unrealistic pictures in the mind of their users (Greenfield, 2014). The unrealistic images are aimed at persuading viewers to purchase the advertised commodities. This provides consumers with a new perspective or feeling regarding a commodity. Where customers test such products and feel a different perception as that conveyed by the advertisement, they end up being dissatisfied. This dissatisfaction is as a result of deceiving message transmitted through broadcast media and social media. Consequently, as I engage with my friends through social media such as Instagram, I usually view a lot of fast foods advertisement such as McDonald's. Their products such as a sandwich, appeared hearty and juicy, piled with high crunchy onions and pickles placed on a soft bed of a bun. However, the real sandwich which met me when I ordered from their restaurant did not appear similar like in the images I have seen in the Instagram. This denotes that advertisements mislead individuals to invest in commodities they saw in adverts to various organizations make money and not to satisfy their customers which makes advertisements unethical (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).
Most advertisements in both broadcast and social media establish unrealistic anticipations in the body of the buyer (Riff, Lacy & Fico, 2014). For instance, Ads and TV videos adverts for drugs prescription directed to buyers have led to unrealistic expectations regarding their effectiveness and side-effects. Thus, in this types of adverts, the visual pictures only reveal the positive effects of medicines. Healthy and beauty products also share the same aspect. Majority of them, do not meet their user's expectations which leads to wastage of consumers' finances. Airbrushing which is common in many advertisements develops unrealistic expectations on the users of the products advised (Morris & Nichols, 2013). For instance, a significant number of women are using a lot of money to meet anticipations demonstrated through the adverts. I once had, a female friend who used to spend a lot of money on makeups and others beauty products while we went shopping. She aimed to enhance her beauty to appear like girls she often saw in advertisements. However, little did she know that advertisers utilise airbrushing and Photoshop to improve the look and appearance of their models in their ads. This lead to unrealistic expectations for her as the users of the advertised makeups and others beauty products.
Advertisement nonetheless, has positive effects on its users because it offers them with knowledge and education concerning new commodities and their different uses (Greenfield, 2014). Therefore, consumers enjoy the merit of good advice essential in ensuring they use the advertised product correctly and safely. Through this knowledge and education, advertisement users develop new techniques for doing things in life hence improving their standards of living. Additionally, it is through advertising such as video ads in social media platform that I learned how to use Grammarly and cloud computing. Knowledge of how to use Grammarly has improved my writing skills. I am now able to quickly check for grammar mistakes while drafting novels and short stories. Also, through education of cloud computing attained through advertisements, am also able to store the drafted and completed novels and short stories in remote servers hosted on the internet. This has created a lot of flexibility in me since I can access these writings from any device when the need arises provided there is an internet connection. Therefore, the advertisement has taught me how to use cloud computing which has made my lifestyle better since am not often required to carry my laptop everywhere to access my novels and short stories.
It is clear both from the personal experience and the literature that advertisement in social media, and broadcast media affects their users such as children, women, and the general population both negatively and positively. For instance, television advertisements mislead children to press their parents to buy them advertised products. Advertisements also create unrealistic pictures and expectations in the mind and body of their users due to their duplicitous nature and use of airbrushing and Photoshop to improve the look and appearance of their models. However, advertisements have positive effects on their users such as providing knowledge and education on new commodities and their uses. Therefore, to ensure that advertisement, both in social media and broadcast media, meet their objectives, they should provide accurate and precise information about advertised products as they are in reality.
Word Count: 1177 words
Greenfield, P. M. (2014). Mind and media: The effects of television, video games, and computers. Psychology Press.
Hayko, G. (2010). Effects of advertising on society: A literary review. Hohonu, 8, 79-82.
Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business horizons, 53(1), 59-68.
Morris, P. K., & Nichols, K. (2013). Conceptualizing beauty: A content analysis of US and French women's fashion magazine advertisements. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 3(1), 49.
Riff, D., Lacy, S., & Fico, F. (2014). Analyzing media messages: Using quantitative content analysis in research. Routledge.
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