The United States of America is of the greatest ethnically and socially diverse countries in the world. Furthermore, in recent times, we’ve seen a variety among individuals and their sexual orientations. In the past, advertisers and marketers used methods to solely target this community in LGBT media alone. In the past, these individuals feared that LGBT advertisements would hinder the productivity and receptivity of their heterosexual consumers. That said, portrayals of homosexuality in advertising can help open the minds of these heterosexual to consider the lifestyles of those who differ from themselves (McNamara & Descubes, 2017)
When marketing to the LGBT community, I do believe that one should avoid using stereotypes as this could cause negative connotations to be associated with it. In order to do this, I believe it is important to use celebrities in advertising. One sector of the media in which we hear the “breaking news” about homosexuals is in professional athletics. I do believe that using real members of the LGBT community gives a sense of authenticity for the audience, thus, opening their minds to more than their preconceived notions. Athletes and celebrities are among the most admired individuals in the media today. That said, this makes them an extremely effective medium to target this community. Furthermore, extensive research has uncovered some rather significant findings in regard to effective advertisement practices. In one study, it was discovered that the presence of gay or lesbian couples created more positive attitudes overall. Additionally, people were more likely to feel connected as a society, thus, creating a stronger connection among other people. That said, people began to feel more accepting of the LGBT community when couples were portrayed in advertising (Akestam, Rosengren, and Dahlen, 2017).
With these ideas considered, there are clear pros and cons associated with including LGBT individuals in advertising. In my opinion, the good aspects truly outweigh the bad. Using celebrities and couples of the LGBT community create a sense of realism in advertising. I believe that sometimes people of our society tend to keep a closed mind when it comes to sensitive topics such as this, however, these approaches in advertising help to break down those barriers; this is what we need. Instead of being socially divided, our community can become socially connected because at the end of the day, we’re all human.
Public health campaigns are ads that promote the prevention of dangerous health risks to reach a desired outcome (Public Health Campaigns, 2002). There are many different types of public health campaigns that have a variety of different goals; some try to persuade individuals to put an end to a bad habit, to pick up a beneficial habit, or even to simply inform individuals on a certain topic. Whatever the case may be, there are some types of campaigns that are more successful than others.
In my personal opinion, I do feel as if public health campaigns can be extremely effective when it comes to encouraging people to do away with bad habits. Some of the commercials and ads that grab my attention are the ones who use real people with real stories. Though some of these clips can be graphic, I do believe that these are the ads that will grab the attention of viewers. For instance, one of the most popular types of public health campaigns are those that involve smoking. In this case, when a person is depicted with a hole in their neck, the fear appeal is used to target the audience of adult smokers. These stories show the risks of tobacco use to evoke negative emotions; this is far more effective than abstract information. This fear appeal shows the clear severity of the threat in order to motivate the audience to change their behavior accordingly to avoid the negative consequences associated with the action. Furthermore, these public health campaigns can go beyond commercials. According to John Koblin of the New York Times, the average American adult spends, on average, five hours and four minutes of television each day (2016). That said, the most effective way to efficiently grab the attention of individuals is through Entertainment Education. With this, health information is included in the storyline which will allow individuals to be receptive to the information on a more subconscious level.
With these ideas considered, the best way to reach people with an effective message is through the use of television. The idea here isn’t to flood the screen with statistics and facts, but rather real people or actors. If the fear appeal tactics are implemented, emotions are able to be elicited on a far more personal level, giving the individual to see the real effects of the topic being discussed. Furthermore, people can also receive messages from television shows in which they deem to be interesting. In summary, the explicit messages in commercials, as well as the implicit messages portrayed on television shows are the most effective ways to illustrate a public health campaign.
We are a part of an extremely tech-savvy society that relies heavily on the use of technology to complete day-to-day tasks. People have the ability to communicate, network, and search the web virtually anywhere with the recent evolution in technology regarding smartphones and tablets. With this, personalized advertisements have been implemented as a powerful tool to make content more relevant to users across the globe. In summary, companies and corporations utilize data that is collected from the web users based on their browsing habits in order to make ads more relevant and appealing to the customer; this has caused the world of personalized advertising to become a touchy subject (Komando, 2017).
According to David Kirkpatrick of the Marketing Dive, 71% of consumers actually prefer personalized ads (2016). The idea behind this is to create personalized ads to enhance customer engagement. That said, I fall somewhere within the other 29% who are strongly opposed with this technology simply because they are annoying and an invasion of privacy. The main platform that I’ve witnessed these advertisements is on Facebook. When I’m scrolling through my newsfeed, I am doing this solely because I am connecting with friends or networking with coworkers. I find it extremely irritating and unnerving when I see an advertisement for something that I had previously searched for on Amazon or other similar sites. Even though I can be somewhat of an impulsive buyer, I am very cautious when purchasing online, as I’ve had my identity stolen in the past. That said, I use the internet to research and compare products. Once I’ve found a product that I’m interested in, I’ll go to a local store, see if for myself in person, and make a purchase if it meets my needs and expectations. I can honestly say that I’ve never purchased anything or even clicked on a personalized ad of any form. I find it to be very unsettling when I see something that I was previously interested in pop up on the screen as it places harmful privacy infringements on myself and my information.
With these ideas considered, I find personal advertisements to be bothersome and even unsettling. The fact that companies have the ability to take my information and utilize it to their advantage to try and make a sale makes me truly wonder what else they may be looking at. Though some people may enjoy these advertisements, I do feel as if they invade my privacy and take up an unnecessary amount of space on my computer screen. With the world we live in today, it is truly important to monitor your information and practice internet safety when making online purchases; you never know who may be watching.
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