Do (EDIT: Internet) advertisements work?

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Yes.

The primary purpose of an advertisement is not to make someone jump up and buy the product. (Although of course a promoter would cream their pants if they found a way to actually do that.)

Rather, the primary purpose is to say, "THIS PRODUCT EXISTS!".

If you remember seeing an ad and you remember what that ad was advertising then that ad worked.

Ilikemilkshake:

I see adverts all the time. When I'm watching TV, When I'm outside there are billboards and even right now there are advert banners surrounding this post, it seems like everything is covered in ads.

And yet I'm struggling to think of the last time I actually bought something directly because an Ad made me want it.

Sometimes I wonder about the nature of these posts. Companies spend billions and commit entire wings and CEO executives towards making sure you buy their products. People go to College just to learn marketing and you aren't sure if it works?! Come on.....

You don't have a single brand name piece of clothing? kitchen utensil? Choosing one grocery store over the other? Choice in college, car you drive? You think marketing is just TV ads and billboards? Its word of mouth, seeing friends rocking labels, a car on the street, a logo on a shopping bag, where your idols live, where monuments are located etc. The only way immunize yourself from it is to remove yourself from society.

Besides, whether you buy the product or not is about economics, perhaps you're too poor or it's not your taste but that's immaterial. The point is you know about the product and as far as the advertisers are concerned they succeeded

Marketing works.....and that's why it works on you

Anatoli Ossai:

You don't have a single brand name piece of clothing?

98% of the time the only branding on my clothing is a label on the inside, with the logo of the store I bought it from. I don't buy clothes for labels.

kitchen utensil?

I don't think I know of any kitchen utensil brands so I'm pretty certain none of mine are branded.

Choosing one grocery store over the other?

I choose which stores I buy from based on convenience. I do almost all of my shopping from the places closest to me, advertising has nothing to do with this.

Choice in college, car you drive?

I picked which University to attend based upon convenience. There are 3 good Universities in my city, I didn't want to move away from home. Nothing to do with advertising.
Also I don't own a car but seeing as it's literally impossible to buy an unbranded car I think that one is a little unfair. However before you tell me I want a Ferrari because of advertising my choice of car would be based on cost to purchase, run and insure the thing.

You think marketing is just TV ads and billboards?

When did I say that?

Personally I don't think you exactly know how marketing works.....and that's why it works on you

I'm aware of brand recognition... but that doesn't mean it particularly effects my purchasing habits all that much.

Corven:
if someone didn't think they worked then there wouldn't be such a dependency on ad revenue in the media industry.

That's partially why i made this topic. I don't believe the ads that play in the media industry actually work. Right now as i'm typing there's an ad for a chain of hotels i'm never going to stay in and one for something that i can only imagine is yoga. I appreciate that The Escapist needs their ad revenue to stay in business but imo these companies are wasting their money here.

lechat:

capcha: sausages
brb need to buy some sausages

Quoted because I thought it was funny

OT: I generally only pay attention to ads about things I did not know about yet. With other things, lets pluck one at random, Coca Cola ads for example. I already know the product, indeed I don't imagine there is anyone who DOESN'T know the product, the ad isn't going to make me buy it. If someone is showing me an ad for something I already am well aware of, even if the ad is clever and cute, sorry but its wasted advertising. That said Id kinda like to see a KFC ad where an undead Colonel comes to try and eat the brains of those who don't eat his chicken. Its a product I'm aware of, but zombie Colonel Sanders eating peoples brains is awesome. 11 secret glands and tissues.

Yes, they do.`It creates brand recognition and keeps things in your mind. If Coke stopped advertising tomorrow this time next year everyone would be drinking Pepsi. If ads didn't work there'd be no reason one product sells better than another when it's the exact same thing. Gillette managed to convince people you need five blades on your razor. You'll find the revenue of a product is far more closely tied to the quality of its advertising than the quality of the product itself.

They sort of work as while I do remember the product, I add a little note with that memory to never buy it.

They can. From all the advertisements and shitty previews I hated Les Miserables about a month before it came out so, advertisement backfire there.

I've either purchased, or forwarded links to friends who then purchased, several t-shirts that I discovered through banner ads. I've found new webcomics through ads on other comics. I get ads for Disney World vacations every spring, and ended up booking on via their deal a few years ago. So yeah, they do work sometimes.

Dunno I haven't seen an ad on the internet in maybe 2 years.

Sleekit:

hell, over 80% of people will even "blindly" follow an instruction to kill someone in the right circumstances.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment )

Only if they view the person giving the instruction as a person of authority. We are pack animals so there is that ingrained compulsion to follow authority. The Milgram Experiment would only apply if we saw commercials as authoritative figures. If we do, that would be interesting. Let me know what your thoughts on this are.

I, personally, don't view them as authority. I view them as more of a waste of money than anything because that product is going to be more expensive now than its competitors because the cost of that advertising is now added to the product cost. A Ritz cracker commercial can effectively wet my appetite for a Ritz cracker but what I actually buy is the generic version sitting next to it on the shelf that costs a dollar less. :\

I own a small home business. Home made crafts, buttons, hats etc. I've tried advertising and found I can easily spend more on advertising in a month than I make off of sales. I went into it thinking more advertising means more sales. That was not the case at all. I could have 500 hundred people visit my shop in a day because of my ads and not make a single sale.

What IS effective is word of mouth. Someone mentioning something I make on a forum nets me far more sales than the 30 dollars I spent on ads. Particularly in geek circles.

Here we go back to the Milgram Experiment and the compulsion to follow an authoritative figure. But this person posting on the forum isn't viewed as an authoritative figure. Why would them talking about it sway people? Ah, but they DO have authority.

Hang in there, this gets a bit complicated.

People who embrace a fandom gain something called Cultural Capital in that fandom. You gain this by proving you are as much of a fan or more as everyone else through the things you say, the style you wear, and the things you own. Someone who claims to be in the fandom, but has no cultural capital, are deemed as fake or mocking. This is why people hate hipsters, wannabes, and the "fake fan girls". They claim to be part of a fandom with no cultural capital and we instinctively react negatively to that.

Cultural Capital gives you status among that fandom and status is closely linked to authority. This is why one rabid fan of a tv show mentioning on a forum my button with a quote from that show can get me far more sales than fifty dollars spent on web page advertisements.

This form of advertisement isn't something you can buy though. If the person mentioning it is caught in some way getting something OUT of mentioning it they lose cultural capital and the status that came with it. We call this Selling Out.

So, while my ads do not get me any sales directly, they do get people talking about the things I make. One person with cultural capital mentioning something I make makes the money I spent on the advertising worth it. But it is a hit or miss thing. Luck. I could spend a lot of money on ads and not get one of those influential fans to say anything or it could happen repeatedly.

Celebrities have cultural capital. That's why you often see them in commercials but often when their careers are on the down slope because they're trading in their cultural capital for money. If Nathan Fillion suddenly couldn't get work anywhere he could use his cultural capital to plug Xbox 720. He'd make a lot of money, but he'd be labeled a sell out and lose a lot of cultural capital.

They barely work on me,because my region hasn't been researched well by marketers so they don't know what to advertise to us,"prize",betting advertisements are mostly what I get,but even if they're not scams I don't believe "free" money exists.There are also the MMO game advertisements,but I'm not looking for an MMO,LoL is enough of a "MMO" game for me.
Yes,Bulgaria is the poorest country in the entire European Union,so are the rest of the Balkans,even Greece has a serious economic crisis.However we are only poor compared to the others,but most people take care of themselves easily,because our markets are the cheapest in entire EU too so it balances out.But advertisements outside of Bulgarian can barely attract my attention,that is if I get any in the first place,I don't have adblock,but I barely get one ad on the Escapist and YouTube.

Adblock will change your life. Haven't seen an internet ad in almost a year.

Mid Boss:

Sleekit:

hell, over 80% of people will even "blindly" follow an instruction to kill someone in the right circumstances.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment )

Only if they view the person giving the instruction as a person of authority. We are pack animals so there is that ingrained compulsion to follow authority. The Milgram Experiment would only apply if we saw commercials as authoritative figures. If we do, that would be interesting. Let me know what your thoughts on this are.

I, personally, don't view them as authority. I view them as more of a waste of money than anything because that product is going to be more expensive now than its competitors because the cost of that advertising is now added to the product cost. A Ritz cracker commercial can effectively wet my appetite for a Ritz cracker but what I actually buy is the generic version sitting next to it on the shelf that costs a dollar less. :\

I own a small home business. Home made crafts, buttons, hats etc. I've tried advertising and found I can easily spend more on advertising in a month than I make off of sales. I went into it thinking more advertising means more sales. That was not the case at all. I could have 500 hundred people visit my shop in a day because of my ads and not make a single sale.

What IS effective is word of mouth. Someone mentioning something I make on a forum nets me far more sales than the 30 dollars I spent on ads. Particularly in geek circles.

Here we go back to the Milgram Experiment and the compulsion to follow an authoritative figure. But this person posting on the forum isn't viewed as an authoritative figure. Why would them talking about it sway people? Ah, but they DO have authority.

Hang in there, this gets a bit complicated.

People who embrace a fandom gain something called Cultural Capital in that fandom. You gain this by proving you are as much of a fan or more as everyone else through the things you say, the style you wear, and the things you own. Someone who claims to be in the fandom, but has no cultural capital, are deemed as fake or mocking. This is why people hate hipsters, wannabes, and the "fake fan girls". They claim to be part of a fandom with no cultural capital and we instinctively react negatively to that.

Cultural Capital gives you status among that fandom and status is closely linked to authority. This is why one rabid fan of a tv show mentioning on a forum my button with a quote from that show can get me far more sales than fifty dollars spent on web page advertisements.

This form of advertisement isn't something you can buy though. If the person mentioning it is caught in some way getting something OUT of mentioning it they lose cultural capital and the status that came with it. We call this Selling Out.

So, while my ads do not get me any sales directly, they do get people talking about the things I make. One person with cultural capital mentioning something I make makes the money I spent on the advertising worth it. But it is a hit or miss thing. Luck. I could spend a lot of money on ads and not get one of those influential fans to say anything or it could happen repeatedly.

Celebrities have cultural capital. That's why you often see them in commercials but often when their careers are on the down slope because they're trading in their cultural capital for money. If Nathan Fillion suddenly couldn't get work anywhere he could use his cultural capital to plug Xbox 720. He'd make a lot of money, but he'd be labeled a sell out and lose a lot of cultural capital.

Very interesting post. You make a really good point about the whole cultural capital thing. I think Yahtzee is a good example of this. Every time his reviews came out you used to get masses of people going "he thought it was bad? well now i'm definitely not buying it".. or when he does a really positive review like Painkiller, he single handedly increased sales by hundreds of %

When i'm saying i don't think advertising works, i'm talking about traditional adverts. Word of mouth is pretty much the only thing i think that works.

Happiness Assassin:
Adblock will change your life. Haven't seen an internet ad in almost a year.

I'd be careful about mentioning adblock here.. pretty sure it's against the rules.
What I will say is, I don't mind having these harmless ads in the background if it means The Escapist can keep putting out good content.

Mid Boss:
*snip*

The Milgram Experiment is only one experiment and "theory" and it may indeed hold a partial relevance in some advertising when people see celebrities and the like as societal authority figures.

i would pay more attention if say a product review on youtube featured someone i personally thought "knew their stuff" for example. wouldn't everyone ? :P

what i think is almost undeniable is that when you combine it with other "theories" (if we assume there's no reason many subconscious processes could not be simultaneously true) and look at the evidence that's out there it seems that people can, on the whole, be manipulated personally and en mass to a significant degree via various forms of applied external influence.

i don't think we are in anyway inclined to admit that to ourselves tho.

indeed the "discovery" of what we deem as malicious and "deliberate" manipulation in our private lives is considered traumatic.

ps. also i think the distinctions we draw between advertising/marketing/propaganda and the like are largely things of our own making rather than any likely distinction in the "deeper" thought processes actually at work.

Milgram "theory" may well hold relevance in relation to "celebrity" advertising but at the end of the day, on a darker note, its also sadly and uncomfortably commonly seen as the part of the reason "perfectly normal average family men" can come to accept people being lined up and having their hearts ripped out/heads chopped off/getting shot :s

No, because Adblock.

jk, no, because they piss me off more often than actually get me to consider their product, and in most cases, the shittiness of the ad does the product no favours.

I don't normally necrobump, but this thread seemed like a much more appropriate place to put my opinion than starting a new thread:

That guy who is modeling in the Adidas NEO ad that they're running on The Escapist right now? His vacant stare is so offensive I vow to never purchase a NEO-brand shoe just so I never look like him. I might not even buy an Adidas shoe ever again. And the green glow along the border is a visual design nightmare.

I don't know what The Escapist was thinking with that ad. I guess the money was just too good.

Personally, I just find them annoying. Every time I see an annoying 30+ second commercial, I just mute it and wait for it to go away. If I wanted to see commercials, I'd turn on a TV.

I discover a lot of interests, likes, and hobbies from watching videos on Youtube and forums like the ones on the Escapist. That's how I typically learn about new music, movies, shows, video games, books, etc. and I tend to just research the rest.

yes. I think the content of the ad and how people receive it is totally different from how much exposure something gets.
If you mean advertisement as is exposure, then sure, advertisement is very effective.

ohnoitsabear:
1. Ads don't usually make you want to run out and immediately buy a product. They work in much more subtle ways (such as giving brand recognition).

2. If ads didn't work, companies wouldn't spend millions of dollars on them. Businesses, believe it or not, really aren't that stupid.

I'm guessing you watch a Dose of Buckley too then?

This may have been mentioned, but most internet ads are given to you because when you visit a website the website remembers what you were viewing and sends you adverts on it. So if you look at loads of Arnold Schwarzenegger films on Amazon or something, you'll get loads of Ahnie adverts on the internet. Therefore I feel that internet ads don't really work, as chances are if I see an advert it's because I already have the required interest in that product, and the advert is failing to affect anything.
Take a hint amazon, stop emailing me suggesting I buy AC2. I bought it long ago.

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