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The internet has played a major role in the modernization of advertising. It has given entirely new insights on how to do business in the age of seamless connectivity. It has been at the forefront of pushing for the extension of communication networks, and it has served as the framework for the creation of a multitude of web-based networking platforms (Yazdanifard 12). Essentially, the internet has reduced the entire planet to a single tiny audience that can be reached with a single keystroke. It has disproved the notion that ads must be limited by factors such as geography and culture. It has broadened the breadth of what was previously understood about ads and signaled the start of a new age of increased market reach. Undoubtedly, the advent of the internet age marked a huge cultural shift for the consumers. They have been presented with a wide variety of choices from multiple avenues and allowed to experience the different product characteristics. Unlike before when one’s desire to purchase a given product was based on word of mouth recommendations and their spirit of adventure, consumers are enabled to seek informed opinion from others who have a vast experience in using them. Social media sites such as YouTube feature channel hosts who review products based on their one perspectives as well as the specifications availed by manufacturers. As a consequence, consumers are better informed and have wider knowledge of the products they are purchasing.
Similarly, it has minimized the advertising efforts. The internet and more so social media has provided both nonconcrete and predefined options for advertisers seeking to attract huge audiences. Companies can create accounts like other users or have their product placements prominent pinned in designated spots for greater reach at a minimal fee. Overly creative ads are often shared and viewed many times over different digital media making them visible to even greater numbers of people (Yazdanifard 14). However, one of the most noteworthy changes the internet age has initiated is the exploration of extreme themes in advertising. Certain concepts such as the explicit use of sexuality, racial undertones were generally less preferred as much of society was deeply conservative.
Extreme political messages were also avoided. Firms did not want to be seen to associate with a given political discourse. However, there has been a change in this approach as firms are increasingly churning advertisements that explicitly indicate political impartiality on social and digital media. A recent instance of such is a series of ads by Thinx, a menstrual period underwear manufacturer in their anti-Trump (Pres. Trump) campaign. The internet has been used to champion feminist causes with a recent example being a social media campaign by giant cosmetic firm, Dove (Yazdanifard 14). The firm requested women of all shapes color and sizes to submit videos via social media explaining their definition of real beauty. It was tremendously successful and catapulted the firm into prominence, highlighting the immense impact the internet has in modern day advertising.
The paper discusses five outstanding and thematically endowed advertisements in the automotive industry. They include; Fiat’s Blue Pill, Daihatsu’s Pick up five times, more women than a Lamborghini, Castrol Oil’s Dear Sis, Toyota’s Corolla’s Don’t Break Down and Hyundai’s Real Time Location Tracking.
This papers theorizes that the internet has been tremendously successful in revolutionizing the advertising industry. It proposes that social media and other web-based functionalities are at the forefront of redefining consumption culture as a consequence of their immense reach and influence. Additionally, it explores the automotive industry and highlights a few instances where the internet has been immensely critical in redefining how advertising is performed. It maintains that there are noteworthy economic, culture and political changes that have occurred as a result of the impact of the internet of advertising is also explained.
How the Internet has Transformed the Genre of Advertising
The internet has been tremendously impactful in the expansion of the genre of advertising. It has initiated a new dispensation of targeted marketing where advertisers identify the specific needs of the consumers and present them products based primarily on their preferences (Yazdanifard 15). The internet has shifted advertising and consumer culture from its traditional construct that mostly constituted word of mouth and desire to trust try new products. Marketers are increasing accessing product searches and other relevant information to determine the specific queries consumers request on the most sought after product qualities and tailor their advertising to encompass them.
Today, it is fairly normal to search for information or place an inquiry on a given type of product and be confronted by advertisements from vendors offering the commodity thereafter. It is a departure from the past where marketers would primarily conduct surveys physically to determine change in consumer preferences and behavior. Thus, the internet has made it tremendously widened the consumer information scope and made ad targeting exceedingly simpler. Unfortunately, there has been many privacy concerns with the targeting feature of online advertising as many people feel the unauthorized use of their search information is highly irregular and even illegal. Nonetheless, the internet continues to be one of the most effective ways of determine consumption trends, a development that significantly informs modern-day advertising.
Economic Effects of the Impact of Internet in Advertising
The departure of advertising from the traditional conservative and more regulated advertising approach to a more liberalized age of the internet has come with extensive economic consequences. It is an era of many creative options and ready availability of resources. In most countries, the internet is a free resource. As such, it is accessed by anyone who so wishes (Yazdanifard 16). Similarly, anyone who desires to present content is often free to do so. People have taken to the internet to create and upload content that is then appreciated by many others leading to the growth of popular media sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, among many others. The fact that no charges or restrictive admission policies are applied serves to increase visits to such platforms.
Marketers were quick to recognize the immense potential benefits presented by the internet and exploited it accordingly. The examined usage patterns and developed a multi-prong approach that involved developing ads for digital print media and multimedia user-generated content sites. They created their own accounts in the different social media and presented vigorously marketed them to establish a generous following. Once this had been attained, the firms developed, the firms resorted to use the avenues to place their products. Social media and other internet-based marketing approaches were used alongside other traditional techniques for increased reach. However, the most impactful difference presented by advertising in the internet age is the tremendously low cost. Companies with large social media following often do little more than just posting new advertisements. They are often able to reach large audiences without flexing their massive financial muscles as they commonly previously did. The resulting buzz from the free advertisements is often sufficient in attracting the visibility they desire.
Political Effects of the Impact of Internet in Advertising
The age of internet advertising has offered a great deal of creative freedom to marketers. Initially, the major avenues for large scale product placement was print and other early digital media such as television and radio. However, the only problem was that they were highly regulated (Yazdanifard 18). Advertisers were forbidden or highly discouraged from exploring certain themes. However, all that changed with the advent of the internet. Its universal nature makes policing incredibly hard.
Additionally, it was popular among the younger generation who are generally more liberalized and are largely unaffected by socio-political controversies. Themes such as feminism were rarely espoused in advertising. For the better part of the existence of print and digital advertising, the concepts of beauty were defined by cosmetic firms who presented idealist standards of beauty that were highly non-representative of the physicality of their actual consumers. However, through internet advertising, beauty products merchants are quickly developing feminist sensibilities and encouraging customers to appreciate themselves as they are. Additionally, the presentation of women has tremendously changed. Unlike before when women were largely viewed as home-makers, today’s advertisers recognize gender equality and tailor their messages as such. For the fear of immense social media backlash and adverse impact of the ensuing publicity, firms strive to present men and women as equal and avoid controversial prototypes.
Consumerism is another key political impact of internet advertising. It entails the establishment of protections for the consumer against poor quality and exploitation by goods and service providers. Initially, when one was dissatisfied with a product or if it did not meet agreed standards, they had to seek redress by pursuing legal means of seeking the company’s audience. However, internet advertising has eliminated the cumbersomeness of the process as it has initiated a two way channel with product and service providers. Simple disputes are quickly resolve and prevented from escalating into fierce unproductive battles.
As a consequence of the vast changes the internet has had in advertising, personal privacy has become a huge political concern. Marketers are commonly purchasing search pattern and history data from search engine companies and using them to predict the consumption trends of customers, often without their knowledge (Yazdanifard 22). They are they presented with advertisements of products they commonly search for in the internet, presenting questions over the safety and security of their confidential information.
Social/ Cultural Effects
The internet’s impact on advertising has emboldened antiestablishment sentiment. Users are becoming increasingly insensitive to conventional consumption culture as a consequence of suggestions by the internet. The change in traditional attitudes and blurring of gender lines has been accelerated by internet marketing. Consumers are continually convinced of the normalness of abandoning their fast-held beliefs for those championed by the marketer in the name of modernity. Controversial subjects such as sexuality is incrementally embraced in marketing with taboo aspects such as homosexuality being dangled as mainstream (Yazdanifard 23). The overall impact of such marketing is an extensive cultural change with society being made convinced to accommodate values they previously detested.
Analysis of Sources
The five advertisements presents different facets of marketing and key thematic obsessions of consumers often exploited in product placement. The first advert, Fiat Blue Pill features an old man with a sexual enhancement pill at a window. The senior gentleman attempts to swallow it but accidentally drops it out the window where it finds its way into the fuel tank of a new Fiat model (Fiat n.p). As the owner drives off, he and women around him note a huge improvement on the car’s power. The old man is featured at the end of the advert snoring with his date deeply disappointed.
The ad uses an immensely powerful theme of male potency to drive across its message.
Basically, it is implying that the new car is a version of the older one with improved power and immense capability to satisfy the customer’s needs, with an unmissable sexual undertone. It influences society to recognize the inevitable inclusion of sexual imagery and suggestion in advertising and to recognize the increasing use of artificial assistance in previously purely natural processes (Yazdanifard 25). The ad reflects the shifting sensibility of society to controversial subjects such as self-belief and morality. It is indicative of broader cultural movement to acceptance of liberal perspectives and the abandonment of traditionalist values.
Pick up five times, more women than a Lamborghini is a print ad by Daihatsu showcasing their new car with increased capacity. It cleverly uses irony by implying that it can have more women at any one time then a Lamborghini, a car indicative of elevated economic status, hence, more likely to attract women (Daihatsu 17). It attempts to influence consumers to have a multidimensional approach when purchasing cars and to recognize the actual features it possesses rather than dismissing it based on its perceived social value. The ad reflects the modern society’s obsession with sentiment, pride, and immodesty to the extent that the acquisition of key material possession is assessed by the product’s social value.
Dear Sis is a compelling social media advertisement from Castrol Engine Oil that is centered on two siblings sharing intimate familial moments earlier in their lives. The ad begin by a lonely and seemingly bored Indian woman receiving an email. On opening it, she realizes it is from her brother who she grew up with. Apparently, it is her birthday and he regrets he cannot be there with her. The brother recalls moments earlier in their life when all they had was each other. He recounts,
“I’m proud of you. Throughout your young life you have shown strength, resilience, and dependability. You have not been influenced to change by the difficult times we have been together. You have been by my side when everyone wasn’t and together we have achieved great feats. You above all else has gone ahead and accomplished achievements and for that, I am proud of you (Castrol n.p).”
The ad plays images of the sister and brother sharing moments among them purchasing for her a scooter. Another shot depicts him teaching her how to ride it. A third one shoes the brother teaching her how to oil the scooter with Castrol engine oil. At the end of the letter, the brother informs her sister that he had to fly urgently, hence, could not make it but has sent her a gift. The lady then steps onto her old but dependable scooter and shuttles through town with no engine problems to her brother’s place who he finds leaving just after penning the email. The brother is surprised by her quick arrival but understands it is the efficient engine oil he taught her to use.
The advert impresses upon consumers’ sense of family. It elicits feeling of love and regard for familial relationships. It likens its product to the reliability of an older only sibling, a feeling most buyers would empathize with (Yazdanifard 17). It also reflects on modern society’s esteem for personal growth, sense of accomplishment, and self-belief and reliance.
Other ads used in this article include Toyota’s Corollas don’t break down and Hyundai’s Real Time Location Tracking. The two adverts contains rich thematic content critical to the development of this paper.
The ads present a very grim reality of total confidence in the media by consumers. They show that social media has grown to have a tremendous impact on people, significantly reconfiguring their attitudes and consumption cultures. The ads reveals the liberal side of capitalism which involves the exploration of a vast array of themes to ensure maximum product visibility. The persons creating the ads are often seeking to push the envelope on what is regarded as moderate or acceptable and challenge the limits of consumers to accept outrageous yet carefully crafted marketing messages.
The ads are supposed to elicit a person’s most innate sensibilities. For instance, the Daihatsu ad is supposed to influence a balanced and objective look at consumption and not merely the vane outer perspectives (Daihatsu 17). Similarly, the Castrol Oil ad institutes a sense of reflection and appreciation for the effort of others in improving themselves and one’s shared experiences. The ad is supposed to relish a sense of nostalgia and empathy for the actors and associate the sense of friendship and dependability exhibited to their product.
Social media has made advertising highly interactive. Firms are able to interact with customers and have conversations centered on their products. As a consequence, advertising is seen more as a way of interacting with customers and alerting them of new products than as a way of increasing the brand’s visibility. It has also enhanced consumerism as customers are free to engage brands publicly and propose key changes to the products.
Social, Cultural, and Political Contexts
The commercials reveals that consumers are in a dispensation of paradigm shift. They are indicative of a society under transition info deep capitalism, moral questionability, and blurred cultural sensibilities. Today’s consumers are materialistic, proud, and driven by social pressure. They are interested in seeming superior to their peers are competitive on avaricious fronts. Advertising campaigns are keen to leave out voices of sanity that are attempting to restore a calculative consumer culture and encouraging impulse consumption.
The ads represent different ideological perspectives. For instance the Blue Pill ad appear to reflect the decaying sense of individualism and self-belief. It features a man confronted by a sexually stimulated lady. He lacks belief in his own capacity and resorts to using an enhancement pill, the inclusions of such themes serve to normalize the erosion individualism among members of society. Dear Sis ad perpetuates values cooperation, selflessness, and compassion to other members of the society. Finally, the Daihatsu ad appears to promote insightful consumption. While it appears to perpetuate gender stereotypes by implying women prefer richer men, it endorses an all-round perspective of purchasing that involves buying products based on more than just their sentimental value.
The paper explored the impact of the internet and associate digital media on advertising. It investigated the political, social, and political consequences caused by changes in advertising. The paper was keen to examine five key sources in the automotive industry and offer an apt explanation on how the themes they presented were relevant to the paper. It was able to sufficiently prove that the internet’s impact on advertising was extensive, hence, satisfied the hypothesis.
Castrol Oil. “Castrol creative ad - Dear Sis”. YouTube, uploaded 18 August, 2016,
Daihatsu. “Pick Up Five Times, More Women than a Lamborghini”. Autoweek, vol.4, no.36, 1996, p.17.
Fiat. “Blue Pill" Fiat 500X 2015 Super Bowl Commercial”. YouTube, uploaded 25 Feb, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3MPBUCDmBo
Yazdanifard, Rashad. "The Growth Of The Automobile Industry." Journal of Accounting & Marketing, vol 03, no. 01, 2014, doi:10.4172/2168-9601.1000112.
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