Sell or promote goods and services

Describe a range of covert and overt advertising. Why do advertisers use these techniques to sell or promote goods and services? There are many types of advertising, being either covert or overt, but all having a purpose for its use and many advantages and disadvantages to the advertisers who chose to use it. One of the most common types of advertising is PR (public relations) and can be a very vital part of an institutions’ general impression to others. Having a PR can be very beneficial as the PR works to promote a positive image to the public and also limit the damage of any negative images associated with that institution.

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Although having a PR is very expensive, it can also be extremely helpful to ones career, for example, pop singer ‘Britney Spears’ was recently given a negative image by newspapers and magazines linking her with drinking habits and bad behaviour. Her PR then began to associate her with charities and foundations in the hope to bring back her ‘good girl’ image. This type of advertising is covert because although widely used it is not obviously noted as ‘advertising’ to many people.

A typical type of covert advertising is product placement. For advertisers, product placement can be very beneficial as they can captivate the audience as there is no need to attract an audience as they have chosen to watch this film. Also if the film is successful their product will be associated with the film, its producers and its stars, therefore allowing the product to appeal to a wider audience. The audience will also associate the product with the type of lifestyle they have seen it with on the film.

Great examples of product placement in films is the excessive use of Federal Express Couriers in ‘Castaway’ and the use of Nokia Mobile phones in ‘The Matrix’. Another way of advertisers getting their product associated with a certain film or programme is sponsorship. The advantages of sponsorship are similar to that of product placement as both allow associations with the programme, cast and type of lifestyle it portrays. Advertisers may chose this method of advertising their product as the social grades A, B and C1 tend to only watch the news and so by sponsoring the weather which is shown after the news, they can see the product.

TV advertising is extremely expensive but can be one of the most effective means of advertising. Commercial television like ITV relies on its advertisers to fund them as they can only continue running if they keep getting advertisers, so therefore the advertising rates rise resulting in lack of new products, consequently making them chose an alternative route like commercial radio. Although commercial radio can have the same problem that television does, it is much cheaper. Radio has thought to have taken over television as it appeals to a young audience. Advertisers may chose to use the radio to advertise or promote its product as they are almost guaranteed an audience as those who drive home from work listen to the radio in their cars to either find out traffic information or just to keep them entertained.

Some advertisers may chose to advertise in print, this being magazines, newspapers and flyers. For an advertisers they may chose this option as they will have a guaranteed audience who by that type of magazine, i.e. adverts for a new range a teenage girls clothes would be put in a magazine like J17 as this would appeal to them. The most expensive places to advertise in a magazine being the inside cover and back page. There are different types of ads in print, classified ads are normally just a few lines long but give all necessary details. This can be useful to a small company as it is very cheap but will still get them noticed.

Display ads are more expensive but allow you to include more information and an image, therefore being bigger and more attractive than the classified ads making them more noticeable. Advertorials are much more covert as they are a section in the corner of a page written by the editor talking about the product which is on the rest of the page. This may not seem like advertising but the editor has been paid to promote the product. A similar technique can be used throughout all type of media called ‘plug’. This is where you have been paid by the products company to go out and promote it by speaking well if it, this may be in print or in an interview, etc.

Outdoor sites such as billboards, adshell and driving adverts on buses, taxis and cars are all seen as overt as they are very ‘in your face’ and are almost everywhere you go. Some may disagree and say outdoor sites are covert because they are used do much people except them as everyday life and therefore don’t take much notice of them and don’t really see them as advertising. Although this kind of advertising is very expensive it can be very effective and thousands of people everyday pass billboards in their cars or wait at bus shelters with adshell.

Cinema advertising is overt and is very expected from the audience when they go to see a film as they expect to see adverts and trailers before the film begins. To help with a film success, advertisers may decide to send the cinema extra things like cardboard cutouts, posters, flyers, etc. For advertisers this is good because they have a guaranteed audience as the consumers have paid for a ticket to come and see that film. Teaser trailers and regular trailers give the audience a taste of what the film will be about, giving a hint to its narrative and showing the films unique selling point. Advertisers may chose to show their teaser trailer at a film of a similar genre as then they are guaranteed an audience who will be interested by what they are seeing.