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  1. Introduction
  2. Analysis
    1. Humour and attention
    2. Humour and comprehension
    3. Humour and persuasion
    4. Humour and memorisation:
  3. Conclusion

David Ogilvy, a British advertising executive, famously said that nobody buys from a clown.
This essay will analyze if it is true or not. We will analyze the effects of humor in advertisement on consumers in America.

Firstly, an analysis of the advertisements' market should be done in order to see the trends. The US market has a strong advertising presence. According to Datamonitor (2010), the US advertising industry reaches $34,826.8 million, with an increase of 3.2 % between 2009 and 2010. This market is forecast to increase by 17.4 % between 2010 and 2015. (It is forecast to reach $40,899.2 million in 2015). To compare these figures, Europe reaches a market value of $23,503.3 million, and Asia - Pacific reaches $23.171 million for the same period.

According to Media Matters, in 2007, every day, an American is exposed to around 600 advertisement messages. Advertising involves many forms such as television, magazines, on the Internet, radio, direct mail, newspaper and outdoor (Brian Sternthal and C. Samuel Craig (1973), Humour in advertising).

Advertising is a way of communication between a company and its customers or consumers, in order to maintain them, or in order to attract new ones. It also helps to constitute an advantageous position for the business in relation to its competitors. (Strategic Marketing Decisions in global markets-Isabel Doole & Robin Lowe).

Nowadays, advertisers rely on emotion created through advertisement, and are not solely concentrated on making sells. They are looking for changing the mind (or feelings) of its consumers. The brand should provide more than a product or a service: the consumer is waiting for ?psychological advantages? (Benoît Tranzer , CEO Ipsos ASI France). These emotions show the efficiency of an advertisement. By emotions, we can notice passion, happiness, fear, joy, shame, and of course humor.

According to Advertising Effectiveness, humor in advertising is defined as, something judged as funny by the viewer (it can be the watcher or reader, depending on the kind of advertisement) or incongruous.

[...] Samuel Craig (1973), Humor in advertising > Charles Weinberge - Humor in advertising: a comprehensive analysis http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=DMFS2GsTdO4C&lpg=PA102&ots=4AJEI02Okt&dq= Speck%20humor&hl=fr&pg=PA3#v=onepage&q&f=false > Christie Davies (1993) Ethnic humor around the world : a comparative analysis > Doole & Robin Lowe (1996) - Strategic Marketing Decisions in global markets > Franzen - (2006)- Advertising effectiveness > Goldstein and McGhee (1972) The psychology of humour: Theoretical perspectives and empirical issues > Speck (1991), The Humourous Message Taxonomy > Sutherland, Sylvester - (2000) -Advertising and the mind of the Consumer: What Works, What doesn't, and Why ? [...]


[...] humour. According to Advertising Effectiveness, humour in advertising is defined as, something judged as funny by the viewer (it can be the watcher or reader, depending on the king of advertisement) or incongruous. The effects attending are that the viewer laugh, appreciate the joke or the situation. ( Advertising effectiveness,GFranzen,NTCPublications,1994) There are many different kind of humor. Goldstein and McGhee (1972) described three kind of effective humor in advertisement: provocative humor in order to ridicules or attacks someone (or a group), then, absurd and incongruous situations, and finally sexual humor relative to gender stereotypes and sexists jokes. [...]


[...] Some resent studies show that of advertisers (study made among marketing researchers and creative in advertising) perceive that humour is an efficient way of attracting attention of viewers especially if it is a new product (72 Weinberger, Marc Spotts, Harlan (1995), the use and effects of humour in different advertising media, Journal of Advertising Research) -Humour and comprehension: In the past study, (Weinberger, Marc G., Gulas, Charles S (1992), The impact of humour in advertising: A review, Journal of Advertising research), we can find as well the effects of humour on the comprehension. [...]

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