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In conjunction with these car ads, car insurance companies took advantage of this by advertising their services as well. Car insurance companies that I noticed advertising through billboards were Safeco, Progressive, and All State. Progressive provided a catchy and positive note to its ad by having the slogan, "Happy drivers make good drivers." From what I can recall in the All State ad, it mentioned something about safe driving, again with a catchy phrase: "Safe driving bonus for not driving like a paparazzi." These car insurance ads, particularly for Progressive and All State, tackle issues relevant to motorists, their target market: both chose to discuss driving behavior, using different ad 'treatments.' Progressive addressed reckless/irresponsible driving by focusing on the ideal driving behavior and its positive outcome, that is, drivers must have a happy temperament in order to be a good driver. All State, meanwhile, chose to go the opposite route from Progressive by determining the positive outcome immediately, which is safety in driving, by not imitating a bad example (the paparazzi). Personally, as a driver, Progressive succeeded more in convincing me to drive safely. Apart from its simple ad strapline, its positively-stated reminder to drivers is consistent in its desired outcome: to make drivers behave positively (being happy) for them to become good drivers.
All State, while it effectively used exemplification in its ad, failed in terms of message retention with its somewhat forgettable strapline, and does not promote good driving behavior by terming it as a "bonus" just because a driver did not behave like the paparazzi. Moreover, the lack of relevance of motorists to the example cited, paparazzi, contributed to the lack of connection between All State, the ad, and the target market (motorists). As a motorist, I did not feel a connection to the All State ad at all, as I do not see myself as having extreme driving behavior such as those among the paparazzi. Thus, because of the negatively-stated All state ad, in addition to the lack of relevance of its ad message to the motorists, All State failed to effectively communicate its services and intentions to its primary consumer group, the motorists.
Among the telecommunication ads I saw while on the road, most salient in my mind were ads for AT&T and Verizon. For AT&T, with its strong brand presence, brand recognition, and its long heritage as a telecommunications service provider, banked on its strong brand imagery by just displaying their logo in the ad. Verizon, meanwhile, competes against other telecommunications companies by putting leverage on its strong network coverage, as reflected in its slogan, "There's no dead zone."
Apart from billboards, digital signages are slowly making its way as a popular form of outdoor advertising. Digital signs are usually used for traffic ads, providing useful information for motorists, indicating basic rules while driving, such as informing drivers about their speed limit, among other things. Unlike billboards, digital signages are more straightforward in its messages, and does not promote heavily on brands, products and/or services.
The presence of billboards and digital signages in my everyday routine, I believe, is one of the best ways to communicate with a specific target market. Through familiarity and repetition, which can be expected from everyday exposure to ads on the same route people take each day, these brands can increase their chances of becoming salient in the minds of the consumers. Just a few seconds of exposure to each ad everyday is enough to achieve brand saliency; all the more if consumers will encounter numerous ads of the same brand along the same route everyday. The increasing number of billboards advertising major logos and brands along major roads and highways reflect that advertising is able to penetrate every aspect of the consumer's life, going beyond the usual tri-media approach (TV, radio, and newspaper), accessing consumers through channels where they can be tapped most effectively. In the case of motorists like me, billboards are very effective since roads are part of our daily routine as we drive to and from work and other important places we need to reach, and these billboards serve as "large TV screens" while motorists are away from the audio-visual messages/ads coming from TVs.
Even digital signages, as limited in appeal as they seemed to me, is another way and in fact, an opportunity, to increase consumers' awareness of a brand, product, or service while on the road. As a motorist, I am reminded everyday of the critical information I should be remembering while on the road and driving. Both billboards and digital signages are extensions of the tri-media channels, making us realize how ads have managed to extend beyond TV, radio, and newspaper and continue to penetrate consumers' psyche through new advertising media (i.e., billboards and digital signages).
At the mall, I am constantly bombarded with numerous brands and logos, more than those I know and am aware of. I am a practical buyer, and brands usually catch my attention if they have ongoing promos, such as buy one, take one offers and/or 50% discount from merchandise prices. The brands I usually or regularly buy are casual clothing brands such as the Gap, Guess, Tommy Hilfiger, Anne Klein, Old Navy, Disney, Skechers, and Nike. Outside of these brands, other brands or logos will only be able to catch my attention if they have irresistible promos, discounts, or sales. Apart from promos, brands must have clothes that are in style and in keeping with the season.
Apart from sales and promos, the number of people inside the store also influences my choice of a brand when shopping at the mall. Usually, stores that have 'heavy traffic' or many people in it are actually brands having a sale or special promos, which, again, entices me to buy the brand (with consideration of course, as to whether I like the brand's merchandise or not).
While promos and type of merchandise are my main sources of attraction to a brand at the mall, print ads and coupons sent directly to me primarily influences my choice of purchase in my next visit to the mall. In fact, if I go visit the mall, I have already planned my purchases, and I only deviate from it when I see new promos or sales on a brand that has merchandise that I like. With the help of the coupons, I get to buy clothes from my favorite stores/brands at a discounted price.
Print ads and house-to-house mailing or giving out of coupons is another manifestation of the expanding modes of channel by which brands can advertise and increasing consumers' awareness of them. In fact, coupons go beyond increasing awareness of the brands advertised; these coupons actually increase the possibility that a consumer is going to buy the brand at a discounted price. In effect, print ads increase awareness of the brand, and coupons reinforce buying the brand by introducing the consumer to it at a lower/discounted price. For me, coupons have been effective channels through which brands can be promoted. I have been more receptive to specific brands and actually bought ones that are not part of the usual brands I buy, and have actually included these new brands as part of my regular purchases at the mall.
Even though my purchases are usually planned, I have observed at the mall that stores and brands entice consumers to buy from them through different promos and offers. The most common is the scheduled sales, in the form of end-of-season sales, midnight sales, and mall-wide sales, among others. I noticed that lately, brands are not only advertising through their stores and paper bags, but have been supporting malls by printing their brand logos and names on the plastic bags of department stores. For example, someone buying clothes at Sears would notice that the Sears bag would include other brands on it, as part of the brands' promotions. In effect, Sears is supporting these brands, and this partnership between Sears and clothing brands is a reciprocal relationship: Sears would help increase awareness of the brands by letting these brands be promoted along with the Sears brand, while Sears benefits from these promotions when the consumers buy these brands from Sears, which the department store is actually carrying.
In addition to sales, discounts, coupons, and brand partnerships, malls make it easier for consumers to patronize brands through debit and credit cards. Credit cards and even banks that offer debit cards partner with different merchants and brands as part of their promotion, to entice customers to apply and subscribe to their services. Through these partnerships, the brands, credit card companies, and malls/department stores benefit from each other. Noticeably, these partnerships make the consumerism cycle revolve around a network of merchants, companies, and stores that ultimately centers on the brands and the consumers that buy these brands.
Being exposed to different ads most of the time everyday, I could think of numerous slogans that…[continue]
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