Effects of social advertising on the American society
Having seen that the society at large is highly dependent on the social media, and it is on these social networks that the social advertising has turned to, it is necessary to look at the extent to which the society today has been affected by the medium of transmission and the content of the social advertising.
The underlying fact about the social advertising is that they want to make a positive impact on the society in general, it is the drive to see a better society that makes the foundation and core business of the organizations involved in social advertisements.
It has been seen that the same techniques used in promoting profitable goods and services can as well be used for information purpose, educate and motivational aspect to the public about the non-profitable issues like HIV / AIDS, the energy conservation, politics and political trends, deforestation and many more social issues.
Since advertising is an influential education means that is capable of not only reaching but also motivating vast audiences, its proper use is bound to produce some desirable results and this is the only level at which we can confidently say that the advertising has helped or is significant in human life. As Howard Gossage is correctly referred to by David Ogilvy in Education Line (2009), "Advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest -- it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes" we are persuaded that in as much as advertising is being used for commercial supremacy, there is room for social messages to be propagated by the same medium. Other terms that are interchangeably used to refer to using sophisticated advertisement modes to influence the society towards good morals are non-commercial advertising, cause marketing, public service advertising, public interest advertising or social marketing.
One of the most fundamental things that social advertising aim at is Health. Most of the earlier advertisements were focused on advising the audience on what foods to eat, the correct type of diet when under different conditions. By use of mass media like the radio, internet, newspaper and TV, health tips and information can be disseminated to a vast audience at the same time. The ideas about how to quit smoking, fighting addicting to junk food that contains too much sugar or calories can be effectively passed on here (Barrie et al., 2005).
The social advertising has helped in informing the public in many aspects of the American history. Of particular interest is during the World War I and II where the social advertising was used to inform people of the unfolding and also campaign for the American government. Roosevelt instructed that a War Advertising Council (now the Ad Council) which carried social advertisements on behalf of the government and also the non-profit organizations like the Smokey Bear campaign. This was the American population was kept aware of what was gong on in the society in terms of people's reaction towards the war and also informed about the happenings in the battlefield.
Social networks like the facebook have highly influenced many youth concerning drug abuse and consumption of alcohol. The advertisements have time over and over targeted the youth to tell them the harmful nature of drugs and alcohol. The social advertising has enabled them to register inline into small online voluntary groups and freely share their ideas on drugs. Since it is a virtual thing and no one sees the other, the members of these teams are free to discuss anything that can help stop them or friends from drug abuse hence producing a cleaner American generation (Media Campaign, 2009).
A good example of social advertising venture is the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign (NYADMC ), which is almost the largest social marketing team that utilizes the service of mass media to deliver drug prevention messages and information. For instance NYADMC embarked on what they called prescription drug initiative which was targeted at increasing parents' awareness of the prescription drug abuse and effectively equip them with information that would help the parents control the supply of prescription drugs (Media Campaign, 2009).
The social marketing has enabled community policing to run smoothly in many parts of the U.S.A. It enables the security sector to engage extensively with the citizens in the process gets valuable feedback hence helping in crime prevention and behavior change through the various police schedules (Stephan, 2009). It is through such initiatives that crime in the U.S.A. can be effectively driven out.
HIV / AIDS
HIV / AIDS is a scourge that has ravaged many societies in the whole world and particularly the third world. Here in the U.S.A. The effects are not very profound but still felt. It is therefore a responsibility of the social media to update the Americans about the effects of the scourge, the prevention, and care for the infected and any new information that may come up as medical research progresses.
This milestone in handling HIV / AIDS has been achieved by a very wide proportion. In fact, Nilimaa (2004) agrees that "the objective of advertising for a large number of nonprofit organizations is to be persuasive, and both persuasive and informative approaches may be included." He acknowledges that the social advertising has a central part in the society toward elimination of HIV/AODS. The American population has been a beneficiary of the same, since the media is central in the campaign and sensitization about HIV / AIDS thanks to the social advertisements by NGOs
There have been quite a number of social advertisements that are also geared towards discouraging any acts of social discrimination, encouraging cohesion of the whole USA and prevention of inequality of any form towards all Americans and particularly the transgender of late (the Online Institute, 2011). The social marketing techniques strive to arrest any recurrence of the past history of discriminatory acts whether at social amenities, public institutions, at places of work, government offices and any other shared amenities. The UNDP Belarus (2004) set up projects in various parts of the world fighting discrimination of all types and one of the major ways is through social advertisements.
The safety of each and every American who walks out of his house each time and gets to the road is a priority that the government and all other stake holders. This safety begins from the accident free drives to carjacking prevention. The issue of roadside pedophilia has also threatened the American security a number of times where the pedestrians and their children are the victims.
The road carnage are on the rise during the holidays and it is at this time that more social adverts on road safety are flashed on the TV screens more often discouraging drunken driving, speeding, careless stopping in the woods, cautious driving and all the keeping trail of group members, car poling and so on (B&T, 2003). These are meant to go a long way in curbing the rampant accidents that may emerge during the busy festive seasons.
With the global warming, the environment has become everybody's business. It is no longer an issue that can be left on the shoulders of the governments of the countries of the world to handle it. NGOs, corporate organizations and environmental groups have all lined up to help salvage the environment from the constant but sure escalation of the global warming. The social advertisements will come in handy in this scenario as well, in deed OMRON (2011), "believes that one of the best ways to realize a sustainable society is to proactively undertake environmental conservation activities and share the results and plans with stakeholders through a variety of media, thereby promoting communication with them." They rely on the social media to carry out their social advertisements on ways of conserving the environment for the future generation. Americans will benefit from such techniques and implement them to sustain an environment that is inhabitable and a better America for tomorrow.
America has seen a number of corruption cases be they in inflation of bills, irregular tender awards, banking sector under deals, procurement process flouting and much more. Very few have gone unnoticed, but majority are identified and made public to the relevant authorities. The World Bank believes that by working with young journalists, it can form a social network that will act as a whistleblower against corruption for a better society (World Bank Institute, 2011). For us to bring up a generation that has integrity and impeccable character there is need to keep corruption in check to the best limits available…
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