Does Advertising Work?

11 Nov


EWI graduate Paulette Mpouma promoting her Africa Memory Game

Advertising is an important aspect of branding. In order to arouse positive interest in an organization or product, you need to advertise it to the right audience in the right places in the right way. If these things are done correctly, you will hopefully attract attention from your target audience.

In one of my advertising classes last year, my professor started talking about the common theory that advertising is dying and that now, it is all about word of mouth.

“This is wrong,” he said. Then he went on to give us an example. Imagine if a distant acquaintance and a close friend were standing in a room together. If you walked into that room, who would you gravitate toward? The answer is the close friend. This study by Robert Cialdini, one of Arizona State’s Psychology professors, is known as the familiarity principle.

This means that when something is shown to you in a positive light over and over, you begin to like it more. In a sense, the more someone sees a product or company advertised, the more they will subconsciously like it. So if a customer debates between your brand and someone else’s unknown brand, you’re more likely to be the winner.

Social media has become the reason why the “word of mouth” theory has become so popular. Now people are looking to create a buzz amongst a certain group of people to get them talking. In order to advertise people have taken this medium of communication and expanded on it, but the familiarity principle still stands true. Advertising to the subconscious mind still has a powerful effect; one that social media can’t always fulfill.

It is important to realize this while selling your brand. After creating a website or blog, remember to ritually post everyday or every week. By keeping it consistent your audience knows when to expect another post. This will keep them coming back for more. Take your blog post and put the link on your Twitter or on your Facebook. By reposting once or twice a day you are putting it out in front of your target audience and affecting their subconscious. Like the familiarity principle says, the more someone sees something, the more they will subconsciously like it or in this case read it. Now go out and advertise your brand.

by Nick Guldin

Nick Guldin is a senior communication major at Cabrini College in Philadelphia, Pa. He has been learning the art of communications through social media, journalism, radio and broadcasting for the past 3 years. He loves his field and was happy to share it with the women at Empowering Women International. He chose to work with EWI because of the organization’s mission to help immigrant and refugee women get back on their feet and become a productive citizen in society. Nick wishes the best of luck to all of the talented EWI artist members!


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