A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication

By Richard Jackson Harris | Go to book overview
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Advertising and Marketing:
Baiting, Catching, and
Reeling Us In

Q: How much advertising are we exposed to in the mass media?

A: About 500 advertisements per day, 182,000 per year, and millions in a lifetime. Every year, we also receive 216 pieces of direct mail advertising (junk mail) and 50 telemarketing phone calls, and see countless billboards and Internet banner and pop-up ads (J. R. Wilson & Wilson, 1998).

Q: How fast are e-mail ads growing?

A: Between 2002 and 2003 alone, the number of unsolicited e-mails grew almost 1900% to 4.9 trillion messages in the U. S. alone (Taylor, 2003). Another source estimated that 14 billion spam messages are sent each day (Sullivan, 2003).

Q: How much does advertising cost?

A: Corporate advertisers paid $1.9–2 million dollars for a 30-second spot on the 2003 Super Bowl. In terms of a regular series, as of late 2002, the NBC comedy Friends drew the highest-priced ads, at an average of $455,700 for a 30-second spot (Numbers, 2002).

Q: Where did the National Hockey League the Anaheim Mighty Ducks get its name?

A: From the 1992 Disney movie The Mighty Ducks, where Emilio Estevez coaches a pitiful group of boys into a respected team. Later Disney bought an NHL franchise, changed its name to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and used the logo from the movie (Harrison, 1999).

The bottom line of media is advertising. With the exception of public television and radio, most network and local broadcasting and cable television are virtually 100% dependent on ad revenues for financial support. Newspapers typically derive around 70% of their revenue from advertising. Magazines sometimes sell subscriptions below cost simply to raise


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A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication


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