The Art of Advertising

By Boukhari, Sophie | UNESCO Courier, December 1998 | Go to article overview

The Art of Advertising


Boukhari, Sophie, UNESCO Courier


Interview with Oliviero Toscani, Benetton art director and photographer

How has advertising changed with the emergence of the immaterial economy?

There is a crisis in advertising. The industry is lagging behind social trends, but it's so rich and powerful that it's very difficult for it to change.

In the early twentieth century advertising focused on a company's buildings and machines. After that it started presenting products. Then, since all products started looking alike, they could no longer be at the heart of the message. So in the 1960s advertisers started showing leggy models to sell cars. The long legs offered added value. The product took a back seat and what was sold was a symbol. The problem with this technique is that the message is always based on consumers' shortcomings and makes them feel guilty. It tells them, "if you haven't got this product, you're out of it." On the other hand, if you buy a certain brand of sports shoes you can play like Ronaldo even if you can't kick a ball.

A second technique is repetition. Professionals think people remember a product if they see the same commercial over and over again. That drives up costs. But all the commercials end up looking so much alike that you don't know which brand they're advertising any more. Who wins?The companies with the biggest guns, in other words the most money. Who pays?The consumer, because on average advertising accounts for 15 per cent of a product's sales price. People in the rich countries sink hundreds of millions of dollars into advertising every year. It doesn't make sense any more. The system is so sick it's not going to be around much longer.

Why should it change?

Because consumers are smarter than advertisers. The system worked as long as people were really interested in the products, because they needed them. But today, in the rich countries, they own enough shirts, sweaters and television sets for three entire lifetimes. So they consume less and better: more travel, more culture. They're also very well-informed and much more demanding. They think before buying. And many people, starting with youth, think that consuming is a way of integrating. They buy certain products to be accepted by society or their community. They take refuge in an imaginary world, while their lives are full of fear and unhappiness.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Art of Advertising
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.