The field of advertising has always been surrounded by controversies. The debate of ethical advertisement was, and is, open ended. There will always be some portion of a society who will label an advertisement as bold and outspoken, whereas some consider them unnecessary and lewd.
This debate can be extended to the topic in question here, “Advertising creates a trend or reflects it”. This, too can be considered an open ended debate. There are some aspects of an advertisement that highlight the current market scenario, the dynamic consumer behaviour. The consumer needs and wants depend on a number of external as well as internal factors, which are all inter-related i.e. a change in one factor will show its effects on another factor. Advertisers keep this in mind and come up with innovative adverts from time to time to reflect the overall market.
However who is to say that what is depicted in an advertisement is a reality and not just a fragment of it, exaggerated to increase sales? The main objective of a promotion program is profit maximization. This motivation drives a company towards ‘creating a need’ rather than ‘satisfying a need.’ They capitalize on the psychological mindset of the customers.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains that every individual has social needs, self-esteem as well as self-actualization needs. These needs, force a man to adjust his purchase behavior according to the market nature. In order to gain or hold respect or a position, they require material possessions to fit in the society. This urge or need, displayed by a number of market segments is exploited by the advertisers by creating a need, inducing a mass consumption trend.
In my opinion, a majority of advertisers try to create a trend through their promotional programs. However, to an extent, this plays a vital role in improving the customer’s quality of life. Firms advertise products that are of superior quality rather than inferior or mundane products. These products have a direct impact on improving the standard of living of an average customer.
From a broader perspective, higher number of purchases by the customers, lead to higher national economy. The increased GDP is used by the country for its development in various stratas. Thus it can be said that advertising, creating a trend, is a necessary evil.