If you could figure this out, you would be a genius. Because advertising involves people, their motivations and their decision-making, it is not an exact science. Also sometimes advertising helps us form preferences, but we don’t have the money or time to act on them until later. You might like the advertising for Ferrari, perhaps it is even the car you would most like to own, but probably don’t have the spare change to buy one this week.
One way to explain how advertising works is to start with the basic model of communication. In 1948, Lasswell said that communication is about:
If we apply this to advertising then:
To achieve this, the advertiser needs to develop an advertising campaign. This is the input such as the message he or she wants to send and the media through which to deliver the message. There are filters that consumers put up to block the advertising that we need to consider – such as whether or not they are motivated to watch the ad, whether they have the ability to so do, or how involved they are with the product. And then how they will process the message. What they think about the product or the ad. What they feel it. And this is often influenced by their previous experience with the product or service or company. The ad may make them chose to buy the product or even become a loyal customer and tell or their friends about it.
You can see how advertising works by following the arrows below.
Source: Vakratus and Ambler 1999