Advertising helps lower the cost of media. Without advertising, your “White Dwarf” or “Girlfriend” would cost twice as much. Some of the revenue from television advertising goes into the production of Australian made shows, which gives aspiring young actors a break. Remember that when you make your thank you speech for “Best New Talent” at the Logies!
Advertising also helps many creative Australians make a living, while waiting for their big break. Writers such as Bryce Courtney and Peter Carey and designers such as Ken Donne worked in advertising before they got their first contract. Ridley Scott directed television commercials for Apple Mac. The Veronicas sang jingles before number one hits.
Advertising also records our culture. A cinema ad for Rinso from the 40s, showed a woman, wearing an apron, agonizing over the daily washing. A Caltex ad that ran in the 1960s, featured the large, pointy breasted English model, called Sabrina. In just two years, we saw a shift in how women were portrayed – from mother to sex symbol. How do you think we portray women in advertising today? The clothes, the language, the relationships, the context are all cues. Advertising is a reflection of who we are, how we interact and what’s important to us.
Of course, advertisers don’t advertise just to create cultural records. They use advertising because it helps them sell their product or service. Advertising informs people about new products, so that we can make better choices. It can also persuade people to think differently about a product or even to visit a website. And for our old favourites, it is a reminder to buy them next time we’re at the supermarket. Advertising is an important part of business and advertising itself is a vital business.