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Describe a range of covert advertising techniques. Why do advertisers use these techniques to promote goods and services? When a company decides to sell a product, it will often use advertising to do so

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Leon Farr Covert Advertising Describe a range of covert advertising techniques. Why do advertisers use these techniques to promote goods and services? When a company decides to sell a product, it will often use advertising to do so. There are two main branches of advertising; these are known as overt, and covert advertising. Covert advertising refers to all forms of advertising that are not clearly intentioned. Whilst overt advertising previously dominated in terms of advertising a product, many companies are now using covert techniques in order to promote goods and services. There are several different methods that allow companies to advertise covertly. One method of covert advertising is sponsorship. Sponsorship allows a company to develop a positive association for their product. Companies will usually provide funds for an event/sport or broadcast in exchange for their product to be mentioned. Sponsorship is used by advertisers for a variety of reasons. Firstly, sponsorship (particularly sustained sponsorship of large annual events, or regular broadcasts) allows a company to become synonymous with the event or program it has sponsored. (e.g. the Flora London Marathon, Embassy Snooker World Championships) This familiarity can become the cornerstone of a company's success. On the other hand, lesser known companies may fail to build a profile for themselves more developed than a consumers' recollection of their name. ...read more.


Even if we do notice the product, are we really inclined to purchase it on the basis of its involvement in a fictional production? Maybe not, but the recent boom in this form of advertising is not without reason, and supports the rather disturbing belief that product placement has an influential effect on our subconscious minds. Endorsements are another form of covert advertising that (in contrast to those previously discussed) does not involve any money changing hands. Endorsement involves celebrities and other high profile people receiving goods and services free of charge in return for their use in public. With today's celebrity obsessed culture it seems only likely that advertisers should attempt to harness the persuasive power that celebrities hold in society. After David Beckham sported a Mohican hair-cut in 2002, demand for the style rocketed amongst the nation's youth. This gives an indication as to the influence celebrities have on the public. However, companies wishing to use endorsements must carefully consider their choice of celebrity, and whether their images are compatible-Mike Tyson would be of little use to Ann Summers range of clothing (it's very unlikely he'd agree to it anyway!) A vast amount of the media is devoted to celebrity, and recent advances in technology have made endorsements an even more enticing prospect for companies. ...read more.


Both companies will usually have a similar target audience so as to prevent a potentially damaging conflict of audiences. Tie-ins are usually aimed at children, who by their nature are easily persuaded. A child may see their favourite cartoon character on a bottle of shampoo and use pester power to obtain that brand. Tie-ins are becoming more and more common, and provide a rare example of companies working together in the harsh and often fiercely competitive world of advertising. Public relations refers to the manipulation and control of the media in order to ensure the ongoing success of a product. PR is, on the whole, concerned with building publicity and attention for a product, rather than building a consumer image or opinion for it. PR consultants do this by providing lies, facts, statements, photos and stories to help keep their client in the media. They also organise 'product launches' and invite a variety of interesting/famous people to try and raise as much publicity as possible. Most large organisations and many celebrities have somebody in charge of PR for them, as media opinion (or lack of opinion) is arguably the most influential factor in determining the success of a product. In conclusion, companies use a variety of covert advertising techniques in order to sell and promote goods and services. These have varying effect, but it can be argued that some covert techniques, particularly product placement and sponsorship, are becoming just as influential and lucrative as standard overt techniques. ...read more.

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