Advertising: too many, but still too little…
In the USA, the government usually orders social advertising. The Government finances it as well. What does prevent Ukraine from adopting the same practice? The lack of financing? Or, may be, indifference?
Recently I carried out an unusual experiment – I questioned 25 Ukrainian citizens about the role of advertising in their life. My respondents were people of different professions and age groups. Their reaction to the question “To what extent do we need advertising?” was almost single-valued (22 out of 25) - “to the least”. When I rendered my question more concrete, asking about people’s attitude towards social advertising (it is our native name of this kind of advertising, because in foreign countries they use for it “non commercial advertising”, in the USA - “public service advertising”), the positive reaction of the respondents considerably increased.
Social advertising uses the same data media as commercial advertising – television and radio reels, the press, transport, billboards ect., but, in spite of that, the desire of those polled to see a more active development was obvious.
The aim of the social advertising is to attract people’s attention to social events, to think about simple, everyday things and, in the long run, to create new social values.
In my view, the Kyiv social advertising about smoking harm was very successful. Young football player leads with enthusiasm the ball: below there was a laconic phrase: “Smoking? I have no time for that!”
I am sure this advertisement was far more useful for the rising generation than elite cigarettes advertisement, disposed at the same place.
The main peculiarity of the social advertising in economically developed countries is a persistent state propaganda of the health style of life, environmental protection and examples of social life.
Public organizations in the USA started to develop social advertising in 1906 – an American civil association called to protect the Niagara Falls from the outrages, made by electrical companies.
The American Advertising Federation annually awards the best creations in the social advertising sphere, and has a special Public Service nomination for that.
What does prevent Ukraine from adopting the same practice? The lack of financing? Or, may be, indifference occupies a strong place in the social thinking?
In the USA, the government usually orders the social advertising. The Government finances it as well. The Advertising Council, a nongovernmental organization, founded in 1942, also does it. The private firms and administration also give money to the social advertising. In 1993 – 2000 Clinton’s Administration spent about 2 billion dollars to the social advertising.
Frankly speaking, the methods of the American social advertising are very peculiar and sometimes they are startling. The social advertising in the USA is poignant, extremely provocative, considerably influencing the emotional person’s sphere, their civil feelings.
Social advertising against terrorism was presented in the USA last year. In one of the film studios, they imitated an explosion at a Baghdad’s market, the victims of which became 200 persons. The reel was shot within the framework of preparing ads, calling on Iraq citizens to struggle with suicide bombers. The reel lasted for 60 seconds and showed the Baghdad’s market before, at the time and after the explosion. It cost 1 million dollars for the customers. The costs were gathered at the expense of donations of charitable organizations, companies and private individuals.
Another bright social advertising against AIDS was elaborated in the USA on order of the Chicago’s AIDS center. A picture of beautiful models at model demonstration process is displayed on the prints. One can see an “AIDS” inscription on some of the garments elements. The disease is shown in this social advertising as the attribute of a bright and beautiful life. The slogan of the campany is «When will it go out of style?» and is directed to the widespread trend “to be fashionable”, which is popular among young generation.
By the way, this methodic was successfully applied in Ukraine, by the Outdoor Advertising Association, which prepared black-white billboards “Mum, why did I die? – Drug addicts can not have healthy children”. In my view, the emotional richness of this social advertising significantly influences the conscious and can really change the society’s attitude to this problem.
It is a real pity that social advertising in Ukraine receives no proper attention because of different circumstances (Is it really an excuse?). We have enough problems in our social life: alcoholism, drug addiction, deserted children, tragedies on roads, environmental protection… The list of ulcers of the “ill society” can be continued. That is why, to conclude the story, I would like to note that social advertising in our society has a great potential as well as a wide field for activity. Advertising is a powerful influence mechanism on the formation of public opinion. Who of our citizens will refuse to have our life brighter, happier and more kind?
All my respondents were unanimous: “Nobody!”.