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This is due to a number of factors.

First, the communication revolution has set in motion a process of homogenization of consumer
aspirations and value systems. This has also homogenized the very pattern and form of
communication between the advertiser and the consumer. A more or less universal language of
advertising is emerging, even though conditioned and modified by local usage and expressions,
which are often a medley of western and Indian words, images, concepts and music. The
communication explosion has invaded the home with its message of consumption-orientation.
Multi-channeled television, through its entertainment programmes and advertising, has generated
an awareness of entirely new concepts of living and with these, a desire for a whole range of
consumer durables and non-durables, which had not been thought of earlier.
Secondly, to meet the growing consumer aspirations and value systems, particularly in terms of
lifestyles, new products and services are coming in the market. These are meeting new needs,
generated by new ways of living. This is leading to tremendous and even fierce competition
among manufacturers of these products or providers of new services. This is because, although
the Indian population is massive, the actual number of consumers of advertised goods or services
is relatively small. Different manufacturing, marketing or services organizations are offering the
same products. Thus the consumer has a wider choice. Sometimes two different products or
services might meet similar needs. For example, the consumer can choose between two cola
drinks manufactured by different companies. It is in this context that in advertising and
marketing one talks of brand names, brands or branded products. With the same product being
manufactured by different manufacturers, each company has its own name for its product. Thus
one brand of sunflower oil competes against another brand. If you come to services, a number of
banks today offer you mutual funds as do insurance companies. Here too the consumer has a
choice and every mutual fund is trying to sell to the same consumer. Here is a challenge that
people in the advertising profession face every day how to win over a consumer for one brand
against another and retain loyalty to the same brand, sale after sale?
Thirdly, such diversification of products or services and the expansion of the market have been
possible because of the opening up and liberalization of the economy. There is now very or no
restriction on the goods and services to be provided. Lower tax on personal incomes has
increased the disposable surplus in the hands of the expanding middle class for discretionary
purchases to meet the aspirations for better living. The liberal entry of foreign manufacturers and
the reduction in import restrictions have made many new products and services more easily
available than before. The hire-purchase system, bank finance and credit cards are accelerating
this process of consumption-orientation in a section of the population. Advertising intervenes at
every stage of this process of a desire being transformed into a purchase, of a concept of a
product or service being transformed into a sale.
Advertising has now become part of everyday life. Today advertising influences every days
purchase decision, consciously or subconsciously. Young people, the main target of advertising,

speak the language of advertising, sing advertising jingles, dress according to the fashions set by
role models and stereotypes in advertising. Advertising, in turn, picks up the language and the
behavior pattern of the consumer, particularly the youth. Many talented young people seek a
career in advertising, not mere job.
This environment and wider choice of goods or services also mean increasing consciousness
of quality and price among the consumers. The competition thus becomes concerned with
sensitivity to consumer expectations and even the environmental conditions and processes of
purchase decisions. It is here that communication has to intervene. It is this wider dimension of
advertising today that offers unprecedented challenges and makes stringent demands on
creativity, imagination and innovative approaches from every person in the advertising
profession, whatever be his or her specific job in the communication link between the product or
service and the consumer. It should be obvious from this discussion that advertising today is an
integral part of the socio-economic and the cultural system, too. It is linked to the distribution
aspect of the economic system. By creating demands, which might not have existed before,
advertising helps determine the types of goods or services to be offered and their quantum.
Hence, advertising can even influence the allocation of resources in different sectors of the
economy. What is more, advertising today has even become the communication link between
political parties and the electorate. It also plays a role in mobilizing public opinion and even
action on social and ideological issues, such as environment protection.
No wonder, the annual average rate of growth of advertising is much higher than that of the
economy. It is obvious that the opening up of the economy, which had begun very haltingly in
the mid-seventies, gathered some momentum in the mid-eighties and has now acquired
considerably more speed from the beginning of the current decade, has contributed significantly
to the current boom in advertising. It is this situation which is opening up wide and diverse
opportunities in the profession
Surely, when marketing organizations spend large amount of money year after year on
advertising, they would expect the most effective returns in terms of the quality of sales. It is
true, as we shall see later, that advertising is only one component of a whole diverse range of
activities that combine to effect a sale of product or service. Nevertheless, it is possible to
measure today the effectiveness of advertising as an information and persuasion link between a
product or service and the consumer. It is not merely a question of a number of competing
brands. There is also the problem of proliferating media, through which advertisements reach the
consumer. Here again is a challenge to the creativity and innovativeness of an advertising
professional how to choose between radio and television, between one television channel and
another, between the electronic media and the newspapers or different periodicals. The point is
that, considering the problems faced, the money available is always limited. How do you make
the best use of every pie spent?

An advertising practitioner does not have to face such challenges unaided. One does not exercise
ones imagination in a vacuum. Imagination, innovativeness, creativity are all guided and
tempered by facts. This brings us to another interesting area of activity related to advertising and
this is research. This is an area, where there is a combination of different disciplines of social
science economics, statistics, psychology and social anthropology; even an understanding of the
political environment is required to anticipate policy changes that might have an impact on the
market for particular goods and services.
Such research would cover a wide range of subjects: product research to test acceptability of a
product; advertising research to test the effectiveness of the advertising communication or
marketing communication to use a more scientific expression; consumer purchase patterns;
reading or listening habits; and so on. It is in this context that one might mention market research
and marketing research. The former is concerned with the character and needs of the market
itself, covering competitive brands or products and the potential for a new brand or product or
service. The latter comes next as to how to go about marketing the product, the entire range of
activities from production to reaching the consumer. Working in this area of research itself can be
a fascinating experience of life, human behavior patterns and even the life cycle of a product or
service, and their behavior on the market. At times they seem to behave as autonomous
components of society and the economy.
There are other areas of advertising which are concerned with the production of advertising
material and their distribution and finally their evaluation, which again is a part of research. Thus
an advertising practitioner would have to deal with printers, makers of films and audio visuals,
including video programmes, contractors and makers of hoardings or bill boards, distributors of
advertising films, models and modeling agencies and a host of other activities.
There is a whole range of organizations providing these different services closely related to
advertising. There are research organizations as well, concerned exclusively with practically
every information necessary for an understanding of the market in all its dimensions. There is
considerable mechanization in advertising these days, including the use of computers. Apart form
the wide variety of professional possibilities, this proliferation of information and mechanization
itself provides a challenge. After all, the computers are fed with the same data and provide the
same solutions or answers to problems raised. It is here that human ingenuity, innovativeness and
imagination come into play.
The above background to the advertising profession and its allied activities should provide one
with a general idea about the diverse job and career opportunities that exist, calling for different
types of talent, skills, educational background and even personalities. First, there is the room for
the manager and administrator, who might be responsible for the advertising of a particular
product or service. He could be working with the marketing or manufacturing or service
organization concerned. He could also be working with an advertising agency. This would

demand an overall knowledge and understanding of every aspect of advertising and its associated
activities. Such as assignment would also call for management and administrative capabilities
and above all, the ability to provide leadership to a team of professionals and specialists on the
hand and to evaluate the effectiveness of the advertising material produced and its distribution
and reach as a communication link between the product or service and the consumer, on the
other. This job requires not only clarity of understanding but also the facility of clear presentation
to different types of audiences responsible for or involved with the different activities related to
advertising and its associated activities. If one is playing this role in an advertising agency, this
same facility would be necessary to secure the confidence of the advertiser in the creative and
other very nitty-gritty services provided by the advertising agency.
Secondly in the advertising agency itself there are a whole range of specialization from the
planning of advertisement to their creation, media selection and distribution, supervision of
production of advertising materials, and of course, general management and administration and
accounts and billing, and so on. It would seem that these activities are common to all business
organizations. The specific situation and problems even in these areas are somewhat different in
the advertising business. The advertising agency is a buyer and seller of products and services of
a special kind and involving a particular type of creativity. Even the accounting and billing
systems are somewhat different.
Thirdly, there is the whole world of associated services, which provide services and products to
the advertising business. In each of these there is room for a career related to advertising. It is
even possible for someone to set up ones own shop, particularly in the electronic media,
producing audio-visual advertising material, or providing photographic services or even as
freelance writers and commercial artists or translators into different languages. The scope seems
unlimited and the variety infinite.
It is this diversity of activities and hence job and career opportunities that also makes advertising
a highly talent intensive industry. Every single activity related to advertising demands a
particular type of talent. Thus there is scope for different types of people, with different interests
to work in advertising. At the same time one cannot depend merely on ones talent. A great deal
of hard work is involved. A great deal of continuing study is necessary. The creativity required is
a new type. It calls for imagination moderated by a very deep sense of social reality. Talent has to
be tempered by a balance between specialization and a broader understanding of social reality.

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