This study is about advertising and marketing communication. According to Phillip Kotler (2003, p. 564), marketing communication is associated with giving out facts about a product or service in the way that people will eventually be persuaded to buy or use the promoted item. Advertising is one of the methods that this objective can be achieved (Bendall-Lyon & Powers 2003, p. 589-608).
This study will assist in creating a creative advertisement of an international charity organization recruiting business school graduates to help small businesses in developing countries. This study will use Care International as a case study. To do this, a study will first start by providing information of the target market, advertising goals and aims. Then, the study will move on in reviewing the literature relating to communication and integrated marketing communication. Designing and planning a creative advertisement based on both the theory and concept of communication.
Overview of Competition in Charity Industry in the UK
According to the BBC News (2004), it revealed that students in the UK are having hard time gaining employment. Some of them take a year-gap and travel aboard through non-profit and for-profit charity companies. The UK market is inflexed with both non-profit and for profit organizations. However, most of these organizations target university students who want to join overseas volunteering programs which are available in both long and short term. Most of these organizations focus on similar issues such as developing education, improving poverty, building local businesses. They also use similar themes in their advertising to attract the target market (BBC News 2004). These themes include the following:
- Enhancing you curriculum vitae
- Gaining real work experience
- Improving the world we are living in
- Exploring new world and culture
- Meeting new people and making new friends
CARE International is one of the world’s top three aid agencies. It helps around 48 million people around the world to improve their lives and find a route out of poverty (CARE International 2007). As this report is about creating an advertisement for an international charity recruiting business graduates to help small business in developing countries, the target market that CARE International should focus on are graduates in any field of business studies. They may be fresh graduates that have difficult time in seeking full-time employment or those want to work with charity companies.
- To provide information about opportunity to students
- To create awareness of the services of CARE International
- To build recognition of the company name
- To evoke desire to help people in developing countries
- To remind students that they have knowledge and ability to help people in those countries to improve their living by passing them knowledge and skills to run a small business effectively.
- To reach those students who are beyond the reach of other charity or overseas volunteering firms.
Communication is a daily activity. People communicate face to face, over the phone and in writing. In the face to face communication, it can be verbal or it can be signalized from body gestures or numerous other clues that occur in the course of interaction. On the other hand, communication on the phone or in writing gives less opportunity for non-verbal signal. However, a voice notation and reading between the lines can help the recipients to gain additional information (Proctor 1996, p. 348).
Proctor (1996, p. 349) also revealed that communication can easily become confused. As a result, it is very important for communicator and recipient of the information have a clear understanding of the intended message. This means that a message in any common communication platform must be easy for the target recipients to understand. This concept is also applied to the message of the advertisement (Gronroos 2004, p. 99-113).
Communication Process and Integrated Marketing Communication
In ‘ Effective communications strategies in a franchise organization’ (Davis 2004, p. 276-282) explained an effective communication is a two-way process. The communicator will send message to the other party who will return some kind of affirmation that the message has been received and understood correctly. However, if a receiver fails to pay attention to an intended message, it means that the communication is not effective. As a result, a person wanting to carry out an effective communication must ensure that the message is sent in the way that best suit the target receiver (Davis 2004, p. 276-282). Also, the most important thing is that communicator must ensure to send out the intended message clearly and persuasively (Proctor 1996, p. 349).
According to Dibb and Simkin (2001, p. 159), the communication process is a sharing of meaning through the transmission of information. There is a new view of communications as an interactive dialogue between the organization and its customers that takes place during the pre-selling, selling, consulting and post-consuming stages. Kotler (2003, p. 564) explained that firms or companies need to concern with not only how could they reach their customers, but also how could the customers reach them.
Butler (1992, p. 57-60) argued in a study ‘ An implementation of MAP communication’ that sometimes communication goes beyond the specific platform of communication (advertising, sales promotion, public relations, personal selling and direct marketing). He explained that the product’ design and price, the shape and colour of the package, the sales-person’s manner, personality, appearance and dress, the shop layout and the company’s stationary inform something to the target market.
According to the above explanation, this means that every brand contract delivers an impression that can strengthen or weaken the perception of customers toward the company. As a result, the whole marketing mix must be integrated in order to deliver an unfailing message and strategic positioning (Butler 1992, p. 57-60).
In the case of creating and developing a print advertisement of an international charity, the good starting point is reviewing all of the potential contact that target customers may have with the products of the company. For example, a student interested in joining overseas volunteer program would talk to others, read articles and search the internet for information. Thus, advertisers need to assess which experiences and impressions will have the most influence at each stage of the buying or making decision process. This will help advertisers in planning and allocating investment on communication wisely and effectively (Davis 2004, p. 276-282).
Kotler (2003, p. 563) described that a message is sent through a channel of communication to its destination. The receiver of the message will give feedback to the originator in order to confirm that the message has been understood correctly. The clearness of reception and feedback is deformed by ‘ noise’ in the system.
This means that marketers and advertisers need to understand the basic elements of effective communication. Figure 1 clearly explains the communication model with nine components. Kotler (2003, p. 565) described that two represent communication tools which comprise of media and message. He explained four represent the main communication functions, including encoding, decoding, response and feedback. The last component of the communication system is noise which is the random and competing messages that may obstruct the intended communication (Kotler 2003, p. 565).
Proctor (1996, p. 351) explained that noise is produced by several of factors. These include other messages which are being sent to the recipient. Another factor is the communication between other people. Take the example of a situation in a local pub where Paul is talking to Smith. In this situation, noise is present in the form of other people round about talking, possibly the sound of telephone ringing and a bar staff interrupting your conversation by asking for the payment of your orders (Proctor 1996, p. 351). Figure 1 features the process of communication.
According to the above discussion, it can be presumed that there are several of challenging stimuli that divert and prevent him or her from obtaining the full completed impact of communication. Ihahor (2004, p. 243-253) revealed in his study ‘ Corporate communication: reflections on twentieth century change’ that in the case of mass communication and, it is commonly accepted that the average individual is exposed to several hundred marketing communication stimuli in the direction of typical day.
Based on the above assumption made by Holm (2006, p. 23-33), this means that it is quite easy for any type of marketing communication to get lost and fail to enter as intended. This is because people are flooded with all types of messages, including visual, audio, sensual and olfactory. Examples include advertisement, announcements and incidents on the street. This may distract the receipts in receiving intended messages (Holm 2006, p. 23-33).
The above model focuses on the main factors in the effective communication. Based on effective communication concept and practice, the senders, in this study are the advertisers and they must know what audiences or target customers they want to reach, the target and what response they want to receive (Holm 2006, p. 23-33). In this report, it targets business graduates students looking for employment or using their knowledge and skills to help others.
To ensure that effective communication is being reached, advertisers must encode their message so that the target audiences or customers can decode them. Also, advertisers must transmit the message through media that reaches the target audience. To ensure that the message reach the intended audience, advertisers should develop feedback channels to track and monitor the responses (Davis 2004, p. 276-282).
However, Briglauer (2004, p. 104-193) claimed in a research titled ‘ Generic reference model for the analysis of relevant communications market: fundamental a completion concepts’ that the intended message may not being received by the target audience. The reason for this to occur will be described as follows:
- Selective attention: Smith and Taylor (2004, p. 17-19) described that people do not pay attention to everything that is going on around them. The good and great deal of what is happening around them is ignored, or else they would be so weighed down that they would not be able to handle with it all. In contrast, people pay attention to something else that stand out (Smith & Taylor 2004, p. 17-19). Take a situation in a pub or bar as an example. A man in a local pub pays attention to a young attractive women sitting at the other end of the pub, but he does not give attention to another man sitting near her table. According to this concept, it can be assumed that people learn to pay attention to thing that are important and in the way that people rely for direction or information.
- Selective Distortion: Procter (1996, p. 351) stated that all of the messages are subjected to selective distortion in one way or another. He described that people interpret or translate the messages in the terms of what they want to hear. People will hear what fit into their belief system. Thus, they often add something else that is not there to the received messages (James 1998, p. 87-89). The above process is called amplification (James 1998, p. 87-89). People do not notice and realize that these are there – levelling. As a result, it is important for marketers or advertisers to make every effort to get simplicity, clarity, interest and repetition to gain the main points across in order to develop effective communications (James 1998, p. 87-89).
- Selective Recall: Comparatively a few of the messages received can be recalled. Kotler (2003, p. 565) that people will reserve in a long-term memory only a small portion of the messages that they received. If their initial attitude toward an object is positive and he or she goes over supported argument, a message is likely to be accepted and have high recall.In the contrary, if an initial attitude is negative, a person will go through counter arguments, a message is likely to be rejected. However, this message will stay in a long-term memory. This is because of the persuasion requires a person’s practice of his or her own thoughts. Persuasion is actually self-persuasion (Kotler 2003, p. 565). Bowen (2006, p. 330-352) revealed in his research ‘ Autonomy in communication: Inclusive in strategic management and ethical decision-making a comparative case analysis’ that people may often recall a face but may have difficulty in fitting a name to the face. Therefore, recall is quite selective. In advertising, the visual image may greatly be recalled but not the brand name of the product. Thus, efforts have to be directed at getting people to associate and involve the two (Bowen 2006, p. 330-352).
According to the literature review, it can be presumed that an advertiser wanting to send out a message begins with both the intended content for the message and the intended outcome of the message. In order to develop and create a meaningful message, advertisers have to be able to understand the nature of the external and internal stimuli that has an impact on the recipients (Davis 2004, p. 276-282).
Creating Advertisement Content
This section will develop and design the content which will be featured in the advertisement of Care International to recruit business students. To do this effectively, the message and content design will be based on the theory, concept and the literature review of communication and advertising.
Massie and Anderson (2003, p. 223-228) stated in ‘ Integrating communications: is the ideal achievable? ‘ that getting people to consider purchasing a product or service can be achieved through attractive to their cognitive processes. Some customers need to arouse their desire, indicate a need or offer a logical reason why such products or service offer the best means of satisfying a need. Therefore, the content in a print advertisement of an international charity company becomes placed in the memory of the recipients (business graduates), and it can be activated by motives, association and future needs (Massie & Anderson 2003, p. 223-228).
From the literature review, it can be assumed that the content of this print advertisement must have unique appeal, theme and idea in order to get over the target audience to achieve the desire response (Holm 2006, p. 23-33). It must use differentiation strategy in designing the message. The advertisement should also contain benefit, identification and motivation that can be developed into the message in a print advert (Davis 2004, p. 276-282).
Based on literature analysis, the message in this advert for an international charity should be built around emotional appeals. The content should make use of both positive and negative emotional appeals (Cornelissen & Look 2001, p. 425-431). On the negative side in the content should involve with fear, guilt and shame. However, too much fear in the content may cause the audience to reject it. On the other hand, the positive side, it should comprise of pride and joy (Cornelissen & Look 2001, p. 425-431). In addition, moral appeals can make the content more effective.
From the above supports concepts of designing message and content for advertisement, the draft content is as below.
- Volunteer Aboard with Care International (Brand name)
- It’s the experience of a lifetime for all Business Graduates. (Persuasive tone)
- This is not a marathon, youth camping or selling flowers to raise funds for charity, but you will be experiencing a challenge to help small businesses in developing countries. It’s the best permanent solution to help people get out of poverty. (Moral appeals)
- You’re making a meaningful contribution, working alongside local people and sharing business knowledge and skills that these people have never had experienced. Pass it on to help others and make this world a better and fairer place to live. (Unique and positive emotional appeals)
- This is not just about enhancing you CVs for better jobs. You’ll gain new perspectives, improve decision-making emergency and unexpected situations, learn new culture and meet new friends. It’s a personal inspiring experience that will be in you memory forever. (Motives, association and future needs)
Rationale of Advertising Design
An analysis in this section will be based on the theory and concept of communication. According to the selective attention concept, it revealed that people only learn to pay attention to this that is important upon which they rely for direction or information (Smith & Taylor 2004, p. 17). In this case, the target audience is business graduates who are looking for jobs. This is something that is important to them as it can be a first stage of their career opportunity and development.
Also, the selective distortion explained people interpret messages in terms of what they want to hear (James 1998, p. 87-89). From the draft advertisement content, it does not show or indicate that this is a job offer or job opportunity for graduates that are looking for employment. However, the fresh graduates who are seeking employment will interpret this message in the way that makes them feel useful. This is based in the sense that they will be working in something that related to their field of study (James 1998, p. 87-89).
Finally, the selective recall concepts described that people will reserve in a long-term memory only a small portion of the messages that they received. If the initial attitude toward an object is positive and he or she goes over supported argument, a message is likely to be accepted and have high recall (Kotler 2003, p. 565).
In this case, when a business graduates read this advert, he/ she will be able to recall both the visual image and the name of the organization. This is because the content has been designed to gain their attention, and it also contains the interest, needs and psychological dispositions of the target market (business graduates) (Bowen 2006, p. 330-352).
As mentioned before, the draft advertising content is designed to gain attention from the target market, the business graduates. The content is also designed as closely as possible to the receiver’s background, needs, interest and psychological dispositions (Massie & Anderson 2003, p. 223-228). However, this report does not describe the non-verbal communication such as body movement, quality of voice and the appearance of staffs at an international charity which can affect the attention perception and attitude toward the firm and brand.
According to the above discussion and analysis, it can be concluded that the model of communication indicates a significant of feedback from the receiver, the channel and message. Also, communication and integrated marketing communication are important in advertising design. This is because the concept of communication can help advertisers in designing content and creating effective and creative print advertisement.
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