The Ads Surrounding You
December 12th, 2012, Emilene Parry

The Ads Surrounding You

We are surrounded by advertisements, from TV commercials and radio ads to outdoor billboards and flyers and it is fair to say that advertising has become a part of everyday life. It is often said that ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’ but how true is this? We set to find out what Lab participants thought about the quality of advertisements in their country of residence.

Generally, respondents believe that the advertisements in their country of residence are of good quality. About a third state that they are bad quality. Reasons given include:

“Lack of originality” Anon

“They don’t deliver the idea of the product or the purpose of the ad” Anon

“The ads on the radio channels are very bad and annoying” Anon

“Billboards are not properly installed and are installed mostly in illegal places. In my country commercial advertisements need to improve a lot in quality” Akram, Pakistan

“Because they don't correlate with real life situations and experiences and have a bad impact on public” Ramp, India

“Lack of originality, marketers prefer safe options and do not desire to do something amazing” Tyrone, Pakistan

“Ads are usually not related to the product being advertised” Anon

“Still rely too much on physical media instead of online media such as AdSense” Anon

Although most Lab participants state that they do not find issues in advertisements in their country of residence, some specify inappropriate content, poor grammar/ written language, incorrect spelling and incorrect translation as issues.

Most think the advertisements in their country of residence are interesting, at least to some extent. Those who find the advertisements interesting had the following to say:

“Because it is a very creative country” Yasir, KSA

“Because they run competitions” Yaakoub, Morocco

“The advertisements are attractive and usually displayed on large billboards so as these can be clearly seen and read” Fawad, UAE

“Because it’s informative” Osama

“They encourage an audience (viewers, readers or listeners; sometimes a specific group) to continue or take some new action” Mira

“Some of the adverts are very catchy and funny” Ajju, India

“Because it has good quality and positive approach” Zahra, UAE

“They are creative and imaginative” Anon

On the other hand, about a third of Lab participants do not find advertisements in their country of residence interesting. It appears that a lack of creativity in the advertisement content drives this belief. Comments included:

“With a few exceptions all the ads are not interesting....there is nothing catchy....all they use is a pretty lady or handsome boy...nothing new” Anon

“Because absence of message that are directed to me” Dr Ibrahim, Egypt

“High level of media restrictions” Anon

“Some companies lack creativity, Ideas and content!” Anon

“An advertisement is a promotion so it must be clear and attractive” Faiza, Pakistan

“Advertisements are not out of the box” Samo, Pakistan

“We don't seem to have any interesting products, or the advertisements have been so bad that I haven't bothered to wait and see if the product is interesting. Overall they suffer from bad language, awkward attempts at comedy, and no relation to the actual product” Anon

When asked for any suggestions of how to improve advertisements in their country of residence, Lab participants had the following recommendations:

“Companies must be honest in their advertisements” Anon

“Try to bring some variety in the advertisement so that people will be more easily attracted” Hasna, UAE

“There are no new ideas; most of them are typically looking same. They should show with new idea” Muhammad, Pakistan

“Try to advertise the product, not the model” Anon

“Make them more relevant to the product being advertised” Anon

“Proper billboards should be installed with fewer words and more expressions. Advertisements should be concise and a bit funny and interesting” Akram, Pakistan

“Better research, more power to agencies, more embracing of culture, more risk taking” Tyrone, Pakistan

“More creativity and humour” Anon

“Target market may be kept in view and content of advertise material should be selected accordingly” Syed, Pakistan

“Advertisements with funny objects and seducing young generation are not properly and ethically looked into. The improper seduction should be stopped” Muazam, Pakistan

“Good advertisements make a viewer think about the product. A lot of the advertisements don’t do that” Anon

“a) Use online media. b) Use a spell-check. c) Try to make the ad relevant. d) If you are going for sexy and funny, make it work, otherwise it will be just a sad attempt at humor that flunks badly” Anon

“I think the billboards should not be present in residential areas especially near homes and avoid wall chalking for advertisement” Sam, Pakistan

“More creativity” SB, Dubai

“Advertisements should be according to the values of the society and should present true information to viewers” Anon

Overall, most Lab respondents have a positive impression of advertisements in their country of residence. Suggestions for improvement include making advertisements more clear, accurate and creative.