By Learning English

       The very purpose of any advertisement is to capture audiences’ attention and reach the action of selling the product or “to make us more favorably disposed in general terms to the  advertised product or service” (Goddard, 1998, p. 11). But, to reach this goal the advertiser has to pay much attention to the content or constituents of the ad because the content is of paramount importance when it comes to ad liking or not liking.  A sophisticated and well designed ad content will undoubtedly have a significant influence on consumers’ attitudes toward advertising.
  There are many elements that can be induced in an ad to appeal to the audience or the viewer. These elements include the use: celebrity endorsement, vulgarities, humor, fear, message complexity, religious taboos, color, and so on. Breaking away from the audience expectation by breaking social norms of a particular society or culture enhances ad recall and memorability because of the amount of attention given to such kind of advertisements either because they are shocking or they are not.

        According to Goddard (1998), advertisements sometimes tend to shock the audience to
draw extra attention. She also stated that “women have been used as sexual commodities for
many years in the selling of products as disparate as cars and chocolate bars”. Advertisers use
offensive content, such as naked women or indecent language, to get noticed and gain extra
attention. “Visual elements must carry meaningful variation in their manner of delivery, such that
the selection of style can suggest an intended evaluation” (Scott, 1994). Sexuality is associated
with pleasure; thus, watching ads with sexual content may be pleasurable and so the viewer will
look at the advertisement a bit longer. “Sex sells. It always has, beyond that cliché’s inevitable
appearance in media and marketing conversations. Obvious sexual availability serves as both
 attention‐getter and deal‐maker, and it is as old as our species” 
(Reichert, Lambiase, 2006: preface, cited in Valiulytė, 2010).

         Another example of ad content is ‘rhetorical figures. Rhetorical figures, which are “artful
deviations”, play and important role in the ad message delivery because they use message style
as a persuasive tool (Andrews, 2011). Visual rhetorical stimuli are more persuasive and
impressive than verbal rhetorical or literal rhetorical ad stimuli because the use of visual rhetoric
in a persuasive context makes a positive first impression on people (ibid.).

        Advertising content is about the amount and kind of information disclosed to the consumer
and how it is displayed. Most advertisements contain little direct information and many of them
do not mention product price. “Consumers are often purely informed about the price and
attributes of products that they buy infrequently” (Anderson & Renault, 2004). However,
restricting ad information may have negative effects on the performance. In a seminal study by
Rensik and Stern (1977) (Cited in Anderson & Renault, 2004), they presented fourteen
information cues that exist in advertisements which include: price, quality, performance,
availability, nutrition, warranties, and so on and forth.
        Visual information does not transmit information and messages in the same way as verbal
information does (McQuarrie & Philips, 2005). Visuals messages are effectively delivered and
easily memorized and processed. Thus, they are more appropriate in getting the advertisement
message through and reach the intended goal. Furthermore, the content of the advertisement is
of paramount importance in creating an impressive and thorough ad that can attract consumers’
attention and drive them to buy the product or at least build a positive attitude toward the brand
or product.

         Grabbing audience attention is the aim of any advertiser. This aim can only be achieved
through a well-shaped, highly designed, appealing, and pleasurable advertisement. 


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