Ritual Advertising Advertising is a form of media that is used in order to influence people to purchase or support products and/or services. Advertisements have become quite common with the rise of the 20th century. There are many forms of advertisements used in today’s society.
Some forms of advertisements used today include: Television ads, Radio ads, Print ads, and Online ads. The most common form of advertisements used are Television ads. With the emergence of the 21st century, Online ads are slowly beginning to overtake Television ads.Over time, the amount of money spent on advertising has been increasing. From 2007 to 2009, total advertising costs in the U. S increased by over $200 billion dollars.
Normally, advertisements communicate to the consumer how the product would benefit them. However, there are some advertisements that use unconventional methods of marketing. One of these types of advertising methods is using rituals. Before proceeding into Ritual advertising, understanding the term ritual is key. A ritual is a set of actions, which are often thought to have a symbolic meaning.These actions are usually facilitated by different groups of people; these people being divided into groups by religion, race, gender, etc. By incorporating a ritual with a product, a company is able to expand the way the public receives their product (Advertising in context). Over time some rituals becomes almost sacred, and are upheld strictly.
One example of a long held ritual, is eating turkey during Thanksgiving holiday. There are many different forms of Ritual advertising in our day to day world.Some examples of rituals are: Carving pumpkins during Halloween, dying eggs on Easter, and having mistletoe in the home during the Christmas season.
Some companies use ritual advertising even when the product is unrelated to the ritual. For example, it is common when a Jinx occurs, which is when two people say the same word or phrase at the same time, that you are to knock on wood and the first person to knock first declares that the other person owes them a Coke. This is referring to Coke-a-Cola, which clearly doesn’t relate to bad luck or knocking on wood.
There are also some companies that use Ritual Advertising more heavily.Some companies that participate in this are big label tobacco companies. Tobacco companies used Ritual advertising heavily for a good portion of the 20th century. They used Ritual advertising in movies of the time.
They did this in a number of different ways. One of which is, after the main male character is done “hooking up” with an attractive female character, they proceeded to light up a cigarette. This advertisement technique was huge in the past. Tobacco companies would pay film makers millions of dollars in order to incorporate their tobacco product into some type of intense scene.Whether this scene was a sexual scene with the main heroine, or an action scene with guns blazing, audiences understood the message.
Smoking was cool and if they smoked they could emulate these amazing heroes or insidious villains. Studies show that smoking in media persuades younger people that the habit is “adult, acceptable, and normal” (Smoke Free Movies). This created a lot of publicity for tobacco companies, good and bad. Whether this was underhanded marketing or not, the idea stuck and created many new clients for tobacco companies.
This slowly started to reduce because it had started to become a scandal.This issue was so serious that it brought up threats of government regulation. In recent times, it is slowly beginning to be reincorporated again into media. This has begun to have a ritualistic effect on society. After sexual encounters, people feel the need to light up.
This is not just the addiction that leads them to do this. Society leads people to do this and practically encourages it through media. One popular tobacco company that have used this type of marketing is Phillip Morris. Phillip Morris has displayed its tobacco products in media since the 1930’s.One of the main incidents in which they used this advertising was in the movie Superman II.
In the movie, there were over 13 different scenes where Marlboro cigarettes or advertisements were displayed (Smoking in movies… ). In fact, they continue to advertise cigarettes in media even to this even day.
My family also engages in similar ritualistic activities. During the Christmas holiday, we usually give candy canes to each other, along with a Christmas card. We see this as a symbol of blessing for the receiving person.
I suppose it could also be considered a good luck charm as well.My family has done this for over 60 years, and it has become a family tradition. Little thought is given to our tradition, but it has a far longer history. The “J” shape of the canes, and the colors led many people to believe that candy canes were symbolic of Jesus Christ and his blood sacrifice. However, this myth has no actual support. Candy Canes were created in the 17th century, and were originally simple white sugar sticks. The peppermint flavor, “J” shape, and red stripes weren’t added until years later by an unknown source (Candy Cane Legend).Since many people believed the candy to be symbolic of Jesus, Candy Canes are traded mainly around Christmas time.
Rituals, unlike normal propaganda techniques, are far more difficult to notice. These unorthodox methods of marketing easily bypass conventional thinking and can penetrate the viewers subconscious without the knowledge of it doing so. This gives advertisements a whole different way in order to market the product to you. Rituals are easily one of the most powerful forces that an advertisement can utilize.
Work Cited Smoking in the Movies: Under-the-Radar Cigarette Advertising? ” Center for Media andDemocracy. 30 Mar. 2009. Web. 1 Nov. 2009. .
“Smoking radiates “mania, sex, sophistication, cool, toughness, rebelliousness, self abuse and social inferiority”? Hey, try acting. ” Smoke Free Movies. UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. Web. 01 Nov. 2009. .
“Advertising in the context of: Social Drama, Ritual, and Digital Enviorments. ” Author Stream. 02 June 2008. Web. 01 Nov. 2009.
. “The Candy Cane Legend. ” Hubpages. Web. 01 Nov. 2009. .