Do Advertisements Really Make a Difference on Consumer Perception?

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on January 06, 2013

“The wife asks her husband tenderly why he has stopped expressing his love for her. The man smiles smugly, goes up to the refrigerator, fetches a Cadbury Dairy Milk and gives it to her saying that he just did express. She realizes that he has been doing that everyday and as a look of tender love and affection appears on her face, the jingle runs in the background, “KuchMeetha Ho Jaye”. We smile, sitting in our drawing rooms glued to the television sets. The advertisement has touched us and made us feel good momentarily, but deep inside our brains, the advertisement has had a much more profound effect. The amygdala region of the brain has already made the linkage between expressing love and Dairy Milk.


The mental connections, or synapses, are crucial in determining how we think about things, people or events. When two objects, people or situations are linked by a synapse in our brains, witnessing or thinking about one immediately conjures up images of the second. This is crucial for many of our daily activities, but becomes even more important for brands striving to make an impression on the consumer’s brain and influencing his/her buying decisions. Every brand tries its best to achieve the position wherein it is perceived by the consumer to stand for a certain quality, unique characteristic or a sense of belonging.

Brands try and develop that perception amongst its existing customers and prospects through every aspect of consumer experience, like packaging, quality, ease of use, after sales service, advertisements. But amongst these, advertisement is the only avenue that is boundless. A product’s quality, usability, packaging and a company’s services can only be improved unto a certain extent bound by physical and technological constraints. However, an advertisement provides a canvas for the company and brand to paint a beautiful landscape and transmit it to the prospect via various means of communication. This is what makes the advertisements such an important part of brand building and developing consumer perceptions.

But, how well are the advertisements able to impact the brand’s perception? Or, are they able to do it at all?

Advertisements use different sorts of techniques like sound, jingles, animation and moving images to stimulate the mind and capture the imagination. They engage the prospect and keep him/her glued to the message that is being conveyed. He/she absorbs the fine details and characteristics of the idea being conveyed and files them in a nice corner of the brain, forming an integral part of their impressions. Once out in the marketplace, the prospect looks for the product keenly and feels a sense of satisfaction once it has been purchased. The product gives them a sense of pride and ownership, it fulfils their aspirations for certain qualities they desire for. But, is it the product that makes them feel that way, or rather, is it the perception and image of the product?  Easily, the latter.

A well-made advertisement lives up to its task, keeps the prospect engrossed by the use of either a good storyline, humour, special effects, a celebrity or a combination of these. This sets the stage for the message to be conveyed. The engrossed prospect will absorb all sorts of messages and stimuli that the advertisement provides and those will form a part of his memories and shape his perceptions. Hence, an advertisement that is interesting and appealing to the viewer will be successful in conveying the desired message and making a significant impact on the consumer’s perceptions and impressions.

The Dairy Milk advertisement immediately catches the viewer’s attention with a realistic and gripping storyline. The visuals of a demure wife lovingly asking her husband for his feelings in a very normal household sitting makes the viewer watch eagerly for what follows. The viewer feels connected for he/she has been in similar situations. When the ad finishes on a happy note with Dairy Milk being showcased as a token of love, the prospect registers the fact and Dairy Milk will always conjure up a feeling of love and happiness in his mind.

Imagine the millions of young boys and girls over the country, who fail to communicate their feelings to the ones they love, and the effect this has on them. They would want to give a Dairy Milk to their loved one to discreetly convey what they feel. So, it is the concept, the idea, the perception that they are giving to one another to convey their feeling and not the product itself, and it is the advertisements that have gradually built that perception in the minds of both the giver and the receiver.

Thus, the advertisements shape the consumer perception in a huge way and it would not be an overstatement to say that they make or break a brand.

This article has been authored by Rishabh Kalia from FMS Delhi.

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