In the consumer society, advertisers focused their attention on gathering audiences. They would conduct audience researches, so that they could learn more about the audiences who may be interested in their products. With that knowledge, they could easily connect their products to the lives of these audiences, who ideally can become their prospective consumers. (Leiss, Kline, Jhally and Botterill, 69) Nowadays, advertisers become even more sophisticated in relating their products to the lives of specifically targeted audiences. Yet, some advertisers may still value the advertising techniques that were introduced in the consumer society to sell their products. A fairly recent Samsung phone advertisement can be used to illustrate the application of consumer society advertising techniques in contemporary advertising.

The advertisement starts by telling the audience some basic information about Samsung phones. It informs the audience about the brand name of the phones by zooming into one of the Samsung phones. By doing so, advertisers are trying to make sure that the audience is able to see the brand name printed on the phone before it is being mixed with the other phones in the commercial.

Besides providing the audience with some general information about the product, the advertisement also tries to humanize the corporation. It shows images of robotic hands, which are composed of different models of Samsung phones. Those robotic hands have performed different hand gestures to convey meanings that could be understood by humans. In other words, the “hands” seem to know what these gestures mean in the “human world”. For example, it raises its “thumb” to suggest that Samsung phones are good. The robots raise their “thumbs”, their “index fingers” and their “baby fingers” to refer to the level of enjoyment Samsung users can feel when they are using their phones to play rock music. It shakes its “hand” with another robotic hand when it is “socializing” with the other. It raises its “index finger” when it is conveying that Samsung phones are the number one medium used to connect with others. Through the performance of these gestures, the advertisers have given “life” to some supposedly dead objects. By creating some common “capabilities” between the audiences and the phones, the audiences can relate to the Samsung phones shown in the advertisement more easily.

With these humanized gestures of the phones, the advertisement sells a social lifestyle and the value of interpersonal relationships. The advertisement demonstrates different ways of interacting with others, including text-messaging, hand-shaking and gang gestures. It is trying to construct and convey the idea that people must connect with others, no matter in what ways they choose to do so. The exposure to the idea may create a desire in the audience to socialize with others. The advertisement suggests that the presence of a Samsung phone can fulfill the need. Therefore, it is important for the audiences to possess at least one of the Samsung phones. In short, the advertisement is intended to create materialistic needs in the audiences, while aiming to direct them to the products of the company.

Furthermore, the value of social life is reinforced by the formation of several imagined communities through the advertisement. Given the wide variety of Samsung phone models available, many phone owners may at some point in their lives buy Samsung phones. The advertisement tries to create a connection among all the customers who have bought or will buy Samsung phones. In addition, the advertisement also suggests the presence of a virtual, online or mobile community. The members of these communities use the same method to communicate with each other through text-messaging. They also share the same way of entertaining themselves by listening to music with their phones. However, the “faces” of the robots are not shown in the advertisement. It suggests that interpersonal relationships can be established and maintained through Samsung phones, without having the users meet others in person. The advertisement helps the audience to actually visualize the structure of the community by creating the “Samsung robotic hands”, which can perform gestures that symbolize togetherness, friendship and brotherhood.

In conclusion, the Samsung advertisement uses different soft-sell approaches to sell the products under its brand. In other words, the company creates associations in relation to its products, and uses those associations to appeal to its audiences, hoping that they will become one of the consumers of its products. In the case of Samsung, the advertisement is selling the lifestyles and the values that can be bought together with the Samsung phones. It is also selling a sense of belonging to the imagined communities that Samsung phones can create. The successful use of this approach can bring customer loyalty to the brand, so that its market share can be maintained.

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