Critiquing an Advertising Research

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Critiquing an Advertising Research


No one can go against the popular notion that advertising is the main thing that helps drive the sales of an organization to a higher level. This pre-conceived notion has led organizations invest heavily on advertising with a lot of resources being pooled from all departments to fund advertising. However, what is of contention is the most powerful and relevant form of advertising, where, some prefer the print, online, electronic or outdoor media. While the print and electronic are seen as old and widely used form of advertising, the attention has been shifted to the online and the outdoor advertising with various arguments emanating from people about the two forms of advertising.

Presumably, the outdoor is most popular and effective form out of the two and to some extent, it has been argued as having taken over advertising overall and that is how so many billboards are mounted on the main roads or high up the buildings. However, as can be argued, this is just a notion that many have in total disregard of the many side effects that comes with the use of this form of advertising. In our discussion, we focus on a research study regarding the effectiveness of outdoor advertising over other forms and look at major criticism level against this idea.

Article: Outdoor Advertising Demonstrates Direct Sales Lift, Increases Effectiveness of Other Marketing Investments; Research Study of How Out-of-Home Advertising Works

In this research, the main outcome is that using Out of Home advertising works as the key component of the optima marketing mix and is superior to all other advertising vehicles such as the radio, the T.V and the internet. Again, this advertising vehicle was studied to provide direct sales lifts and boosts to the income of the organization by increasing the brand awareness and considerations. It is seen as the best medium to increase the organizational image, the sales and any other components that the organization may wish to communicate to the publics. As research shows, the method is experiencing a really fantastic transition to mean that many organizations are quitting using television and the radio for their advertising and adopt this form.

Advertising has had a higher advantage when OOH (Out-Of-Home) advertising is combined with other methods such as Television and Radio as well as in the recent years; the internet. When combined, a real marketing mix is observed and an indirect impact on sales is realized. It is capable of providing the marketers with the capability to focus the spending on what is known as the Designated Market Areas (DMAs) or regions that give greatest response to any marketing efforts of their products and services. When creativity is put inside while advertising using this form, it is seen to have greater effects, especially when the same messages are then shown on radio and televisions. In summary, the idea that is being sent across by this research is that those who ignore this idea of advertising are only outlining their downfall and each of the organization should mount their billboards on the road sides and top of buildings.

Critiquing the Research on Outdoor Advertising

As East (2003) writes, any advertising which purports to be effective must in essence be able to alter the behavior of people towards adopting the ideas that are presented. The most desired behavior is on buying the products or the ideas that are portrayed by the advertisement, and if this is not the case, then, it is arguable that the advertising was not effective. Any successful advertising must be able to affect the operations of a company so that its internal efficiencies are made and the costs are reduced (East, 2003). Again, it should be noted that an advertisement should only be made if the returns will be more than the costs of advertising. Looking at the research outcomes, it is clear that outdoor advertising is only effective if it captures creativity when combined with other forms of advertising such as the radio and the television.

The above begs the questions on its credibility and effectiveness such as the following. Can outdoor or Out Of Home advertising stand alone and be effective? When it is done independently, can it generate the revenues more than the cost of placing in for the people to see? Do the advantages presented in the research outdo those of advertising in other media like the radio and the television? What are the recent trends, regarding people being glued to outdoor advertisements so that they can absorb the messages? What given percentage has the outdoor advertising been effective as compared to other forms of advertising? These questions are fundamental to show that really, this form of advertising is arguably not effective, and can only be so when it is placed alongside other forms of advertising.

During the day, people are busy attending to their own business like driving home, and it only means that they may have little attention to a message that is put on the road ahead of them. At night, little attention is paid to anything and people are probably heading towards their comforts at home to get glued on the television or listen to the radio. As best placed in the research, the Out Of Home advertising works best when it is combined with other forms; for example, a person first sees the message on Television or hears from the radio and then sees the message put wide on the billboard. This therefore tells that other means such as the television or the radio come prior to outdoor advertising. It is very unlikely that a person would first concentrate on an outdoor message and then connect it to the T.V message or that of the radio. Naturally, the messages and photos in billboards or any other forms of advertising are still and thus can become monotonous over time. Every wake of time and blink of an eye, there is a message out there calling for one’s attention, and therefore, one may not easily concentrate on any of them.

This helps us come up with various hypotheses regarding this form of advertising and in general showing that it is not effective. A critical research would note that advertising using the outdoor messages is not independent or cannot stand on its own. The cost of advertising may run higher than the revenues to be generated from the outdoor messages if this is not combined with other forms of advertising. The print and electronic advertising are most effective while billboard messages trail last as the two can stand on their own while outdoor advertising cannot. Critically, using outdoor advertising is disadvantageous to small entrepreneurs whose income is limited. The chances that people may concentrate or stand to be entertained by an outdoor message are very minimal.


From the argument, it is clear that an organization cannot just decide to advertise on billboards having not calculated the costs and the possible returns. From a research done to justify the positive effectiveness of outdoor messages, it is clear that outdoor advertising is not independent and must be accompanied by other forms. This places it as most inferior in the methods of advertising, and thus totally unfavorable for any organization. The still pictures and messages may over time become monotonous and people are not always keen to notice anything put out for their eyes.


East, R. (2003). The effect of advertising and display: Assessing the evidence. Norwell: Kluwer Academic Publishers.




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