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online advertising: will marketers tame the evil from pandora’s box
Posted :18-Jul-2014
Keyword :advertising,online advertising,social networking
Author :Admin
Description :

Advertising can be like opening Pandora’s Box if not done correctly. Being honest and truthful to customers will stand the test of time.



As per Greek Mythology, Prometheus stole “fire” from heaven, and to take vengeance, the God, Zeus asked Hephaestus (the God of craftsmanship) to create Pandora who is said to be the first woman on Earth, which is formed using water and earth and presented her to Prometheus. Pandora went with a beautiful box, with instructions never to open this come what may. However, her curiosity (bestowed by God himself) led her to open the box, and all the evils escaped and took Earth in its stride. That is what is happening when marketers are doing online advertising, they are opening Pandora’s Box only to realize later that all they have done is release evil because it has not worked as expected.


Over the centuries, the role of marketing has been dissected and discussed by multiple marketing Gurus. For a consumer, marketers are nothing but advertisers. You ask a consumer what a marketer does, and they will tell you that marketers create ads, which encourage us to buy stuff! In the South Asian market, this consumer’s definition takes a more impulsive form, and they see marketers as those who rob them by giving them offers (advertising) and tempting them to buy the product. Going through the so-called traditional model, marketers are advertisers who are not good people (because they make you impulse buy). That is one part of the story.


The other part of the story is equally interesting; the seasoned marketers see themselves as an artist who understands the consumer’s psychology to ensure the product is sold. However, with the advent of online advertising, this definition is constantly hammered by new teachings, which redefine the way common perception percolates through the world. For consumers, online advertising has taught them that brands give offers, and their affinity for a brand can be traded off with some monetary benefit. Now, this affinity is still in the process of getting properly defined. Using a social networking site in an addition to services such as Google+ page or a much valued comment are all are a high value item in this new economy. For a marketer, when online advertising came out as an option, it was one more way to reach their target audience that proved highly beneficial to fulfill their own KRA’s, which effectively involved driving and meeting consumer and taking their views.


Nevertheless, with time, marketers have realized that they have not hit the pot of gold, rather they feel that they have opened a Pandora’s Box, a source of many unforeseen troubles. Take the case of the multinational brand Nestlé, mostly known for their brand Maggie and other chocolate brands. Greenpeace, who promote environment awareness, has constantly attacked Nestlé to stop using Palm oil as huge amounts of deforestation is required to produce sizable amounts of Palm oil. To generate awareness, Greenpeace shared a video that showed the mess Palm oil production creates. Therefore, what did the Nestlé representatives do? Using their business relations, they removed the video from the social sites, and opened the Pandora’s Box. Negative reviews, comments, and hate mail flooded the social medium against the brand, and the activists went one step ahead; they changed the logo of Nestlé and named their product KITKAT as Nestlé ‘killer’. Although we do not condone smear campaigns, it does demonstrate the power of social networkingandadvertising.


There are numerous cases well inked on how marketers have tried to use online advertising in a traditional way and have accidentally opened the Pandora’s Box. So what is the way out and who will tame the evils from the Pandora Box? Well the answer is pretty simple. Being honest; being true to your vision, being there to earn profit in the right way is what online advertising needs to be all about. It just makes a brand stand bear, and win sales on its own merits and not on a monster created to sell it. A good thing, as per the Greek mythology, when Pandora opened the box, every evil spirit went out in a flash, and what remained at the bottom was Elpis, the spirit of hope. Online advertising gives the marketers hope that by being honest and truthful to customers will stand the test of time. One can only expect to use it most optimally, and then wait for the final results.

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