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When assessing the impact that certain media will have on public audiences, one must consider the audience themselves and their preference towards a certain form of entertainment or education. Individuals who are in need of information, entertainment, and escape or any number of other uses can turn to television for gratification of that need. Among college students, for example, this preference can be explained best in terms of social theories– which would suggest that TV is the more ‘socially accepted’ media with a greater appeal to young crowds than radio (Lazear, 1993). Therefore, the advertisers using a TV ad is more likely to influence public opinion among member of this one niche crowd than is the advertiser who places a similar piece in print. Television is indeed most popular among young people and “Generation Xers” but magazines and newspapers are more common among seniors (Tannenbaum, 1995). The company seeking to appeal to the opinions of either public must be cognizant of this.
Nevertheless, there are several advantages and disadvantages of each group that remain constant regardless of the target market variable. And there are certain types of ads that all of us more readily seek out in print than we do on television. Where as a news print ad for clothing store might tells us all about which specific items are on a sale, the television version will usually only quickly alert us to the fact that there is a sale. Thus our opinion about purchases will not be as strong. But when we want to see some musical, “happy-go-lucky” reminder of why we “deserve a break” at McDonald’s, our opinions are much more likely to be swayed by a television ad.
When advertising through print, public opinion can be influenced over a greater period of time. Consider the fact that television ads are only in front of us for an average of thirty seconds; we see the entire thing and then it vanishes from our screen. Often, our recollection …