The modern trends in the advertising industry become indissolubly related to the changing environment, the emergence of new challenges and developments in the socio-economic life of the society. Among the most significant changes that influence the sphere of advertising one may name the acceleration of technical progress, increasingly rapid spread of technology, and oversaturation of communicative space with enormous amounts of information. Advertising campaigns, without exaggeration, become one of the fundamental tools of successful sales. Advertisement not only forms the status and reputation of a brand but also influences the key economic indicators. To remain effective, to obtain advantages over competitors, to win the hearts of their target audiences and encourage them to make a purchase, modern businesses are forced to adapt to the ongoing changes in the advertising industry, which will be considered below.
Among the most significant trends of the marketing realm as a whole, is the new format of communication with the consumer. Advertising becomes one of the core elements of the system of integrated marketing communications – the process of creating and maintaining profitable relationships with customers and other stakeholders via strategic control and influence on all the messages sent to these groups and maintaining an effective dialogue with them at minimum cost (Duncan 2002). As Hansen and Bech note (2010), ‘apart from the spread of advertising messages in various channels and the invention of new advertising formats due to technological development, a remarkable increase of commercial messages based on the growing use of various lobbying, sales and and direct marketing and PR-techniques…can be observed’ (p. 245). Despite the fact that advertising is an impersonal and the mass tool of the marketing mix, it is characterized by a significant interactivity. The consumers have changed, and their voluntary communication with advertisements comes to the fore. Apart from that, due to the high competition of various businesses and immense amounts of the standardized products, the advertising message becomes conceptual and complex (Hansen & Christensen 2003). Consumers worldwide become more and more educated and like it when advertisers and brands treat them as intellectually developed persons. With the help of advertising, a company offers the audience a game, which they will definitely accept and enjoy taking part in it. A company should inspire the consumer, make him an accomplice, and invite him to participate in the creative process of development and support of the brand. Even if the consumer is not approached individually, he should be persuaded that he is not a passive receiver of content, but an active element of the advertising campaign (Taylor 2013). For instance, representatives of the mass audience, ordinary passers-by can get some role in a commercial.
Other advertising trends include non-traditional media, digital, and social media marketing which become more and more effective with the spread of personal communication devices. In order to bring people into contact with the brand, with the message transmitted by the brand, a company needs to come up with something unexpected and yet not intimidating. Owing to the spread of digital communication technologies and the Internet, advertisers receive a boundless field for immediate personalized influence and delivery of their messages in a creative and convenient way (Taylor 2013). Contextual advertising in the Web search engines, for instance, allows businesses to deliver targeted messages to the audiences, however, sometimes it may seem too annoying. Social media becomes another main “tool for consumers to be exposed to products” (Jobs & Gilfoil 2014, p. 236), which, at the same time, allows lowering advertising costs and increasing the return of investment index (Jobs & Gilfoil 2014). The younger generation spends all the time on social networking websites, so traditional commercials have no effect on it. Therefore, the companies are communicating their brand messages through characters popular among the young people, such as bloggers, stars, and opinion leaders. Moreover, the role of messengers is increasing substantially; they become separate social networks where people play games, watch videos, interact with brands, buy food, exchange gifts and share news (Reiss-Davis 2016). Thanks to push-notifications, interactions with these applications often occur even more rapidly than with social networks. Another crucial aspect of this trend is the pervasive advent of mobile devices, which leads to the emergence of cross-device advertising (Ozturk 2016). It is expected that by 2019, the global digital advertising revenue will reach 290 billion dollars (Reiss-Davis 2016). Regardless of the chosen digital advertising platform, the companies should keep in mind that the most important element is creativity. Consumers appreciate when advertising fits in their behavior on the platform, rather than when their work or communication is interrupted by pop-up windows with advertisements. Observing online advertising trends every day, one may note that video advertising is booming – Periscope is gaining more and more adherents, Facebook has recently launched a similar service for live broadcast, and there is still a huge amount of advertising tips that YouTube can provide. It seems reasonable for businesses to increase their online video advertising budgets. Combined with increasingly available virtual reality technologies video advertising creates incredible opportunities for the brand promotion.
Owing to the spread of the Internet, advertising campaigns of different brands in the recent decades have become global, opening new markets for the companies. Expansion of the activities of global corporations inevitably leads to the formation of a universal model of consumer behavior which is being imposed by the company’s ads. At the same time, while expanding their advertising campaigns to other countries, the companies cannot ignore specific local peculiarities of national markets (Duncan 2002). For example, while conducting its 2009 marketing campaign ‘Still Red Hot’ a renown UK brand Virgin Atlantic created a range of outdoor advertising elements tailored to regional markets that could be seen in different visual representations of characters on the flight promotion materials. Virgin’s campaign received gold at 2012 Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Awards; the ROI for each GBP spent on advertising was 10,5 (Poole, Morgan, Bourdon & Schultz 2012).
The development of the media is changing the nature of brands. In today’s world of social networks and unrestricted access to communication, each brand should have a human face and the company should be responsible for social attitudes it forms. The social value of advertising lies in that it provides the interaction between all the elements of the social system and contributes to the integration of the society, the formation of behavior patterns, the creation of awareness of their specifics of social roles and statuses (Hansen & Christensen 2003). Very often the social results of advertising can have not only positive, but also negative effects in terms of social and cultural identity, social inequality and the formation of core values. Fortunately, modern businesses devote significant efforts to their corporate social responsibility programs. Reasonable consumption and resource conservation for many people have become a lifestyle not without the help of the companies. Many fashion brands, with Levi’s, Zara, Gap, Nike among them, in different times launched eco-friendly organic fabric clothing lines promoted through respective advertising campaigns (Hansen & Christensen 2003). It can be also noticed that modern advertising encourages to not only buy the product promoted, but also calls to change oneself, to become better despite the complicated modern life. Many socially responsible brands address many societal issues in their commercials. Furthermore, commercials become more inclusive, engaging people with disabilities, appearance peculiarities and elderly people – one may recall Shantel Brown Young, a model suffering from vitiligo, who worked for such famous brands as Desigual and Diesel or 84-years old model Carmen Dell’Orefice (Ersing 2014).
In conclusion, it can be said that an effective advertisement today is not just a good commercial aimed at the increase in sales, but a special form of communication where a clear trend of combining the communication channels is traced. The main value of brands is empowering of all consumers with the right to be active participants in the communication process. Advertising has reached the level when it automatically analyzes the content preferred by the consumer and integrates the message with the person, whether it is a post on the social network, contextual ads or outdoor advertising means. The guiding idea for the businesses to keep in mind is that any type of advertising should be creative, unique, relevant and of high quality. Modern consumers are becoming more demanding to everything that surrounds them, and advertising is not an exception; moreover, it contributes to the formation of people’s tastes and high-level requirements. Traditional means of brand promotion should be adapted to the mobile format in order to remain visible in the search engines and retain their audiences. Making the content interesting, involving and tailored to the digital mobile format, while ensuring the best quality and propagating brand values will be the top challenges for the market players. Only those businesses which will be able to communicate really outstanding messages that correspond to the type of selected platform, are delivered in the right time to the right user, will be able to take the lead in the competitive global environment.