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Ethics in internet selling and advertising

Ethics in internet selling and advertising

The digital world has made shopping easier. Be it a pair of sunglasses or a home theatre system, everything is available on the internet. The e-commerce market in India is estimated to be around $16 Billion as of 2013 according to ‘Online Shopping – Review & Outlook in 2013’ which was releasd by Asschom. This would mean that there are a great number of people who are interested in online shopping and to bring in more customers, e-commerce websites would have to resort to advertising. The best way to promote online shopping would be through strategically placing ads online.

A lot of these ads are present in various websites. They start from social networking sites to media websites to blogs. You must have encountered these ads everywhere while surfing the net. With the ever increasing advertisements, there comes a time when ads can just plain irritate the customer. These ads reduce the customer interface with the website or wrongly lead the person to another website. Such ads may catch attention but they tend to annoy the viewer after the first glance. These ads might help in diverting traffic to the website but it really does not serve the purpose of the brand or product.

Another trend when it comes to advertising is of the dialogue box type feature. Dialogue boxes which pop up makes it look like the desktop is warning them of some problem. These have a tendency to be clicked at. Instead of conveying the message these ads just make customers angry. They might not even see the ad and just close the window as it is of no use to them. At times ads are hidden inside the editorial content and the hyperlink that they might click will take them to another page.

SEO’s have also been one way to attract audience to websites. SEO’s main purpose is to garner viewers to their site. So they might misuse it and add a lot of unwanted words just to increase the traffic to their site. This wastes the audience’s time and they might never even visit that website again.

Online ads may also appear as paid reviews. However, the problem is there will be no differentiation between paid and unpaid reviews. There are also PR campaigns that run as features or articles on various website and the reader might be unaware of the same.

Online shopping and advertisement have become extremely unethical.  The sad part is there is no law which stops the unethical usage of ads.

The right way of doing print ads.

The right way of doing print ads.

Most people believe that it is of no use to advertise in print anymore as print media is not as glorious as it used to be. However, that is not true, especially in a country like India. Young Indians might be holding tablets and working on their laptops. But, that would only be urban India. That section is not the majority. Newspapers and magazines still hold value to Indians who come from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities along with villages, who majorly make a large part of our population. This automatically makes print ads an important part of advertisement.

Most small firms and companies believe in cramming as much information as possible into an advertisement. These organisations want to give out as much information as possible in their print ad. What they fail to realise is their ads look like brochures rather than ads.

A print ad should give information but not too much of it either. If too much information is given then the viewer would not find it appealing. With a print ad, curiosity should be built about the product. This can be achieved either by the copy (the text) or the visuals. The text should be catchy and memorable while the graphics have to relate to the concept of the ad.

It is very important to use the right colours and designs in the image or the graphic. If design aesthetics are not followed, then the ad may become extremely unappealing. The graphics should complement the copy and should add more value to it or make the copy more clear. The copy should be such that it catches people’s attention.

Most companies advertising for the first time should try not to cram all information into a print ad. This is for the purpose of making it look appealing. Otherwise it might look like a flier or a brochure.

If an ad is launching a new product or service, then they should try to explain the product but if it is already an established brand, advertising should be done to elicit humour or emotions.

The main way to make print ads is by understanding the psychology of the target market. Their requirements or needs or appeals need to be kept in mind while making ads.

Unlike TVC’s which give a lot of information, emotions and detail in a short period of time, the same can’t be done with a print ad. A print ad needs to be crisp and should deliver the message in a few words and powerful graphics.

 

Art is to analyse.

Art is to analyse.

If you are an arts student in India and you have friends who have taken up commerce and science, they will harp about how difficult their subjects are and the amount they are required to study. But when you start talking about your assignments or projects, they might just laugh out loud and ask, “Why are you even complaining? Arts is just so simple.” Looks like your friends like to live in their little bubble of ignorance.

If only they knew all the nights you were up trying to analyse the Arab spring or the Israel-Palestine conflict. They might think it’s easy to understand development models and its various theories but you have gone much beyond that to analyse why some development models worked in some places and why it didn’t in the others. If only your friends understood structuralism and post structuralism. Then they might have known the hard work it takes to understand the other side of human nature, which is quite different from making money or building a nuclear plant. Your friends don’t know what it is like to compare the works of Rabindranath Tagore and Charles Dickens, to look at their writing styles and understand the historical and cultural context of the time. For you the list goes on and on.

Why not teach them that you chose arts because you are made to think and analyse? Go forward, burst their little bubble J

The art of thinking

The art of thinking

If you are an arts student in India and you have friends who have taken up commerce and science, they will harp about how difficult their subjects are and the amount they are required to study. But when you start talking about your assignments or projects, they might just laugh out loud and ask, “Why are you even complaining? Arts is just so simple.” Looks like your friends like to live in their little bubble of ignorance.

If only they knew all the nights you were up trying to analyse the Arab spring or the Israel-Palestine conflict. They might think it’s easy to understand development models and its various theories but you have gone much beyond that to analyse why some development models worked in some places and why it didn’t in the others. If only your friends understood structuralism and post structuralism. Then they might have known the hard work it takes to understand the other side of human nature, which is quite different from making money or building a nuclear plant. Your friends don’t know what it is like to compare the works of Rabindranath Tagore and Charles Dickens, to look at their writing styles and understand the historical and cultural context of the time. For you the list goes on and on.

Why not teach them that you chose arts because you are made to think and analyse? Go forward, burst their little bubble J

Helping you shut people’s mouth

Helping you shut people’s mouth

“So, you want to do arts? Are you sure? But you got such good percentage in tenth grade! There is no future in arts!”

“If you get 55%, you can only take up arts! Then what will I tell everyone else? That my son can’t study, so he has taken up a subject as simple as arts?”

If you are city bred and have ever wanted to study humanities (or arts as it more commonly called) then you might have heard the above from almost everyone you meet. Be it your own parents or your relatives. Your neighbours or people you have just met, they all want to give you their so-called ‘wise advice’. The fact that we Indians, want to advise anyone on anything is hardly hidden. We consider it a part of our fundamental right, just like right to freedom or right against exploitation.

So, what can you do when everyone is bogging you down and saying arts is easy? All you need to do is ask them a question. As them, is arts easy? Your answers will range from, very easy to anyone can study it. Then ask them if they know what Dadaism is. Look at their confused faces, smile inwardly and tell them, “If arts was all that easy, then shouldn’t you know what Dadaism is?” Look at their confused faces again, enjoy when their little minds are trying to assimilate all the information together and then just make a grand exit ;)

PS: If you want to know what Dadaism means, click- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dada