Social Impact of Interactive Advertising

Subject: Entertainment & Media
Pages: 4
Words: 981
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: Bachelor


This paper explores the social impacts of an interactive advertisement on society. The interactive advertisement refers to the process of creating a product or service awareness for the consumers through online applications on internet sites. Interactive ads are made of multi-media web banners that can allow one to navigate through a site by either playing a game or viewing the ads in picture form (Garrand 2002, p.341). The multi-media banners catch the attention of the viewer through interactive animations.

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The popularity of this type of advertising is growing fast as internet access becomes widely available even in remote regions. Most companies have resorted to online advertising, investing billions of dollars to reach out to potential customers (Wayne 2010, p. 1). It is possible to reach out to a large audience with interactive advertising especially the youths.

The social impacts of interactive advertising

Since it is difficult to direct an online advertisement to a particular group of consumers, advertisers apply the strategy of either sending out unsolicited emails to people’s mailboxes or using popular websites. This strategy is defective in the sense that the ad information can be sent to informed groups of people, yet leaving the uninformed people in ignorance. Unsolicited emails can also be a nuisance especially if the recipient is not interested in the products being advertised.

Advertisements focus only on the positive side of the product or service, thus creating false hopes for consumers. The false hope can lead to impulse buying by arousing excitement over the portrayed feeling in the ad (Garrand 2002, p.301). Adverts for alcoholic beverages and cigarettes have caused people to develop alcoholic and smoking habits. Other adverts cause sexual desires leading to sexual adventures, especially among the youths. Smoking, alcoholism, and sexual adventures result in social issues such as family breakages, the spread of diseases, and crimes.

Children are so innocent and too trusting and cannot, therefore, understand the intentions of advertisements targeting them (Tuten 2008, p.14). Cases of child-parent conflict due to disappointments from children behavior change resulting from advertisements are on the rise (Shimp 2008, p.23). Parents are unable to monitor what their children access on the internet. Some internet sites advertise content that is inappropriate to the children, the children copy and practice the content of such sites to the disappointment of their parents.

Advertisements sometimes demoralize their potential customers; such include those that make people conscious of their bodies, shape, or color. This damages their self-esteem and self-worth, making them feel inadequate before posing as the source of solution to their supposed problem. It also makes society materialistic by equating happiness to material possession (Tuten 2008, p.16). This leads to a rise in such vices as a crime as people try to find means to finance the product advertised.

On the other hand, advertising informs consumers of new entries into the market, re-branding or repackaging of a product and persuading them in the process to try out new products which are beneficial to them. Interactive advertising such as sponsorship of games not only market the brand of sponsors but also invite positive reaction from the public about that particular brand. This is because they get attached to that brand or organization for their giving back to society.

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For consumers to make right and informed choices, they need just the right information about a product. Advertisers need to follow acceptable practices by being honest with their targeted consumers. Exaggerated adverts mislead consumers to go for products whose function is not as reflected by the adverts. Many advertisements exploit the ratings of the entertainment software rating board and go against the rules of the advertisement regulating bodies.

There is a need for advertisement producers to check on the language they use in developing the ads. Offensive language, hate speech, and degrading expressions should be highly avoided in ads (Sohn 2008, p.34). Demographic ratings especially on entertainment ads are necessary to avoid the access of adult content to underage people. Religious and cultural matters should be included in ads with care so as not to hurt those who believe in such values.

There are several by-laws governing advertisements yet the business community prefers freedom in the manner in which they run their adverts on their products. Laws and regulations are necessary as they put a check on the content that advertisers feed the consumers with (Shimp 2008, p. 43). This also helps in ensuring honest by the advertisers as the legislation can be used to hold advertisers responsible for what they communicate to the consumers.

There is a tendency by producers to make unfair comparisons in ads to related products or services. This is a way to discourage consumers from using degraded products. Such adverts are unethical as they encourage unfair business competition among producers. Fair adverts should focus on the positive attributes of the product or service being advertised and allow the consumer to make personal choices based on the information gathered from the product itself.


Interactive advertisements are very effective especially for products targeting the youths. Youths spent much of their time on the internet, searching through various internet sites. Over the internet sites, they can come across various interactive ads posted on the internet sites. Interactive advertisement has caused both negative and positive social effects. The negative social effects have ethical consequences which have to be mitigated through legislation and self-control.

Semantic networks can also be embraced to upgrade advertising. This type of advertising enables advertisers to tailor their marketing information to the product and package for the consumer. It is worth noting that by creating awareness of a product or service to consumers, sales are expected to go up. A lot of ethical considerations need to be considered before developing an ad. Profit increase should not be the main force in the development of ads, but the ethical impact that the ad has on the consumer.

Reference List

Garrand, Pual L. 2002. Writing for Multimedia and the Web. New York: Butterworth- Heinemann.

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Shimp, Terence. 2008. Advertising Promotion and Other Aspects of Integrated Marketing Communications. Connecticut: cengage Learning.

Sohn, Donyoung. 2008. Social Network Structures and the Internet: Collective Dynamics in Virtual Communities. Minnesota: Cambria Press.

Tuten, Tracy L. 2008. Advertising 2.0: social media marketing in a Web 2.0 world. Connecticut: Praeger.

Wayne, Teddy. 2010. “A Milestone for Internet Ad Revenue,” The New York Times. Web.