Communication is an inevitable part of every human being in a society. The word ‘Communication’ is derived from the Latin word ‘communis’ and ‘communicare’ which means ‘sharing of meanings or understandings’ or ‘to make common’. It is hard to imagine a life without communicating as it is a fundamental requirement for a human being, since it is very much essential for human being’s survival point of view (Kumar, 2000). It is defined as a process of sharing or an exchange of information, ideas, thoughts, experiences, feelings or any other sentiments with each other. As a human being needs food, clothing and shelter as the basic necessities for his/her survival, similarly communication has also become the basic necessity as it is both an individual as well as social need (Narula, 2006). It is an ever- continuing process. A human being can never grow as a complete man in the absence of constant communication support from various individuals and agencies. Communication is a human relationship, which is associated with two or more people who are involved in sharing of experiences or dialogues and also to commune or be together with each other. Therefore, communication is can be referred as a social and cultural togetherness and not just an act or a process. It fulfils the requirement of a human being from knowledge expansion and development points of view. So, communication is a fundamental activity which includes telling, listening, understanding and responding activities (Innis, 2008).
The origin of the discipline of communication has revolved around the political concerns of the United States in the 1930s. in India, the discipline of communication originated during post-independence when the government felt for a need of propagating national integration, overall development of the country i.e. social and economic development and family planning throughout the country (Kumar,2000). The nature of communication is mainly dependent on the structure of a particular society. Ashley Montagu and Floyd Matson defined communication as it is the name we give to countless ways that human beings have of keeping in touch – not just words and music, pictures and print, nods and becks, postures and plumages; to every move that catches someone’s eye and every sound that resonates upon another’s ears (Montagu and Matson,1979). However, according to Dennis McQuail, human communication is a linear way of sending meaningful messages from one person to another which may be in the form of oral, written, visual or olfactory. In this manner, communication includes the formation of new types of action and interaction in the social world, new sorts of social relationship and new ways of relating to others ad to oneself. There are broadly five categories of communication i.e. intrapersonal communication (which takes place within an individual), Interpersonal communication (between two or more individuals), group communication (between members of a particular group) and mass communication (within society or nation). However, mass communication has gained tremendous significance because of mass media, which reach out, to millions of people all over the world (Carey, 1989). And advertisements are the most popular form of mass communication.
Advertising as a tool of communication
Advertising has become one of the most important and necessary aspect without which human life cannot be imagined. Ever since a human being has taken shape in this universe, persuading, influencing and leading to some action has become an important aspect of its communication. Even advertising which is also a form of communication and is denoted as a persuasive form of communication pre-existed in human life. Therefore, advertisements can be considered as part of human characteristics. With the advancements of technologies and rise of various media houses, the advertisements are also growing simultaneously. The growth of innumerable national dailies, magazines, broadcast and television channels made the advertisers to choose the right medium in order to reach the target customers to fulfil their objectives. In today’s date, advertising has gone through a notable transformation. It is becoming interesting and glamourous along with eye-catching effects to attract the consumers. The advertisers are trying to make it more innovative so that it could attract a huge number of customers and the companies are engaging themselves in a cutthroat competition by emphasising their products through advertisements in order to survive in the competitive market. However, the advertising that we are seeing or understanding today was not the same before 200 years ago. Advertising has promoted and sustained new values, while simultaneously recasting our relationship with material goods and environment in which we find ourselves.
Advertising is a tool of communication especially in marketing. In the communication process, the transmission of messages from sender to the receiver is the backbone of the process. The sender sends a message to the receiver through a medium and the end result of the communication process is the understanding of the message by the receiver. The response to the message send by the sender is known as the feedback from the receiver. When it comes to advertising communication, the sender is the advertiser. An advertiser could be an individual or an institution who is intended to communicate with the target audience. The communication can be about the products, services or ideas provided by the advertisers. The message is the advertisement, which can be a print advertisement in the form of brochure or pamphlet or in magazine or newspaper, television commercial or a radio spot, or pop up advertisements in internet or outdoor advertisements in the form of hoardings or billboards. The advertisements message is usually meant for providing information, which may use persuasive power of appeals, which can be emotional, rational or even moral. It tries to make the target audience favourably inclined towards the products, services or ideas. The media is the channel of communication, which plays the role of conveying the message of advertisement to the target audience. It can be newspapers, television, radio, outdoor or internet. Last but not the least in the advertising communication process are the receivers or the target audience. The favourable response to a product is the feedback.