Cognitive Learning Theory in Advertisements:The Case of Nokia’s 'It’s your Life in there' Advertisement
Cognitive Learning Theory in Advertisements:
The Case of Nokia’s 'It’s your Life in there' Advertisement
Cognitive learning theory revolves around the idea that people learn through the observation of events affecting other people and associating these observations to their own experiences (1994). In application to advertising, theorists contend that it is not sufficient to inform people about the product and its benefits repeatedly in order to get them to accept and purchase the product. Advertisements should be able to develop in consumers a mental pattern constituting of associations for customers to make the connection between the product and the need or want to purchase the product. The strength of the association between the product and the need or want to purchase the product depends upon the effectiveness of the advertisement in motivating people to make the association. ( 1984)
Nokia's Advertising Strategy
Nokia positions its products in the market through the tag line ‘We call this human technology’ and ‘Only Nokia Human Technology allows you to get more out of life’ (2001) motivating consumers to perceive Nokia as a company in touch with humanity because it seeks to enhance interpersonal relations through affordable, accessible, functional and creative mobile phone devices and applications. Through these tag lines expressed through its different advertising campaigns, the company successfully reaches out to its customers by provide a human face to Nokia as a company and a mobile phone brand. The company was able to move the market to consider Nokia phones as an expression of their personality and their lifestyle. By associating personality and lifestyle with its mobile phone devices and applications, the company has created a market for its different phone models differing in features and price. This means that the company has a sure market for its wide range of products from its basic functional phones to its high-end fashionable mobile devices. The product customization implemented by NOKIA ensures that there is a phone fit for everyone. (2000) Nokia attempts to constantly improve its advertising campaign to reach out to more people and motivate them to value Nokia phones as an important tool regardless of their personality and lifestyle. Recently, Nokia came up with an advertisement the 'Its your life in there' campaign to motivate people to relate Nokia products with their life.
Effects and Responses being sought by Nokia
The Nokia 'Its your life in there' campaign applies the cognitive learning theory by motivating people to associate Nokia mobile phones with their lifestyle needs and wants to achieve the business objective of increasing sales. The application of the cognitive learning theory are directed towards various successive and related effects. The advertising campaign starts out through planning the stimulus to be presented to the target audience. Nokia conducts market research to determine the needs of both mobile phone users and non-users and device ways of targeting the attention of both groups. The 'Its your life in there' advertisement shows a series of pictures of people representing different segments of the population such as office workers, homemakers, business owners, employees, workers and students all benefiting from the use of Nokia mobile phones. The people in the pictures have something to say about the benefit derived from Nokia mobile phones such as 'Inspiration can hit anywhere' a statement coming from a musician who records tunes in her mobile phone every time she comes up with a tune and 'I hate those love letters' from a sales manager who found romance through text messages, and 'I share my doggie designs with my mom' from a designer who keeps in touch with her parents through their common passion for animals by sending her new animal designs through the mobile phone. By repeatedly showing this visual and auditory stimuli, Nokia hopes to encourage people to relate with the experiences they observed and become motivated to purchase their own Nokia mobile phones and services.
Success of Cognitive Learning Theory Application in the Advertisement
Assessing the success of the application of the cognitive learning theory in the 'Its your life in there' advertisement campaigns involves a look into the images and messages used as stimuli, the reach and frequency of the stimuli, and the achievement of the objectives for creating the advertisement.
The images and messages expressed through the advertisement is successful if these are able to draw the attention of the audience to repeatedly watch the advertisement, stimulate a cognitive process in the audience by making them relate and understand the messages expressed, and create an associative learning experience that encourages the desired action. The images or pictures used in advertisement are realistic in the sense that the people in the pictures are people close to you such as your family and friends or people you meet everyday such as the bakery owner, a cab driver, your wedding designer, or salespeople in the departments store. The pictures are not the typical models posing for magazines and appearing in television advertisements but people who can be any of the audience. The messages that comes with the pictures are simple and catchy because these appear in day-to-day conversations. The use of these kinds of images and messages successfully apply the cognitive learning theory because this draws the attention of the audience and stimulates cognitive processes through association. The audience relates with the images and messages and then with the need or want to have their own mobile phones.
The reach of the stimuli extends to a wide range of people because the advertisement is viewed through the television distribution channel as well as integrated into the online website of Nokia. This means that the advertisement is viewed by television viewers regardless of the movie or television show they are watching and by internet users in sites where the Nokia advertisement is being shown and in the Nokia site. The frequency of the stimuli is also sufficient to establish associative learning with the audience because television advertisements are shown repeatedly. Most of the time shows have business sponsors whose products and services are advertised in between the shows segments. This means that if a viewer regularly watch shows then the audience is likely to view the advertisement more than three times for a single show. This means that the frequency of exposure to the stimuli, especially it draws the attention of patients, is likely to have a cognitive learning experience.
The achievement of the objectives for releasing the advertisement is another criteria for determining the success of the application of the cognitive learning theory in the 'Its your life in there' advertisement. Based on the current company report, Nokia increased its sales by 2 billion in 2005 and expect to increase sales by 3 billion in 2010. In February 2006, Nokia issued its financial report documenting a 16 percent increase in net sales from 29,371 EURm in 2004 to 34,191 EURm in 2005 translating to a corresponding 13 percent increase in net profit of 3,192 EURm in 2004 to 3,616 EURm in 2005. ( 2006) These reports imply that Nokia has gained a respectable increase in sales through its advertising campaigns and other business strategies.
The cognitive learning theory applies to advertising through the utilization of stimuli to create an associative learning experience with the audience resulting to change in their purchasing behavior. In the case of Nokia mobile phones, the association of life experiences with the mobile phone is made through the conveyance of the idea that Nokia phones connect people. The association is made through actual rewards obtained from the utilization of Nokia mobile phones so that the purchasing behavior of customers is reinforced. The advertisement 'Its your life in there' shows the benefits that people expect to receive from purchasing Nokia phones so that it successfully applies the cognitive learning theory.
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