Is advertising science?
I’d say advertising is science as well as an art. How?
You must be aware that advertising is a crucial step in marketing. Advertising primarily refers to creating awareness and sending a message. An effective advertisement’s purpose is to reach people and influence them.
To influence someone is not easy, though. That requires experience. Experience comes by practice. The ability to influence requires the study and analysis of a person’s behavior. For example, let’s go back to the school days. In every school, there is always a teacher who gets angry very often, over small things. Suppose you’re late to his class one day. Now to enter his class, you would look for an excuse that works. Why? Because you know he is an angry person. That means either you are familiar with his personality or someone has shared an incident of his behavior with you.
Now, let’s apply that logic to an advertisement. An effective ad influences people. To influence people, there is a requirement to study and analyze the behavior of people, specifically the target customers, in the case of an advertisement for a product. A marketer who truly understands his target customer’s behavior will create an effective ad. So what’s this customer behavior? That’s the study of the psychology of customers and presenting a product to them accordingly. That’s science, a systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical world through observation and experiment. An ad does that, so the advertisement is science.
To add more value to this answer, let’s consider one more aspect of an advertisement by calling it art. How? Art is an expression or application of creative skill and imagination. And obviously, advertising is creative. For example, let’s consider the example of an ad for a cold drink. An ordinary video ad for that could have a script like a person feeling thirsty while working on a hot summer day. After drinking lots of ordinary water, someone offers him that cold drink. He drinks that, and now he doesn’t feel like drinking water for a comparatively longer time.
An artful ad for that product would have a script like a person climbing a high cliff. After reaching half his way, he sees yet another half to climb upon, then by seeing the half he has already climbed, his fears suddenly rise after seeing the altitude. At that moment, he takes out that cold drink from his bag and a line flashes “Victory lies ahead of fear”, then the ad gets over by flashing product details.
Well, out of both situations, the latter would get more attention. More attention means more sales, and art is all about getting attention and inspiring a new, lasting feeling in the viewer. That concludes an advertisement is an art form as well.
In a nutshell, a perfect ad is both the combination of art as well as science.
Ads are necessary for a product to get sales. I have experienced that the people who get sales for their products without ads often argue that ads are not important (keep in mind, they were working 12 hour days selling a product on their own, so their very lifestyle was, in a way, an advertisement). Once, I was shocked to be a part of an argument in which a gentleman even said that there should be no advertising at all.
That leads me to imagine a hypothetical situation of a world with literally no advertising. I have penned down that vision in the form of a post on my website. I am sure you would like that, once you read it. My post: Welcome to a World Without Advertising, also discusses the importance of advertisement in a different way, with the story as support.
In the end, I would say: Yes, advertising is a science.
Please feel free to reply to me in case you need more information on any of the points discussed above. I love going more in-depth on these things with people seeking more information.