The advertisement, regardless of its object, implies a symbiotic relationship between image, text and product, it is amplified by the media used to promote, it meets the manufacturer's needs regarding promotion and it must also overcome prejudices in order to form the consumer's decision to purchase. Analysing the sociological studies about publicity and advertising in the material, we invariably find that the psycho-social approach observes the way in which the group membership determines specific consumer behaviour and a specific way of perception and evaluation of advertisements. We aim at carrying out an exploratory research about promoting Romanian food products through advertising in the past two decades and aim at identifying the type of consumer to which advertising and the evolution of advertisements has caused the change of consumer behaviour. Through the case study of media market in Romania in recent years, we analyse the evolution of advertisements for food, aiming how social values and needs of the individual physiological influences consumer behaviour. And because more and more often in the advertisements to food products of the domestic manufacturers, we encounter elements regarding the geographical origin of the products, in the context in which the advertisement promotes a healthy lifestyle, we have analysed the expected impact by the Romanians producers of food products using the slogan
Keywords: Consumeradvertisementfood productsmentalitydecision
The current consumer, more sophisticated and with diverse needs, claims more and more elaborated
food products, which involves a series of processing in order to market them, changes that will be
reflected in the final price, but on the other hand differentiate between the products. And the food
products are currently subject to certain processing before reaching the final consumer on the evolved
markets, respectively they are subject to certain preparation operations such as storage, sorting,
packing, processing, transport, so that the food product go through a real food chain from the moment
of production and up to its purchase for consumption. Thus, the food industry has become an engine of
agriculture, because of the procedures for processing food products are becoming more attractive, if
only in terms of presentation / packaging of the product, they acquire added value through the
technological innovations and the publicity given to them in order to convince the consumer of the
product qualities with a view to it being purchased for consumption.
From the present consumer's perspective, we are in a new era - the era of hyper consumerism
(Lipovetsky, 2007: 84-88), where the consumer is evolved, his/her natural / physiological needs are
minimal as the social needs are growing significantly and influence the consumer's behaviour.
Currently, the motivation for the purchase is no longer the traditionally connection with the social
position and living standard of the consumer, the consumption becoming a subjective one, focused on
the pursuit of the pleasure felt by consumers from using a certain product and the novelty inciting to
purchase the product. Thus, the manufacturers and marketers understood that the link between the
product qualities and the consumer's needs is very important, and the chances of selling increase
proportionally to the extent to which the advertisement message for the product promotion directly
corresponds to the current needs and aspirations of the consumer.
These rules are applicable in the field of food products, even if the physiological need of the current
food consumer has not disappeared, but it is enhanced and amended in today's society either by the
social need regarding the environmental protection by the consumption of biological products, or the
need of belonging to a group of consumers that promote a healthy lifestyle, and even the need for
esteem through the use of products that ensure a physique appreciated by those around him/her, namely
the need for esteem by using the same products by people belonging to different social groups.
Another hypothesis from which we start in the present study is that beyond the financial aspect
desired by advertising or sales growth, maintaining and increasing the market position by expanding
the target group, the ads induce new behaviours, change social statuses and manage the conflict of the
multiple roles assumed by one person - the professional, the family, the social one - by promoting an
appropriate substitute product.
From this perspective, based on the case study of media market in Romania in the past two decades,
we aim at carrying out an exploratory research about promoting Romanian food products through
advertising in the past two decades and aim at identifying the type of consumer on which advertising
and the evolution of advertisements has caused the change of consumer behaviour, identify and group
the most often used symbols in advertising in Romania, depending on the category of food products in
order to determine the expected impact and the consumer group responding to the advertising symbol
by changing their behaviour. The case study seeks local food advertising from Romania, from dairy to
meat products and products for children, broadcast commercials on media market.
2. Publicity. Advertisement. Advertising
Advertising is ubiquitous, and following the explosion of publicity, intensified by the marketing of
the late twentieth century, we have become a society that communicates excessively, Al Ries and Jack
Trout found in 2004 (2004: 20). Currently, the individual is subjected daily to hundreds, even
thousands of advertising messages through various media channels, from TV and radio ads to visual
advertisements, like banners, posters, billboards, leaflets, mashes and internet advertising, voluntarily
and involuntarily. Thus, it was estimated in 2004 (Heath & Potter, 2011: 163) that the citizens of
Canada and the US watch daily between 700 and 3,000 advertisements, while in 2008, the estimates
(Pringle, Field, 2011: 165-168) showed that Britons receive every day between 3000 and 4000
messages through dozens of media channels. In 2014, Alexandra Iavorschi asserted in a conference on
the consumption of audio-visual by the Romanians (www.descopera.ro) that in Romania, a country in a
top position in Europe concerning the number of hours spent watching television, on average, 17,000
advertisements run every day, while the Romanians watch TV on average six hours per day.
In this media context, having to satisfy new and / or sophisticated needs and new habits, addressing
some consumers with an increased level of education and culture due to the higher purchasing power of
the consumers with high living standards, and last but not least, having to cover all the media channels
developed by current technologies, advertising has evolved from its primary economic function to sell
the product, to educational and artistic functions, so that we are witnessing an improvement of the
messages and techniques of approach consistent with the consumer group to whom an advertisement
addresses. However, in the current conditions of the advertising industry, we observe the increasing
influence of the advertising message on the consumer behaviour, the information conveyed by the
emotional advertising message seeking to convince the consumer by symbol and sensuality, and less by
potentiating the characteristics of the product, the advertising message having an increasingly higher
influence in forming the consumer's decision in relation to the consumer's experience, knowledge and
Invariably, advertising is present in our lives constantly as it has become a complex social
phenomenon, often not being aware of the presence of advertising in our activity, because not
infrequently, on becoming aware of it we experience a feeling of suffocation and revulsion when faced
with it if it is a wild, aggressive publicity, or on the contrary, to seek it voluntarily in order to obtain
information about the product and how the product can meet our needs.
In an attempt to define the term
addressing the public, thus capturing the communication element which is found in the advertising
activity. Going beyond the status of communication, advertising asserts itself in the recent years and as
a distinct economic sector with its specialists, engaging a large number of artisans, artists, production
companies and suppliers of all kinds, a real advertising industry.
And if etymologically, the concept of advertisement derives from the French
small article which praises a book or an object, in the current semantics (Academia Romana, 2012), the
notion of advertisement falls within the scope of publicity, the publicity preceding modern advertising.
The advertisement being defined (Academia Romana, 2012: 929) as the (trading) activity seeking the
elicitation, winning of the public interest on certain goods, on the use of a service, the message getting
to the public on any media channels - print, radio, television, etc. the concept of advertising has a wider
semantic content, for it includes both the materialization and the transmission of the advertising
message, as well as the consumer's feedback.
Considering both the product and the process, both fall within the notion of advertising, and
considering that the current common language does not distinguish clearly, even maintaining a
confusion between advertisements and advertising (Coman, 2000: 26), we disagree with the distinction
introduced by Rodica Cîrnu (2004: 36) meaning that
representing an important part of the history of the latter, and the use of the two notions is relative to
Starting from the difference in terminology in English between advertising - the communication
paid by a clearly identified sponsor and publicity
professor Siva K. Balasubramanian (1994) (Southern Illinois University) in 1994 identified the so-
called hybrid-messages, as a distinct style of marketing communication. The category of hybrid
messages included the practices influencing the audience for commercial benefit, so that the audience
does not realize the commercial influence and processes the communication content differently from
the way commercial messages are processed, the message of the sponsor being more credible because
it is not perceived by the consumer as a direct advertising message and the sponsor has control over
communication and content, in that s/he pays this communication. The placement of product, a hybrid
message type appeared in the 80's in the US, although the practice dates back to the cinema era when
the American film studios used the idea of advertising through the film and involves the deliberate and
paid introduction of a brand, a product or service in order to promote them and influence the consumer,
in a commercial context through visual or hearing means. This type of promotion is currently used in
both films, the products furthered appearing as part of the props used by actors (visual promotion) or
by indicating the product / service by the lines of actors, as elements of the script (auditory promotion),
as well as in TV broadcasts, explicitly or by the presence of that product during the show, integrated in
the development program.
2.2The psycho-sociological approach of advertising
Both praised and blamed, sometimes regarded as a source of information for the consumer, other
times considered suffocating by the same consumer, annoyed by the presence of advertisements in all
forms - TV spots or radio, billboards, advertising spaces, distributed leaflets, etc.- from a psycho-
sociological perspective, it may be considered that advertising is a complex social phenomenon
(Chelcea, 2012: 21-22), which is present in our lives without us always being aware of its presence or
influence on our behaviour. In this regard, the author Septimiu Chelcea shows that we hurry past a
billboard in the same way as we pass by a tree on the sidewalk without stopping expressly in order to
collect the information in that message, unaware that the panel and the message are there for us or that
its absence would affect our life, although through the visual perception we capture the information, we
store it and we will use it when we decide on the purchase (when purchasing a product, certain images,
symbols, slogans come back to our minds which influence us in the consumption decision).
Aggressive advertising can also have up to a certain limit a positive effect, for repeating an image of
a product in a certain context and inoculating us a slogan associated with that product as the essence of
its quality, at a certain time, the consumer will decide to purchase that product either to convince
her/himself of the truth in the message, although currently s/he is faithful to another type of product or
brand, or because the information transmitted persuasively and inoculated involuntarily, in a specific
context corresponds to our needs at a certain moment. From this perspective, analyzing, for example,
the advertisements for dairy products destined to children from Danonino brand using slogans of the
autumn-winter season), we find that the purchase of this product is higher in winter than in summer,
namely that consumers-parents with children under 12 years are those who mostly purchase this
product compared to its consumption in families with children over 12 years.
We can say that the direct purpose of advertising is to create a positive image of the product and the
company that produces / distributes it, and indirectly to try to sell that product, because if the consumer
is convinced by the advertisement of the benefits brought to her/him personally by the qualities of that
product / brand, s/he will undoubtedly be convinced to purchase that product and even to change
her/his consumption behaviour. Thus, although the individual is rational, s/he is largely suggestive,
Walter D. Scott asserted in the early years of the twentieth century; when he exposed his conception on
the implications of personality factors in advertising and the psychological processes involved in
advertising, such as suggestion, illusions , mental images, emotions (Scott, 2006). For Walter D. Scott,
advertising should be based on the suggestibility of the potential buyers who will react non-rationally,
as in a hypnotic trance, our senses being exploited maximally by the product subject to the
advertisement: if a musical instrument is advertised, the target audience needs to hear its sound and to
make the undeniable connection between the sound and the product; if food products are advertised,
the consumer must feel the taste and pleasure; if the advertisement is for a perfume, the target audience
must be enveloped in the specific smell of the product (Benjamin, 2007: 102).
Thus, psycho-sociologists Terence A. Shimp and L.G. Gresham (1983) having attention as a central
element and processing the advertising message, identified eight steps that are made by a consumer up
to the purchase of the product due to the advertisement: 1) exposure to advertising; 2) attracting
attention / selectivity in case of focused attention, respectively the subconscious processing in case of
the involuntary attention; 3) understanding the message; 4) evaluation of the messages according to
certain criteria (most often being pleasant / unpleasant, or the common / luxury type, affordable /
exclusive); 5) encoding the information in the long-term memory for future use; 6) recalling the stored
information after a while; 7) opting for one of the variants offered; 8) purchasing the product.
Throughout this process various social stimuli occur and are exploited by the advertisement, one must
take into account the individual factors of the consumer (personality, social category, own values,
motivation), but also the environmental factors as the advertising message must be adapted to the
culture the consumer is part of, even if the product is found on many consumer markets.
In the case of food products, since the need of consumption is a physiological necessity common to
all consumers, these products being used and consumed the most frequently, with a permanent and
defined budget in the economy of any household, the advertisement must exploit the novelty of the
stimuli, to meet the consumer's need of information about the product qualities (what percentage of the
product involves natural products, and how much are additives and artificial food supplements), to
meet the needs of security and respect for the environment and not least to shock by the stimuli
exploited (e.g. the advertisement for Milka chocolate, feelings of tenderness and love are induced using
stimuli are associated with the term creamy used in the advertisement, which ends with the slogan
It turned out in the psycho-sociological research (Chelcea, 2003: 132-135) that the consumer's trust
in the advertisement increases with the frequency of its recurrence, this repetition increasing the
familiarity of the promoted product and strengthening the consumer's confidence in that product, the
advertisement being perceived as true, after a while, even if there are signs warning on the falsity of the
message. Analysing the advertisements for the local food, we identify advertising messages that
suggest the idea that by eating regularly, usually for breakfast, a given product, the consumer gets rid
of obesity or bloating, ensuring a healthy nourishment if we replace breakfast with the consumption of
that product (we see that in time, products whose name inoculates the idea of using the product have
appeared, e.g. Activia breakfast).
Also, having examined the relationship between culture (defined as all modes of thinking, feeling
and acting learned and shared by a significant number of people or a given community - people, nation
(Chelcea, 2003: 102-105)) and publicity, it was concluded that advertising as a type of communication
is influenced by different elements of culture, in the same way as advertising influences the consumers'
values (Chelcea, 2012: 31-35; Mooij, 2010: 89-112). So, the happy family is the leitmotif of the
advertisements in the societies where the family is in crisis, for which, given that the European and
American sociologists speak presently more often about the family crisis in the modern society, we are
not surprised by the increased frequency in the national publicity of the images with happy families or
the emphasis on the family members' role in the TV advertisements (e.g. the advertisements to meat
products - Meda sausages or those from Caroli - the commercials to dairy products - Actimel,
Hochland cheese or Zuzu milk in which happy families and generations gathered at the table are
presented, or the image of mother in the kitchen preparing the meal for the family). Having identified a
link between the Romanian people's culture, relating to our masculine-feminine cultural values and
their enhancement in the society as features impregnated to the society, not as gender domination or
respectively defining a female-oriented society as the one in which values like the well-being, the
quality of life and concern for others prevail, and advertising, in terms of the content of advertising
messages, we currently place Romania in the category of feminine societies, although in the evolution
of the Romanian society, there were moments in which the labour division in the family was
pronounced, impregnating from this social perspective a male character to the interwar Romanian
society (www.historia.ro). Thus, in the interwar period there were no food commercials and the
advertisements to shops presented only clothing stores or non-food products, on the one hand due to
the conjectural economic situation - the Great Depression 1929-1933, on the other hand it was deemed
appropriate to promote by written advertising the products destined to a privileged social category,
having the financial means to purchase, especially luxury goods. From Vlad Mihăilă's material
(www.historia.ro), we observe the influence of the written advertising on the values of the Romanian
interwar society, related to the social status of the print readers, but also the social trends of
Westernization of the society through the products advertised, most of these products being imported.
The conclusion of the aforementioned study is that through the advertisements in the interwar written
press it was aimed to bring the preferences, tastes and values of the Romanian public to Western
standards, inserting these values into the traditional society in Romania.
3. The advertisement on food products and the evolution of the consumer behaviour
Whether it's a TV ad or a billboard, the advertisement has two reinforcing elements which should be
complementary, forming a whole: the textual message (verbal or written) and the iconic message (the
illustration). As mentioned previously, the immediate purpose of the advertisement is to sell the
product, to persuade the consumer to buy that product because it will meet her/his needs, raise the
consumer's interest and to influence his/her consumption behaviour, thus meeting the two functions of
advertising: informing the consumer regarding the quality of the product and persuading the consumer
to purchase the product. In the long term, advertising and hence the advertisement aims to create a
certain image of the product, be identified on the market, namely to create and maintain a certain image
of the company or brand in question, and in relation to the consumer's attitude towards the product and
company, it targets customer loyalty and even to attract new customers just by changing the
consumption behaviour of the latter.
In relation to the purposes of advertising and its functions, the advertising message, regardless of the
channel it is transmitted on must draw the consumer's attention, raise his/her interest and desire to
purchase that product in a staged process of persuasion proposed as AIDA model (Attention, Interest,
Desire, Action) by the American advertising specialist Elmo Lewis E. St. 1898 (Chelcea, 2012: 158-
159). Basically, by covering chronologically the stages mentioned, the consumer as a rational being
seeks to support the decision to purchase through the interest created by the advertisement regarding
the enhanced qualities of the product and respectively, the desire to meet his/her own needs with that
product. And if the consumer does not watch an advertising message on a voluntary basis, in the
current context in which the advertising is omnipresent in our lives, the involuntary reception of the
advertising message will act in time on a stimulus, which in time will either generate the consumer's
desire to purchase the product out of curiosity (to what extent the new product, inoculated by the
advertisement, responds to his/her own needs, and in this case we can witness a change in the
consumer's behaviour) or will generate the desire to buy because while the consumer has grounded
his/her interest in that product rationally (in this case, either the loyal consumer upholds his/her faith in
the product to which s/he remains faithful, or we see a change in the attitude and behaviour through the
consumer's decision to purchase a new product because it meets the superior needs of the consumer).
Regarding food products, the issue being related to comparative products responding to the same
type of needs - the physiological needs of food - offered by different companies (whether we are on the
dairy market, that of the meat products or on the vegetables and fruit market), the battle fought by
advertising is to maintain the consumer's interest for that brand by strengthening the belief that that
type of product is suitable for his/her needs, reminding through advertisements modified over time in
terms of concept, in order for the consumer's monotony and boredom not to intervene, the specific
qualities of the product that satisfy the consumer's needs. For example, the taste of yogurt is similar
regardless of the producing company, but what makes the difference for the consumer and is boosted
by the advertisement is the creamy taste of the yogurt from Zuzu Max brand of Albalact Company,
compared to the too good, too "countryside" tastes of Covalact company products.
3.1.Symbols and stereotypes used in advertisements for food
Although in today's society, the media has increased and improved, and hence the possibilities for
broadcasting advertising messages through TV commercials that combine the visual stimuli with the
auditory ones, thus providing a complex stimulation of the consumer's attention, as opposed to
billboards, the consumer often feels annoyed by advertising and tries to avoid the voluntary perception
of the message by watching them. With reference to the consumer's attitudes that avoid watching the
commercials voluntarily (either watching non-commercial channels or during commercial breaks
switches to another channel, reduces the TV sound volume or does other things) in conjunction with
the advertising agglomeration (from billboards to TV commercials, from flyers distributed at different
events or in the street to the commercials sent by post) and the existence in the market of hundreds of
messages seeking to capture and hold the attention of the customer, we find that the task of advertising
specialists is to find messages that grab the consumer's attention while motivating him/her at the same
time to respond either behaviourally (purchases the product) or perceptually (recommends the product
because he heard that it has certain qualities).
Before making an analysis of the symbols and ad techniques found in the current advertisements for
food products in Romania, we will make an analysis of the words used in advertising, whether they are
found in the lines of the actors present in the TV ads, or they are found in the slogans dedicated to
products and in the billboards. As David Ogilvy (2009: 138) remarked the most powerful words in
respectively on the curiosity of the human being and openness to innovation (excluding the
conservative people for whom inducing the existence of a new product must be persuaded). And in the
case of food, the use of these words may generate the impact expected by the producers who offer
when purchasing a number of products, a number of products for free - generally one or two to create
packages of four products, or eight products (see the promotion to Danonino packages, the cottage
cheese from Covalact), respectively when purchasing a product, a percentage between 25 and 50 is
offered for free for the second product of the same type purchased. Regarding the novelty that could be
brought to food products, most often this takes the form of product presentation, by changing the
colour, the design of the packaging for example, or the inclusion of certain products in a new range, a
new brand individualized on the market by the same producing companies (e.g. the products from the
brand Traditions in Romania of the company Danone or the brand ZUZU MAX of Albalact Company).
Other words and / or phrases with a strong impact on consumers of food products, words found in
the national advertisements are
to induce the idea of biological, natural food, to inform the consumers that the products are processed
without the use of preservatives and / or food additives. Using the slogan or motto in advertising starts
on the one hand, from the fact that the recommendation of a product by an acquaintance who uses that
product is made orally, the one recommending it trying to recall some qualities of the product in order
to justify why s/he uses the product and to persuade others to use it, on the other hand, associating a
concise sentence, easy to remember and capturing the qualities of the product is as an element of
individualisation of the product, along with the brand name, contributing sometimes decisively in
building a brand. Slogans do not change often and are built directly related to local values of the market
segment to which the product addresses, having the ability to position a product in the market assuring
a segment of consumers and its own image, because as they are internalized, routines mental and
behavioural reactions are formed.
Building on the features of a viable slogan, meaning that according to the communication studies
(Thoveron, 1996: 129-130) the slogan must be short, sound, original, credible, complete, current and
sustainable, analyzing the slogans used to promote meat products, we find that the central idea of
building the slogan is taste: Cris-Tim products
(Matache Măcelaru products - masterly cold meats), a benefit of consumption (e.g.
healthy) or advantages offered to the consumer on the overall (Caroli products -
motion) and this advertising tactic is addressed in recent years due to the scandals on the European
market of meat products which have decreased meat consumption and the placement of these products
last in the basket of consumer goods.
On the dairy market, the central idea of slogans to the products promoted is the link between
consumption and the consumer's health (products from Danonino range -
Dorna products -
meaning that the benefit from the consumption of dairy products, ranked first in the Romanian
consumers' preference, according to the statistics on product sales.
The presence of the product images or its features, of the images that show how it is used, in the
case of food products, suggestive in this regard being the images presenting the product being
consumed by the whole family, of the images with people from certain social categories (artists for
Activia products or common characters, such being the case of Covalact products) and of the images
with the result of using the product (e.g. the products from Actimel range that strengthen the children's
immunity and they no longer become sick or Napolact products with the slogan "From the
Transylvanian goodness", the use of the products bringing a good disposition and joy to the consumer)
ensure the functions of advertising in visual form, these images also promoting the advert, which
sometimes involves the creation of connections between the consumer's knowledge about that product
and the message the advertisement renders.
The power of suggestion and the repetitive images, the high degree of spreading and the persuasive
language largely built from expressions, clichés (slogans) have outlined the role of advertising as
stereotypes generator (Tuica, 2007). Analysing the stereotypes, we obtain data about the mentality of
the respective society, in a certain period, about the values promoted. At the same time, stereotypes
reach almost all spheres of life - lifestyle, philosophy of life, social status of women and men, social
groups, communication, concepts such as good associated to comfort, happiness equated with pleasure,
beauty with the agreeable physical image (Tuica, 2007).
From the perspective of stereotypes, advertising is conservative, because we find traditional
stereotypes in advertising - the image of woman, of the children and celebrities. Associated to these
stereotypes, particularly to food advertising, the image that appears in recent years is that of the family
consuming together the respective product, which supports our previous statements on the link between
advertising and the culture of the society.
The stereotype of physical attractiveness and celebrity is fully exploited in advertising, including in
the advertising of food products. On billboards, in magazines and undoubtedly in the TV ads, beautiful
women and attractive men appear, who consume the products with pleasure, respectively celebrities
who induce the idea that their social status is ensured also due to the consumption of that product,
whose supporter they claim to be directly or indirectly. In this regard, the commercials for the products
in Activia range are well known, which feature artists like Stela Popescu and Emilia Popescu or
television star Mihaela Radulescu, the latter's image also being associated with Elit cold meats,
celebrities confirming visually and verbally the fact that they include those products in their daily diet
because they ensure a healthy lifestyle and energy, which induces the consumer that s/he may have the
same benefits by using that product, associating their social status and lifestyle to that of the celebrities.
Also, the stereotype of the woman housewife who takes care of the family needs, and lately to
ensure a healthy lifestyle for the children is exploited in the advertisements to food products that start
with the image of mother doing the shopping or in the kitchen along with the respective product and
ends with the image of the family that consumes the products prepared by mother (e.g. the Hochland
cheese advertisements or those for Caroli products). The anticipated message of the advertisement is
the joy felt by the family through the consumption of that product, as well as the fact that being verified
in advance by the mother, the product provides healthy eating for the whole family, especially for the
children, even in the case of cold meats, meat products considered by the nutritionists as unsuitable for
the children in particular. While we found that the role of housewife is just one side of femininity
exerted by a playful and untiring conduct, thanks to the saving food products responding to the
consumption needs of today woman, whose activities are no longer concentrated exclusively on
household - see the commercials for Activia products or the Cappy range products associating the
female image and the slogan "
The fact that other women or mothers encourage from the advertisements the consumption of that
product, bringing as an argument their own satisfaction in case of a celebrity or a healthy diet promoted
by a caring mother, has made the marketers to believe that in the case of food products, the impact on
customers, especially the female ones, is maximum, also inducing the idea of credibility of the message
that comes from a qualified and credible person. If the same advertising message had had as the main
protagonist a man, even a celebrity, the advertisement could enjoy an increased audience, but when it
comes to the consumption of that product, the sales would decrease, because no matter how attractive
the protagonist of the advertisement would be, it would seem implausible that a man promote healthy
Studies on the impact of advertising to food products on the consumer and changes in the consumer
behaviour have revealed the fact that advertisements containing children consuming the product have a
greater impact on consumers, especially the female ones than the ones presenting adults consuming the
same product, for which we encounter more and more often children in the current advertisements.
This result should not surprise given that in case of the commercials with children actors to food
products, the maternal emotion of the female consumer is enhanced, whether the consumer has children
And since we brought up the image of children in advertising, the established stereotype envisages
their tenderness, delicacy and the need for protection and care, for which the presence of children in
advertisements is not associated necessarily to the idea that the product is intended for children or their
consumption. Regarding food commercials for products specifically designed for children's
consumption, products such as Danonino products of Danonino company abound in cheerful colours,
brisk pace, funny and concise slogans (e.g.
product. Regarding the evolution of the advertising message in time, we have found that the shift from
promoting the food product by focusing exclusively on the child's image moved to the idea to promote
the product as integrated to family consumption, in which sense we highlight the commercials to
Danonino products that at the beginning of the XXI th century presented only children, without their
parents' presence, inducing them the idea that this is their product, children's product, presently parents
appear together with the children who consume that product, because the message delivered is directed
to the parents who are thus encouraged to include the product in their children's diet and buy it to
ensure the healthy growth of their children.
However, the presence of children in advertisements for food products, be it fruit and fruit juices,
dairy products or meat products, the consumption of those products taking place in a family
environment, presenting the whole family sitting at the table, induce the consumer the idea that the
products are also intended to be consumed by the children, the most affected by the decline in
consumption being meat products which the consumer associates with the image and presence of
industrial additives and preservatives that affect the nutritional quality of products. Thus, the use of
children in advertisements to cold meats seeks to eliminate the consumer's conception that the
processed meat products are unhealthy, that the producers use excessively preservatives, additives and
genetically modified products, cheaper in terms of expenses, the image of children often being
complemented by the presence of the written message
while the adverts for dairy products generally aim at strengthening the consumer's belief that the
presence of dairy in their children's diets provides a healthy and harmonious development in time,
which is the responsibility of parents.
3.2.Indicating the place of provenance of the food product in order to stimulate the consumption of domestic products
Defined by the EU Regulation. 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25
October 2011 on informing the consumers regarding the food products as
is an element exploited in the recent years by advertising, because mentioning this location has a major
impact on the consumer in terms of credibility in the qualities of the food product thereby promoted.
As mentioned above, the advertisement must also convince through the reliability of the information
that it brings about the product so that the visual combination of the landscapes in certain geographical
areas - for example Transylvania in a commercial for meat products associated to the slogan "
indicating the place of origin of the ingredients used in the product (such as the above-mentioned
chocolate) respectively the location where the products are produced strengthen the consumer's faith
that the information is true and verified, thus using the induction "I do not believe until I see!"
Thus correlating the image of the meat products of Sergiana-Poiana Mărului company having its
headquarters in Transylvania but with outlets nationwide, with the slogan
following recipes specific to the region of Transylvania, a Romania geographical area renowned for its
tradition in livestock and processing of meat products.
On the Romanian food market, promoting the local products by emphasizing their origin in
advertising aims at, apart from individuating new brands of food products on the market known to the
consumers for years and strengthening the image and market share of the product / brand, stimulating
consumers to buy local products though sometimes imported products are cheaper due to advanced
technologies and fiscal policies of the countries from which the agricultural food imports originate
When the indigenous product is compared with the imported one, the consumer must be persuaded
by the advertisement that s/he will get the same satisfaction from the consumption of the local product,
both products having similar characteristics, such as the ingredients used and manufacturing processes,
the difference being given by the fact that satisfying their own physiological needs is associated with
the satisfaction to contribute to supporting the economic activity of the domestic producers.
Emphasizing the Romanian origin of the food products is felt by the local producers as a need to
change the mentality of the Romanian consumer who is convinced that the imported products are of a
superior quality compared to those indigenous, a conception inoculated on the one hand by the
consumer over 45 who has been denied certain products for a long time until the 90's, on the other hand
this view is endorsed both by the consumers of younger age, and by the elderly, on the assumption that
the technologies of the Western countries are more advanced and that Western producers are more
responsible in complying with the legislation on food safety and consumer information. The feeling of
patriotism is boosted in the advertisements to food products to stimulate the increased consumption of
domestic products in the context in which the locations selling traditional local products (fairs and
urban markets) are replaced by hypermarkets and supermarkets, and on the other hand, the presentation
of the imported products, regardless of their degree of processing is better in terms of information
about the product and the visual appearance than that of the domestic products (in this sense, we
consider imported fruit and vegetables which are labelled, sorted and packaged individually or in
quantities of 500 grams, one or two kilos, unlike local vegetables and fruit presented in bulk in general,
without paying attention to the visual aspect of presentation, the label lacking in most cases).
The Romanian consumer society is characterized by a substantial conservatism, an aspect speculated
maximally by the marketers in the promotion of local food products, the advertisements linking
visually and auditory Romania with specific traditional lands, with authentic rural households
(location, costumes, characters) and the local product that satisfies the physiological need of hunger
and the need for social anthropological belonging to the Romanian people. So although the
international company that also opened lucrative facilities in Romania, Danone promotes its products
through the slogan "
same products entitled
Romanian popular costume and using brown as the background of the pack, given that in the
symbolism of colours, psychologists associate the colour brown to warmth, a state of comfort, a sense
of stability and fully belonging to a certain individualised group.
Similar to the label
or Western European companies, label that induces the consumer the idea that the product is acceptable
in terms of quality / price ratio due to the lower costs of production in the factories in the Republic of
China, the label
consumer and the European one the idea that they purchase for consumption and to satisfy their own
needs a biological, traditional product, obtained from natural ingredients, specific to the production
Also, promoting the slogan
domestic products on a consumer market packed with imported products, whose differentiating feature
is a lower purchase price due to the lower costs of production, and with consumers more confident in
the imported products than in the local ones, consumers whose mentality and behaviour must be
refocused towards domestic products.
Advertising is part of everyday life, it is adapted to all media channels, it is detested and captivating
in equal measure, it is persuasive through the repetitive information transmitted and engaging through
the techniques used in order to attract the public's attention, prospective buyer, it is old, relating to the
date of apparition, and innovative, relating to the stimuli and emotions entailed. Whatever product or
service it is promoting, currently the leading role in advertising is occupied by the customer whose
loyalty the company wants to secure, respectively the consumer whose conduct the company seeks to
influence, causing him/her to purchase that product convinced being that it meet his/her needs, that it
certainly satisfies him/her unlike a similar product on the market of another company, being even able
to change his/her lifestyle (e.g. a healthy and energizing diet).
Although man is a rational being, central idea of the AIDA model presented in the paper in order to
understand the mechanism of action of the advertising message on the consumer behaviour, the reality
and the psycho-social studies (Ross&Nisbeth, 1991) demonstrated that not infrequently, the consumer
acts according to the social group s/he belongs to (we purchase and consume certain products as our
friends and / or colleagues), other times according to the cultural values of the people we belongs to,
respectively according to the context in which the individual is at a certain time (the situational theory
supported by professors Iacob Cătoiu and Nicolae Teodorescu according to which the same TV
commercial may have a different effect as an individual was alone when s/he saw it or in a group of
friends, was at home or at work, s/he was happy or stressed, was alone shopping or together with
children (Cătoiu&Teodorescu, 2004: 54)).
Involving the visual stimuli, in most cases, and the auditory stimuli or combining them into a single
unit, generating emotions and changing mentalities, the advertisement message aims at influencing the
consumer behaviour, building his/her loyalty to a specific product against the competing products, or
prompting him/her to change his/her habit by purchasing the advertised product to the detriment of the
traditional one they used, even if the product promoted in this way is not new on the market.
Advertising has evolved from promoting the product to promoting the consumer and his/her needs.
In today's society which is constantly moving and expanding technologically, the advertisement
message must evolve continuously, to break the old patterns and to shock through the approach and
slogan, without exceeding the legal framework regarding subliminal advertising or the misleading one,
to use a language common to all the categories of consumers addressed. Regarding the advertising of
products for children, including and especially on food products for children, the advertisement
message must be perceptible to the child and credible for the parent, entertaining but not harmful to the
child, convincing but not annoying for the parents.
And because the focus of advertising is the consumer, who identifies him/herself with the actors in
the advertisement or aspires to their social status, we find that the testimony technique alternates with
the ordinary people technique in the advertising of domestic food products. Thus, the testimony
technique is used in the TV ads or billboards promoting the products of the company that adopts the
idea that it is enough for X star to assert that s/he uses that product, showing us how they use it and
what results s/he has to increase the credibility of the potential buyers, while the technique of ordinary
people (the happy family sitting at the table, the mother caring for her children's diet and play or the
image of the simple countryside woman who cares about what her "stylish" niece eats) is to be found in
the adverts of the companies which suggest the idea that the type of consumer for that product is the
ordinary person like him/her, and if this category of consumers appreciate that product as being useful
and of an excellent quality at an affordable price, they must be believed, thus becoming credible.
Based on the statistical reality regarding the considerable import of food (70% of the fruit and
vegetables in the domestic market are imported, and also 65% of the meat on the Romanian market is
imported and respectively 20-30% of the dairy products) and the complementary export of the
unprocessed agricultural products, because the cost of processing these in Romania generates food
products not raising up to the standard of the competition of the imported food products, the Romanian
government policy since 2000 and up to the present moment focuses on supporting the resumption of
domestic production of food products through projects based on grants and tax policies favourable to
small local producers, while promoting the Romanian products through topical and modern tools
(involving the Ministry of Agriculture in organizing the participation of local producers to international
fairs), the certification of Romanian products for their individualization on the international market and
not least protecting and stimulating the domestic consumers and redirecting them towards domestic
products, in which sense we mention the non-governmental programs
2000 or the one launched in 2010
policies and strategies on a medium and long term on the agricultural sector and food products,
indicating the provenance of domestic food in the TV commercials and the advertising slogans are
expected to have an impact on increasing the credibility of the Romanian consumer in the domestic
products with a view to changing their consumer behaviour and shifting towards the purchase of local
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04 October 2016
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Cite this article as:
Manea, ., & Epuran, G. (2016). The Impact of Advertisements for Romanian Food Products on Consumers. In A. Sandu, T. Ciulei, & A. Frunza (Eds.), Logos Universality Mentality Education Novelty, vol 15. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 530-544). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2016.09.68