The Impact of Cell Phone Ads on Cell Phone Purchases



From the year 2007 to 2014, the global sales of smartphones have greatly increased. For instance, 139.29 million smartphones were traded worldwide in 2008, and over 969 million units were sold in 2013 (Duzgun & Yamamoto, 2016). The year 2015 marked the highest shipment record of one thousand, four hundred and thirty-two point nine million units in the global smartphone market. The reasons behind this increase are due to increased sales promotions as well as multifunctional features of smartphones. While Turkish market promotes their smartphone through field sales and other sales activities, the US market usually uses network operators to advertise their products. Given that marketing smartphone has become extremely competitive, various companies are now searching for ways to increase their sales. Several firms have been using numerous competition tools to market and sold their products. According to Duzgun & Yamamoto (2016), one of the best and popular ways to increase sales is through allocating the promoters or brand sales staff in the company’s stores. This paper seeks to review various literatures showing the impact of advertisements of cell phone on cell phone purchases. First, the paper will address how the phones were started and how they gradually changed. Secondly, the article will discuss how the advertisements have changed from past and how socially changed advertising and its role in the selling of phones. Thirdly, different approaches that producers use to advertise their phones will be examined those of Samsung and Apple particularly. Lastly, the paper will address the psychological concepts, how the devices have changed the world today as well as the strategies that can help America to sell more phones in other countries.


When mobile phone was first released in the market in 1982, the bulkiness and outrageous price of the first model prevented it from becoming a fashionable accessory (UMW Blogs, 2009). It was only a fashion statement of television shows and celebrities because they could afford, and also it was impracticable for an average person to carry it. As time passed, the technology evolved and developed more appealing and useful features (become cheaper and smaller) which not only have made more than sixty percent of the global population to own it but also something that they cannot stay without them.  In today’s world, mobile phones have significantly advanced such that customers do not only buy it because it can call but also due to other amazing features such as video cameras, MP3, PDA, GPS capabilities among others. As such, this technology has completely changed the twenty-first century, transforming the world as a fully connected in twenty-four hours.  

The advertisement of mobile phones have also evolved with time, at first, it was based on the introduction of mobile phones in the market. However, this advertisement did not lead to increased sales because what was being advertised was neither appealing nor affordable. Then when the mobile becomes affordable and smaller, their advertisement also improved in that it was advertised along with compatible clothes, briefcase, purses and book bags which reserved pockets for storing phones (UMW Blogs, 2009). The advertisement was also seen in movies; wherein every modern movie had to include a phone in daily life activities. Similarly, every television show started promoting phones. This technology has also transformed commercials breaks by incorporating mobile phones in their advertisements as well as advertising their advertisement on the cellular phone itself. As a result, mobile phone commercial has dominated in all TV programs. 

The criteria for recognizing a TV program are defined by the number of advisements sponsoring that content. As opposed to the past, the ratio of ads minutes to programs minutes has gone too high nowadays. Generally, a popular sixty minutes program embrace twenty minutes of advertisements, and of which is a considerable proportion when compared to the past (Ammara, 2017). Even in print media, the number of daily published advertisements has also increased, and some are even printed on lower half of the front page. A study that investigated the advertising role in conveying the social change in the society established that promotion affects people’s behavior as well it brings constructive transformation in society (Ammara, 2017). Current advertisements normally influence people’s psyche, social behavior as well as their buying behavior. The latest advertisements on cellular companies have played a significant role in determining the behavior patterns of people. Advertisements on repeat purchasing and brand switching have also affected the decisions and choices of consumers in changing their loyalty and switching the brand.  When consumers are exposed to numerous advertisements, this exposure eventually converts their wants into needs, and at last, they are persuaded to buy the commodity. Hence, advertising efforts of mobile phones usually result in increased sales of the phones. 

Ammara (2017) found that, when consumers are exposed to TV commercials, a large number of them emulate those actions and behaviors. Additionally, they asserted that consumers are more impressed by mobile networks commercials than other commercials since they offer them transforming attitude information towards any mobile network. Watching mobile commercials also attracts customers to subscribe SMS and calls packages. Exposure to mobile network TV commercials influences about 80% of the consumers to switch their connection to another network. 

Marketing of Cell phone nowadays does not only consider factors that affect the decision making of their clients when buying mobile phones such as special features, speed, and connectivity but also take into account psychological characteristics like brand loyalty, personality and lifestyle (Cain, 2012). Thus, mobile phone commercials and advertisements have advanced in emphasizing emotion and style of how a phone can improve the lifestyle of a consumer. However, younger and older populations differ greatly with regards to the important factors that make them purchase a phone. While younger individuals value interface and brand, the older people purchase their phones based on technical features and price. The reason behind this difference is because older consumers are more burdened with daily responsibilities which make them value a phone that could assist in managing time effectively as well as applications and features that could ease those burdens (Cain, 2012). On the other hand, since younger consumers are not occupied with such responsibilities, they prefer features like web browsing, games, and cameras than those of old consumers. As such, the advisement of mobile phones has taken care of these factors highlighting the technical features that their phones have to involve more possible customers. Nevertheless, this underlining should not just highlight in technical jargon but go beyond and depict those features in action as well as how they can enhance the life of a customer. 

Apple, for instance, has greatly embraced and incorporated this information into their advertising efforts (Cain, 2012). The iPhone commercials show exactly how it can affect the daily life of a consumer without presenting too many technical features to the viewer. One specific commercial that depicts a fast web browsing speed of a phone is that of a man viewing a section from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” where a gigantic squid encloses a bandit ship. Motivated, the guy then browses for calamari in his zone, and the Apple’s quick web browser directs him to a neighboring restaurant. Apple not only highlights how their phone improves customer’s life but also builds up their brand personalities and characteristics. The products offered by the apple are known to be simple, hip and user-friendly hence attracting specific personalities targeted by marketing efforts. 

Advertising efforts are very important in making people develop die-hard commitments to particular brands more than others even though they offer similar products. These commitments are developed because advertising efforts are in the position to create specific personalities of the brand products that attract specific categories of consumers. Any mobile phone promotional efforts that target to attract certain kind of customers to buy their products and increase sale for the company should focus on five brand personalities that consumers consider when selecting between rival brands. These factors include ruggedness, sophistication, competence, excitement, and sincerity (Cain, 2012). Under ruggedness, the client is concerned about whether the phone is tough and not easily broken. While sophistication entails a charming product that will raise the social standing of the customer, competence involves intelligence, success, and reliability of the product. About excitement, the customer requires an imaginative and a cutting-edge product while under sincerity, the customers search for a product that is honest cheerful and down to earth. 

These personality factors usually guide consumers’ reactions when viewing print advertisements or commercials for cell phones. After viewing, the potential customers will store these brand-personalities in their memories, and retrieve them whenever they are deciding what phone to buy. Given that the association of brand-personality is a very strong construct, competitors or rivals must go an extra mile to interrupt those connections if they wish to control the market. A good example for two rivals of smartphone products is Samsung and Apple. Samsung is a major competitor of Apple’s smartphone market share consisting of 27% compared to 37% respectively, has gone an extra step to challenge the Apple’s users (Cain, 2012). While the diehard fans of Apple wait in the line to receive a new iPhones, the users of Samsung approach them to display the many features that Samsung phone already has. The commercials aired by Samsung proclaim that it already has the sophistication and competence level the Apple fans are waiting for and switching to Samsung will relieve them from queuing. Consequently, Samsung has significantly increased its sales with the new line of smartphones through discovering personality features in branding (Cain, 2012). Therefore, their experience displays how discovering brand psychological factors has massive pay-off possibilities for businesses marketing cell phones.

Mobile devices have greatly changed the world such that it has made the lives of people so easier that nowadays they can barely survive without them. Through the use of various transmission media like Bluetooth, GPS, infra-red, radio wave and microwave, one can transfer data by video, voice, and text as well as capturing moments and keep personal data (Zafar & Zahra, 2014). Additionally, people can do online work such as web browsing as well as using different social networking media including Skype, Twitter, and Facebook, Skype among others. Mobile innovations technology helps to manage logistics and transportation hence ensuring public safety and security systems. Moreover, the devices include games, video, graphics among others which makes the lives of people to be more engaged. Accordingly, mobile phones have become the most crucial objects in people’s life. It only through these devices that people can stay linked with other individuals whenever and wherever possible.

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The psychological concept of a customer satisfaction entails a comfort liking and feeling which comes after obtaining what one expects and hopes from an attractive product (Zafar & Zahra, 2014). Creating high degree of satisfaction requires the service provider to make the robust relationship with customers through providing the differentiated products. Since the psychological concept is the core object of advertising strategies, companies should utilize it to trick customers as well as to determine future patterns of sales. This is done through combining psychological factors such as trust, brand loyalty, service quality and commitment in the advertisement efforts.

America uses a long-term mobile phone strategy which enables its companies to remain competitive in the market and get more phones sold not only in America but also in other countries (Zafar & Zahra, 2014). Achieving the utmost chance of success in the mobile channel requires various things to be carried out. The company should root its strategy in technology associated with its mobile goals, budgets as well as the use patterns of the target audience. Extending marketing strategies through embracing emerging cross-media operations and mobile efficiently help any company reach mobile consumers globally. 


Conclusively, the paper has reviewed various literatures that show the impact of advertisements of cell phone on cell phone purchases. Smartphone sales have globally increased due to sales promotions as well as the multifunctional features of the device. The first mobile phones models were bulky and unaffordable. When smaller sized and affordable mobiles phones were manufactured, they were advertised together with compatible clothes, bags as well as in movies, TV shows, and music. The ratio of ads minutes to programs minutes has increased as compared to past. Mobile phone commercials have advanced in emphasizing emotion and style of how they can improve lifestyles.  Mobile devices made the lives of people so easier that nowadays they can barely survive without them. America uses a long-term mobile phone strategy which enables its companies to remain competitive in the market and get more phones sold not only in America but also in other countries.

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  1. Ammara, I. (2017). Impact of Mobile Phones TV Commercials on Consumers’ Behavior. Arts and Social Sciences Journal, 08(03). 
  2. Cain, J. (2012). Marketing Mobile Phones.
  3. Duzgun, F., & Yamamoto, G. T. (2016). The Effect of Promoter Incentive to the Smartphone Sales in Retail Chains: A Turkish Case. International Journal of Economics & Management Sciences, 05(06). 
  4. UMW Blogs. (2009). The History of Mobile Phone. 
  5. Zafar, F., & Zahra, A. (2014). Strategies adopted by mobilephone manufacturers to attract more customers in smart phone industry. International Journal of Advancements in Research & Technology, 3(1), 8-13.
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