A Study of Advertising

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Advertising, the thing that seems to be wherever you look. The catchy songs from television and radio adverts, the annoying slogans that just wont get out of your head that you read on leaflets and posters, and the abnormal smiles that leer at you from unnaturally cheery face on billboards. You cannot avoid advertising, but how else would we find out that Debenhams have the best ever sale on right now, or know that Schue have the boots you have been dreaming of? Do we really want to live without advertising?

But advertising doesn’t just promote clothes and shoes. It gives all types of businesses and charities the opportunity to get their business known to the public. Holiday companies advertise parts of countries such as Ireland, Wales and some exotic destinations such as Caribbean cruses and the Bahamas beaches. Central heating companies advertise their reliability and ability for us to depend on them. Companies such as British Gas have adverts showing the quality of its work force. The first aim of any advert is to catch the interest and attention of its audience. Once the advert has done this, it can try to make the product it is advertising sound desirable. Advertising companies will also want their advert to persuade the public to trust the company and their product. Some other types of adverts main aims are to make an impact on people and get an important health or safety message through to them.

Just including the products name and a photograph, however artistic it may be, is not always enough to make the product look desirable. Similarly, if the advert is designed to make people think twice about drink driving, it would be useless to have an advert with a blank screen and the words, ‘Please don’t drink and drive’. Advertisers need to use various methods and techniques to make their advert successful and memorable. Layout, graphic devices and typography make the advert attractive. The way the advert is set out, the pictures and photographs used and the style and size of the font can be the difference between the advert catching some ones eye and being a success, or an advert looking dull and boring and being unsuccessful.

The creators of an advert really have to think about the demographic profile the advert is aiming at. The tone of the advert can help to make sure the advert is suitable for the right audience, e.g. ‘perfect playtime pals’ spoken in a fun, soft female voice would not do for an advert for expensive porcelain figurines aimed at mature adults. Endorsements can play a huge part in the success of an advert. Everyone wants the same football boots as David Beckham, or J-Los perfume or even the same drink as Michael Owen or Johnny Wilkinson. If a product in an advert is being recommended or even designed by a celebrity we want it!

Sometimes conventions attract people to an advert. If someone uses a phrase or saying regularly, then maybe hearing it often attracts people to an advert that includes it. Furthermore, some phrases and sayings can be extremely catchy and stick in our minds for a long time and help us to remember the product. Similarly, if an advert makes reference to famous nursery rhymes or fairytales, then children will remember the advert. Advantageous promises are the way to get almost everyone’s interest. If we can buy something and get another free, or even get 10%, 20%, or 50% off something, we want it! These offers and deals always seem too good to miss and they are a great way for companies to advertise successfully,

Charities will almost always use emotional triggers to get their audience feeling guilty because they live a better lifestyle compared to others. This is designed to make them give money or help to starving children living in extreme poverty or abandoned dogs that have been abused and starved. Adverts for new technology such as mobile phones, computers and fancy cars will often use a lot of ‘jargon’ to sell the products. Scientific and technical language will impress us and make us think the product shown has so many worthwhile features that we can’t do without it. Even if we don’t understand half of the jargon used.

I think the ‘Exclamation Play’ perfume advert is a successful advert because the layout is quite unusual. The image of the product is not very prominent as it is positioned higher on the page instead of in the middle of the advert. The name of the product is also smaller in size when compared to other adverts. The image in the centre of the page reflects the message written below it, ‘that’ll have him right where you want him’. The image shows a well-manicured hand with a male figure wrapped around the little finger This suggests that to use this product would mean you would attract male attention. The emphasis of this advert is the seductive nature of the product.

The demographic profile of the advert is aimed at young women who enjoy going out and dressing up. The soft pink background and beautifully manicured hand suggests femininity. The tone of the advert is light hearted and fun and it gives the impression of being within the price range of the user. There are a lot of interesting parts to the advert not least the typography. The clever use of the exclamation mark in the word ‘play’, (it replaces the letter l) as well as the word ‘exclamation’ being part of the product name is well thought out and adds a sense of fun and humour to the advert.

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