Advertisers in media
Like poets and writers, advertisers use a similar technique to empathise specific points to the target audience. Advertisers use more of visual images than text, this is not a disadvantage as it has been said that ‘a picture can paint a 1000 words’. The advertiser can say many things, just like a poem, there can be many things hidden behind the meaning, making you look further into the piece, finding the purpose and reasoning.
The picture is a composition of words; we are a media dominated age and are more indoctrinated and used to visual images. There are suggestions used in the picture that can be the same influence as what’s used in poems and stories. Words create pictures and if you use the correct techniques then maybe pictures can create words. Being a media dominated age we are sophisticated in looking at photos and pictures and we can read them as if they are words put together like a story. Advertisers construct advertisements by using a combination of physical codes within a still or moving image to create the same emotions but without using a lot of text. These codes empathise specific points to a target audience.
For the purpose of this essay the encoded advert will be deconstructed in order to understand the ‘message’. Adverts use a number of codes to encode their message; they are written, visual and symbolic. Reference to an image is made to send out a subliminal message to the target audience. I have focused on two perfume adverts, and will elaborately deconstruct the adverts accumulating the constructive methods and techniques used to imply the hidden messages visually and what’s written. I will look for symbolisms and connotations of issues like colour and layout for example. Both adverts are marketing modern perfumes. ‘Contradiction’ by Calvin Klein and ‘Gucci Rush 2’ by Gucci. Both are new fragrances for women however draw attention in contrasting methods. This is proven by Gucci uses a vibrant bright colour pink contrasted to the dull, black and white colour displayed in the contradiction advert. However both prove to be effective.
Firstly I shall analyse the Calvin Klein advert and techniques used to make the advert successful. The advert is in black and white, showing a woman laughing. She is portrayed as being happy, relaxed and at ease. She is standing in a relaxed pose as if the perfume’s making her this way. The main theme of the advert is ‘Contradiction’- the name of the perfume. Clever devices have been used to point across the idea of opposing and contrasting ideas to go with the idea of contradiction.
The main colours of the advert are black and white to give the advert a more mature and sophisticated image. However there is a clear, distinctive picture of the perfume bottle present. This empathises the strength of the perfume, making it look appealing and easier to identify. The colour of the perfume opposes that of the advert. This picture is juxtaposed to the rest of the advert. It is noticeable and recognisable; the fact that the perfume is shown highlights the significance of the perfume.
The main focus is on the woman who is standing in a relaxed manner. The framing is slightly to the side at an angle being at a slight distance ending at her thighs. She shows to be restful, casual and joyous, maybe encoding that the perfume will make you feel like this. The model is seen as being successful, strong and powerful which is how the present stereotypical role of a woman in the 90s is seen. She is perceived as having control and wanting to look good. She is shown to look independent and dominant and have status.
I believe the target audience is for women aged between 15-35 years of age. I’ve acknowledged this because it was placed in a woman’s magazine based for women around this age group. The sexual connotation could be devoted towards men considering purchasing the product as a gift admiring the model. There are sexual connotations within the subliminal messages of the advert. The woman is shown to be wearing an elegant suit opposed to nothing underneath exposing her cleavage only to be hidden by a shadow. This could appeal to the opposite sexes who are looking for a gift for a lady friend. The positioning of her body is to a slight angle and she is standing in a sexual pose.
There is no eye contact by the woman, she looking in the other direction. This all contributes to the sexual manner and as a whole is seductive. It could be possible that she is wearing red lipstick, I have imposed on this idea as the lipstick had to be fairly bright and fulfilling to be able to stand out in a black and white advert. The red lipstick connotes sexual attributes being in a provocative manner. The suit is also fashionable which famous, idolised people have often seen wearing. The suit is a modern suit as with the perfume made by a modern designer. She is dressed in a black, formal suit associated with success and going to work giving the product essences of being up class.