Analysing an advert

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The media is the term we give to mass communication. It includes the press (newspapers, magazines) T.V and radio broadcasting, and also the most recent super highway of the internet. Media networks reach everyone, they are global and therefore extremely influencial. Advertising, in particular, exerts great power on specifically targetted audiences, massively influencing choices through careful manipulation of images which play on human weaknesses.

Advertisements use many and varied special techniques such as slogans or catchy phrases which will be remembered and associated with the product advertised. Jingles are frequently used for the same purpose, rather like a slogan. These, of course are used on radio and T.V. There are many more which will be demonstrated in the analysis which follows, but it is important to note that these techniques are aimed to persuade people to buy particular products that they have been made to believe they cannot survive successfully without.

Adverts exert enormous sway in today’s society and can be seen all around us; television, newspapers, magazines, on bill boards, modes of transport, such as buses and trains, free leaflets, posters, in shops and increasingly in sales promotions conducted by telephone. Advertising is so important because it plays such a large part in manipulating our lives and the way we think of things, for this reason it is important to understand these techniques so that we do not fall prey to them.

Advertising can be so big it changes our lives for example: the company Hoover sold such popular vacuums that you will hear people use the term ‘hoover’ as a verb meaning to vacuum clean. Other examples are Tippex, Prit Stick, Biro. Advertising influences and affects everyone and the successful ad. Will make you associate a particular item with their brand, as the examples above.

Here I have an advertisement for Dove Body Silk found in a monthly ‘Sugar’ magazine costing 1.90. This targets an audience who, in the majority are in their teens; the people that seem bothered about looks perhaps rather more than other groups. The advert takes up the full A4 page in this magazine, so it doesn’t share with another advert. It was placed somewhere in the middle behind the pop pages, strategically situated here so that having seen all their famous idols, the target audience see this advertisement and relate it to the beautiful pop stars they

long to look like. They then consider this product more effective than they might otherwise have done. At the top and to the right of the centre of the advertisement are the words “Silk Underwear,” written in a reasonably large font. This draws the reader’s attention to the advert because the phrase sounds exciting, exotic and wonderful. Silk underwear is sensual and therefore this quality will be transferred to the product and then, of course, to ourselves, if we use the product. To have skin like silk is every woman’s dream.

The handwriting style of this message, rather than a formal style such as Times New Roman makes the advertisement, perhaps more intermet, like a shared secret. The letters are black against a white background of what looks like a window letting in light and reflecting on a silk neglig�e and with a few very pale shadows. This foregrounds the message and also the plain difference between black and white and, in the same way, the difference between owning the product shown and not owning it.

When the target audience read the words “Silk Underwear” they will automatically think of sophisticated and sexy ladies dressed in just their fancy lingerie. Silk is quite expensive so the audience will associate it with classy women who they long to be like. Readers are also immediately reminded of the lovely texture and delicacy of this material when they read the words, and that it is almost invisible when worn. This suggests that the cream is light and invisible on the skin also. The audience read the word silk – and think of their body, underwear, undressing, and sensuality. It generally excites them. When the potential consumer reads the word underwear she will think of the same and imagine that to own this product will provide her with all these qualities.

A little lower and to the left is a larger than life-size picture of a pot of the product – Dove body Silk. Again, the word silk is here. Dove have chosen to call themselves by the name of a bird representing peace and love, providing us with the euphoric message that the product itself will give us all this. The word Dove has been written in a fancy, curly, italic font. This makes the pot look more fancy rather than plain. It looks more professional and sophisticated which will make us want it so that we achieve sophistication or at least appear to, if we own the product. The lid has been removed as if somebody has used it, even though the cream in the pot is in a perfect swirl. It looks like perfection – the cream in it, the perfectly rounded.

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