Analysis of a Multimodal Advert

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This print advert for McClure’s pickles is a witty long copy advertisement printed in September 2010. The function of this advert is to persuade the consumer to bring McClure’s pickles to a dinner party over wine. Handed out as fliers, this advertisement attempts to reach out to a combination of two target audiences. The advert tries to appeal to the higher managerial, administrative and professional social class, who would be likely to drink wine at dinner parties, but wouldn’t normally think of using pickles as an accompaniment.

The sparse use of colour and small refined text, gives the advert a rich, old fashioned and tasteful look, which would also appeal to the higher social class. However the subtle wine splatters contradict this, and makes sure that the advert doesn’t completely cater just for the higher social classes, and could still cater for someone of the lower social classes. The advert uses clever typography to draw the audience in.

It uses the paragraphs to make the shape of a wine bottle, and places a label in the middle where the wine label usually would be, which confuses the reader into thinking that the advertisement is about wine, which confuses the reader as the title implies that the advertisement is about pickles. Because of this when they finally look closer at the label and realise that the advert is indeed about pickles, it creates humour, as well as making sure that the consumer is hooked into the advertisement.

This double meaning inspires the consumer to read the copy, making the design of the advert successful, as this is the first thing to influence the consumer at first glance. This is needed as the considerably small and lengthily font isn’t typical of print ads which are traditionally meant to put across a quick message. Also, using a question as the title challenges the audience to consider the question, drawing the audience’s interest: “When is it appropriate to bring pickles instead of wine? ” These are all clever devices to persuade the consumer to read the copy to find out more about the product.

This advert uses an audience based approach, trying to convince the consumer that they need to buy their pickles… It uses a personal, friendly tone to put the audience at ease and open to the adverts persuasions. However surprisingly this advert still uses quite formal language: “This is an age – old question, often asked by the young newlyweds and puzzled immigrants unfamiliar with the nuances of our culture. “This is quite unlike the usual advertising language used today, which is often informal, with many colloquial expressions.

However is not intended to alienate the part of the population that would not understand these expressions, as this advert is to be exposed to the general public, rather it is playing on the stereotype that well spoken people do not eat pickles. This advert is quite interesting in its lexical choice. In most advertisements, the copy is used to provide technical facts about the product to inform the consumer. This is in order to try and persuade the consumer to buy the product. However the copy in this ad does not include any technical facts about the product such as the price, or size.

It mainly relies on interest and curiosity, trusting that the reader would be intrigued by the story told by the copy and wants to know more. This could either be seen as a clever way to draw in customers or a waste of money as the primitive function of an advertisement is to give the consumer the means to want and be able to readily buy the advert. However the copy does include modifiers, a distinctive feature of advertising language when advertisers use strings of words to evoke emotion and desire.

By using words such as “spicy” and “infused”, it makes the product sound more attractive, and trigger desire in the consumer. This advertisement also utilizes direct speech: “Why remembers that guest who brought us the McClure’s? “By giving an exact copy of the precise words spoken by the characters in the advert, it allows the characters to seemingly give their own isolated opinion on the pickles. This advertisement also uses subject specific lexis, when describing the Chardonnay, such as: “Oaky, some buttery, some flinty”.

It uses varied hyponyms to represent the different flavours covered by the subordinate, Chardonnay, words that would normally be associated with wine. This advertisement uses the second person pronoun you, frequently throughout the copy. This is used to appeal directly to the consumer, attempting to make them feel special and part of the thinking process to decide whether or not to bring pickles. The use of rhetorical questions: “The first question is, do your hosts need wine? ” also achieves this.

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