Analysis of an Advertisement
With the emergence of the world into post modernity, man has accomplished specializing and refining his most frequently used weapon, manipulation, into a subtle, sophisticated and appealing trap that preys on the untrained mind. The combination of efficient manipulation, auto suggestive and argumentative skills, which include the use of fallacies, make advertising the most glamorous style of dominating and dictating the human mind. One example of this artful mind controller is the Brabantia company ad for a food storage canister. The Barbantia solid company promotes a canister through logos and ethos which can be exposed during an analysis of the actions and expressions and photography; an awareness of the composition of this advertisement can expose complex question, non sequitur, begging the question, false analogy and post hoc to the audience.
The Brabantia canister uses argumentative strategies of logos and ethos to promote their product and company. The product is shown as being used; the alien hand reaches for the canister which is filled with food. The need for nutritional sustenance is a logical, reasonable characteristic of a living organism. Since the product enables this need to be met, it is portrayed as a necessity; therefore, its use is a logical consideration.
The caption describes a logical thinking process about the future. This thinking not only states the problem, but also gives a solution, which is the product. This scientific method is logical. The name of the company is Brabantia Solid Company; the word solid represents the company’s dependability; therefore, it asks the user to trust and rely on its products, or statements. The caption also consists of a stamp that reads ‘future proof guaranteed’. This caption imitates a believable authorized approval; however, in this case the authority is the Brabantia Company. This use of authority and asking for trust to convince is an example of ethos.
To make the use of logos and ethos effective in the ad, components of photography, such as, color and lighting are used. Primarily, different hues and shades of blues and grays are used to determine the mood of the viewer, and they portray a futuristic environment. The lighter hues of blue have a calming, stabilizing effect on the viewer’s mind. The different shades of blue also have a confident air. The subdued sophistication and style of the hues of blue helps divert the reader’s initial sense of loathing and disgust at the image of a disembodied, extraterrestrial hand. Instead of making the future appear formidable and threatening, any apprehension caused by the topic of the future is checked and reduced by the light blues. The blue reassures and lulls the reader, making it seem unnecessary to fret because of the presence of the obvious solution.
Similarly, the blues and metallic grays also establish the time that the caption refers to. An advanced, artificial, and unearthly environment is created. The alien hand, reaching out for the canister, has a red hue that creates an image of something strange and unexplored. The food in the canister is an artificial blue, and the canister itself is very advanced because of the metallic reflecting finish. Additionally, the lighting is used efficiently to create a smooth, unpretentious image. The source of the lights is in line with the camera. The lights bring the hand and the canister into the foreground, attracting the immediate attention and imagination of the reader. The lighting also enables the colors to assuage the abrasiveness and harshness of the picture. Therefore, the colors and lighting work together to make a gentle yet direct statement.
The expressions and actions in the ad help promote the product because of the ideas it communicates to the audience. Along with photography and layout, the bare background creates a stark, sterile environment that invites scrutiny. The environment passes the test and also focuses the reader’s attention on the product that is isolated on, an otherwise, empty shelf. This isolation establishes the superiority of the product. The image of a hand reaching out to the canister, which holds food at an exalted height, gives two messages. First, it portrays the canister as a solution to the question about the future. Also, it also shows the product fulfilling a living organism’s most basic need, hunger.
The providing characteristic of the canister and the absence of any appeal to intense emotion emphasize the logical and rational need for the product. First, the ad does not use any human characters. It does not portray intense emotions of anger or passion. The ad also does not appeal to a classical human aesthetic sense by displaying warm colors, elaborate and rustic designs or layout, or an appealing clutter. Therefore, the product is depicted as a necessity, not a luxury. The product is in use, showing that that the product does its job. The symmetry, compact shape of food and canister, and the space create a sense of efficiency, exactness and practicality. As a result the expressions and actions efficiently promote the product.