Commentary on holiday advertisement

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This advertisement is attempting to inform and persuade any group of people to spend their holiday on the beaches of Spain. It is not a very expensive trip therefore not requiring a particularly rich or exclusive target group. The impression the advert gives is that this can be a holiday for anybody; for families with kids who will love being by the ‘seaside’, for honeymooners who can have the ideal undisturbed, exotic honeymoon by the beach, for married or unmarried couples who want to catch up on the romance, and even for those old people who want to get away and have a relaxing time on the shores of Spain. Basically it is a holiday for any age group who want to unwind, relax and yet still have time for fun and romance.

As the advert is based solely upon beaches, I decided to create a colour theme accordingly. The blue background represents the skies and the sea, and the yellow foreground depicts the sandy, golden beaches. The big title ‘SPAIN’ is an orange, yellow, red colour and is supposed to represent the setting sun, as are the titles of the beaches which are also red. The pictures, which are very serene and bracing, deliberately contrast this image to give the audience a cool and refreshing impression.

The advert implies that the beaches in Spain are the best and most varied in the world. The phrase “The coast of Spain is so varied that almost every type of beach in the world can be found on her shores”, has been divided in half and placed in a slanting angle on either side of the title. This makes the reader look at both sides of the advert and therefore digests more information. It also gives the reader the impression that there is no need to go to any other part of the world as everything can be found here in one place. This concept is repeated at the end when Spain is described as having ‘everything under the sun’.

This last sentence makes the advert end off with a flourish and is a statement that will no doubt stick in the minds of the readers. It is written in a sprawling font in the sharp blue and red colours of an early sunset, which emphasize the colour theme. The imperative below the title- ‘discover’ is quite forceful and it lays a basis for the rest of the advert, which is mostly about the various beaches. It is written in a large font and in colours that agree to the colours of the title (representing the sun)- orange and yellow. Another imperative is at the end- ‘write now’ which is demanding the audience to write quickly as it implies a sense of urgency.

There is also an offer of a free brochure to encourage people to write. The final statement ‘If you think you know the beaches of Spain, think again.’ is a continuation from the title ‘Discover…’ and it implies that there is such a variety of beaches that it is difficult to fathom unless you actually go and discover them yourself-and even then you can’t think you know them as it is impossible to know them all.

In the advert, there are descriptions of about eight different beaches. They are all given their original Spanish names that convey an essence of different cultures and traditions that would be especially appealing to the audience. The titles are written in a bright red font to match the colours of the sun. Furthermore the English translations which follow the Spanish titles make the beaches sound more fascinating and exotic e.g.

Costa de Luz is the ‘Coast of Light’ in English as is Costa Dorada the ‘Golden Coast’. Other references to Spanish names also have the same effect e.g. ‘rias’ which are great creeks. The repetition of the word ‘Costa’ not only repeats the image of ‘coasts’, but it also allows the inclusion of a pun- ‘It won’t costya much!’ This play on words both relays the message that the holiday is not expensive, and subsequently gives the advert a lighthearted aspect.

The language used is carefully selected. There is a great use of strong adjectives to grip the readers for example, ‘vivid hues of luxuriant flora’; ‘secluded sandy coves where the crystal clear water just demands a refreshing swim’. The sands are described as soft and golden, the beaches gently sloping & honey-coloured and superb sun-soaked, the islands exquisite, and the waters are serene & tranquil.

One can see there are constant references to the sun as would be expected. The islands are said to be ‘basking in Mediterranean sunshine’, and the beaches of Costa de Luz are ‘almost perpetually bathed in the warmth of the sun’ giving the impression that sunshine is eternal. Other words give a sense of relaxation e.g. swaying, soft, gentle, serene, tranquil, blessed, quaint etc. There are also contrasts within the text to magnify the image for example in Costa de Almeria, the vivid hues of luxuriant flora are set against a background of whitewashed villas.

The attraction of the coast is compared to religion as Costa Blanca is said to be a ‘sun-worshippers paradise’. Contrasting scenery is also described between Costa Cantabrica and Rias Gallegas. There are more words which further justify the ambience of the advert; ‘glorious variety’, ‘hidden bays interspersed with quaint little fishing villages’, ‘wondrous archipelago’, ‘restaurants serving mouth-watering delicacies’, ‘rugged beauty’ all substantiate the unique atmosphere.

 

The colour theme, the pictures, the various styles and fonts and the variety and devices of language all combined effectively together to reveal the best of the coast of Spain. A holiday that is not too expensive, offers a multitude of choices of different beaches and aims to provide a serene, pacific and refreshing atmosphere- as would be expected of a beach. It completes the overall aura of the advert in a very appealing way.

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