Specialist magazines today

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Advertising has an important role in the media to inform the public; whether it be through magazines, newspapers, radio, television or sports events. Advertising is advantageous to the public as it displays the range of products available on the market. From products such as trainers to awareness campaigns, it informs us of prices, ranges, bargains and other essential information. This aids us to make more informed choices and in some cases, even save money. Advertisements not only inform us, but entertain us also.

Ads such as the Budweiser series featuring the frogs are humorous and many car advertisements use hit songs to provide the backtrack to the ads. Advertising is a major industry, which employs thousands of people. Revenue from advertising pays wages and allows many sports and charity events to take place. Although advantageous to the public, advertising has also proved to be a dangerous and seedy market, where advertisers often distort truth to sell an idyllic, unattainable image to a more and more influential society. In a world obsessed with image, advertisers now often sell an image rather than a product.

This is why so much of advertising today is aimed at the 16-24 year old female market, as image is most important in these young impressionable years. Selling an idyllic and unattainable image is dangerous in today’s society as it can lead to uncontrollable spending and in extreme cases; bulimia, anorexia and depression. Aware of theses dangers, advertisers continue to use these strategies in advertising for a simple reason; it works. Advertisers also use other diverse and questionable tactics to sell their product such as sex appeal and gender representations.

These strategies are most popular in today’s advertising as they are known to appeal to innate sexual desires and the desire to be popular and admired. As using these ideas sell more products, we cannot blame advertisers for applying these issues to their publications, and as we continue to buy the products, who are we to argue? Magazine advertising is one of the most popular genres as it can incorporate all of these themes into one image which is intended to create a desire for products which are not necessary. It is also easier to pinpoint the target audience in magazines as there is an immense range of specialist magazines today.

E. g. Specialist magazines for computers or cars would often have advertisements with technical jargon to appeal to specialist readers. This way, advertisers can choose where to place their advertisement and therefore get more value for their money as it will be viewed by more people who it would appeal to. It is also popular as, although the advertiser has only paid for one ad, it will most likely be seen a couple of times as the reader flicks through a second or third time, and also read at a time when the reader chooses and has time to absorb the information contained.

The first magazine advertisement I have chosen to analyse is for a perfume body spray called SO…?. The advertisement has been taken from a teenage magazine for girls called BLISS which leads me to think that it is aimed at this genre. From the first impression of the advertisement I can tell that this is an accurate assumption as bright, bold and prominent colours and a young, attractive female model have been used. Bright colours wold attract a person of this age as they usually have or desire lively and outgoing personalities.

The model chosen for the advertisement is young, perhaps in her late teens or early twenties. The advertiser has chosen a model so young to appeal to the target audience, female teenagers, so as they can identify more with the image, making the product seem more obtainable. Her long hair has been worn down as it represents freedom and enjoying yourself as opposed to tight, drawn back hair representing strict, mundane life. The untidiness of her hair denotes that she is rebellious, confident and at ease with herself.

Although she does not have ‘perfect hair’, her posture; with her chin high, shoulders back and bust out suggests that she is at ease with her ‘image’; an attitude that other girls her age may crave for. The camera has been angled to make us look slightly up at the model, forming her as an idol. The darkness of her hair contrasts with the pallor of her face, making it the most prominent feature of the advert, due also to the heavy make up and lighting. This has been purposely done as the attitude the advertiser is trying to sell is summed up in the model’s assured and confident face.

Her bold and different make-up suggests that she is just that: bold and different, and proud of her strength and individuality. Her arched eyebrows, and tilted head connote that she is presenting herself to you, and anticipating your reaction, although she doesn’t care if your thoughts differ to her own as she knows she is beautiful, and doesn’t need re-assurance. These things also connote that she is confident and rebellious, and her tight, low-cut top re-inforces this idea.

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