The product is positioned
Advertisers need to persuade people to part with their money and to buy their product. They use techniques to promote a dream or an idea and then try to sell this to their specific target market. I have chosen to look at two magazine adverts; one for the Subaru Impreza, the other for the Honda Civic. The name “Impreza” sounds like the word “impress”, which is the way the advertisers want you to feel about the car; they want you to be impressed. Subaru is trying to sell the dream of owning a car that will turn heads and astound people.
“Civic” means to be connected with the duties or obligation belonging to a community; this suggests that Honda want you to feel a sense of belonging when you buy this car. It is selling the idea that if you own this car you will be included and accepted in society and that if you don’t you will be outcast from society. In this assignment I will analyse and compare two car adverts which are aimed at different target audiences and explain why certain codes and conventions have been used. In the Subaru advert, the slogan completely fills the top half of the page.
This demands the attention of the reader and makes the advert very memorable. The product in this advert is directly below the slogan and is relatively small in comparison to the text, filling around a quarter of the page. Under the picture of the car there is a lot of text giving you a detailed overview of the cars features. The caption beneath this is very small and fills the width of the page. Below this there is a black banner stretching horizontally across the page. In the banner there is white text with further information about the car.
The company name and logo is next to the caption and is in the same size text. In the Honda advert the product is very small, only an eighth of the page; it is also around the same size as the name of the product. This suggests that the name is just as important as the actual car and makes the reader think that this is a popular and well respected name. The product is positioned in the lower half of the page and the brand name is in the upper half. In the top right hand corner there is the brand name with the slogan written underneath.
At the very bottom of the page there is a white banner which has grey text detailing the specifications of the car. The main focus of the advert is the text, not only because of its large size, but because of the contrast of the black against the white background. The Subaru advert is just a static shot of a silver car with no background; there doesn’t seem to be anything happening. This is perhaps to make the reader imagine what they would like to do with the car. There is a slight shadow under the car which unlike the car, is slightly blurred to imply that the car drives very smoothly.
It looks as if it is in the show room which makes it look like a new and exclusive car; it looks expensive because cars are at their highest price while brand new. This makes the car very desirable because most people love to have all the latest gadgets and they want to look and feel wealthy and prosperous. The uncomplicated design of the advert ties in with the simple slogan used. There are no models used in the advert to show the car’s importance. The picture is very clearly focused because buyers want to know exactly what they are paying for.
The Honda advert has a picture of the car it is advertising and it appears to be driving along the roof of a close up of the same car. This implies that it is not a big, bulky car, like most five door cars, but it is petite and elegant. Because the background colour fades into a lighter shade, it looks like the car is driving into the light; this implies that if you buy this car it will lighten up your life. There is also a close up of a headlight which looks like a rainbow above the car which implies that it has been raining in this scene.
The car represents the sunshine because it has stopped the rain and made a rainbow. Living in such a wet and miserable climate, the dream of brightening up your day and making the sun shine is one that everyone would like to become reality. The whole advert is like a dream because it’s not every day that someone drives along the roof of another; this links nicely to the slogan “the power of dreams”. Also, it is said that we dream in black and white, which are the main colours used in the advert.
In the Subaru advert there is a long shot of the car, enough to show its fine detail without making it look too dominant or too unimportant and it shows the whole outline of it. It is a direct angle to show the profile and shape of the car as if the reader is viewing it in a showroom. This advert uses contrasting monochromatic colours which demands attention and makes you take note. The simple black and white is clear statement with no area of misunderstanding; it underlines the point made in the slogan.
It uses low key artificial lighting – the same as would be used in a car showroom. In the Honda advert, the camera angle used is a long shot. This is used because it stops the car looking too big and bulky. The high angle gives the car the feeling of being watched by a superior being, almost as if saying that the car will always be safe because you always have someone guiding you when you are driving. The car appears to be lit from above like the sun is shining down on it; this again contributes to the idea that there is someone watching over you.
This appeals to the target audience because safety is paramount in a 5 door car. The main colour used in the advert is a steely grey which suggests the car’s power and dominance. It also implies that this car is solid and well built. The slogan used in the Subaru advert is spread across the whole of the top half of the page; each word fills the width of the page. It reads, “SUBA GLUE” and is written in big, black, bold text; the capital letters are used to express the strength and stability of the car. “SUBA GLUE” is a play on the words “super glue”.
“Super glue” again suggests the cars strength and stability on the road. The play on words is used to add humour and make the advert more memorable. The caption is also in upper case bold text but is smaller and placed under the picture of the car. It reads “NEW IMPREZA. IT STICKS TO THE ROAD” making sense of the play on words at the top of the page. The full stop is like saying “that’s that” it is like those two words are enough because the car speaks for itself. It suggests a definite statement – a fact that can be proved.
There is also smaller text in lower case at the bottom of the page which gives details about the car and its features; they are written in a long list and a lot of technical jargon is used. The web address is also included on the advert so the readers of the advert can find more information about that particular car or other models they have. The Honda advert has a simple caption, “The Power Of Dreams”. It is an emotive slogan telling you that the car is the car of your dreams. The white text has quite a dreamy feel to it which fits the slogan perfectly.
There is very little information about the car, just a web address and a number to text them on. This is perhaps to encourage people to visit their website or to text them. The name of the car is written in “open” text to show how roomy and spacious the car is and it is underlined to show the importance of a reputable name. Underneath the name there is “5 door” written in smaller bold white text. This statement sounds like the person saying it is in awe because it is suggesting that it is unusual to find such an elegant family car.
The target audience of the Subaru advert is younger men; around 20-30 because of the affordable price (i?? 12,495 OTR). The Impreza is also a fairly fast car, it would be very well suited to people who enjoy speed and want a powerful car. The monochromatic colour scheme of the advert appeals more to men than woman. The target audience of the Honda advert is young parents with perhaps one or two children because it is a five door sporty looking car. It is not too big and bulky so the parents would be happy to drive it and the kids won’t be embarrassed to be seen in it.
It is a stylish car for those who don’t want to give in and buy a people carrier. It is a very practical car for smaller families. I think that they are both effective adverts because they both identify their target audiences well and adapt the adverts to fit. The Subaru advert in particular is very effective because of the creative use of words. The Honda adverts use of imagery is also very imaginative and a memorable way of advertising their product, though I think there was enough information to make the advert effective, there could have been more information about the cars features.