Advertising is intertwined into our daily lives, we see this every day. There are two main ways of advertising, one of them is to use a vehicle for advertising and the second is just blatant, straightforward advertising. A perfect example of a vehicle for advertising is a football match because if you were to watch a match on television you would see the football players wearing sponsored shirts and shorts.
We also see them wearing top brand football boots and this is a way of advertising because when people see top football stars wearing a brand of football boots they would think that, that pair of football boots are the best – the same with the top and shorts, people would see the companies who sponsored the team as a leading brand. A model example of blatant advertising is when for example you were watching a programme on television when the show cuts to an interval, you would see advertisements for a variety of things for example, a Tesco’s advertisement announcing a buy one get one half price deal on toilet paper.
In advertising the most successful of companies would involve themselves with the winning team, because they wouldn’t want to be involved or seen with a losing team, for example in Formula One racing, the race driver that is most victorious wouldn’t have a problem securing a sponsorship deal whereas the least successful would have trouble finding a sponsor. Advertising is not only found on television, it is found in our day to day lives and we are involved in it from the moment we wake up.
For example on my way to school I see adverts; on bus stands, on buses, on bill boards, on the tube, I see them in the newspapers I read. The list is endless, there is so much advertising nowadays. As technology becomes more advanced there are simply more mediums on which to advertise. Everyone is affected by advertising, it is hard to ignore. Advertising works and is successful even though we know it’s nonsense. Part of us understands the connotational side of the advert for example in these fragrance ads, people associate themselves with the man in the advert they want to be like him.
For example in the Prada advert the consumers that these adverts target at would think that if they were to buy this fragrance they would be young and handsome, that by spraying a bit of the fragrance on themselves they would be like the model in the advert. Advertising companies take advantage of consumers by placing a popular figure in an advert, the consumers then think that because one of their idols are in the advert they should buy the product or service. In the same way advertising agencies also associate adverts with top brands and organisations.
Advertisements portray an unrealistic picture of how life is once you own their product and that’s why we are influenced by it, even though we know it is all just gobbledygook we can’t avoid it. For example when I saw an advert about Vanish Oxi Action I had remembered about the advert when I saw it at the local supermarket – that it makes white clothes shine or glow as if they were brand new so I persuaded my mum to buy it and later on at home after I had tried it out in the washing machine it turned out that it did the same thing as our regular washing up detergent. I had fallen for the trap, just like everybody else.
The men’s perfume adverts that I’ve analyzed for the argument are utter nonsense. Once I had deduced them and looked at the connotational side of each advert, I had made connections about what age group each advert was aimed at, what the main codes and conventions the male perfume adverts had. We worked out how the adverts are successful and how they are made to do this. All of the men’s perfume adverts I’ve looked at had three things in common; firstly there was always a picture of the vial containing the fragrance. Secondly, there was always the name of the brand on the advert.
Thirdly there was always a model that was portrayed in some manner and this was connected with the target audience for that particular fragrance. Once I had analyzed each individual advert I had deduced a large amount of information including; what the target audience for each group was, the similarities and the differences. In the first advert I analyzed which was the Prada advert, at first all I saw was that It was an image of a handsome young man lying on a bed of some sort wearing a pair of trousers and an overcoat without any inner layer of clothing, we see the vial of fragrance on the left and below the image we see the label: Prada.
The connotational level reveals everything; the advert is in black and white which gives it a touch of class, it stands out from the normal vibrant adverts that try and catch our attention in newspapers. It gives it a modern more sophisticated look. I can tell by looking at this man he must be somewhere between the age of 17-25 and that the target audience must be somewhere near that although it could also appeal to older men because they dream of being young again.
The model’s hair seems natural as if he has just woken up, he has dark shadows under his eyes making them look very intense. The model has pouty lips that make him look confident. The model looks artistic, where does he work – this question isn’t answered because it is the target audience that chooses the answer when they look at this advert. The model is wearing formal clothes, he looks deliberately dishevelled. The model has a feminine touch, he isn’t masculine. The vial has what looks to be a feminine atomiser. All these things define the audience.
The second advert I analyzed was the Yves Saint Laurent advert, at first all I saw was the vial containing the fragrance on the left, the label: Yves Saint Laurent, in the middle and a statement: Sheer Magnetism in the middle, on the right there is an image of a middle aged man. The denotation doesn’t give us an understanding of what the advert is about but the connotation reveals the whole lot; the advert is in colour although the use of colour is subtle and sophisticated, the statement “Sheer Magnetism” defines the effect of the product as if it would attract women.
The man in the picture seems to be of middle age around 25-35 and the target audience would be around the same area although it could also appeal to younger men who want to be a bit more manly or older men that want to be middle aged again. The model’s hair seems to be rough and his skin has some stubble on it which makes him seem more masculine than the first advert. The model has an intimidating look in his eyes, he is also more butch than the model in the first advert, his arms are also folded which makes him look more serious and confident.
The way he is portrayed seems to be a predictable perspective of an attractive man. The way he looks, stands and is dressed all seem to have more masculine qualities than the first advert, the model seems more heterosexual. The third advert I analyzed was the Hermes advert, at first all I saw was two profile shots of a man the vial containing the fragrance and the name of the fragrance “Terre d’Hermes”, below it a statement “Inspired By Earth And Sky”, above the bottle is a orange/red cloud. The man seems to be standing on a hill.
The denotation doesn’t give us an understanding of the advert but the connotation exposes everything; the advert is in colour although the colour is kind of chalky and the colour used is subdued, the statement “Inspired By Earth And Sky” tells us what the fragrance could smell like, the age group that this is aimed at is less obvious which gives an idea that the target audience is less age dependant than the other two adverts, the models hair longer and more natural, his shoulder and neck seem to grow out of the landscape as if he is part of the earth, we can see his face in the second profile and he seems to be looking up with his eyes closed perhaps smelling the cloud of what seems to be the fragrance because it is the same colour as the name on the vial, the setting is outdoors.
The fragrance is associated with the earth, with nature. This advert is much more complex than the other two adverts. In conclusion I would like to say that advertising influences the way everybody lives. The cars we drive, the clothes we wear, and the food we eat are all a result of advertising.