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A comparison of television advertisements

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A comparison of television advertisements Adverts were introduced to television in the 1950's as a way to reach many people in their homes. This method of advertisement is increasingly potent today, and is now a multi-million pound industry. Modern firms strive for originality and imagination, to make their products attractive and inviting to buy. It is these innovative procedures that I aim to investigate in this essay. The first of the two adverts that I shall compare is Guinness: Surfer. This depicts a Polynesian surfer who has waited all his life of the 'big wave', and manages to tame it. It is a moving advert appealing to subtle emotions, such as achievement and ambition. In total contrast, the second advert I aim to compare is John Smiths: Diver. This is a light-hearted, humorous and entertaining parody of a diving championship. It aims to become memorable by being funny, rather than emotive. Both of these adverts are hugely successful, but take opposing stances on devices, emotions and substance. I aim to examine the differences between the two, as well as identifying what makes them so enjoyable to watch. Adverts use unique main characters to make themselves memorable. Both commercials employ this tactic to good effect, creating a personal feel to the advert. ...read more.


The John Smiths: Diver is rather different in its use of auditory effects. There are few employed, as the advert tries to be memorable by humour rather than more subtle methods. Because the advert is a parody of a diving championship, the auditory methods used try to mimic that scenario. The voiceover used is plain and nondescript, as would be expected with the commentators used at events, and there is no music used. However, there is the expression said at the end of the advert, "top bombing", which attempts to stick in the mind of the viewer. In Guinness: Surfer, visual techniques are used to both to add simplicity to the advert, and conversely to show the power of the waves. There is only a little print at the end, and coupled with the aforementioned silence, this adds to this unfussiness of the advert. The most powerful tool employed to make the advert as simple as possible is the lack of colour. This reflects the mind of the surfer, he has one goal, and everything else is of no importance. The viewer can therefore see inside the mind of the surfer, adding to the feeling of awe and admiration. ...read more.


This adds to the simplicity of the advert, which contrasts with other complexities. This is the same for John Smiths: Diver, although the makers used the simple linear structure to keep the advert as straightforward, and therefore as funny, as possible. In conclusion, both the adverts I have studied have been applauded for their excellence and skill. The sheer fact that most of the population would recognise these adverts means that they have been successful in doing what they set out to do, sell beer. However, I feel that Guinness: Surfer has been the more profitable of the two, as it has more facets to it, rather than simply humour, as in John Smiths: Diver. Guinness: Surfer uses visual, auditory and other techniques to make it one of the most well known adverts ever made. While John Smiths: Diver is still memorable, it is so for fewer reasons, chiefly the lack of features, other than the humour. I believe that these sentiments have been echoed by the recent poll, where it was voted the greatest advert of all time. High praise, but was it as well appreciated by the public as it was by academics? These intellectuals could see its beauty in reference to books and art, rather than the simple beauty of horses. Did the producers make it overcomplicated for the average man? Christopher KURWIE Page 1 of 3 11PS ...read more.

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