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Compare and contrast the two advertisements for "Mastercard" and "Halifax One"

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the two advertisements for "Mastercard" and "Halifax One". State which you prefer and say why. The advertisements that I looked at were both broadcast on Sunday 13th March 2005, on Sky One at the primetime of 8pm. The first advertisement, which lasted for the duration of 30 seconds, was for Mastercard and took the genre of a romantic comedy and the theme of revenge. The second advertisement, which lasted the same duration, was for Halifax One and took the genre of Bollywood and the theme of a playboy lifestyle. The genres of the two ads were quite different, but they both used similar advertising methods in order for their advert to sell the product, both promoting credit card banking. Advertisement 1 opened with a salacious shot of an attractive woman trying on a dress in a changing room. The opening scene is prurient; the woman will appeal to men in general. The implication of her getting changed shows a stereotypical heterosexual appeal to men. The scene of the woman in the changing room is carefully shot so we just miss seeing her naked. The background lighting is low key; film noir lighting is used, enabling the viewers to focus only on the woman being shown through two curtains. We get the feeling we are looking into an intimate view of her world. The start of the ad shows sex appeal, a theme that continues throughout the advert. Lettering appears in the top right hand corner saying: New dress �130 There is a voice over the theme music reading what the writing says. ...read more.

Middle

However, it appears ironic that with all the model girls surrounding him, he seems to be having a love affair with the debit card, and not them! The control power Mr. Brown has in this ad is opposite to the other ad where the woman is in control. The third shot of the Mastercard advert shows the woman in the bath. This again is a very sexual image; it gives the implication of her being naked. The mise en scene of the bathroom is highly realistic and depicts a very luxuriant bathroom; can every Mastercard holder's bathroom be this way too? The lettering, being read by the same deep voice, which appears now in the centre of the screen, says: Relaxing bath oils �9 The scene shows the woman enjoying what she has bought in the comfort of her own home. She sits in the bath reading a book, looking intelligent. It shows Mastercard users to be beautiful and affluent. As the Halifax One advert continues the theme of the ad comes across to the viewers more. There is a Hollywood theme, showing Halifax has connections with international popular culture figures. A long shot of a Rolls Royce moving past, with a substitute emblem to the naked lady on the alloy wheels to the Halifax emblem, is being driven by Mr. Brown down what appears to be a replica of Rodeo Drive. This particular scene is an exaggerated parody of Hollywood musicals, poking fun at the film "Pretty Woman" for entertainment value. ...read more.

Conclusion

Brown sat there with a " cheesy grin" didn't appear to me as comical. Instead it came across as more annoying; the costumes of the girls didn't appear sexy and the "bling" jewellery Mr. Brown was wearing wasn't flattering, even the song started to become annoying towards the end of the advert. Although Mr. Brown could be described as a " popular cool cult guy/ stud", (although I wouldn't personally call him that!), is he really worth his own waxwork model at Madame Tussaud's, London? The wax figure being produced shows how people have caught onto the Halifax adverts and how well recognised they are. However this particular Halifax advert I looked at I thought it had too many images. In total there were 19 shots, compared to the 9 shots in the Mastercard advert. Looking carefully at both advertisements, I prefer the Mastercard advert. I feel it has been put together better than the Halifax advert, and will be very successful in influencing their target audience. The whole advert is very successful. Aimed at professional, affluent, well-educated single women in their early 20's, it gives an independent and powerful message. The locations used are realistic, as are the characters. Flattering lighting is used throughout and the shots are carefully put together to give an all round well-directed advertisement. Evidence to support my preference of ads would be the wide variety in shots and camera angles throughout the advert making it interesting to watch. The pace throughout is relaxed; the message of the advert is clear from the acting of the characters. Overall, it fully satisfies the criteria for a good advertisement, and successfully promotes Mastercard credit card banking. ...read more.

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