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How does the advertisement for Vo5 Fade Defy(TM) appeal to its target audience?

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English coursework:Vo5 Fade Defy

Denisha Rooprai

How does the advertisement for ‘Vo5 Fade Defy’ appeal to its target audience?

The purpose of any television advertisement is to either sell or promote a product; this is by showing the product and its effects. They can do this by attaching the idea of feelings and emotions to a brand name or product. The targeted audience of this advert would preferably be women, as the idea of the main character being a woman gives an impression of the specific gender the advert is being aimed at. The advert is targeted to young/mid-old women who care about their hair and their appearance.

The storyline in this particular advertisement is about a young woman being rushed into hospital due to her ‘hair fading’. She is taken in to casualty where her hair is then being treated, the treatment being done on her hair emphasises a typical operation room in a hospital- at this point the advert shows the product being used. Soon the patient comes out with ‘shiny’, ‘bouncy’ looking hair, showing the successful result of the hair product.

        The idea of the advertisement is to make the product appeal to the target audience. They do this by making the advert seem like a hospital drama and a typical US soap opera. This has the effect of appealing towards the audience, as these similar soaps and dramas shown on channel four are well known and many people enjoy watching things like this. This is one of the ideas of the advert, to base the advert upon the dramas and soaps regularly shown on channel four. This then has the same effect to the audience watching their soaps and dramas as well as a 2 minute advert having the same storyline.

        The beginning of the advertisement opens with the rush of voices from the doctors and nurses, there is also a faint background noise from the doors being pushed open and the wheels of the gurney; giving the impression of a typical hospital. The idea of the advertisement reminds me of ER- the typical US hospital drama. For instance, in a typical drama there is always an emotion for the audience to enjoy, being either humour or depression. In this advert it links a ‘love-triangle’- this is a common thing usually done in a TV drama to create humour for the audience. It usually requires a number of people each in love with the same person or someone else. In the same way, this advert grasps the idea of a love-triangle; this is between the nurse, doctor and patient. The love-triangle appeals to the audience as being something to watch, to be able to laugh at and enjoy. It allows the targeted audience in becoming interested in the advert and product itself.

        The advertisement also makes the products storyline seem like a life and death situation. Once again this refers to the idea of the advert being based on a typical US hospital drama. In a hospital, a life and death situation is usually something at fault with the patient’s body. In the same way the advertisement is made to look like this, although for a different purpose; the hair fading and the patient’s hair being a deadly serious matter– which is something that would not be given any attention to in a hospital. They also use ‘puns’- this is when a word is cleverly given two meanings, sometimes for the same situation. For example, the quote ‘fading fast’ which is said at the very beginning as an opening line is meant to link with the situation. The quote refers to two meanings, one referring to the fact that her hair is fading and the other referring to a life and death situation. Both these meanings connect to the product and setting used in this advert. It also links back with the convention of using a typical hospital drama- making the quote ‘fading fast’ almost seem like a typical catchphrase, used all the time in hospitals. The puns make the audience inclined to wonder about how the advert has used the situation to mean much more, rather than just her hair fading. It also links with the advertisement making the patients hair seem like a life or death situation.

The characters in this advertisement are made to appear as stereotypes from a typical US soap opera. For instance the doctor, nurse and patient are stereotyped by their appearance, behaviour and language. Each characters characteristics are made not to differ from a typical hospital. The doctor used in this advertisement is stereotyped, by making his appearance smart, handsome and professional looking. The advert has made the doctor appear handsome by little issues, such as his perfect gleaming white teeth and shiny looking hair- these are to portrait a typical doctor. The advertisement also stereotypes the nurse and patient, to portray their character to a similar way towards the audience. They make use of stereotyping the characters by emphasising mainly on their appearance and behaviour throughout the advert.

The characters are shot, to fit in with either the emotions or speech used. The close up of the face shows the importance of a clear view of the expression shown, for the audience. The camerawork uses a variety of shots to enable a perfect outcome of the advert. For instance, they use a high angle shot in the middle of the advertisement, when the patient is being treated. They use this angle to show how the product is used aswell as a straight view of the product. The different shots used each have a reason for doing so. The high angle shot emphasises how the product should be used, i.e. shampooed and the straight view of the product shows what the product looks like, i.e. on shop shelves; by showing the size and brand of the product. The advertisement also uses a wipe; the wipe is shown in a clock shape, representing the time taken for the treatment of the patient’s hair. The wipe is also used to get from one scene to another, this is the convention of a typical hair care advert showing the audience the before and after results. Many of the camera shots and moves emphasises the tension of a life and death situation in a hospital- this once again, links with the convention of using a hospital drama. A tracking shot is used to show two sides of something; known as a rotation. For example, the tracking shot in this advert is used when the patient is wheeled in. In this scene there is a lot of movement, capturing the emotions and tension of the music, product, setting and characters used. These are all built upon the camerawork which is created for each individual aspect of the advertisement, which appeals to the targeted audience.

During the advertisement the music changes, this is because the music is made to fit in with the mood of the scene. The music played in the background is an orchestra of violins. The violins are used as they can be played at either a very high or low level of pitch. The violins usually ‘swell-up’ to give a higher tone- this gives the impression of tension being built. For example, when the patient is wheeled in, a fast rush of violins swell upon the music, to build the level of tension for the audience. The music contrasts from different scenes to fit in with either the feeling or emotion involved. At the end when the patient comes out through the doors, the music changes to a soft, heroic theme. This shows almost an accomplishment for the advert coming to an end aswell as for the violin orchestra- the violins dim out to show the advert is coming towards an end. The heroic theme is used after she has used the product, suggesting the problem of her hair fading has been solved. The advertisement also gives a prompt, fine finish defining the violins being subtle. The violin orchestra is used as a backing effect of the advert, by varying the pitch, tempo and volume, it gives an idea to the audience of the mood in role i.e.) the emotions and the feelings involved.

        The voiceover at the end gives the effect of concluding what the advert was about. It also has the effect of a change in voice and tone, showing sternness to the advert. The quote ‘New Alberto Vo5 Fade Defy, for vitally alive hair’ feels like an order being given to the audience, for example, Buy it, Use it, Love it. The quote ‘vitally’ also links up with a ‘life and death’ theme. Meaning two different situations- once again, using the process of ‘puns’, grabbing the audience’s attention to think about and give a larger amount of interest in the product itself. With the voiceover mentioning the products name at the end, feels like if the audience did not understand how the concept of the hospital theme linked up with the actual product then the image of the product and name shown with the voiceover before the advert finishes allows the audience to fully understand what the adverts product was.

        The advertisement has parts that are serious as well as ironic- giving a sense of humour for the audience. At the beginning when the patient is rushed in, the nurse is explaining to the doctor aswell as the audience what has happened. The nurse quotes ‘We found her under the shower, using an ordinary colour care system’, towards the audience this is an opportunity of humour created, although in the advert, nurse has not said it in an ironic way, but towards the audience it is taken as a joke- a sense of sarcasm. Many of the ironic quotes are seen to be on screen as a normal conversation, talking about the ‘hair fading’.

        Compared to other hair care advertisements, this one creates a mixture of sarcasm and humour to satisfy their target audience.

        The advertisement is shown on channel four, after 10pm. The advert is scheduled on a certain channel at a certain time, for their targeted audience. As the advert is aimed at young/mid-old female adults the timing would be set later then 9pm. It is important for someone trying to sell a product to have a target audience. For example, during 3-6pm children have come home from school and all programmes and adverts are targeted at them. From 7-9pm these programmes and adverts would all be repeats. From 9pm onwards it is considered that there is now an adult audience. This time starting, any programmes or adverts shown are directly for adults only and not for younger children. This is why this advert is shown from this time onwards, if the advert was shown at an earlier time i.e. 3pm, a loss in money would be accounted for, as not many viewers would be interested in the advert or product. This is why any product selling has to give priority in have a target audience.

        The programmes on channel four are usually related to US dramas, for instance, Desperate Housewives, Joey, Friends, Lost and many more. The advert ‘VO5 Fade Defy’ itself tries to link in with these US dramas, by making the advert itself require the convention of a typical US drama. Channel fours programmes for example, Lost, requires concentration, this means there us much anticipated with lots of viewers. The advert links in once again as the programme and the adverts require much more thinking than the average programmes and adverts shown on other channels. The reason why this advert is placed on channel four is simply because it shows viewers in US and Britain the advert; this increases the products selling rate. The advert is shown during this time as their targeted viewers are at its highest point.

        Overall, the advertisement is trying a number of strategies to make the advert appeal towards its targeted audience. In my opinion the advert consists of a variety of ways to make the advert appeal to the targeted audience. The advertisement has a uniqueness from all hair care adverts, compelling of certain scheduling, music, sound effects, characters, ideas and many more. I think that the advertisement has been a success in appealing to the target audience.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Audience and Production Analysis section.

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