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How successful is advertising? A comparison of two adverts discussing the techniques they use to persuade the consumer to buy products.

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Introduction

Advertising Question: How successful is advertising? A comparison of two adverts discussing the techniques they use to persuade the consumer to buy products. Advertising is a form of commercial mass communication designed to promote the sale of a product or service, or a message on behalf of an institution or organization. Evidence of advertising can be found in cultures that existed thousands of years ago, but advertising only became a major industry in the 20th century. Today the industry employs hundreds of thousands of people and influences the behaviour and buying habits of billions of people. Advertising spending worldwide now exceeds �180 billion per year. Advertising agencies help create and place advertisements in a variety of media, including newspapers, television, direct mail, radio, magazines, the Internet, and outdoor signs. Advertising is so commonplace in the Western Society that an average person may encounter from 500 to 1,000 advertisements in a single day, according to some estimates. Advertisers use a variety of techniques to engage consumers and persuade them to buy their product over another. I am going to analyse these techniques, and how and why they differ, by comparing and evaluating two magazine adverts. I will focus on the images used, the technical procedures used to create them, the language, how they cater to specific target audiences, the industry behind them and their overall messages. The first advert I have chosen as an example is a Lux shower gel advertisement. The second is for an Adidas face cream. The focal point of my first advertisement is an image of Sarah Jessica Parker, a well-known American actress in her 30's. I think she is around the same age as the target audience, if not slightly older. I think her age helps sell the product because one of the selling points of the shower gel is, sophistication, and refinement which younger people will recognise in her and aspire to. ...read more.

Middle

It takes up the bulk of the space. Both adverts are produced using mainly still photography. This gives them both a realistic aspect. However the first is slightly more naturalistic, in that she is actually in the process of doing something everyday such as getting out of car. The second however is entirely posed. A full body shot is used in the first advert and a mid shot in the second. I think this is because the first product is for use all over the body and the second for use just on the face. Therefore, the advertisements are able to show how the product makes the peoples skin look. I am now going to analyse the language used in the copy. The brand name of the product is Lux. It is a play on the word 'luxury', and the shower gel is marketed as being up market and luxurious. The language throughout the advert reflects this. For instance, the words "pearls" and "rich" are included in the copy. In addition, the word Lux actually means light in Latin, which is a referral to the "radiance" the shower gel, will give your skin. The slogan is "Brings out the (star) in you" and refers to the product. It fits in with the image because Sarah Jessica Parker is a Hollywood star and the advertisers are implying that using the product will make you more like her. The copy re-enforces this by saying that the product will "add a little opening night radiance". In other words, using the product will make you look as good as Sarah Jessica Parker at a film premier. It is written in the present tense. The slogan is short and the language simple. This is to make it memorable, and therefore the product more memorable so you are more likely to remember it when you see the product again and have the urge to buy it. ...read more.

Conclusion

However this information is not essential in a consumer advert, as it would be in a trade advert because then the company details would be essential. However, I can tell that the product is made by adidas, as the explicit use of the famous 'three-stripe' logo is one of the advertising techniques. I have not seen any other adverts for the product itself, though I have seen advertisements for the other products in the range and they work on similar themes and ideas. I think this is because they have similar target audiences. I am now going to see how all the elements of the adverts come together to form an overall message. The overall message of the first advert is that if you use the product, it will make your skin glow and you will look more like a Hollywood star. The role model presented is the glamorous stylish sexy woman in her thirties. It also presents a stereotypical, slim beautiful actress, which is something many women aspire to be. It presents the idea that the celebrity lifestyle is to be admired and aspired to; because the whole premise of the advert is that the product will bring out the star in you. The product places high values on quite materialistic things such as beauty, glamour and luxury but also basic hygiene. It also plays on the consumers desire to keep up appearances. They have presented an extremely opulent image of the product, therefore the image conscious target consumer will purchase it to use that image and reflect it onto herself. The overall message of the second advert is that the product will protect the consumer's skin. It provides a fit, attractive young male as a role model. It is full of very explicit male stereotypes such as the boxer, and shows the typical characteristics of male aggressiveness and strength. The advert seems to fulfil the image conscious male's desire to look after their skin and their overall appearance, whilst remaining masculinity. ...read more.

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