Different methods of car advertising in magazines

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Matt King        Page         28/04/2007

Different methods of car advertising in magazines

When one flicks pages through a Sunday paper supplement, one of the most if not the most foremost things is the advertising, more often than not car advertising. It goes without saying that the different methods of advertising used will depend upon the image the company want to portray, and on the target audience. The magazines I have used for the base of my arguments are the various supplements provided with the Sunday Times, and I will use the advertisements from these magazines to look at the different techniques used to advertise cars.

The most striking similarity in all of these advertisements is the effective use of colour. The first advertisement I have chosen is for the Alfa Romeo 156 2.4JTD, and is relatively simple and easy to understand, it uses the same simplistic layout of picture followed by text as in most modern advertisements. It is spread out over two pages, with a silver Alfa Romeo 156 2.4JTD car dominating the top three-quarters of the two pages. Underneath the car is a black border with white text. The text, summarised, is advertising the new Alfa Romeo 156 2.4JTD; the JTD bit standing for diesel, which until now has been unheard-of in an Alfa Romeo car. The advertisement uses shades of grey and blue, the effect of which is to give the impression of a post-modernistic style, and the shine of which gives a certain sleekness to the whole advertisement. The very cool glacier blue colour emits waves of calmness that relax the readers eyes, and according to ‘Feng Shui’, symbolise assertiveness and authority. This effective use of colour is also linked to the cars performance- large and powerful engine, Q-System automatic gearbox, top speed of 156mph, etc. On the right hand side of the advertisement is a thick red border with the Alfa Romeo logo at the bottom, and above that, the words ‘Cuore Sportivo’. ‘Cuore Sportivo’ is Italian, and translated it means ‘Sporting Heart’, which ties in with the image Alfa Romeo has tried hard over the years to create. Another advert that uses colour to good effect is an advert for the Saab 9-5, the advertisement takes place in a desert, which takes up the whole of the one page spread. The desert is very golden and picturesque, and it is perfectly motionless. The golden yellow of the background symbolises confidence according to ‘Feng Shui’, but more importantly it makes the car stand out from the background, yet the reflective silver paint makes it almost part of the landscape. It is interesting how important colour is in each advert.  Most of the images use cars that are shiny and/or silver, to give a futuristic and sleek image of their product. The Saab advert uses blues in the idea of the calm and elegance of the sea, while he use of colour, as in both the first and second advertisements, is quintessential to the success of the third advertisement. The green is calm and assuring, and once again referring to ‘Feng Shui’, symbolises strong growth energy. The idea of strong growth energy is very effective when thought of in conjunction with the theme of parenthood displayed in the advertisement. As with all the advertisements I have chosen, the car is silver, which once again makes the car stand out as well as appearing to be part of the scenery. The scenery itself is a grassy, vegetation covered landscape, which goes on into the misty distance. cold outdoors.

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The approach to the text in each advert varies with the style and concept the advertisement is trying to convey. The text itself is not quite as effective or thought provoking as the colour scheme, and neither does it have clever connotations. It says ‘ALFA DIESEL’ five times in a vertical column, and underneath that it says ‘(NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU SAY IT, IT STILL SOUNDS STRANGE.)’. The car is going against the stereotypical sports car and Alfa Romeo, by being a diesel and not an unleaded that does about seventeen miles to the gallon. The Saab advertisement ...

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