The principle of advertising is to sell a product, or to sell a lifestyle.

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Media Essay

The principle of advertising is to sell a product, or to sell a lifestyle. There are several brands of jeans on the market, but they are all marketed and advertised in a different way. They wish to associate certain values, ideas, and dreams with the product. It is then hoped that the consumer will want to buy into that lifestyle and the product becomes a passport to the lifestyle.


Another purpose of advertising is to reposition or rebrand a product. It may be that a product is becoming old, or sales are falling. Advertising campaigns can rejuvenate sales. A classic example is the Levi’s ad with Nick Cave in the launderette, where sales were falling and the ad had sent sales soaring. In addition, advertising is also used to globalise a brand. Pepsi and Mc Donalds are a good example. These are consumer companies known all around the world. Moreover, advertisements aim to inform people about what a product or company is offering; an advertisement also needs to persuade people to buy their product. Furthermore, advertising could be used to get a product into the public consciousness or even into collective subconsciousness.

As a class we looked at a whole range of various Levi Jeans adverts. We then analysed (denoted) each advertisement and noted down the slogan, the music type, who the people were, the action taken in the advertisement, we noted down what they were doing, and understood what the advertisement was trying to imply. (Connotations).


We then looked at a particular Levi advertisement. We looked at the classic advertisement with Nick Cave in the launderette, and noted down each and every move in detail, by understanding and interpreting what he was doing. We co notated each shot, and noted down what the actor (Nick Cave) was trying to imply.


Following this, we were put into groups, and were told to make our own advertisements, using the knowledge we had learnt from our previous work. We all made posters based on denim jeans which were called- Ripper 999, and were told to set out our advertisement very cautiously, making sure we were not implying anything which would portray a pessimistic image, or anything which would degrade the jeans in a negative manner.


Target audiences are very important when advertising a product. A target audience is the audience you are making your advertisement for.  Magazines like "Sugar" have a target audience of teenagers who are aged 12 to17, and as such include lots of features that would appeal to that audience. It also means the layout appeals to that type of audience too. Advertisers would use different ideas and values to associate their product with their target audience. Professional advertisers appeal to their target audience by addressing the interest of that audience and excluding the interests of others. For example, advertisements made to appeal the elderly usually exclude the interests of the young. An advertisement might appeal to its target audience by portraying their likes in a positive way and portraying their dislikes in a negative way.

Levi’s jeans have a target audience of teenagers and young adults aged 13 to 25. Their advertisements have young beautiful people who portray rebellion. Before the 1950s young people were not really seen as a category in themselves. They were either seen as children who had no spending authority or as adults. Throughout the fifties nearly everybody, quite suddenly it seemed, had a lot more money than they did in tough times following the war. Young people had their own spending power as consumers, they became known as teenagers: a new group waiting for fashions and lifestyles on which to spend their money, looking for heroes to follow and interests to pursue. Levi’s aimed to give teenagers more freedom and to persuade people that teenagers were a separate category who must rebel to obtain their rights. And now, teenagers are thought to rebel against their parents as it naturally occurs in them, but this isn’t true, as advertisements have in fact influenced them to be this way.

Denim jeans blasted onto the global consciousness with the release of a movie- ‘Rebels without a cause’ (1955) starring James Dean. In this movie, the rebellious young hero wore blue jeans, black leather jackets and white tight t-shirts. James Dean soon became a sex symbol. This young American non-conformist image connected with youth all over the world who were struggling to define their own role in society. Jeans became a symbol and expression of individualism.

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By the mid 1960s youthful rebels had become long haired hippies in tie-dyed t-shirts and bleached, faded or patched jeans. Girls joined boys and non-conformist youth suddenly became a huge potential consumer group. The denim and jean industries became partners in supplying this fresh youth fashion wave and have surfed it ever since.

Advertisers have to create a strong image for their product. The image that Levi Jeans are setting out is REBELLION. From the mid 1950s onwards, jeans have been especially associated with particular types of male American youth heroes, such as James Dean. He had become ...

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