A Study of Advertising.
Katy Fearon 10JLs
G.C.S.E coursework: Media
A Study of Advertising.
Advertising, the thing that seems to be wherever you look. The catchy songs from television and radio adverts, the annoying slogans that just wont get out of your head that you read on leaflets and posters, and the abnormal smiles that leer at you from unnaturally cheery face on billboards. You cannot avoid advertising, but how else would we find out that Debenhams have the best ever sale on right now, or know that Schue have the boots you have been dreaming of? Do we really want to live without advertising?
But advertising doesn’t just promote clothes and shoes. It gives all types of businesses and charities the opportunity to get their business known to the public. Holiday companies advertise parts of countries such as Ireland, Wales and some exotic destinations such as Caribbean cruses and the Bahamas beaches. Central heating companies advertise their reliability and ability for us to depend on them. Companies such as British Gas have adverts showing the quality of its work force.
The first aim of any advert is to catch the interest and attention of its audience. Once the advert has done this, it can try to make the product it is advertising sound desirable. Advertising companies will also want their advert to persuade the public to trust the company and their product. Some other types of adverts main aims are to make an impact on people and get an important health or safety message through to them.
Just including the products name and a photograph, however artistic it may be, is not always enough to make the product look desirable. Similarly, if the advert is designed to make people think twice about drink driving, it would be useless to have an advert with a blank screen and the words, ‘Please don’t drink and drive’.
Advertisers need to use various methods and techniques to make their advert successful and memorable.
Layout, graphic devices and typography make the advert attractive. The way the advert is set out, the pictures and photographs used and the style and size of the font can be the difference between the advert catching some ones eye and being a success, or an advert looking dull and boring and being unsuccessful.
The creators of an advert really have to think about the demographic profile the advert is aiming at. The tone of the advert can help to make sure the advert is suitable for the right audience, e.g. ‘perfect playtime pals’ spoken in a fun, soft female voice would not do for an advert for expensive porcelain figurines aimed at mature adults.
Endorsements can play a huge part in the success of an advert. Everyone wants the same football boots as David Beckham, or J-Los perfume or even the same drink as Michael Owen or Johnny Wilkinson. If a product in an advert is being recommended or even designed by a celebrity we want it!
Sometimes conventions attract people to an advert. If someone uses a phrase or saying regularly, then maybe hearing it often attracts people to an advert that includes it. Furthermore, some phrases and sayings can be extremely catchy and stick in our minds for a long time and help us to remember the product. Similarly, if an advert makes reference to famous nursery rhymes or fairytales, then children will remember the advert.
Advantageous promises are the way to get almost everyone’s interest. If we can buy something and get another free, or even get 10%, 20%, or 50% off something, we want it! These offers and deals always seem too good to miss and they are a great way for companies to advertise successfully,
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Charities will almost always use emotional triggers to get their audience feeling guilty because they live a better lifestyle compared to others. This is designed to make them give money or help to starving children living in extreme poverty or abandoned dogs that have been abused and starved.
Adverts for new technology such as mobile phones, computers and fancy cars will often use a lot of ‘jargon’ to sell the products. Scientific and technical language will impress us and make us think the product shown has so many worthwhile features that we can’t do without it. Even if we don’t understand half of the jargon used.
I think the ‘Exclamation Play’ perfume advert is a successful advert because the layout is quite unusual. The image of the product is not very prominent as it is positioned higher on the page instead of in the middle of the advert. The name of the product is also smaller in size when compared to other adverts. The image in the centre of the page reflects the message written below it, ‘that’ll have him right where you want him’. The image shows a well-manicured hand with a male figure wrapped around the little finger This suggests that to use this product would mean you would attract male attention. The emphasis of this advert is the seductive nature of the product.
The demographic profile of the advert is aimed at young women who enjoy going out and dressing up. The soft pink background and beautifully manicured hand suggests femininity.
The tone of the advert is light hearted and fun and it gives the impression of being within the price range of the user.
There are a lot of interesting parts to the advert not least the typography. The clever use of the exclamation mark in the word ‘play’, (it replaces the letter l) as well as the word ‘exclamation’ being part of the product name is well thought out and adds a sense of fun and humour to the advert.
The advert uses a convection that is well suited to the tone that the advert is trying to create. The idea of having a man wrapped around your little finger and having him right where you want him makes the product more desirable.
The graphic devices used in the advert look very realistic, even though you would never see this image in reality.
I think that if you were flicking through a magazine and came across this advert, you would be attracted to the colours used in the background and you would be intrigued by the strange image of the hand and would pause to look at it in more detail.
These are what make this advert a success.
There are many techniques that nearly all TV adverts include, that would be impossible to use in magazines; these techniques can make TV adverts very successful.
TV adverts can include movement. People can act out small dramas, and do little dances to make the advert memorable and funny. Television adverts can also make use of clever camera tricks to make a successful advert. Zooms and fades can make a mystical atmosphere, where short fast shots can make the advert look adventurous and full of action.
One of the most obvious techniques to include is sounds and music, such as slogans that fit to catchy tunes and jingles. Some examples of these are “currys: always cutting prices” and one of the most famous slogans “you can do it when you B&Q it!” Another way that sound is used is in voiceovers and other people on the screen to describe the product details or deliver a message to the public. I think that one of the most successful adverts to use sound to make an impact doesn’t use voices at all. This advert is one of the pleas from the NHS and the only sound to be heard through the whole advert is the sound of a ventilator helping a woman to breathe.
TV adverts can also describe a product’s details a lot more than magazines as TV adverts can put written information at the bottom of the screen and this information can change, unlike a magazine.
I chose to analyse the TV advert for the Nokia 6600 mobile phone to analyse. I like this advert because it is different to most adverts and has many features similar to a story, like characters, a clear simple setting and an unusual twist.
The advert makes the setting clear which is important to the adverts success. It makes sure that everyone watching the advert knows it is set in an airport. Certain points are picked out that are typical of an airport such as the flight times and the luggage scanner. Airport noises are used in the background to make the setting absolutely clear to the audience. The fact the airport is foreign becomes apparent later as we see the staff uniforms.
There are three main characters in this advert. The man is the owner of the jacket and the phone and looks around thirty years old and a successful businessman. I make this assumption because he is smartly dressed in a suit and looks intelligent. This man is used because he is portrayed as the type of person most people would like to be. This is important because the way Nokia has chosen to sell this product is by making people believe that by owning this phone you too can come across to others as a success. The other two characters in the story are two foreign security guards. The fact that the guards are foreign is important because this means there will be little talking in the advert and the silence from the main characters makes this advert successful. If the characters were to talk the attention would be taken away from the important features of the phone.
Every story needs a plot and the story in this advert is no different. The story starts with the main character (the man), reading the flight times on a board. At this point in the advert, it is not clear that the timetable is for flight times though, so the setting of the advert is still slightly unknown. The proper location and setting of the advert soon becomes clear as the man puts his jacket onto the scanner belt at the airport. The jacket is scanned in detail and then even closer up. The scanner shows something really unexpected. As the jacket moves through the scanner the screen shows lots of different electrical appliances such as an alarm clock, a watch, a stereo, a camera, and lots of other electrical goods. The security guard are confused and show concern at the image on the scanner, and as the man takes his jacket away the security guards pull it back. They feel the jacket all over but to even more surprise find none of the items on the scanner. The security guards share a confused glance at each other before the man takes a mobile phone out of one of the jackets pockets. The guards take the phone as the man hands it over and begin to explore the phones many features, but when the man holds out his hand to take back his mobile the guards shuffle away and are reluctant to give it back!
When filming a TV advert it would be obvious to somebody who had never filmed an advert before to take advantage of clever camera tricks and shots. So like you would expect the Nokia 6600 advert uses plenty of camera techniques.
In the first few seconds, there is a mix. This means that there are two shots shown on screen at one time and in this case there is a shot of the man and a view of the flight times. All of the changes from shot to shot on this advert are straightforward cuts. A cut is a quick change from shot to shot where the picture is immediately replaced by the next. This is so the advert is not long and drawn out with fades that would not fit in with the rest of the advert.
There are many different view shots such as extreme long shots, showing all of the surroundings, a person would be a mere speck and almost invisible. This type of shot is useful for landscapes but is not needed in the Nokia advert. A long shot shows less surroundings and a person can be seen in minor detail. A full shot shows a full body from head to toe and only includes the surroundings that can be seen behind the person and can be used to show a person’s body language. However a mid-shot is much better for showing vague facial expressions and movement of hands, as this shot focuses on the person’s waist upwards. For a better view of facial expressions a close up is used. This shot shows a person’s face in detail and is a good way of presenting the audience with emotion and is often used in dramas for this reason. An extreme close up is rarely used as this only shows about one quarter of the face. As this shot shows hardly anything except wrinkles it is often used in comedies to imply the person has the camera the wrong way around and has his eye on the lens. There are less point of view shots, however one of these is an over the shoulder shot and shows whatever the actor can see. The best way to show the landscape or simply move over from one point of a room to another is by panning. This is not very complicated and only involves the camera gliding smoothly over the scene.
The Nokia 6600 advert doesn’t use all of these techniques. However, it does use panning to glide over the scene and make the setting clear. A long shot is used at the end of the panning to show the man waiting in a queue to scan his jacket through the scanner. After this we see a close-up of the unusual contents of the jackets pockets, then we see a closer shot, but not an extreme close-up, of the scanner screen to look in more detail at the image on the scanner. After this there is a mid-shot of the two security guards. This shows the confused look on their faces and the equally confused body language they portray. As the man picks up his jacket there is a long shot and after the guards pull it back it changes to an over the shoulder shot from behind the man to show the guard’s shrugs of sheer confusion. Another long shot is used to show the man handing over his phone and the guards refusing to give it back.
There are two types of sounds used in the advert, the background noises to make the setting realistic and the voice over at the end of the advert used to describe the phone. The three main characters never say a word throughout the entire advert. This maybe so the attention is not drawn away from the guards’ faces and their reaction throughout the advertisement. This also avoids distracting the audience from the important functions and ideas about the product.
The background noises include the beeping of the scanner as objects go through, loudspeaker announcements and the “ding-dong” sounds that precede them, people around the airport chatting and gossiping and noises from departing and arriving aeroplanes outside. This all adds up to a realistic airport environment and the audience can really believe that the man is in a real airport with genuine holiday makers and business men on urgent overseas business.
The young kind of deep male voice over fits in with the main character in the advert, as he sounds well educated, around the same age and speaks with the same confidence the mans body language suggests.
“Yes, you can have it all” is the first thing we hear the male voice over say. This phrase is a twist of a well-known saying, and suggests this phone opens up a whole new world of possibilities. The next part of the voice over is “In the Nokia 6600 phone, vision becomes reality” This implies that this phone is a step forward for technology and is the vision of the future. The last part of the voice over is the company’s well-known slogan and could have two meanings. “Nokia, connecting people” This could mean connecting socially and improving social connections and connecting people electronically with technology.
This advert is rather different to most, as the colours in the main part of the advert are dull greys and drab browns. Not very attractive! However, this lack of colour works in these parts, as most airports are dull, and there is nothing to distract the attention from the main points of the advert, such as the mans actions and the security guard’s reactions. The only main uses of colour is on the scanner screen, to enhance the image of the camera, the computer keyboard, the watch, alarm clock and other fancy, expensive equipment shown. This has the effect of really drawing in the audience’s attention to the curiosity of the situation. The turquoise, yellow, reds, blues and greens that are used really jump out after the dull greys and browns of the man’s suit and the guard’s uniform.
The other main use of colour is right at the end of the advert, when only the phone and Nokia slogan can be seen. The main area of the screen is white, but the writing is bright blue, and at the top and bottom of the screen is a blue or green strip. This image is a lot fresher compared to the dull, sludgy colours of the main advert. The sudden change is abrupt and unexpected, but the colours jump out and the phone looks desirable mounted on the fresh colours.
In my opinion, the Nokia 6600 advert is successful because the plot is almost realistic, the camera work is good, the sounds make the setting real, and the colours enhance and contrast. These points make this advert successful in making the phone desirable. The main messages about the product are that the functions are fun and make life easy. This advert is mainly aimed at young adults who wish to be like the man on the advert, but older teenagers might be attracted to the desirable functions. If I made this advert, I would not make many changes, but I would maybe direct the guards to mutter confusion quietly to each other in a different language.
I think this advert should be shown from about 6pm until 11pm in the evening, as the target audience is a working person who earns enough money to afford this expensive phone. Throughout the day this target audience will be at work, but in the evening they will be relaxing in front of the telly.