Advertising Analysis Essay, Research Paper
Alcohol is a product that tends to be advertised by sex appeal and social class, although these specific ads factor these components in, they mainly focus on one gender and its superiority over the other. In this day and age, advertisement takes more than a simple “leave it Beaver” appeal; it takes something that will catch your eyes while flipping through the pages of a magazine or through channels on TV. The whole point of ads is to get you to identify with the characters or their actions, either by having the same characteristics or wanting to. Advertisement has actually gone a step further, now it is okay to be chauvinist and arrogant, even worse, it is accepted and found humorous among society. However, it gets the job done, and that’s all that matters. Sadly, I too found it appealing, and it stuck to my brain like tree molasses. How did a simple ad affect me so? By using the sick, yet truthful mental thinking of men and women. One ad I chose came from a women’s magazine, and it was strictly directed towards women, the other ad was from a men’s magazine and, again, was strictly directed towards men. I chose these two similar alcohol ads to compare and contrast simply because they use the same methods, but at the same time, they are on a totally different level. The layout is different, the targeted audience is opposite from the other, yet the appeal is similar.
The layout of the ad really determines the affect it will have on the readers; it is the base that the appeal comes from. The Seagram’s Coolers, an alcoholic drink, ad targeted towards women came from Cosmopolitan, a magazine for women generally between the ages of eighteen to forty. With a baby pink background and twin white picket-fenced houses the ad is very simple and classic, except for one thing, one house has a giant, unattractive satellite dish centered on the roof. The odd appearance of these houses draws one in to find out why one has something that the other doesn’t. The picture is also mostly centered in the middle of the page, so when your eyes finally start to wander down to the text, you’ll find the sentence, “Women and men like different things.” Two things that were noticeable about the text were the font style and the word, ‘Women’. The significance of the font style is that it is fun and cute, kind of like the drink. Another little add on trick is that the word ‘women’ is capitalized; it stands out like it is the leader of this ad. So after a little zoning, you travel down even further to see what in the world this is advertising by an obviously derogatory picture and slogan. The perpetrator is Seagram’s Coolers. With a cute little pack of wine coolers popping out of a pink circle, the picture of the ad’s product is followed by another slogan; this time it actually has something to do with the drink. “Seagram’s Coolers. It’s what women like.”
The intended audience for this ad is by no doubt, women. I think this ad was well thought up and very effective. Although it does not straightforwardly say that women have better taste than men do, it is clearly suggested. Obviously, women are more likely to drink wine coolers so it is definitely okay that the ad is putting down men. Women can relate to the ad because they will agree with the message the ad is sending across.
Revelstoke Whiskey takes a similar approach. This alcoholic beverage ad was found in ‘Maxim’, a men’s version of ‘Cosmopolitan’. This ad screams male chauvinism all over it. The picture, taking up almost three-fourth of the page, contains a bar scene; the masculine looking man is being approached by a heavy, unattractive woman. The woman is dressed in some very unflattering spandex topped off with too much make-up and a messy hairstyle. As if this wasn’t enough, there were two other things that were eye-catching; her smirk that almost says, “Hey, get a load of me” and her calves which really had nothing to do with the ad, but for some reason the advertisers made them noticeable. Although the man’s face is not visible, one could only imagine an almost petrified, blank face. The message below boldly says, “There’s something to be said for occasions like this. Like, ‘make that a double’.”
This ad actually uses a considerable amount of white space, which brings out several other effects. First, the way the picture is arranged with the words beneath it, it gives it an almost cartoon look, which definitely attracts the eye. Secondly, the bottle of Revelstoke is placed on the white background so that the caramel colored liquor stands bright and inviting. The Whiskey bottle is even pointed up towards the woman, with another insulting comment to the left of it, “Strong, smooth whisky from a country that requires it.”
This ad supports the saying. “A two at ten, and a ten at two.” Although this ad is humorous, it is putting down today’s society; the man will probably not be able to be with “Ms. Perfect” so he has to make his drink a double to make up for the way this particular woman looks.
Comparing two similar ads, which used the same tactics, that were aimed at two opposite audiences was very interesting. Each ad had the same idea: to attract the gender the magazine was intended for by criticizing the other gender. Both ads were effective and had plenty to say about demographics; these ads prove the rapid changes of the American society. Thirty years ago, one could never find an ad like the ones being advertised today. Advertisement moves with the society, the lower the morals and family values go down, the more people will find ads running along the same line. That is why it is important to notice the changes in advertisement, because those changes are really changes that are happening in our society.