Media Essay Essay, Research Paper
I am going to examine closely the way advertisers aim their
Products at certain audiences. The audiences mainly targeted are:
vProsperous older women. Advertisements are used to increase the sale of a product and so choosing the right time to show a commercial is vital. A company won´t show an advert aimed at children late at night, when they know their target audience won´t be watching. Children´s products are usually shown in the morning and in the early afternoon and products for adults are shown later on. Advertisers will pay lots of money for perhaps a 30 second slot, in between a popular television programme, because they know that a large number of their target audience will be watching. The two adverts I have chosen to analyse are the M&M advert aimed at children/teenagers and the Virgin Mobile phone advert aimed at adults. I have chosen two adverts, which were shown at different times of the day and in between different programmes.
The M&M advert was shown in between the Simpsons in the early evening. Now this is a good advantage to the advertisers because the Simpson´s is a very popular cartoon programme watched and loved by many including their target audience, children and teenagers. The advertisement is very clever in catering for the two different target audiences. The advert contains both cartoon characters (aimed at the young children) and a popular television presenter (aimed at the teenagers). Straight away the viewer is introduced to the product.
The advert starts with a wide shot of the animated M&Ms, being treated like people and the actor sitting down, with the studio doors behind them. They are in the green room with a lot of people moving around in the background. All through the advert there are people constantly moving about, given the viewer an impression of what it takes to interview a person. Also it makes the viewer feel more involved in the advert, because it feels like you are actually there watching these people rehearse for the interview.
The viewer hears the red M&M speaking. Zoom in on the red M&M. The camera zooms from character to actor, quite a lot. The camera uses slow moves combined with sharp direct moves creating effective shots. “This babe was all over me”.
Zoom in on the actor, who looks very uninterested and bored.
Next the camera zooms out and we see the door opening and a Green M&M looking glamorous, walking in with an entourage of people. Zoom in on Green M&M.
“Hi Green, thanks for coming and doing the show”.
We now find out that this is an interview and the actor is interviewing her, and Green is the big star.
Zoom in on Green M&M.
“Anything for you gorgeous”.
The Green M&M talks in quite a husky voice giving the impression of a movie star.
Zoom in on interviewer.
“I thought we´d talk about your new autobiography”.
We see the soundman preparing in the background. So this is not the actual interview, they are just preparing.
All through the advert people are moving.
Zooms to book.
“Sweet on the inside”
This actually telling the viewer what the M&M is like in the inside. The sweet, referring to the chocolate filling.
Zoom in. Green replies, ”I´ll tell you about the critics, they love it.”
There´s a hidden message in that line, because she is actually referring to the consumers of M&Ms, saying that they love M&Ms.
Cut to the interviewer who goes on to say “and then we´ll talk about your new movie”. This is adding a storyline to the commercial and so keeping the viewer entertained.
The commercial also has some humour added in.
Cuts to Red M&M (acting like a Hollywood agent) “Hey babe I´ve got a part for you”
Cuts to Green “ In commercials-I don´t think so”
That´s an ironic statement, seeing that this is a commercial!
Cut to Interviewer who looks depressed, with hand on chin, and says, “Yeah that´ll kill your career!”
Implying that his acting career has gone that way, because of his previous involvement with commercials.
The camera zooms out and we see the stars sitting on the sofa and the actor looking depressed. We then see the two different types of products i.e. Chocolate M&Ms and Peanut M&Ms that appear at the bottom of the screen. So our last impression of the commercial is the product they are selling.
The advertisement appeals to its target audience by using cartoons, making it enjoyable and appealing to younger children. It keeps their attention to the cartoon and so leaves a memorable impression of the product.
The Virgin Mobile Commercial, is aimed like the M&M advert, at adults.
The advert is set in a living room, and has a very warm, relaxed and cosy feeling to it. They use soft lighting, slow camera actions and make the actors looked relaxed by putting them in dressing gowns to achieve this. Unlike the M&M advert, there are no other actors around. There is just the young husband and wife on screen.
This involves the viewer in the commercial because the viewer is drawn to them. There are no other distractions such as music in the background, other actors, or a voice over advertising the product. Sometimes if there is music in the background, the viewer gets distracted and they then lose the plot of the advert and so lose all interest in it. The commercial starts with a woman lounging on a sofa flicking through a magazine. Her husband is sitting in a chair next to her playing with a phone. They are both in dressing gowns, indicating that it is nighttime. The camera is in the same position all the time.
The woman looks up and asks her husband “Feeling better now you´ve got your Virgin mobile?”
Again like the first commercial we are instantly told what this commercial is advertising.
“Cheap calls and no line rental…I rule!”
In this line, instead of making the commercial boring and having a voice over telling us why a Virgin Mobile is better than any other, they include it into the normal dialogue between husband and wife, which is quite clever. Listening to a product being sold is boring and straight to the point, a storyline keeps the viewer interested and willing to find out what this product is all about.
The woman smiles and goes back to reading.
Then we hear a phone ringing in the background. The woman looks up and then carries on reading, expecting her husband to go and answer it. She looks at her husband as if to say why aren´t you answering it, but he looks away innocently and starts looking around the room.
She puts the magazine down and the camera cuts to a out of focus shot of the side of the man, but we get a clear shot of he woman standing up.
“I´ll get it shall I?”
We see the woman walking in he direction of the phone.
We cut to the man who is laughing. We hear the woman answer the phone. ”Hi it´s me mike”, still laughing.
Shot of woman looking at her husband not amused.
“As you up, make us a cup of tea”
The woman laughs sarcastically and puts the phone down.
The childish behaviour adds humour and a lighthearted feel to the advert.
At the end of the advert the voice over comes in and says. “Spoil yourself rotten”.
This commercial appeals to adults because they can identify with this average couple, because most of the population comprises of average couples. The advert gives the viewer the impression that if the couple on the television advert can afford this phone, then so can we. The advert doesn´t use a businessman in a suit to promote the product because this would appeal to only a small percentage of the population. The “Virgin Mobile” is shown as the ideal phone, having no line rental and cheap calls, and by showing the man wasting these calls on playing jokes on his wife, it is saying that he can afford to waste calls, because the calls are cheap. At the end of the advert the viewer is left with a number to call, to get a free brochure. The number is left to the end, in the hope in what the viewer has heard in advert will make them want to ring up and find out how they could get a phone or brochure.
If a number is shown at the beginning of a advert, the viewer doesn´t know what the company is advertising and so is more likely to switch off.
The number at the end of the commercial leaves a lasting impression on the viewer.
The two adverts are aimed at different audiences, but use similar tactics to entice the viewers into buying their products.
We are a nation of television viewers and so therefore a captive audience for advertisers. If we like an advert, and we need to buy such artefact, then we are most likely to buy the product advertised because it has left a good impression on us.
As long as commercials are straight forward, amusing and put over the product in an interesting way, they are a powerful source of informing the public and potentially selling the product.