– Ad Analysis Essay, Research Paper
“What distinguishes the leaders from the followers?” Unlike the traditional advertising statement, this car commercial asks a question of the audience, a classic strategy to involve the audience. Without the descriptions of the mechanic performances, the ad agent uses the catchy word to suggest the audience that he should keep “independent thinking” in order to be the leader instead of the follower. And then, you have no choice but to be the host of yourself and the owner of the car. Especially, “independent” is a striking, attractive, powerful and popular word, which stands for the desire to control one’s destiny. In a competitive society, everyone expects to be a pioneer but not to be a the follower in a school of sheep or penguin.
??@The character sheep is in strongly contrast to the protagonist the Volvo 960 car. Sheep represents the coward public. Especially, a man who is in high status should not “follow like sheep” but has to control his own life by independent thinking, and by “independent” choice of Volvo 960. In order to strengthen the assertion of “independence”, the expected direction of the rambling sheep is arranged just opposite to that of car’s movement. Meanwhile, the ad agent stresses the hardness of the car in contrast to the softness of the sheep.
??@By covering the spacious whole two pages, the ad agent shows us the grand vista. The car appears luxurious and high-quality with the mass of sheep serving as background. The major character “Volvo 960″ is impressively set in the foreground, which emphasizes its superior and important status. Especially, we notice that there is no driver but a space available for a customer you.
??@To catch the whole view of the car, the ad agent chooses a side angle. With the horizontal composition, we have the feelings of “firmness” and “stableness”. Instead of pursuing speed, the producer stresses on the desire for stabilization for those who are in high rank. Furthermore, there are two more contrasts: one is the color contrast between white-and-black and the other is the character contrast between the sheep and the Volvo 960. Therefore, in view of keeping the contrast between sheep and car, we seem to be unable to find the other colors to replace their original colors. Meanwhile, the white-and-black suggests “elegance” and sense of security.
??@Comparing this commercial with the following one which is also for the product of Volvo 960, we can know that the ad agent still adopts the animal–penguin as the background character. Meanwhile, both have the same theme, which they focus on “independent thinking”. A man in the high rank should appreciate the value of independent thinking but never follows suit as penguin do in the ad. The statement “Independent thinkers never follow suit” is a response to “What distinguishes the leaders from the followers?” in the former ad, which stresses again the importance of independent thinking.
??@The obvious difference between the two ads is that the ad agent substitutes the vertical composition for the original horizontal one. He shortens the distance between the car and the audience by setting the car with front side, which suggests that the car as the leader go forward firmly. However, the direction of the car is still opposite to that of the mass of penguins, which also strengthens the value of independent thinking. To show the elegance of Volvo 960, the ad agent keeps using the white and black colors.
??@Are the customers willing to be the sheep or penguin? The answer is of course “No”. The only one to make right choice is to think independently and to make their own decisions. Then, they will not give up the chance but choose the “right” way as the direction of car–VOLVO. Now, the ads have caught customers’ attention on purpose.
Volvo 960 Publication