Magic Codes Essay Research Paper Many advertisements

Magic Codes Essay, Research Paper

Many advertisements use codes to convey a fairy tale to consumers, usually

resulting in a happy ending. This occurs at the expense of the price and means being set

aside. Most advertisements rely heavily on visual props and sometimes on text to convey

their meaning. These codes are open to many interpretations. This ad is no exception. It

uses the visual code on many different levels, and the text is there mainly for explanatory

purposes. These codes all have references to the story-line of Magic: two sorcerers using

spells to fight each other over imaginary regions of land. The advertisement tries

unsuccessfully to convey a happy ending, like in a fairy tale, to the consumer, while

sacrificing price and means.

The code of spatial order is used to show the reader advancements in periods of

time. These advancements can be seen as one looks at the ad from the lower-left corner in

a clockwise circle. The first object one would see is a skull from a Woolly Mammoth,

which is symbolic of prehistoric times. The next object, a computer, stands out because it

does not fit the pattern of chronological order. Wizards of the Coast and Microprose, the

advertisers, use this purposely by drawing attention to the computer and consequently the

computer game. The computer falls into another pattern. This pattern goes in the same

order, clock-wise, but alternates between Magic (the game) and something pertaining to

the background of the game. The next objects are tarot cards and a spell book, both of

which follow the patterns. These objects, along with the mood of the entire ad being dark,

may be interpreted by the consumer to mean death or the devil. This is based on cultural

beliefs and rituals. Most people believe angels and good guys wear white, and therefore

devils and bad guys dress in black. Also, people usually wear black clothing to funerals,

which is essentially a ritual for death. The next item in the pattern is actual cards from the

game of Magic. These cards follow chronological order because they are the result of the

movable-type printing press being invented in the 18th or 19th century. The final

components are a CD-ROM disk and a mouse. These show how science and technology

have advance in the 20th century, and it also reminds the consumer of the computer, and

consequently the computer game.

This printed sales pitch also uses dark and bright colors that contrast each other to

give the consumer more information about the game. The ad itself is dark and mystic,

somewhat evil; it also has blue, mystical back-lighting. The makeshift table at the bottom

of the ad is made up of broken stones that look cold and gray; the light green, almost

magical text appears in the center of the table. All of these things embody the game of

Magic. The darkness illustrates the dark side of the sorcerers; the green lettering

represents the magic that is being used; the broken stones are the battle lands.

These representations of the game itself make the reader want to buy the computer

game. The advertisers make the ad appeal mainly to people who already play the card

version of the game, because they rely heavily on the background story. The two

companies take the logical next step by advancing the card game to computers, the

medium of choice for most consumers today. Sociology shows advancements in culture

from hunting-gathering societies to the post-industrial society the United States is entering

into today. The companies show how they are making the card game ?New and

Improved,? something every consumer likes to hear. Consumers believe they can get

better quality when they hear this phrase, but this ad doesn?t really give better quality to

the game. Although the computer game can be used to play with cards on may never own,

such as a $350 Black Lotus, the game and its concepts are still the same and will remain

so. The price, which is kept a secret unless you call the 800 number in small print at the

bottom of the ad, just isn?t worth it. More cards would be on the market by the time the

CD was released, giving it a disadvantage. The price and means of the advertisement, or

fairy tale, are not worth the end result. For this reason alone, most consumers would not

have a happy ending if they actually bought this product.


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