Social Success or Material Rewards
As Jack Solomon tells us in Masters of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising everyone in America wants to attain the American dream. I ask myself, however, is this a dream of equality, or rather a bettering of ones self to become a greater individual who may rise above the crowd. Whatever the case, advertisers manipulate each person into desiring this infamous dream.They do this by giving value to our insecurities and by giving us a sense of acceptance if we buy their products. Whether it is our hope, our fears, and our desires or beliefs, all play a part in determing who advertisers target. Advertisers include and exclude.
When comparing two advertisements we must take some things into consideration, one such as living in a nation of fantasy. Some think we live in this type of environment today I suppose. In fact, I believe people prefer sign to substance, both men and women alike. Take an ad of Virginia Slims for example: it presents a young, vibrant woman with a beautiful smile receiving a dozen red roses from a good looking man. She is flirting, laughing, and it truly looks like she is having a good time. For some women this is a fantasy. The advertiser is trying to produce an image every woman wants to be when she is smoking. While women want to look sexy, men also share this point of view. An ad selling Parliament Lights pictures a woman in a white, pure looking dress walking casually up the winding stair case of a castle. The man, who is smoking this time, is gazing into the womans eyes, while holding her hand, and is following her up stairs. Like the Virginia Slims ad, this ad provides a fantasy for men this time. Advertisers provide these smart ads for a wide range of buyers.
Every ad has to have the right setting to pull the story of the picture together. In the setting of the Virginia Slims ad, a soft, gray background lets the woman stand out in the illustration while receiving the expensive roses in her sexy looking dress. This type of setting suggests more of an elitist approach to the ad. The woman is obviously both special and unique to receive the gift of roses. Although the Virginia Slims ad is eye catching, the Parliament Lights ad includes a few extra components to its setting. For example the story takes place in a castle which is surrounded by a relaxing blue water, and both details bring purity and elegance to smoking. This type of effect not only provides a fantasy for a man, but also a sense of paradise, an elitist approach. The two individuals definitly portray a belonging to the upper class.
Sex sells because it never fails as an attention getter. In the Virginia Slims ad the woman is perfect, her teeth are straight and white, she has a flawless complexion, and a great figure. That is why she is wearing such a bare dress. Women want to look like this to attract to the opposite sex. There is only a side view of the man giving her roses, but he as well demonstrates the same qualities. The two in the picture look like they are meant for each other, what a surprise! I found there are more sexual clues in the Parliament Lights ad though. The ad shows both of the characters whole bodies instead of just the top half as does the Virginia Slims ad. The man who is smoking is only wearing his pants, while the woman is wearing a considerably tight dress with high heals. Not the kind of outfit you would expect on an everyday stroll. What really gives the clue is that the woman is walking up the stairs to her castle with the man following closely behind. What do they really mean by the Perfect Recess?
Photographic techniques are very important to the ads themselves because they actually provide the illusion that allures the reader to visualize the story of the ad. The techniques differ considerably between the two advertisements. In the Virginia slims ad, the photo of the woman