The subsequent analysis refers to the analysis of a print based advert for SIS hydration products as presented in a recent edition of Cycling Plus magazine (SIS 17). The paper will focus upon the specific issues of the use of imagery, text usage and audience appropriateness.
Having been initially drawn in to the attractive and colourful background, the central image which takes up around 50% of the page spread and is located upon the right hand upper side of the page is a presentation of the product being sold. Here the reader is presented with an computer enhanced image of the product being “splashed” into a pool of water. As such, the reader of the magazine is left in no doubt as to the core features and benefits of the product from the very first viewing of the advert.
Underneath the central image there is a central strap line which is presented in an attention grabbing day glow green colour stating “Improve the way you hydrate.” In this case the word “HYDRATE” is spelled out all in capital letters and is given a much larger font than the rest of the words in the strap line emphasising the benefits of the product, this is a hydration product. This is particularly effective in capturing the attention for the reader as the first time the writer saw this advert it was the HYDRATE word which was initially read followed by a re-reading of the entire strap line.
Having been initially drawn to the striking image and bold strap line of the print advert, readers are subsequently invited to read two paragraphs of text which explain the specific features and benefits of the product. In some ways the text may be seen as highly linked to theoretical models of buyer behaviour in that the product stages the problem (loss of hydration) and subsequently presents the SIS product as a solution to that problem (Belch and Belch 113-114). None the less, while the accompanying text is useful in generate in further interest in the product on offer, it may be seen that even if the reader fails to take account of this information, the previous iconography used in the advert will have already achieved the aim of presenting the SIS brand, product and solution. The text merely acts as an additional source of technical information for those who need a more scientific explanation of the product on offer.
Finally under the paragraphs of text which are presented on the bottom quarter of the page is a list of affiliate partners and companies which the SIS brand sponsors. This may be seen as an attempt on the behalf of SIS to create credibility though association with trusted entities within the sports and cycling communities.
While the advert analysed appears to be well made from an image perspective with single flowing structure and there is a clear message conveyed about the features and benefits of the product and the brand in question, there are however concerns over who the target audience is. As stated at the start of the paper, the advert has been printed in a cycling magazine suggesting that the majority of readers will have an active interest in the sport of cycling. However, while many readers will have an automatic understanding of the problems of hydration and the need for a solution within the sport of cycling, the print adverts does not make a single reference to the sport with the exception of the listing of two cycling entities in the sponsorship and affiliate marketing section at the bottom of the advert. As such, it may be seen that the advert has missed a key opportunity to aims its advert at a very specific targeted segment as driven by the readership of the magazine (Jobber 506-508). Instead, one must come to the conclusion that the advert is aimed more at a wider audience for general sports. While such a technique may have drawbacks, there may be some benefits to such a strategy in that the advert may be easily transferred into other similar publications such as running or general sports magazines without necessarily having to customise the advert for a limited run.
Having reviewed the advert, the essay comes to the conclusion that on the whole SIS has done a good job in creating a relatively eye catching advert which conveys the brand and product to readers of the magazine in a relatively short space of time largely through the use of a bold central image. In addition, for those needing a greater level of convincing more detailed information is presented in later elements of the advertisement. While the advert may on the whole be seen as a well crafted piece, this is a concern that the company may have wasted a key opportunity to have delivered a more targeted performance in line with the readership of Cycling Plus magazine.
Belch, George, Belch, Michael. Advertising and promotion. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2009. Print.
Jobber, David. Principles and practise of marketing. London: McGraw-Hill, 2007. Print.
SIS. “Improve the way you hydrate.” Cycling Plus. July. 2012: 17. Print.