When it comes to visual marketing, the images used to advertise products are usually strategically selected to capture the attention of the target group and lure them to buying the product. The main idea is to communicate visually in the most simple and precise way possible. For any visual advertisement to be effective, it must take into account three aspects: the laws of the visual perception, the cognitive psychology of humans, and economy mostly of space.
In one advertisement of Coca-Cola soft drink, polar bears have been used to endorse the product. The image shows a father and baby polar bears holding bottles of coke each. At the back there is the third polar bear at the back, presumably the mother bear. This gives a visual impression that the product is suitable for the entire family. The use of polar bears and the setup that resembles a snowing region brings out a cooling effect to the viewer. Coca-Cola is a soft drink mostly taken ice cold. Therefore, this snowing setup gives the impression of ice cold coke. The target audience of this Coca-Cola advertisement is the general public since everyone drinks the soft drink.
The second advertisement is that of New Balance sport shoes. This visual advert is a simple one but communicates a lot. Upon a glance, one will think that is an image if a human heart. But when looked at for the second time, one will realize that it is a photo of two sport shoes with water bottles behind them. To the right of the shoes is the brand’s logo and between them is a text “running with the heart”. The advert target audience is the athletic individuals and those who run for their personal health and joy.
Ethics is a very sensitive issue in advertising (Hemalatha 228). Even with the aim of trying to draw the attention of as many customers as possible to buying the product, advertisers are limited to what they can say to the public. First any advertisement must adhere to and maintain the principles of moral order. Second, they must give the people freedom to choose what pleases them. In as much as the main goal of an advertisement is to persuade, it should not force the customers to buy a product for instance by threatening them. Third an advertisement is supposed to help people choose rationally and convince them to do what is morally good. Morally evil advertisements are those that aim at moving people to destroy themselves and their community. This is not morally ethical in advertisement. Finally advertisements are not supposed to put their competitors’ products in bad light. Respect should be considered when designing persuasive advertisements.
Both of the two visual advertisements under scrutiny have adhered to these values. The Coca-Cola advertisement to all the ethical values in advertisement. It does not persuade the public to behave against the moral values of the society in any way. It also does not force customers to buy the product but it only tries to convince them. Finally it does not put its competitors (other soft drinks) in a bad light. The New Balance shoes advertisement has also adhered to ethical values of advertisements. As a matter of fact, it tries to persuade people to do what is right for the community. When more people take to running and exercising, the society will be less affected by chronic diseases that are avoidable such as obesity and diabetes. Therefore, the two visual advertisements have good appeals to moral values of the society at large.
The two visual advertisements have been professionally designed to be appealing to the public at the same time adhering to moral values of advertisement. For the Coca-Cola visual advertisement, the choice of polar bears to endorse the product is very effective. The fact that the whole family of polar bears are (father bear, baby bear, and most likely mother bear) are on the image shows that the product can is made for the whole family. The bears are on top of an iceberg that makes the viewer of the image get the impression of an ice cold coke. The drink is best taken when ice cold. Finally the use of red colour wherever the word Coca-Cola is located makes it clear that it is a product being advertises. Anyone who has a glimpse at the picture gets to see the word Coca-Cola.
For the New Balance sport shoes, the manner in which the shoes and the bottles are arranged to resemble a human heart makes it obvious that the products being advertised is health related and most probably that of the heart. Using a red and white shoes even brings out the heart’s resemblance more. The whole image is simple with the product’s logo on the far left of the image. The text “Run with the Heart” centered on the portrait is simple and straight forward. The design of this visual advertisement is highly professional.
The Coca-Cola visual advert makes use of logos as a persuasion strategy (Mshvenieradze 1). A person is supposed to reason in order to figure out that the three polar bears used to endorse the product represent all members of the family. They are also expected to reason that the bears being on top of an iceberg, and some bottles of Coca-Cola being in a bucket with ice is communicating the fact that Coca-Cola is best taken as a cold soft drink.
The New Balance sport shoes advertisement, on the other hand, makes use of the ethos persuasion method (Mshvenieradze 1). Placing the shoes in a manner that they appear as a heart draws the most attention from people. Matters involving human health are considered to be very important and are taken seriously by the general public. Therefore, when a number of people look at the image, most of them will have their attention captured by it. They will want to find out what is the thing being related to the heard about. Also relating shoes to the heart is a good strategy because people will want to run to have their hearts healthy.
The two visual advertisements, therefore, are very effective as they are in line with the ethical values of advertisement. They are also simple to understand and save on space. Finally the use of ethos and pathos persuasion strategies are very operational.
Hemalatha, B. "Ethics in advertising." ACADEMICIA: An International Multidisciplinary
Research Journal 3.10 (2013): 228-234.
Mshvenieradze, Tamar. "Logos Ethos and Pathos in Political Discourse." Theory & Practice
in Language Studies 3.11 (2013).