The advertisement of Skyy Vodka, in which a man is standing above a woman holding a glass in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other hand, is controversial even today, although it was published in 2000. The woman is objectified in this advertisement, but the final result is effective and this campaign is a success because it does not cross the line between what is right and what is wrong, it just tackles the issue of how gender roles could be perceived in the society.
The advertisement depicts a woman as a sexual object at first glance, but she seems to hold the power because she can manipulate the man through her sex appeal. She is attractive and uses her beauty and attractiveness to seduce men in order to get what she wants or to amuse herself. The man seems to be a servant in her world because he is holding refreshments in his hand. The fact that he is above her does not make the woman weak. She is lying and sunbathing in a swimsuit which means that her life is carefree, while the man is wearing a suit, which suggests that he is there on business. The advertisement is provocative because the woman is lying on her back while the man has spread his legs over her, but that is what makes this a success. There are two ways to grasp the meaning of this advertisement and it makes it successful because in the end, it is ambiguous. The meaning lies in the eye of the beholder and people can decide whatever makes sense. However, the final outcome is that the advertisement cannot be judged as a failure because it can be interpreted in many ways.
Advertisements are supposed to make people think about them and to raise public awareness. There is nothing deliberately insulting about this photo which makes it appealing and alluring. The point of a marketing campaign is to make the public interested in the product and this advertisement has to make people curious about Skyy Vodka. Both the man and the woman in this photo are objectified and that is why the audience cannot take sides. Some people could be offended because of the use of sexual connotations in advertising, but such methods are usually used in the advertisements of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol lowers the inhibitions and it is logical to use put the advertisements in a sexualized context. The purpose of advertising is to attract customers and alcohol, such as vodka, is a social lubricant and therefore, it is justified to put it in such a context of the interaction between a man and a woman. Both the man and the woman are attractive which does not imply that any of them will serve as an object.
Ethos is used in the advertisement by showing attractive people and such people are authority because beauty is credible and it sells. The people in this photo are not famous, but they are sexy and people would want to look like that and have fun the same way they do. The photograph suggests that the man and the woman are leading an exciting lifestyle and that they are celebrating life. Their age is not certain, but they look youthful. However, they are certainly people who take care about their image and styling and health, which is why they can be trusted. The audience is bound to want such a lifestyle for themselves and that is why this advertisement has to be successful.
Pathos is used in this advertisement as well because it provokes many feelings. These feelings are strong and powerful because they are based on desire and identification with the man and the woman in the photograph. This advertisement shows a story which is unfinished and people are invited to create the end according to their imagination. That is why the advertisement is creative because it sparks imagination, which makes people interested and keeps attention. People today work hard in order to make a good living and they feel like they deserve a reward and a good vacation. They want to feel desirable which they will when they learn how to relax themselves and this photo gives them an idea about how to do that. Emotions could make people choose to buy a certain product and vodka is a beverage which is not very expensive. At the same time, this beverage offers a luxurious lifestyle and it attracts people.
Logos is not present in this photo directly, but there is logic to it because the man and the woman seem to be on a vacation and enjoying life. Vodka is there to spice up their lives and it signifies that there will be a party involved. It is logical that an alcoholic beverage, a nice location by the sea, warm weather and attractive people create a good atmosphere. There is nothing bad in perspective and the lifestyle suggested by the photograph is carefree.
I think that this advertisement is a success because it invites people to have fun. It should not be taken too seriously, but it certainly is provocative which raises attention. Many positive emotions are involved in this picture and it makes people wish for such a situation in reality. Everything seems possible with the aid of Skyy Vodka. It makes men more self-confident and women seductive, which is what people find exciting. The target audience is consisted of customers who are free-spirited, open to new experiences and ready to have fun.
Skyy Vodka Advertisement (2000). In Advertolog. Retrieved February 6, 2016, from http://www.advertolog.com/skyy/print-outdoor/riviera-rendezvous-2044905/