It is argued that advertising is the cornerstone of every business. Through advertising, a means of marketing communication, a business encourages, manipulates and persuades a target audience to start or continue using their products or services. The modern day advertisement appeals to the consumer through an array of ways as exemplified in the essays written by Cohen, Bovee and Fowles. The placement of an advertisement is very important to its purpose. In making this choice, one should choose a medium that will ensure penetration to the target audience. In addition to placement, the design of an advertisement is very influential. Graphic designers will often consider the target group in order to ensure effectiveness of the designs. All in all, advertisements encompass different elements in a bid to endear to their prospective consumers.
Thesis statement: the advertisements run in the two magazines use among other things design and emotional appeal to endear to their target audience and prospective consumer.
Significance of the Time and Place of Publishing
The two Advertisements appeared in different magazine, although they are about similar products. While one of the advertisements is features in Ms. Solomon, the other advertisement is published in The Tom and Lorenzo Archives. The fact that these advertisements appear in these magazines is not a mere coincidence. Ms. Solomon appeals to women of diverse backgrounds, not only through the content of her blog, but also by the fact that her website runs various advertisements in women’s beauty products. As such, placing and advertisement on this website is significant to its purpose because it is a website that gets a lot of traffic from the targeted audience. On the other hand, The Tom and Lorenzo Archives is a website that for over five years has been involved in fashion advertisements and beauty products that are thought to add glamour to the female form. It is for this reason that placing an advertisement in this popular web magazine serves the purpose of marketing communication.
The target audience in Ms. Solomon’s web magazine is composed of students and guardians. The website is owned by a teacher, who reaches out to children up to the twelfth grade by running relevant content. This particular demographic is under sixteen years. The website also targets the parents and guardians of the students. This is a demographic that is either married or divorced. This demographic is also affluent and can afford some luxury. In addition to running fashion content that targets the guardians and parents and the students during the holidays, the web magazines also features educational content for students.
Unlike this web magazine, The Tom and Lorenzo Archives is exclusive for fashion content and advertisements for fashion products. This website targets affluent female customers who shop for high end fashion products. This target audience has surplus money to spend on premium beauty products. Owing to this, it would appear that placing advertisements on The Tom and Lorenzo Archives is more effective for marketing communication compared to placing the same advertisements in Ms. Solomon’s web magazine.
Graphic Design and Its Elements
The graphic design incorporated in the two advertisements is very articulate. For instance, the advertisement placed in The Tom and Lorenzo Archives achieves perfection in the delivery of different elements of the graphic design. The design uses different color schemes, with the predominant color being red and its different shades. The design also features a shadow effect created by the use of black color. The fore ground of this advertisement is a woman. The camera approached from behind at a 45o from the right hand side so that the only feature captured is the side of her head.
The middle ground of the advertisement features the same woman looking at herself from a mirror. The color theme that is predominant in the advertisement as a whole is featured in the middle ground. The background of the advertisements features images of the product on which the advertisement is based. The difference between the fore ground, middle ground and back ground is that the colors in both the fore and back ground are subdued while the colors in the middle ground are enhanced. This is very effective in bringing focus onto the middle ground. Additionally, there are more features in the background than in the fore ground. This is because the images in the back ground are the images of the product. The graphic design in this advertisement adheres to pointers by Cohen in the fact that the layout is unified. The design achieves this by using similar shapes, color schemes and moods. This makes the design very effective in its purpose.
The advertisement placed in Ms. Solomon’s web magazine is quite different from the other advertisement. Firstly, the advertisement is developed on one place. This means that there is no middle ground and back ground. Additionally, the color schemes used in this advertisement are different. The elements in the design are not entirely unified because some images are larger than others. For instance, the female form in the advertisement is more predominant than other features in the advertisement. This brings the focus onto the woman. According to Cohen, the effect of this is called gaze motion where the advertisement focuses on the looks of the people featured in the advertisement.
The choice of font in the design is not appropriate given the color schemes used and its relation to other elements in the advertisement. The name of the product is written in the near ground and is more visible compared to the other captions in the design. This is because the size of the font used is large enough and the color of the font contrasts with the predominant color scheme in the advertisement. This makes the text stand out. The other texts appear in the far ground and the font size is not easily legible. Although the texts are written in a font color that contrasts with the predominant color scheme, the font size is very small, hence making the text illegible. This is very ineffective especially if part of the message for marketing communication was contained in the captions.
The advertisement placed in The Tom and Lorenzo Archives is very effective in its use of texts. Just like the other advertisement, it uses a larger font size with a contrasting font color for the product’s name and a smaller font size with a contrasting font color for the slogan. The similarity of design in the use of texts has been discussed by Bovee where he adduces that, “no two ads are identical, but the vast majority employ a common set of textual features: headlines, body copy, and slogans” (Bovee 570). However, the design of this advertisement places both the name of the product and the slogan in the near ground. This makes them very visible and as such effective as marketing communication tools.
The words in this advertisement are also few and can therefore pass the message across in the short time readers of the magazine might take when perusing through. Additionally, the words used in the slogan of the advertisement offer a promise to the reader and prospective consumer. It is very apparent from the slogan that this product is an improvement of another product from the same manufacturer. However, the choice of words in the slogan promises the consumer the same starting price, the improved quality notwithstanding.
According to Fowles, there are many emotional appeals that advertisements use in order to persuade, encourage and get consumers to start and continue using their products. These two advertisements endears to the need for attention. According to Fowles (551), “the desire to exhibit ourselves in such a way as to make others look at us is a primitive, insuppressible instinct. The clothing and cosmetic industries exist just to serve this need, and this is the way they pitch their wares.” The use of the female figure is meant to show the target audience what their image could be when they use their products. The idea here is to tap onto the need for attention in consumers.
The advertisement placed on The Tom and Lorenzo Archives is more effective in its purpose compared to the advertisement place in Ms. Solomon’s web magazine. The primary reason for this is because the design and layout of the advertisement has unified all its elements. Additionally, the choice of font for this advertisement is more effective compared to the other advertisement. This is especially because the font of the text is visible and the text is placed in the near ground. The contents of the advertisements imply that beautification is a preserve for the female gender.
However, it is noteworthy that these advertisements place unrealistic expectations and demands on the women. The advertisements define beauty in very unrealistic ways. This is especially because the women used in the advertisements are already attractive even before the products are applied on them. The need for attention blocks the ability of a consumer to decipher that the beauty in the women in the advertisements is not entirely attributed to the products. This makes the advertisement very effective in marketing communication and getting consumers to use the product.
Bovee et al., Making the Pitch in Print Advertisement. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1998
Cohen, Dorothy. Elements of an Effective Layout.New York. Pearson Education. 1988. Print.
Fowles, Jib. "Advertising's Fifteen Basic Appeals." Common Culture. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1998.