Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Reading Reflections: Chapters 7-9

Chapter 7
Chapter Seven describes various ways with which to convey an advertising message; there is a discussion of "showing" versus "telling," with the overarching methods of "lecture," "drama," and "participation." Within the methods of lecture and drama, the book highlights various sub-methods, such as "spokesperson," "slice of life," and "misdirection." The "Old Yeller" ad for Domtar (p. 122) utilized misdirection by taking a story and spinning it humorously to advertise paper; similarly, the Taco Bell "Live Mas" commercial took an initially confusing concept (old people behaving like rebellious young people) and spun it to advertise their brand personality (whether it was successful or not).

Chapter 8
Chapter Eight begins by outlining rules and tips for type in ads, then describes the variety and roles of visuals, and finally offers ways to integrate the two in a cohesive manner. The "Potato Peeler" IKEA ad (p. 144) is a slice of life ad with a weird visual; however, the copy (the name and price of the potato peeler) acts as a quasi-explanation or justification for the visual, while maintaining the absurdity and humor. Old Spice also provided a strange and seemingly irrelevant visual for its "Smell Like a Man, Man" campaign; the campaign also managed to spin the way in which deodorant brands speak to an audience by targeting the women who actually buy the majority of men's deodorant, much like this IKEA ad targets men rather than fall prey to the typical "department store targeting women" approach.

Chapter 9
Chapter Nine highlights the importance of composition in an ad with descriptions of balance, hierarchy, unity, rhythm, etc. The final parts of the chapter discuss ways in which to influence movement and direction when viewing an ad. The "Budget Belt" ad for Guardian Unlimited (p. 159) exemplifies high contrast black and white photography and straightforward composition, just like this (albeit sepia-toned) Outward Bound ad. The "Budget Belt" ad takes a popular expression ("tightening one's belt" in a tough economy) and illustrates it, while the Outward Bound ad takes a more non-traditional associate ("a hand is your best tool when camping") to illustrate the client's message.


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