Analysis of of Advertising Project

This is a written analysis of Sneeks ad campaign project, for our advertising and imagery class.

Rachel Stark

Ads Analysis

9 Feb. 2012

In analysis of my advertisements for the Sneeks campaign, I thought it would be best to use an analysis method that we have already been using in class, ideas presented in the video Codes of Gender.

What is perhaps the most interesting thing about my boys and girls ads is not what they have in common, but how they are different.  I left people out of my first two ads for a purpose, how do we as as population know that this ad is a girl’s ad without a girl being in it or a guy’s ad with out a guy being in  it? How is the girl’s ad directed to girls? From the video Codes of Gender, we are told that we participate in the gender roles that society has set up and expected us to act in.  That particular style of boot that takes the background in the girl’s ad, in our society, is defined as female fashion, and it is only a style of shoe that females wear. Therefore, putting that type of boot in an ad is following the agreed rule of society that that shoe is feminine and therefore the ad would be socially agreed on as feminine. The purple background is also significant because in our culture, colors are gendered. Colors such as pink and purple that are tints and shades of primary colors red and blue, are typically viewed as feminine.

In the boy’s ad, the subject of gender is dealt with in the exact same way.  The particular style of shoe in background is also associated with the style of shoe that typically males wear.  So, in our society when this ad is viewed it would socially agreed on that this is an advertisement geared to males because it features the types of shoes that they typically wear or associate with shoes that males wear. The gray and concrete background of the boy’s ad is not meant to be a significant as the purple in the girl’s ad, however it is also a popular idea in American society that not only are colors gendered, but the having more color is considered more feminine then not having color.  The gray background in the boy’s ad semiotically, is associated with absence of color, a socially male trait. Males, according to the standards described in Codes of Gender are supposed to be in control of their environment and not distracted. Color tends to distract viewers., especially male ones.

In the third ad, the ad directed at both male and female ads still features the  American ideal of romantic love. American society loves the idea of a one true love, and that every boy and every girl can have the love life that they want to have.  Though in terms of gender analysis, the two figures in the ad are seemingly androgynous. There are no gender- specific qualities that the figures possess, except for maybe the clothes that they are wearing and the position of the feet. According to Codes of Gender, the figure on the left would be seen as the masculine character because his feet seem more grounded, and the figure on the right as more feminine because the feet are off balance, making the figure on the right seem more supported by the figure on the left However, in the dim lighting the clothing can also seem ambiguous and gender neutral.   The advertiser relies on the societal convention of the heterosexual relationship to make this ad successful, because the facial and upper body sex descriptions are not pictured in the advertisement. Based on the idea that heterosexual relationships are the majority of most relationships and most socially acceptable, viewers will most likely view the ad as inherently heterosexual.

Of all three advertisements, the advertisers seem as though they are trying to make only subtle differences between genders. In an effort to market the same type of shoe to both genders, I think that must be a necessity. The shoes can neither look too masculine or too feminine, or the product market decreases.  By placing value on ideals that both genders are interested in, (romantic relationships) it takes pressure off the advertiser to find something that both marketable without discriminating too much within gender.

Photography Credits

Ugg Shoes –

Boys shoes –

Grey background –

Purple background –

Couple background -


Sneeks Ads Campaign

Sneeks Ads were a class project in which we had to create an cohesive  ad campaign that contained three ads, one that was targeted towards males, one towards females, and one for both sexes:

Reflection on The Persuaders

As I watched the The Persuaders, I was absolutely engrossed. The ways in which advertising has become so integrated and assimilated into our culture is startling. I was so fascinated with how ads are marketed to people. There is such an amazing depth in which advertisers try and sell a product. Advertisers capture the very essence of people, they get under their skin, and never before have I seen human emotions and interaction analyzed in such a way. For me,  it is a shame to find out so much about people, and only use that information to sell something. One thing that really surprised me, was the role that brands and brand loyalty play in peoples’ lives and also how advertising is integrated into entertainment. Not only are there commercials, but the advertising is also inside of the entertainment that we watch.
I’m more than a car, I’m a Chevy. That means something to you, right?
In order to create brand loyalty, advertisers in The Persuaders actually studied cults in order to know how to create a deep, loyal following to their own brand. How crazy is that? And even crazier, it worked. Brand loyalty plays on the human and societal need to belong. The brands just don’t try to sell a product they try to sell meaning. Brands provide a ready made identity and provide people with a transference of feelings from the emotions about an idea to the product. One advertiser went as far as to create a lovemark, or a brand with loyalty beyond reason. These lovemarks create emotional connections, and move from a brand to an experience.  This was one of the methods used by the airline company Song.
Song’s advertising would have exploded today, I believe that Song was on the right track with using the brand as an adjective, as an inner state of mind, but with the advent of Facebook and apps and the whole social media / app sensation, I think that Song would have had more of a chance to become big. Today,  I think that Song would need more, as hard as they have worked, as much as they have researched, and as good as what they campaign is, I don’t think that in 2012, 8 years later, that it would suffice. Airlines are increasing in price, and I don’t know if Song could maintain their promises and advertising in today’s world.  Though there are so much more advertising opportunities (social media/ hyper façades), they have to do it first.
The integration of advertising in entertainment also shocked me. I think that for advertising, that it is BRILLANT.  Yes, it is product placement, but in movies such as Cast Away (Fed-Ex) and I Am Sam (Starbucks), The Persuaders argue that we grow to see brands as heroes and characters, they take on human traits and we care about them as we would other humans. We have that transference of feelings and emotions. As we personify our pets and our cars, we personify other products and through that we give them significance.
Advertising, I have to disagree with the movie by saying that it does not destroy our society, but it defines us.  Some people may view that as a bad thing, but I see it for what it is. These products are no longer just products, they are a part of us, we give them meaning. It doesn’t matter that the meaning is fabricated, or that it is intended to appeal to us in the first place. It only matter how people see it, products have no inherent emotional qualities, but now they are a part of who we. It is not a surprise to anyone that to be American, is to be in a consumeristic society. But is it? Just because ads aim to sell, or are fabricated, doesn’t mean that the ideas they carry or the concepts they try to sell aren’t real. 

Killing Us Softly? One Ad Would Have us Fendi(ng) off Predators

In Comm 406, we watched the most recent part of the advertising video “Killing Us Softly”  and “Gender Roles”, videos that represent the role of women in advertising and also how masculinity and femininity are represented in society.  As the videos tell us, the treatment of women in advertising is absolutely horrible. Women are seen as second- lass inferior beings that only matter if they have ethereal beauty and a flawless body image.  As upsetting this is to me as a woman, on a different level as an advertising student, it provides an interesting perspective on how society and the media define the roles of women to people in said society. 
Though, one would think that if such a terrible thing like this were happening, that people would notice. One would hope that they would speak out against the advertising companies who have shown them in the negative light for so long, but unfortunately no. Until I watched “Killing Us Softly”, even I was unaware of the insidious effect that negative advertising toward women, not only do I view it and am innocuous to its meaning, I am a product of it. I don’t think there are any of us women who are not products of it.
As Gender Roles states, Advertisements are presented as commercial realism,  and present the world in the ways it could be real. Their ( the ads) seeming normality tells us about ourselves.
Fendi advertisement in Elle Magazine.
Photo found here.
I found this ad in the newest edition of Elle Magazine:
What does this ad seem like it is trying to sell you? What if you didn’t know what kind of company Fendi is?

Obviously there is an attractive model, but where is she? Why is she standing on a dark street corner at night? At first it might be a innuendo to being a prostitute, however, the model is in conservative clothing, and carrying a handbag. So, the idea of prostitution is unlikely. 
With her close-cropped haircut and Photoshopped face, the model has a very young, almost childlike appearance. She is very slim and has slender, and almost shapeless legs. Perhaps if her lips and face were a little fuller, she would look positively cherubic.As “Gender Roles” notices, Females are often subjected to infantilization, women never leave girlhood. Girls and women are presented the same. Childhood is mixed  with adult sexuality.
The goal of this ad however, it that and more. Young looking girl alone in a dark alley, with a worried expression on her face. She is supposed to signify vulnerability. From society’s view these days, advertising tells us that females are dependent and emotional. From her petite stature to the open position of her body, we are meant to see this woman as a defenseless, meek creature. 
As if that wasn’t bad enough, if you look into the ad slightly visible in the upper right corner are two shady looking males, coming out of the shadows. Fendi might have you believe that perhaps they are just admiring the girl or the ‘fabulous’ Fendi bag she happens to be carrying. The bag is the only thing the girl is in control of, however, her environment is less secure, more obscure and dangerous.

However, if two strong, shadowy men encountered this vulnerable girl at night, I can tell you not many people would think that they just wanted to compliment her on her fashion sense. Actually in the original ad in the magazine, there are four men in the shadows instead of two, in most pictures online, the other two men are cropped out of the photo.  

Granted, perhaps the ad makers were supplying another use for their product, if the men were to try and attack her, she might be able to use the bag to Fend(i) them off. 
Jokes aside, this is a very serious kind of ad. This is exactly the kind of ad that was discussed in the video, designed to make women feel incompetent and weak. I am appalled to see this in a magazine, especially one that is so available to all kinds of women. Elle caters to so many different age levels at girls, in fact I think I first read an Elle Magazine at a hair salon before I was a teenager. It frightens me, that images as blatant as this one are prominently displayed as acceptable.
Also, if I haven’t already mentioned it, Fendi is a world famous accessories and handbag designer. 

Frith Analysis – Old Spice

As consumers, advertising in a blast of text, sounds, movies bombards us everyday, All of it along with influence knits up in a convenient little care package for the masses. However, behind advertisements, behind all the glitz, humor, and controversy there is an underlying message(s) that all people should be aware of. By taking ads that we see, even our favorite ads, we can see how they affect us. We can be aware if they are manipulating us, or we can centralize and make generalizations about our society in general. Ads can directly identify a population of they are marketed correctly, and advertisers have a pretty good idea of how to get consumers to purchase products. Though this may be, it is still wise to see an advertisement for what it is. For analysis of my ad today, I used the Frith method for basic ad analysis as specified by the class instructions. Frith’s analysis analyzes ads on 3 different levels, its basic (or face-value) level, its advertisement level, and its cultural level or how we interpret how it shapes and projects the society in which it is a part of.
Last week, I blogged that my favorite advertising campaign was the *new * Old Spice ads, also known as “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, more specifically the one used at the Superbowl.
Using Frith analysis, this ad on the surface level has a man with a deep voice talking to the female audience about their love interest. The man at first is seen in the shower wearing a towel, and then his clothes change and he is on a luxury sailboat holding and showing off the product, from then the product changes and an oyster appears in his hand. The oyster opens and it has tickets inside, after a second the tickets disappear and a cascade of gemstones flows from the oyster. The oyster then disappears along with the boat, revealing the man sitting on a white horse. For additional dialogue and details of the ad, you can watch the orginal video here.
The advertiser, going along with Frith’s analysis is making the statement that by using their product men will feel manlier and feel better about themselves in the eyes of women. This product is beneficial to men.
A photo from the “Smell Like A Man. Man” campaign.
In a cultural or ideological sense, returning to the third and final aspect of Frith’s analysis, Old Spice’s tag line for these commercials, “Smell Like A Man, Man” enforces the idea of specific and total gender roles.  Their attitude states that you have to be more masculine and that men should not settle for who they or be comfortable in perhaps a more feminine gender role.  The idea of sexual identity and gender orientation are not new, however as of recent these issues are becoming more and more relevant to a our expanding society.

This Lady Loves Old Spice!

The Old Spice logo

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I would have to say that of all the advertising campaigns I’ve seen over the years, I have definitely loved the new “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” Old Spice television ads.  As I’ve grown up, Old Spice was the deodorant that my father used and still uses. It provides a sense of warm nostalgia to see that Old Spice is still thriving, meaning that my dad still buys it. When I see it or smell it, I am automatically reminded of him.
When I see Old Spice I am reminded of masculinity and Americanism from its simple red, white and blue packaging with a sailboat picture. The packaging always makes me associate of the glory days of the 1950’s when nationalism was at its peak for America.  Men were returning home from overseas after World War II, starting families and becoming dads. So now, every time that I see or hear of Old Spice, I think: DADDY!
Masculinity is still the prominent theme on television Old Spice ads. They (the ads) are designed not only towards the female audience, expressing that they should buy the product because Old Spice makes their “man” smell manly, but also to men directly with the tagline “Smell like a man, man.” 

Actor Isaiah Mustafa as the Old Spice spokesperson

As of recent the ads have featured the sex appeal of attractive “manly” actor Isaiah Mustafa, they are exciting and entertaining. They feature the glitz of retail, jewerly, exotic locations, and even alluding to the Old Spice sailboat, showcasing everything that men feel should attract women to them. They show Isaiah as the epitome of manly man, and therefore must do the epitome of what manly men should do. And in my case, it makes me smile since my father is one of the most (if not the most) manly men I know.

The Old Spice ads have now gone on to spawn fan response YouTube videos,  and Isaiah Mustafa has been featured on many daytime talk shows such as Ellen Degeneres. All of the commercials are available at the Old Spice website under Videos.

The first Old Spice commercial I saw from the Super Bowl and the very manly “Questions” video: