Analysis Of Pursuasive Advertising Media
For advertisers it is essential to set out a good marketing campaign to promote their product or their image. This is particularly true with cars as there are so many different options available. A large part of marketing campaigns are done through television adverts. Advertisers go to extensive effort to create a good advert. Advertising techniques are what make the advert either effective or not effective. Adverts make money for the company so they are vital. By examining advertising techniques and deconstructing the adverts; I will compare the similarities and differences between the "Honda Grr", "Spot Alfa Romeo MiTo" and the "Saab Take off" advertisements. I will comment on techniques such as mise-en-scene, non diegetic and diegetic sounds, camera angles and shots, slogans and other advertising techniques.
Different car manufactures have exceptionally different target audiences. For example an elderly person would not buy an Aston Martin, the same way a young businessman wouldn't buy a Honda. These reasons mean that car television adverts are individual.
The "Honda Grr" advert is designed to promote their new diesel engine and not a new product. It shows an older version polluting and disturbing wildlife, whilst making a thunderous noise. After it goes on to displaying the new improved engine, which makes little to no noise and makes it seem as if nature is finally happy it has arrived. Contrasting the advert like this tells the viewer of what the dramatic improvements are like. It may also encourage people to go for a diesel car, which normally would not. At the moment Honda has a very stereotypical view of being for elderly people, with this advert they have tried to open up that target audience and make it more appealing.
Meanwhile the "Saab Take Off" advert is completely different. It focuses a lot more on an actual car than in improving the brand image like Honda. Saab used to and still manufactures jet fighters, this plays a key role in the advert. The car is shown to be like a jet fighter and you view some small details of the car. Afterwards it has the car winding down a mountain road. With such emphasis on the jet fighter, it gives you the impression the car can perform just as well. If the expertise of Saab has created flying machines capable of fighting wars, then they must be able to create a reliable luxurious car. The target audience for this kind of advert would be businessmen who want something a little bit different.
"Spot Alfa Romeo MiTo" is much more general to the actual car than the two others. The car is winding down mountain roads with slow motion shots to capture the car in real detail. Nearer the end of the advert it compares the car to a sportier car and appears to perform just as well; the advert ends with the car driving away into a tunnel. Alfa Romeo's advert is targeted at young professionals who have a reasonable amount of money and want to look stylish.
All of the adverts have similarities and differences; the most noticeable difference in my opinion is that the Honda advert is created from all computer generated images, while the others are life like. Another major difference is the length of the Saab compared to the others, this is done to make the car look sharp and to the point. There is a similarity between Honda's and Saab's adverts being a bit like a dream. The scenery in the Saab and the Alfa are also similar being in a mountainside on the winding roads, the greatest cars are normally tested on the greatest roads which is normally on a mountainside with sharp corners and winding lengths.
Mise-en-scene is what is in the shot, the props, the colours, everything which has a visual impact or meaning. Mise-en-scene can sometimes mean the difference between an effective and a not so effective advert. This is why directors make sure every aspect of the mise-en-scene is correct. The elements of this vary a lot between the three adverts and have different effects. A big similarity between the three adverts is the lack of actors; at no point in the adverts do you see a human face. This is done to keep the target audience wide open, thus more likely to sell more.
In the Honda advert everything is computer generated, nothing is real. Instantly you are placed into a dream like world. Immediately you realise this is a unique advert so it grabs your attention, the exact sort of impact the director wants to make on the target audience. The eye-catching, overpowering colours make the whole sequence seem like a dream, making your eyes drawn to the screen. Bright colours manage to make a rather boring subject of a diesel engine seem a little interesting. In the background there is a colourful rainbow which follows the engines; rainbows are often linked with luck and dreams. This has a positive impact on the viewer and thinks of the new engine as a dream.
However mise-en-scene in the "Saab Take Off advert is the complete opposite. All of it is real and no CGI is used. The majority of the colours are dull, blacks and greys; these colours are normally associated with the target audience, young professionals. Blacks and greys give a sleek stylish finish, which is what the Saab car is. Darker colours are often linked with technology; a silver or black car looks a lot more cutting edge then a bright red car. The colours instantly give you an idea of what the car is going to be like as everybody associates those colours with something serious and not a bright colour which normally combines with something which is a bit of a joke.
Red is a connotation of dominance which is why it has been used in the Alfa Romeo advert. It is a bold colour which is most likely to grab your attention then any other. Red is a stimulant which brings up a whole range of emotions which is what the advert wants. The colour red is often tied with power, for example you have a red carpet for celebrities, it is also used too grab attention, such as a road sign which displays an important message. For these reasons the director has decided to make the colour of the car red, this is a good example of how much thought goes into these adverts and how important they are. All of the other colours of the background are bleached out, this puts your primary focus on to the car and how it performs. Red is often the colour of sports cars, and even though this Alfa isn't a sports car, it gives it a sports feel. The red could resemble blood and winding roads, the veins. The background although bleached out is beautiful mountain scenery; this could be indicating that it is a beautiful car.
Sound often plays a big part in adverts and creates the atmosphere and the mood of it. The sound is broken down into two groups, diegetic and non-diegetic sounds. The two groups are fairly simple, Diegetic whose source is currently on the screen and non-diegetic whose source in not present on the screen.
Honda has a voiceover which tells story of the advert and sings along to the tune present. The voiceover could be seen as the voice of God as it seems powerful and calming. This voiceover is done by Garrison Keillor because he has a distinctive voice which people can recognise, he is also known as a story teller which is relevant as in the advert he is telling the story of the improvements of the new engine. This in non diegetic sound as Keillor is not present on the screen. The song and the whistling are extremely catchy which is more than capable of getting stuck in your mind. This just adds to the advertising campaign, as somebody may be whistling the tune and then somebody may ask what they are whistling.
The flutters of the old engine and the smooth ride of the new engine are diegetic as you can see the engines. The sounds impact on the audience by comparing them and making the new engine look even better. Volume levels vary in the advert, this sometimes helps to re-gain your attention and interest in the advert. When the new engine is on screen it is very quiet, this may have been done to reinforce the message that the new engine is much quieter. Then, nearer the end the sound picks up again which may resemble that you can still have a good time with it.
The Saab advert meanwhile is very different; it has no voiceover. The sound of a jet fighter starting up is put as the noise of a car so this is non-diegetic. An image is put into the audiences head that the car is just as good as a jet. The sound builds up more and more and creates a sense of suspense and tension, as a viewer you are left wondering what will happen next, again this is a another technique which keeps you interested into the advert.
I feel the sound in the Alfa advert is most effective on the viewer as it regularly changes. It has a constant beat in the background which could be identified as a heart beat. The heartbeat makes the advert seem personal to the viewer. This is non-diegetic as it is the background music. The rest of music is fast paced which makes the car seem fast and strong. Nearer the end when there are two cars, the sound of the super car is out over all of the other noises. Also when the advert goes to slow motion the music slows to a more graceful piece.
In adverts items or props often have hidden meanings which are left for interpretation of the viewer. For example a cross is the signifier while religion is the signified. These may be small but are effective on the viewer.
"Grr" has all kinds of hidden meanings which are in the background. One would be the rainbow. Rainbows are associated with hope and belief. The rainbow first appears in the first half of the advert, when the old engine is on screen. This represents hope that the old engine will go and hope for something new. Normally as a child you hear magical stories of a pot of gold being at the end of a rainbow. The rainbow stops when the new engine arrives, hinting this new improved engine is a pot of gold. Again this is another method to get the viewer to gain interest in the product.
Saab has used the sea as a signifier. The shot of the seas is not on for very long, but long enough for the viewer to get an idea from it. For hundreds of years people have visited the ocean with the thought that, the retreating tide will take away lives hassles and problems. They have gone in hope that the ocean will allow them to start again. This is the sort of symbolic meaning which the director has tried to create. In terms of cars the ocean is taking away your current problematic car and giving you an option of a Saab which is better. This is quite similar to what Honda has done. They both focus on something new and better than what you had before.
Like Saab, Alfa have used background scenery as a signifier. Jaw - dropping mountain ranges are purposely put into the background of almost every shot. As you are in amazement about the scenery, some of that amazement goes onto the car. So you are lead to believe the car is much more than it really is. Mountain ranges represent power and authority, whilst the incredible winding roads around them add to the cars appearance. This sort of the scenery makes the car look both fast and strong, everything the target audience want in the car. A major difference can be seen between Saab and Alfa as Alfa shows a lot more background instead of focusing on the car as much. With the red colour of the car, I get the image of the heart. With the constant beat in the music, it seems to suggest this. Another shot which backs this up is when the car enters the tunnel, the backlight stays on and looks a little heart shaped. Passion is linked with the heart and this method describes what the car is like.
Camera shots are where the viewer sees the advert from so this is essential. Different shots and angles create different images and can mean different things. For example if a close up has been done then the advert wants you to divert your attention to a specific place or point.
Not many camera shots are used in the Honda advert; instead the camera pans to follow the engine. The camera tracks the journey of the engine this could be linked with the journeys the car will make; this is done as it is showing the pollution the engine makes on a car journey.
The Saab advert has a large amount of close ups as it focuses on small details of the car. As the advert speeds up the length of the clips get shorter and change faster, this makes the whole feeling more dramatic. This may have done to resemble how a car starts of slow and speeds up to a high speed which is climatic; doing this makes the audience more engaged because something more exciting is more interesting, therefore you are likely to remember it.
Nearer the end of the advert there is a point of view shot from the car. Although the camera is not where you think it would be, eye level from the drivers point of view. Instead it is on top of the car, giving you an impression of being in an aeroplane cockpit. This is another reminder that they build jets so they must be able to build respectable cars.
The Alfa advert is similar to the Saab advert in the sense of lots of quick shots. The difference is that it has a lot of other kinds of shots including slow motion shots. The camera follows the car winding down the mountain roads whilst giving a 360 degree view of the car. The 360 view captures the car in all its glory and shows to the target audience it looks good from all sides. Halfway through there is a cutaway shot, this could have been done for a few reasons. The shot is off dandelions; these are often associated with somebody making a wish; so your wish has come true for an amazing car. There are also many shots taken from a helicopter, these show the car performing in a hard environment and shows that the car blends into a place of beauty. The short shot length makes for a very exciting advert, a little like the Saab.
Advertising techniques such as slogans and imperative words are used to cement what the advert has shown or to persuade you to buy their product. Sometimes this can seem insignificant but can make a big difference to a persons view.
Honda uses imperative verbs in the fun theme tune. The word "hate" of hate something, is emphasised. You are almost told to hate the old diesel engine, this encourages you to dislike and steer clear from it. In the same way, emphasis is also put on "change" of change something to encourage you to do it. Honda is the only advert which has used imperative verbs, while the others have no speech what so ever. The others use sounds which has no human connection, this helps to widen target audiences. Repetition is also used in the song, this drives the message into your head and as the viewer you are more likely to remember and do the command.
Slogans are often effective even though they play a small part in the advert. Saab's "Welcome to the state of independence." Manages to round off the advert and is the only communication made during it. Independence makes it sound independent for the viewer. It makes the viewer think the advert is targeted at them and is more appealing for them. Also it makes the car company seem better than any other and stands out. Saab's slogan almost questions why you wouldn't get a Saab. This advert is relatively short compared to the other two; this makes the advert much cheaper to be played on television. Therefore the advert can be played more often; so it would be presented to the audience more often and you're more likely to remember it.
Alfa contrasts the MiTo and different sports model. In the advert it almost performs just as well as the sports model. This is encouraging for the viewer as you normally think a fast car is a good car. Also comparing the cars makes the car manufacture look more honest which is good for the company. We see the car having a mini drag race and then going slower looking more graceful, this indicates it can perform how you want it to and gives it a personal touch.
Advertising is crucial for companies it either makes or breaks them. This can easily be viewed with Coca Cola. Every year they spend an astonishing $1.6 billion on advertising. This shows how important advertising is to companies. With such a large sum spent on it Coca Cola's advertising campaigns have been more than effective. World wide "Coca Cola" is the second most recognised phrase, which more than shows how good their advertising has been. So for companies now it is essential to advertise well as in this day and age, there are an incredible amount of options out there. Advertising campaigns include television, radio, internet and printed adverts. Television adverts are normally most effective as you can control what time they come on air and what channel. This gives them the control to put the adverts on when the target audience are most likely to be watching.
Each of the adverts are individual in their selves but similarities and differences can be drawn. The most noticeable difference between the three is Honda's use of computer generated images. While the most noticeable similarities were the close up views in the Saab and Alfa advert; the background scenery was quite similar for these two as well.
Overall I think the Alfa advert was most effective as I found it the most interesting. The different camera shots and the use of music made it effective. The advert varies a lot and has many hidden meanings behind it. This would be closely followed by the Honda advert as this is completely unique. After the launch of the Honda campaign their sales went up by 35% which proves it was effective and had a positive impact on the target audience. In conclusion all three adverts are effective to their specific target audience and work because of the different advertising techniques used.
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