This advert makes clever use of camera angles. When the woman drops her shopping, the filming is changed briefly to slow motion as the goods are projected into the air, and as they fall back down again. The event is filmed in this way to place importance on the fact that she is just a normal person who goes shopping. The camera shows a close-up on the man and the woman’s hands when they are both on the apple, as well as on the woman’s face when she is licking her lips, to signify that they are attracted to each other.
This is important because it portrays eye and physical contact between the two people. There is also a close-up on her disappointed but confused facial expression when the man that she was flirting with has to leave. As the girl looks around at the many images of homosexuals on the busy street, it is as if the camera is inside her head, so that the viewer is seeing exactly what she sees. The camera cuts quickly between these shots to show her confusion and surprise.
The advertisement is set in a large, busy street. This street is probably in San Francisco, America because of the brown paper bags used for shopping and the sunny climate. It also has a large gay community, which you would not find in a smaller city or town. Potential consumers of this particular product will find this setting attractive and a desirable place to be, making them more likely to spend money on the body spray.
As in many advertisements, the ‘Impulse’ advert has a powerful soundtrack. The song used is ‘Female of the Species’ by Space which, straight away, begins to bring in women (the ideal consumer being a teenage girl). This is the sort of music that teenagers would normally be listening to anyway, so the advert is likely to attract the ideal consumer. It is intelligent how the advertisers have made certain lyrics to the song fit in with the actions of the characters. An example of this is that the words ‘shock shock, horror horror,’ are heard when the woman is looking around. However this is ironic, as the homosexuals that she is seeing clearly do not outrage her. These lyrics make the audience think, and so people are able to see how clever the advertisers have been; if not the first time, but possibly the second or third time that they watch the advert.
Characterisation is important to help to persuade the consumer to buy the product. The woman, who is the main character in the advert, is fashionably dressed and attractive, although she is not a supermodel. The viewer may or may not be able to relate to her, but she certainly presents a desirable female image. The ideal consumer would want to be like her because she is pretty, stylish and a nice person. The gay man who stops to help her is very good-looking. He seems to be attracted to the woman, which gives the impression to girls that men will like or fancy them if they purchase the body spray. It will make them wonder, as a homosexual man is drawn to the woman by her smell alone, how a heterosexual man will react. Stereotypes of gays are also used effectively within the advert.
The slogan at the end of the advertisement, ‘Men can’t help acting on Impulse,’ is a play on words. The word ‘impulse’ can be taken to mean one of two things – the name of the body spray or the natural urges and desires of men. Even the font can help in the aim of the advert. The style of it portrays individuality, which most women find inspiring. The advert also makes good use of Members Resources. The apple that the woman and the man both reach for includes a hidden reference to the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible.
The more intelligent viewers will notice that this is the forbidden fruit, and so it can be used to imply sex. Also, Quentin Crisp, a famous homosexual author in the 1970’s, appears in the advert. Although few people in the target audience would recognise him, this is a clever use of Members Resources. There is a reference to the words of Rudyard Kipling as well, in the lyrics, ‘the female of the species is more deadly than the male’. Certain viewers may notice this.
As a whole, I think that the ‘Impulse’ advert should have been very effective in selling the product. The advertisers have been extremely intelligent to fit so much information into just forty or so seconds of television. It is an excellent advertisement because, not only does it promote the product, but it also projects morals and values about our society. The subtle filming of the people and events in the advert were done well because they were portrayed normally – as things would usually happen, not over the top.
The only extreme stereotypes that are included are the gays that the woman sees when she looks around the street, but this is only done to get the message across in such a small amount of time. As little as ten years ago, this advertisement would probably not be shown on television because of its homosexual content. The fact that the woman is completely acceptant towards the gay people she met and saw indicates a changing attitude towards homosexuals in today’s world.