Television and magazines are two of the most common media which are in extensive usage to advertise products. Despite only being a recent innovation, TV adverts have the capability of reaching the largest audience. Advertising is a multi-million pound business, and only a small fraction of companies can afford to break into TV advertising, which is widely considered the most effective form of advertising. Because television advertising is so expensive, it is important that successful techniques are used to attract customers, in order to make the advertising worthwhile. Only the larger, more reputable companies can afford to advertise their product during popular programs aired in prime time.
Companies often also advertise their products in magazines which are aimed at their target market. The focus of magazine adverts is usually a main image, a colour scheme and a heading. The focus of television adverts is the aforementioned, plus the usage of memorable jingles, and often a storyline. Companies who use multiple media forms to advertise their product try to create a brand identity so that their products are remembered. Clairol is a company which produces women’s beauty products – shampoos in particular. Clairol Herbal Essences is a shampoo aimed at women between 16 and 35, who are interested in improving the condition of their hair.
The Herbal Essences advert appeared in J-17, which is a magazine aimed at older teenagers. The magazine deals with female teenagers issues, and their looks will be a primary issue in their life. Therefore the promoters of Clairol Herbal Essences put this advert in a magazine where girls are more likely to buy what will make them look and feel better.
The advert takes up a whole page, which helps to draw the viewer’s attention to the advert rather than overlooking it. In the Clairol Herbal Essences magazine advert, an angled shot of the woman’s head takes up most of the advert, making it the focal point. The picture of the woman has been cropped to only include her from the neck upwards, allowing the reader to focus on the woman’s hair, which is the focus of the ad. As the advert is for a hair shampoo, a woman with ‘perfect’ hair is used as the central image showing how the Herbal Essences will leave your hair looking. The promoters have not used a famous woman to promote the shampoo, which adds to the image of the shampoo being more personal than glamorous.
The woman has an expression of ecstasy on her face, creating a clear link between the usage of Herbal Essences and the way the woman is feeling. This could provide the motivation needed for readers to go out and buy the Herbal Essences, as they too what to experience what the woman is feeling. The camera has captured the hair glistening, which shows the viewer of the advertisement how the Herbal Essences will leave your hair. A cropped image of the actual shampoo bottle is shown at the bottom of the page. It is positioned so that it overlaps the image of the woman partially. Its prominence at the forefront of the ad suggests that it was this product, which induced the feelings of satisfaction within the woman.
There appears to be no special lighting in the advert, and the only light appears to be from a natural, shining directly onto the woman’s face, illuminating her hair. The advert is in full colour this makes the product more attractive as it seems up to date and contemporary. No specific colour scheme is used, making the product seem more universal as it does not narrow down the target market to a certain class or age of people. However, the most predominant colours are green and brown, which are natural colours reminiscent of forests and the natural world. This promotes the image of the Herbal Essences shampoo being a botanical and natural product.
The brand name – Herbal Essences – immediately suggests that the shampoo is full of natural herbs and essences that are totally organic. In order to strengthen this natural image, the shampoo bottle is translucent enough to show herbs inside the actual bottle. Rather than using its own logo, the largest font saying ‘Herbal Essences’ is on the shampoo bottle. This suggests to the reader that the shampoo is successful enough to be able to advertise itself.
The text in the top left hand corner of the advert reads ‘Every woman should be this satisfied at least once a day.’ This text is positioned so that it has been superimposed over the woman’s hair, showing that the woman’s satisfaction is as a result of what Herbal Essences has done to her hair. This phrase also has sexual connotations, which are used as parallels to the sensations that are supposedly created by using Clairol Herbal Essences. The comparisons used in the advert intrigue the reader into wanting to try the shampoo for themselves.
The first ‘E’ in ‘Every’ is in an elegant typeface whereas the rest of the text is in simple block capitals. The ‘E’ adds an element of luxury and quality to the shampoo. To the right of the shampoo bottle are the words. ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ This conveys the message that the shampoo will leave its user saying ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ This phrase is in the largest font used on the page, and unlike the rest of the text, it is coloured in different shades of green. The first ‘Yes!’ is in a pale green, the second ‘Yes!’ is in a darker green and the third ‘Yes!’ is in the darkest green. This variance in shade suggests that the longer the users continuance with the usage of Herbal Essences shampoo, the greater the pleasures you will experience. The final slogan used in this advert it ‘a totally organic experience’. This attracts consumers as it is now ‘fashionable’ to use organic products and using a herbal shampoo would also be beneficial to the consumer.