This advert is trying to sell ‘Clinique Soap’ – ‘Skin supplies for men’. The manufacturer is obviously ‘Clinique’. The advert was found in GQ magazine. A magazine aimed at working men who are most likely going to be between the ages of 24-34. The location of the advert is once again in a magazine that its potential users would consider reading. I do not know exactly whereabouts in the magazine the advert came so I cannot comment on that. It is an A4 advert that has a plain white background and has plenty of open space. It has on it an illustration that is takes up roughly 3/4 of the area on the page and so is a major part of the advert.
There are 3 sections of text, a selling line at the top of the advert that is in a bold, black font and is robust looking. Then there is the main body text of the advert that is in a very powerful font compared to the soft font of the ‘Immac’ advert. This is due to the fact that the ‘Clinique’ advert is aimed at men and so is trying to be very masculine in its appearance. There are roughly 100 words in this main body text and they are spread-out over four paragraphs. The third section of text is all in capitals, bold and is again in a robust and masculine looking font, it also just giving the name of the manufacturer and the selling line.
The illustration is very simple and to the point. It is a sort of contradiction, on one hand there is the softness of the soap and its foamy lather but then there is the hardness and harshness of the man’s hand. This is done so that it shows off the gentle soap but then it does not want to lose its masculinity and so shows this masculine hand. This is needed because men often see soap as a soft, female thing and so the advert needs to keep a masculine feel around it so that it appeals to men. The picture is of a man’s right hand holding the top of a ‘Clinique’ soapbox, in front of the hand is the bottom of the box with the actual soap bar within it the lather from the soap then coats the picture. The picture is given in black and white so that it does not have that gloss on it and so again keeps up this masculine nature. The reasons or it being in the advert are simply to attract attention and show-off the product so that people know what they are getting.
Now we come to the actual language used in the advert. Once again, the facts are very thin and we have many claims disguised as assertions.Some of these can easily checked by just using the product for a while and checking to see whether or not some of the claims actually do come about. I think that this is what the advert wants you to do. It wants you to buy the product no matter what the reason, just like the ‘Immac’ advert. Other claims would need scientific involvement before they could be verified. There are three claims that are not meant to be taken seriously but are just a personification of the soap (see below). These are: ‘Knows exactly what to do’, ‘How hard to work’, ‘Where to stop’.
The vocabulary used in this advert is very simple and is also very punchy, and fast. There is less flamboyance to it; instead there is a harshness that is the masculinity behind it. There are also many emotive words such as, rich, robust, clean, fresh, etc. These are used to persuade as well, as often we buy products due to emotional needs rather than thinking it through rationally. We also have an underlying personification of the product and the skin. The soap can think? This is used to try and relate the advert to the potential user.
This is needed, as people feel more comfortable buying a product if they can relate to it. For example we have the soap and the person having a ‘meeting’? We also have the ‘living better’ phrase. Skin …’living’? This is there to provoke thought and to appeal to greed and envy, the chance to live better we all want that so buy this soap and you can. The other persuasive words are the ones that suggest longevity, like, ‘big brick-shaped bar lasts for months’. These are persuasive because they suggest a good value for money and so people are more likely to buy a product if they know it will last.
Repetition and alliteration again feature strongly in this advert. We have ‘better’, ‘skin’ and ‘Clinique’ repeated over and over again and so it really sticks into your head. The alliterations are: ‘fast free’, ‘skin starts’, ‘rich robust’, ‘big brick shaped bar’. This alliteration helps to persuade you to buy the product because it is pleasant to read and rolls off the tongue this causes you to ‘go with the flow’ and read on.
The advert uses a clever syllable pattern to persuade its readers; most words are monosyllabic apart from the product and the adjectives describing the product. This causes emphasis to be placed on the product, which is of course what the advert is there to do. The positions are also the same as the ‘Immac’ advert with the product at the beginning of the sentence and the descriptions at the end. This makes the product and its effect prominent.
The mood of this advert is completely different to that of the ‘Immac’. Whereas ‘Immac’ was slow and soft this is much faster and punchier, this is done so that it can relate to the lifestyle of a man that would use such a product. This extra pace is achieved by using phrases instead long sentences. These two/three word phrases appear in twos throughout the advert. They are sharp and get to the pint without beating around the bush. This is done because the advert writers know that men will not have the patience to read long drawn out advert and so this fast pace is needed to keep them reading. There are many statements within the advert however in this advert we have far more commands as well. For example the ‘find it’ phrase. Women might feel a bit intimidated by such a phrase, however, men find such phrases easier to work with and better to read.
The key words and phrases (as mentioned before) have to be the ones that suggest masculinity. This is because men see soaps and other skin products as ‘soft’. So the words that keep the masculine sense make sure that men find this advert appealing and therefore keep the product in mind. We also have the personification coming in as key thing this is because it allows the intended audiences to relate to the product and feel comfortable about it and so therefore have less qualms about buying it. The mention of robust in describing the soap is a key factor in getting the masculinity into the advert.
The overall tone of the advert is a lot harsher than the one in the ‘Immac’ advert. It has less flamboyance and style but instead has a stronger more powerful way of putting over its message. It tries to sound like the busy lifestyle of businessmen and so therefore appeal to its intended audience. The main line of appeal has to be the bold text and the picture. The picture alone is not very appealing but with added bold text it does catch your attention very well.
The success of an advert is judged on whether or not it sells the product to you. In this criterion it fails. I do not know why. It seems to do everything correctly, it relates to its audience, uses simple English, etc, but still does not seem to sell the product to me. The main reason being that it gives a lot of claims but not much fact and so does not make me feel confident about what I might get if I buy this product. Also, all the personification and wordplay in the advert does tend to confuse you and when something confuses you, you tend not to want anything to do with it. It may well appeal to its intended audience but it just did not sell the product to me.