Over the past couple of weeks we have been studying three adverts. The two that I have chosen to further study are the Volkswagen Passat advert and the Levi’s jeans advert. In this piece of coursework I will try to find and point out the similarities and differences between these two adverts concerning the way in which they make their product desirable. Firstly the main comparisons between the adverts are that they both try to make the product they’re selling attractive to the consumer by associating the item with desirable qualities. Also they both tell a story where the product is used and not just a selection of images. Both adverts don’t say any thing about the products actual facts but what you can be if you posses the product.
The main differences between the two adverts are they are associated with different desirable qualities e.g. the Volkswagen is associated with safety and security while the jeans are associated with freedom and youth. This is principally because the Passat is aimed at thirty plus year olds while the jeans are aimed at young twenty-year-olds. I will start by summarizing the Volkswagen advert. A girl of seven or eight and her father are in the streets of Manhattan where the girl sees a lot of things, which frighten her. Then her mother picks her and her father up in a Volkswagen Passat and takes them home.
The girl in this advert is extremely vulnerable and insecure. The decision to use a girl instead of a boy is taken because girls are generally more innocent than boys. She is wearing a black coat giving the impression of a slightly old fashioned look and the fact that she is dressed in black gives the classic look. This emphasizes the car’s class and that it is more up market. During the advert her father actually picks her up stressing the point that they are a close family and that she is scared of the things she sees .Her hair is not tied up but is quite curly and free increasing her innocence. She is frightened by a number of things, which she sees while walking but once she is in the car she smiles as if the car is protecting her from the outside world.
The support actors used in this advert are made to make the out side world look extremely dangerous through the eyes of a young vulnerable girl. The way in which they do this is by having scenes of people being physically and verbally violent, loud, shabby and generally unhappy. For example one man is preaching loudly and his mouth is up close showing that he is unshaven and very scruffy. Also there is a man shouting, “I cannot believe this” because his car, clearly not a Volkswagen has broken down. He again is very unhappy and shabby.
The clothes they are wearing highlight the difference in class off the family and ordinary people. The soundtrack used in this advert is ‘God Bless the Child’ by Billie Holiday in the 1930’s, a period renowned for jazz and blues music. It used because it is quite a classy song and again highlights that the Passat is not just any ordinary car. The actual meaning of the song is that it is good for those who have money but not for those who haven’t. The ambient sound in this advert is scary to the girl e.g. police sirens. As soon as she enters the car all the ambient sounds stop but the music carries on which suggests the car has the capability to protect the girl from things that may harm her.
My final study on the Volkswagen advert is the cinematography. In the advert reaction shots play an important part in that they show how the girl is reacting to what she sees. For example when the street preacher is shouting there are shots of her face showing that she is scared of him. Also there is one birds eye view of Manhattan underlining the point that she is very small compared to the world and that it is dangerous. This shot is also rotating creating a feeling of disorientation. The girl looks up at the tall skyscrapers again giving the effect of scale and that she is very small. Some scenes in the advert are at a slant again creating disorientation.
The shot of four men getting arrested is quite wobbly making it more disturbing and more real life to both the girl and viewer. Cross fades of the skyscrapers are used to add a sense of confusion to the little girl. The advert is shot in black and white to make the car classier and therefore more desirable but the “vw” sign is the only thing in colour making it stand out. In the last few scenes a traffic policeman waves the car on ahead of the traffic suggesting it is special. Having studied the techniques used in the Volkswagen advert I shall now move on to the Levi’s advert and again study the techniques used.