There are many techniques used in advertising to try and persuade people in general or a particular niche market to buy a product. These components of marketing/advertising come in two different forms, still and moving images. Still images you may think would be quite simple to market and not many advertising tools are needed/used, well you would be wrong. They are in fact nearly the same as moving images and apart from the obvious fact that they are not moving but they have no sound. Sound can be replaced with more visual imagery.
Take for example the archers advert there is a lot going on for one image and it could be said that it is more effective than most moving images. No sound and no movement can be used very effectively for creating emphasis. The archer’s advert has a picture of a woman picking a lock. What woman? Rapunzel 2002! The reason we know this is because it is written just above her head. This is not a coincidence! The layout of this advert and positioning of the text helps those two words to catch our eye but mainly it is the font style and colour.
There is a colour contrast between the dark gothic background and the modern white text. The reason we look at the woman first is because this image is place in hot spot in the advert. A hot spot is when important parts of an advertising image and are placed on the intersections of imaginary grid lines divide the picture into thirds, both vertically and horizontally. Also this image is the biggest single image in the frame. `Rapunzel 2002` is wearing a white gypsy style top (which was considered very fashionable at the time) but her shirt is black.
This might not seem clever but it is an excellent example of a lot of techniques rolled into one. Firstly the symbol archers is placed in the bottom corner just below her skirt the only way to make this stand out without making is huge is to use a style and/or colour contrast, it is also the terminal area (the last place the eye gets before it leaves the advert). If the skirt was white and they made the image of the archers bottles white it wouldn’t stand out in contrast against the background if was black, so the skirt had to be black.
The only three white items are the woman, her name and the product and slogan. This makes a hectic picture simple. It also carries connotation in the sense that she is not conforming to her old Rapunzel self and is now wearing modern clothes and breaking her self out. Moving images are similar as I said earlier except they have the additional features of movement and sound, which if used in the right way at the right time can be very effective.
If I wanted to advertise an energy drink I wouldn’t use slow, soft, calming music. Also in still images there is a thing called a primary optical area (POA), which is the first place the eye goes when looking at an image. This is not needed because if you want the potential customer to look at a certain image/product/concept then you simply add it to the middle of the screen. The only thing you have to worry about then is keeping the viewers attention. This can be achieved by using bright colours and loud sounds.
Once the advertiser has managed to get the consumers attention they can show their product and/or slogan. A good advertiser will create a short story like the `oxo advert`, this is more interesting that just showing the product and a slogan. A short story also helps the consumer to remember the product. A slogan or a short song can be just as affective though e. g. the `118-118` advert, practically anyone who watched that advert would sing the 118 song. When people say they can’t get a song out of their head that is because of good advertising.
We all have a part of our brain called our subconscious, it is always working and we have no control over it, advertising exploits that. An advert sometimes doesn’t even have to catch our attention to make us remember a product. Have you ever been in the supermarket and something like a logo or a symbol on a product has caught your eye? Was this product a product you are certain you have never seen before? You decided to read the packet and see what it was didn’t you?
That is how your subconscious works, when you see images for a split second or out of the corner of your eye your subconscious remembers certain things. The next time you see these certain things sheer curiosity is likely to make you investigate it. If you like what you see you’ll buy it. To conclude there are many techniques used to appeal to the consumer, whether it be to their conscious or subconscious mind. Some products we need, some we don’t, some we want, some we don’t but if an advertiser really wants to make us buy his product, he’ll make us.