Media comparative essay – adverts

Adverts are used to promote products though media sources. Advertising companies use television (in particular), to their advantage, to broadcast an efficient message using moving images and sounds allowing the television viewer to connect with the advert. Adverts do not have to be on the television; they are mostly found in newspapers, on the internet, and radio advertising especially has proved to be increasingly effective because you have to visualise to product in your head. The Volkswagen Passat advert starts off with the image of a young girl’s face.

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You then see an image of the city, which can be described as chaotic, and then a distressed image of the young girl. It seems she is lost and alone in a chaotic city and appears to be very vulnerable. She is, however, not alone, and is apparently with her father. As the levels of disruptions of the city rises, so does the girls feeling of vulnerability. The girl does actually get scared so much in the advert, that her father has to pick her up to ‘shield’ her from the city. There are several more scenes of the city, showing the height of the buildings and the large amount of traffic.

It almost gets too much for the young girl, but then she sees a black, shiny car. She suddenly appears to be stunned or in some sort of a trance, but then she sees her mother in the front of the car. The young girl’s father opens the back seat door for her, and as she climbs in you can see the reflection of her mother smiling in the mirror. The mother drives away with her daughter and her ‘husband’, into the city. However, outside the car the atmosphere of chaos has gone, and an atmosphere of control in its place.

In the Levi’s 501 advert, you see an old man walking from a desolate desert, into a bar or saloon. The man walks straight up to the bar and approaches the ‘attractive’ barmaid. She serves the man, but then appears to be distracted as she looks over the man’s shoulder. Coming down the stairs is a younger, more ‘attractive’ man, which makes the older man jealous and angry. The young man begins to walk towards the barmaid, who believes that he is going for her, and then turns as he reaches the fridge.

He pulls open the door and takes out a pair of blue Levi jeans. He walks to the middle of the room and puts the jeans on. His expression shows that he is experiencing great pleasure and satisfaction. By this time every body in the saloon is looking at this man including an older couple, who, especially the older woman, seem to be amazed by the attitude of the young man. The younger man walks out gets on a motorbike and leaves, leaving behind him the barmaid who has followed him outside.

In the Volkswagen advert the car resembles elegance, protection and high class, whereas the in the Levi advert, the jeans worn by the man emphasizes his freedom and his ability to control his life. Target audience is important within an advert. It separates out the type of people that would be interested in a product of an advert; the advert appeals to a particular type of person. In the Volkswagen advert the product seems to be mainly aimed at families with children because of its protectiveness.

The consumer audience would be interested in buying the product because they also are interested in the supreme safety of their family. The Levi adverts target audience differs from the family target audience of the Volkswagen advert: it appeals more to men between the ages of 20 – 35 because at those ages you have less commitments, you are free and able to control what you want in that period of you life. The jeans would help you to ‘discover’ your independence perhaps, as shown in the advert, which is why many men would be interested by it.

There is great significance for atmosphere in a television advert. The atmosphere is made up of the music and sound effects, which are some of the first things that would catch you eye in a television advert. There might be catchy music which would help you to identify what advert is being shown and what product is advertised. In the Volkswagen advert there are traffic sounds and shouting people, which amplifies the chaotic atmosphere throughout the advert, but to contrast that, a song is played by Billy Holiday called ‘God bless the child’. The soundtrack makes the advert seem more peaceful and relaxing.

It seems that the sound effects of daily life represent the busy city, and the soothing melody from Billy Holiday represents the car gliding through the city ready to rescue the young girl. There is one particular line: ‘God bless the child who has his own’, which is played as the girl gets into the car. It means that a child is blessed if he or she has his or her own protection. Similarly the Levi advert has a soundtrack, but it conveys a different message. Blues music is played which does create a melancholy atmosphere that livens up once the man is in the scene.

The line: ‘when I make love to a woman’ is said the moment the man in the advert pulls up his jeans and has a very satisfied expression on his face, and means that the man in the advert clearly enjoys wearing jeans more, than making love to a woman. Gender stereotyping in adverts is also connected with target audience. For example if a woman in an advert were seen to be strong and assertive, then it would appeal to women who aspire to be the same. The Volkswagen advertisement sees the woman in control of the situation; she retrieves the young girl from the distressing city and takes her away.

But it is not just the woman in the advert who is seen to be strong and independent, there are men also who are arrested, making the woman to seem even stronger. It goes completely the other way round in the Levi advert: the man is in control once he puts the jeans on. He is independent and free, as opposed to the barmaid who has been rejected by the man for a pair of jeans. The advert tells you the jeans are better than a woman. The use of colour in an advert is a clever, persuasive technique. It creates a mood towards the advert, which allows viewers to see the product in a different way.

For example, if blue were used in an advert, it would make the product seem cool and refreshing. The Levi advert uses very dull sandy brown colours with the melancholy music to try to make you depressed. It continues to be dull and lifeless, until the man gets out the pair of jeans from the fridge. Instantly things brighten up. The music becomes livelier, and standing out from the boring brown colours, is a blue pair of jeans. The use of the colour blue is effective because it makes the product seem cool, classy and modern.

The Volkswagen advert uses only black and white, which are effective to the advert because it creates the mood of a documentary, going through the life of a distressed girl. It makes the viewer accept that what is being shown is the truth. The only time there is a ‘bold’ shade of colour in the advert, is when the car comes along. It is noticeable that all the other cars are grey colours, but the Volkswagen Passat is a shiny black colour that connotes a sense of mystery and emptiness. Also, because of its colour, it could be seen as a bold or strong product, i. e. the dark black against all the grey cars, it makes it seem superior.