The study of at least 4 adverts, either of the same product or same brand, which might include both contemporary and historical moving image advertising material carried on any medium, e. g. cinema, TV, Internet etc. “Most advertising is concerned with selling something- a product- although usually it is the brand rather than the product that is being sold… ” claim Rayner, Wall and Kruger in AS Media Studies: The Essential Introduction page 243. Brands are different from products. Within the product there is a range of different brands i. e. Gold Blend, Kenco, etc which try to have a separate image and identity.
Particular brands are aimed at particular groups of people. In the 90’s and the 21st century advertisers talk of giving different brands different identities to appeal to the target personality. The advertising process involves a lot of people working at different stages of production. There is a great demand for research into consumer habits, needs and desires as well as the development of particular products and brands. Advertising is one of the oldest forms of media and ads for Pears soap in the 19th century shows that advertising techniques have not changed entirely over the last one hundred years.
Like adverts today, the Pears ad campaign show how advertising is largely about image and association. In the early days of television the adverts were usually better than the programmes. Adverts were and are perfunctory in style, 30 seconds average to promote a product i. e. action, upbeat style, repetition, voice over, product endorsement from well-known stars and sometimes the use of memorable jingles or music. They sold a fantasy and an ideal rather than the truth. They appealed psychologically to the public and focused on their fears and insecurities (Maslow) with the aim to offer a solution.
Broadcasting has changed over the last number of years and TV advertising has played its part in transforming how we live. During the 60s and 70s advertisers targeted audiences based on their socio-economic status. In the 80s and 90s it was a focus on age, lifestyle and attitude. Adverts were designed to make audiences aware and to challenge values and lifestyles to make way for “a better lifestyle. ” Levi Jeans is a brand that has existed since 1873. They were popular because of their durability and flexibility. In the 20th century they were the elevation of cool adopted by teenagers in the 50s in America.
By the 80s denim had lost its popularity, it resulted in being worn by middle-aged dads and aging rock stars. Famous labels did not know how to promote themselves. Levis lost its market share after dominating for decades and advertising came to the rescue in reshaping its image. Case Study The marketing team for Levis, inspired by James Dean from the 1950’s film REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, was influential to the teenage style of jeans and bomber jackets. He wrote a number of scripts based on the American teenager in the 1950’s.
When Nic Kamon appeared at the auditions they knew they had found their star. He seemed to symbolise an 80s James Dean. The first advert was sited in a laundrette (realism), not a glamorous location, so casting was important. (Product endorsement through the aid of a star. ) Scene opens on a busy high street, cuts to a three quarter shot of a soldier standing outside a Power wash. His head eliminates the middle letters of the sign. The non-diegetic sound used is the record HEARD IT ON THE GRAPEVINE juxtaposed with diegetic sounds of cars on the busy high street.
The camera directs the point of view and cuts to a c/u of a door handle and an over the shoulder shot to focus the viewer’s attention and create suspicion. Next we have a close up, headshot, of a boy in the foreground with a background image of the jeans waistline to upper leg, not conventional for that time. He has very little appeal. Viewers focus on the masculine blue jeans and the leather belt. The boy admires Kamon who removes his shades to challenge the other occupants similarly like a potential shoot out in a western. He introduces a new age; one the boy shows an interest in.
He looks around; the camera cuts to a l/s of a row of washing machines. Washing was seen as the preserve of the female, a conventional image tested with the entrance of Kamon. Nic Kamon challenged the stereotypes of the laundrette, iconic to both male and female. The women in the laundrette are stereotypical, and pale into insignificance, apart from responding to the bold Kamon. He is getting the attention in the way a film used to treat women i. e. the subject of the male gaze (Mulvey). Notice masculine, industrial colours used as he conducts the powder tabs in the form of stones into the machine (used to emphasise stone-washed jeans).
The young boy and his twin are both inspired by Kamon. He looks up, c/u and notices them, still confident. The camera cuts to a m/s of the mother who drags her sons away reinforcing the “Don’t talk to strangers” importance of that day and age. In a series of shots Kamon confidently removes his T-shirt arresting the attention of the passive women in the background, binary oppositions, blond, brunette etc. These women previously could have been the centre of attention in the laundrette. In contrast to Kamon they look boring and old-fashioned. Two thirds of his torso, muscular and tanned, dominates the screen.