In my assignment I am going to select one advertisement and analyse the techniques it uses to target its intended audience. The advertisement I have selected is the printed “Sharwood’s Food” commercial which uses the slogan, “stir up some passion.” From a first glance, the commercial shows three jars of the Sharwood’s food product, which are in the foreground. The three jars are half sat in a strip of black. The brand name of the product, Sharwood’s, is written in white on top of the black. While the slogan “stir up some passion” is written in purple. There is also a black bold heading saying, “unset the menu” which is set in the centre of the top of the page. The colour in the background is a dark purple. Between the images of the product and the text (“unset the menu”) there is a young woman jumping holding green leaves.
This advertisements intended target audience is most likely to be designed for people aged twenty to thirty eight. We can tell that this product, in all likely hood, is aimed at that age group as the person in the advertisement is young and full of energy. The uses of colours in it are vibrant and fresh. The food is also mainly suited to people who are most likely to make it and eat it. Someone under eighteen isn’t as likely to buy it as someone who is twenty five. In addition to that, someone who is thirty two is more likely to buy it than someone who is sixty eight.
It can be said that colour could be a language. You could argue that, colour enhances the visual appearance of any document. It’s particularly important in customer-oriented materials, such as this, as it adds impact to promotional items and presentations. It enhances the realism of pictures, and gives a more professional appearance. The colour of the background, in this commercial, has many connotations. The colour of the background is purple/violet.
A connotative reading of purple would be that this colour seems to have the power to influence and to purify our thoughts and feelings giving us inspiration in all undertakings. The violet colour is said to connect us to our spiritual self being and wisdom. It is meant to enhance artistic talent and creativity. It also suggests mystery and culture, which links up to the product. Purple can be regarded as an “oriental” colour as it is often used in Asian cultures, and the product is an oriental style of food. The use of purple for the connotative reading is that, it is telling the consumer that this product is mysterious and “you need to try it”. As it seems like it is just human nature to be curious. This use of colour also links with the heading “unset the menu” but I shall go into more detail about that later.
The bold heading (unset the menu) is coloured in black. Usually the use of the colour black has negative connotations. When you see the colour black you seem to think death, sinister, exorcisms and basically pessimistic views. I think that it is wrong to feel so negatively about the colour black, as it appears racist to black people. It suggests as though I am saying that black people are sinister. I feel that we need to re-evaluate the meaning of ‘black’, as we do not understand the conflicts faced by black people, and to grasp the fact that black people themselves have chosen to use ‘black’ with pride, fully aware of its negative bias in the ‘white’ dominated world, especially when you do a connotative reading into this colour. But also keeping in mind, in addition it depends on the culture. The reading “Unset the menu” is in black.
In a positive view, black can be used as protection in the sense that it absorbs negativity, just as black clothing will absorb heat on a sunny day. However, the void that this creates must be filled with “positive energy” – something easily accomplished by burning it along with other colours, such as white. The black heading is trimmed slightly with white, therefore is positive. It seems as though the use of these colours together are suggesting that this product is saying that, it is safe and the ingredients are uncontaminated. That it is just absorbed with nutrients and goodness. Black could also indicate mystery. For example, dark impenetrable mystery as you can’t see through it. The meaning of the words “Unset the menu” are telling the consumer, yes, have something different tonight. Try something mysterious and out of the ordinary.
The bright vegetation of green used for the leaves that the girl is holding give a sense of nature possibly harmony. The colour of green has been said to help relax your thoughts. For example, in a theatre they have a “green room” where actors, actresses can go to relax before their performance. It is suppose to cleanse and balances our energy, to give a feeling of renewal, peace and harmony. The use of green seems to radiate a feeling of fullness and nature. It seems as though the commercial is saying that the product is full of freshness and goodness. And that the food is all natural and not packed with millions of chemicals, like most jarred food.
The use of colour is just one of the techniques it uses to target the intended audience. Another technique is the use of images. There are two images on this printed commercial. There is one of a young woman who is stood in the background. The other image is of three jars of Sharwood’s food which are placed in the foreground. The three jars of Sharwood’s food are set in the foreground, which is suggesting that the advertisement has the intention of saying it is extremely important. To an extent you could say that it is saying, “You really want me”. The images of the jars are set on top of the black background which is contrasting the image making them stand out and grab the audiences’ attention. The image is placed left to the brand name of the product and their slogan, which is, “stir up some passion”.