Judith Williamson Blog and DQ

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Judith Williamson brings up interesting points in her chapters about advertising. The one I found most relatable and most understandable was the one about differentiation. This is something that I have always been aware of (brands have targets for a reason) but it was interesting to learn more about it. I always knew that multiple companies produced different brands; people like options. Williamson described how the different perfume brands were differentiated by using the example of using Catherine Deneuve and Margaux Hemingway. Catherine Deneuve and Margaux Hemingway are viewed in extremely different ways. They represent different signifiers. Catherine Deneuve is viewed as a classic beautiful woman and Margaux Hemingway is seen as a strong tomboy. By using these two well-known women to differentiate their brands from each other, the brands are able to create an image for their perfume. Chanel 5 is signified as classy and Babe is signified as strong and thus appeal to these women. These examples remind me of the many different kinds of deodorant commercials there are for the same brands.

This one is a Degree commercial in which a woman is going out in an elegant black dress so she wants to make sure her deodorant isn't going to mark her dress. The woman is beautiful and classy and this woman is the signifier for those characteristics. This brand "Degree UltraClear" is now associated with these signified characteristics. In addition the actress, Margo Stilley, is known for starring in a racy British film so in this way, Degree is able to present their product in a sexy manner not only by the content of the commercial but by the signifier, Margo Stilley.

This one is a Secret commercial from 1999 which uses Molly Culver. This commercial is very informative vs. the previous commercial which was less informative but also used a mini plot. Molly Culver is an American actress who models and has been featured in many films. In the show she is best known for V.I.P., she is a bodyguard to celebrities. By using Molly Culver in this ad, Secret is viewed as strong but also feminine as Molly has also had roles as a mother.

This topic brought up a few questions for me that'd I'd like to ask. Do you think that when brands use celebrities to represent their product that they are cutting off a part of the population who don't know who this person is? Or are they making a correct assumption that the market they're targeting will most likely know who the celebrity is? On the side of those who might not know who the celebrity is, do you think the context that the woman is in sets a good enough stage for the audience to understand the message anyways?

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This page contains a single entry by Paige Bystrom published on November 25, 2012 11:42 PM.

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