Decoding Advertisements


I found Williamson's piece on Decoding Advertisements very interesting. As a Comm major and soon to be enrolled in Miami Ad School, you can see why this article caught my eye. The signifier and Sign can be seen in every ad, and I find that very interesting. I really like how she connected advertisements with emotions. Advertisements have advanced from the Coca Cola ads of the sixties. Now they have an emotion that is envied from the target audience. It's not that our IQ has dropped over the years, rather advertising is a multi billion dollar business, and they have fine tuned their craft enough to be relevant. I also believe that ads are often juxtaposed, with the product next to something the target audience can relate to. Advertising agencies have realized that in order to really sell something on airwaves, you cannot just show the product and how much of a good buy it is, you have to capture your audience's attention and get them to consciously or sub-consciously say I need this product, I can relate to this product, this is what is missing in my life. The fact of the matter is Americans are very excessive and material. We have things we do not use for a year's time, we have enough clothes to last us a month. So when you are selling a clothing brand, or a new car, you need to peculiar about your target audience and not waste time trying to sell to the masses. Now some brands make mistakes doing this. Yes, you cannot sell Dolce and Gabbana purses to men, that is understandable. But I just saw an ad on TV for Dr. Pepper 10. It is a beverage made by Dr. Pepper that only has 10 calories. The commercial is very quick and noisy and at the end it says something a long the lines of "Made just for men". Now when I heard this I was actually a little offended. I am a male who is not a feminist by any means, but i was offended because the add is completely singling out women even though it is a beverage, therefore there is no reason that it shouldn't be unisex. To plug Williamson in this, she stated that certain things are sold to certain audiences, which makes complete sense. But there are some things, like a beverage, where an ad should not be discriminatory.


I have not seen this Dr. Pepper ad, but I find it interesting how they would say "made just for men." I feel as though low calorie products are usually marketed to females. I dont think I would feel offended by a soda being marketed just for men. But if the commercial was a popular one Id probably feel weird drinking it because of the way the advertised for this ad.

I think you made a lot of good points here about advertising decoding. I definitely agree with you that people are not getting more stupid but advertisers are just extremely skilled at their craft. I think that that is an important distinction to make because it is easy to blame people for just using poor judgement etc but in fact it just that the companies advertising have created extremely effective ways to get people to buy their products. I also think you made a good point in classifying Americans as excessive and materialistic. However i think one thing you implied but could have said specifically is that Americans always want more things, even if hey will not use them for a months at a time, as you did say. I also liked how you brought up the Dr. Pepper 10 commercials because i thought they were just ridiculous as well. I think the tagline at the end was actually "not for women" which did not offend me but i think it is just an extremely stupid advertising play because it cuts out such a huge demographic of people that could have potentially bought the product.

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This page contains a single entry by kent0102 published on September 13, 2012 4:04 PM.

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