Alex Arief Ms. Rendek English 102, sect. 103 2/12/12 What Makes a Good Ad? In order for an advertisement to be effective it must grasp a viewer’s interest and provide relevant, meaningful details to convey a message. When designing an advertisement artists will use many different tactics and techniques to target specific audiences and portray certain messages. The advertisement for People in Need shows a poor, poverty stricken African woman laying in a desolate landscape holding a fancy looking handbag. People in Need is a charity organization based in the Czech
Republic that works to help citizens of third world countries who are struggling with poverty and disease. This People in Need advertisement uses simple concepts such as materialistic associations, color contrast, and price comparison to gain immediate attention from an audience and get across its thought provoking message. The advertisement, without a doubt, forces a question of moral responsibility and ethical concern upon its audience suggesting that people who live lives of excess have forgotten and neglected those who live in poverty.
The first object that a viewer’s eye is drawn to in the advertisement is the stark white, brand new handbag in the center of the frame. This beautiful looking handbag seems extremely out of place once the viewer examines the background of the photo. Normally, a handbag like this would be sitting next to hundreds of other expensive accessories in a huge modern mall or store. Most citizens of first world countries would associate such a handbag with fashion, wealth, and social status.
By placing an object like this in such a disagreeing background the advertisement alters the onnotations that would normally be associated with the accessory, thus causing a viewer to question the unusual arrangement of the photograph and its subjects. In the background of the advertisement the audience can see a woman who seems to be very malnourished and poor. Laying in a barren landscape, the woman looks directly at the audience with a frown that suggests sadness, pain, and disgust.
Her stare directly out of the photograph draws a line of connection between the viewer and the woman that makes her face seem more personal and alive than if she was ooking away. One could argue that the woman is pained and disgusted that many people on this planet would pay huge amounts of money to get a fancy purse while she barely has enough money to stay alive. Regardless of what her grin suggests a viewer can clearly tell that there is sadness and desperation associated with the woman. This should cause a viewer to feel sorrow or pity towards the woman, further drawing them into the ad and its’ message.
The handbag that is normally associated with fashion, class, and social success is altered in its connotation to demonstrate verindulgence, excess, and even selfishness. The ad relies on human emotions such as pity, empathy, and morality to grasp a viewer’s attention and get them involved in the photograph. The contrast between an expensive object from the materialistic message of the advertisement by forcing a viewer to reconsider the connotations that their society has developed and wonder why these polar opposites are in the same setting. One of the more subtle concepts used to make this advertisement effective is simple color contrast.
Commonly in literature and art, the color white can symbolize urity, cleanliness, holiness, and goodness. It is no surprise that the handbag chosen for this advertisement is purely white and completely clean. Compared to the darkness of the woman and her garments as well as the barren background, the white handbag pops out at the viewer and alienates itself from the setting. This contrast not only draws the eye line of the viewer to the handbag first, but also further solidifies the contrasting differences between the connotations associated with the two main objects in the photograph.
By far the most crucial and effective aspect of the advertisement is the small caption printed next to the handbag. The text reveals that the price of the handbag is 32 Euros and that the price of food for a week in this woman’s country is only 4 Euros. The text on the advertisement is without a doubt it’s most powerful support for its message because it demonstrates how drastic the situation being addressed really is. The text bluntly exclaims the message that many people are living in excess and spending their money on the wrong things instead of helping those in need.
The specific price of the handbag plays a large role in the advertisements effectiveness as well. If it was an extremely expensive thousand dollar handbag less people would relate because they themselves are most likely not wealthy to afford extremely expensive things. A handbag for 32 Euros on the other hand isn’t too unreasonable. As a matter of fact it would be likely that most of the average first world women viewing this ad would own a similarly priced handbag themselves. While most viewers may not realize it, the size of the text and the boldness of the font further dd to the message behind the ad.
The text describing the handbags price is larger and bolder than the text describing the food and is in a bright white font that matches the handbag perfectly, thus relating the text to the object further. Also, the text symbolizes the awareness that people have of the costs of survival in third world countries by putting the second line of text (the one describing the price of food for a week) in a much smaller, weaker font that is harder to read than the word HANDBAG. When looking at the text the viewer first reads the price of a HANDBAG and may not e surprised at the price.
The smaller and much weaker font draws the viewer to focus in even more in order to clearly read the shocking line that describes the cost of food for a week. This amplifies the contrast of the two prices and further details the excess and overindulgence that the advertisement is working to convey. Along with the contrasting fonts the advertisement for People in Need demonstrates how the use of a negative connotation can be used in a positive manner. Normally, a picture of a poor starving woman in Africa would bring about feelings of sadness and pity from a viewer.
However, when combined with the hand bag and the caption, the connotation of the woman changes to actually be somewhat of a positive message, exemplifying the waste and over indulgence that plagues our societies and cultures alike. While the initial reaction from a viewer may be sadness meaning is conveyed. It is with this effort that the advertisement forces a viewer to question their own moral responsibility and consider how they feel about people less fortunate than themselves. Advertisements can be used to capture the minds of an audience and convey a ultitude of meanings and messages.
By using multiple different advertising techniques, both subtle and loud, this ad is able to quickly capture the attention of its audience and then portray a very important and strong message in a clear and effective manner. As the viewer analyzes the oddly misplaced handbag and suddenly reads the caption stating the differences in value of the handbag versus food for a week they are hit with a huge message demonstrating the overindulgence and lack of moral responsibility that their society has developed.
This will most likely make them ot only more aware of the value of their own money but hopefully convince them to donate to charity organizations more. This advertisement demonstrates the excess and overindulgence that plagues many first world countries and forces viewers to reconsider how they spend their money. The ultimate goal of this ad is to give every viewer a better perspective on the reality of the world they live in and make them more likely to donate to those less fortunate in the future before spending excessive amounts of money on themselves. Works Cited i20Need%20ad. jpg