Free Visual Elements of an Advertisement Essay Sample

Marketers use different advertising strategies in order to attract existing and prospective customers’ attention so that they may buy or use a product. Advertisers employ various styles of thinking to come up with catchy slogans capable of capturing the consumers’ attention. Such creative strategies support publicity, personal selling, public relations and sales promotion (Boone and Kurtz 531). The strategies fall under the categories of strong, mid and weak strength strategies, depending on their intensity. These types of advertisements are rampant on television, magazines and radio. The effectiveness of a visual advertisement depends largely on the advertisement strategies that create the desired impact on the target audience. Visual adverts will only be successful if the target audience successfully identifies the provided cues and, more importantly, deduce the thematic meaning of such cues. Advertisers combine cues such as color, slogans, and celebrity figures and arrange them in a systematic manner to drive the message home-the main purpose the advert focuses on than the peripheries. In my project, I intend to analyze Julianne Hough’s advert- Got Milk?

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This is an advert that seeks to lure customers into buying and using milk. The advert have the dominant celebrity figure of Julianne Hough in the foreground, perched up in a gigantic tree. She holds onto the tree using one hand and holds a glass of milk in the other.  She in tight jeans trousers and a sleeveless woolen top, she has a milk moustache on her upper lip. The principal color in the advert is deep blue, especially in the background representing the sky. Stars dot the sky in the background, and, on the right hand corner, a massive black moon. This advert uses a catchy and stimulating slogan of “REACH FOR THE STARS”. On the lower foreground of the advert, descriptive words such as “Healthy”, “Lean” and “Beautiful” are to be found. The advert also displays Julianne Hough’s signature.

In effect, every little thing used in the advert carries the literal as well as the symbolic meaning. Marketers rely on the use of symbolism to generate eye-catching and effective adverts that will consequently lead to the achievement of the principal objective, increase in sales. In this advertisement, the milk marketers picked on a celebrity figure (Julianne Hough), who is a singer as well as an actress. In the United States, she has a vast following, both among the youth and adults. Her endorsement of milk, therefore, is likely to draw a lot of milk consumers to malls. The advertisers believe that her mere appearance on the advert will induce considerable interest in milk consumption, especially among the lovers of her songs and movies. She dresses in designer clothes and shoes, ostensibly pointing towards style, elegance, and fashion. Youthful girls who associate with these traits are likely to fall for this advert and effectively buy and consume milk.  The celebrity, who is the main focus in the advert, though stylish, also appears casual and common. This aims at tapping youthful girls from almost every walk of life - milk is gracious and affordable to all, not specific social classes.

The tight jeans and sleeveless top she wears on the advert emphasize her lean, beautiful body. True to the advertisement’s claim on milk consumption bringing leanness and health and beauty, she has all these qualities.  She oozes beauty, is lean, and from her looks, she is healthy. In today’s lifestyle where the prevalence of lifestyle diseases is rife, the contemporary society has an obsession for working towards high standards of health. The milk moustache on Hough’s upper lip indicates that she has drunk the milk, and it is fun! The audience is, therefore, likely to be swayed into buying and consuming volumes of milk, if it has the support of a celebrity like Hough. Moreover, today’s teenage girls have an obsession for slimming so that they maintain a “model” figure. Julianne Hough’s Figure serves their purpose, and, therefore; they are likely to start drinking lots of milk to look like her. Furthermore, the woolen sleeveless top she is in, most ladies ware it, while working out at the gym. It serves to indicate healthy living.

The deep blue sky prevails in the background of this advert. The blue color indicates, among other things, the energy of the deep, vast, open waters. Here, it seeks to emphasize the unfathomable energy possessed by milk-that which enhances health and beauty. It also symbolizes calmness and peace. In my view, there is calmness and peace among those people who are healthy – a benchmark that can be achieved by drinking milk. The blue color is indicative of subtlety and infinity. The advertisement’s strategy seeks to convince people that drinking milk yields more infinitely subtle sensations, as opposed to drinking other beverages. The color blue also relates to a dominant feeling of rejuvenation and liveliness. Julianne Hough rests comfortably in the branches of a huge, tall, and healthy tree. I think the healthy tree symbolizes that level of health a person derives from drinking milk regularly.

In the background of the advert, there are the images of innumerable bright stars spread all over the sky. Hough’s posture and position rhymes with the stars in the background, as she perches atop a giant tree. She appears to reach those stars, literally. I believe the advertisers used the bright stars as representing higher achievements in one’s life. For instance, drinking milk helps people to be healthy, beautiful, peaceful, subtle, and lively – all of which are desirable goals in almost everyone’s life.  It is human nature to yearn for success. The slogan “REACH FOR THE STARS” sums up this theme in what can only be simply put as a “catchy phrase” (Ross and McLean 189).

The advert borrows from several rhetorical strategies, such as ethos, logos, and pathos. For instance, the advert uses words like health, lean and beautiful as its selling strategy. The celebrity appearing in the advert possesses most of these desirable traits and, therefore, her presence qualifies her. The advert also carries her signature, apparently to emphasize on its validity. Scientifically, milk has tremendous nutritional value. The advertisement’s claims on health, beauty, and fitness are, therefore, is to a largely logical. The advertisers also use the rhetorical element of pathos by involving a celebrity like Julianne Hough in the advert. Music and movie lovers, especially the youth, have emotional tie to their entertainers. The issue of health and beauty also emotionally appeals in a great way to the larger population. Consequently, they are most likely to transfer their emotional feelings to the advert and may ultimately buy the product (Eronis).

The images in an advertisement make assumptions about their targeted audiences’ understanding. Marketers hold that their target audience possesses some amount of knowledge that will enable them to interpret the adverts. For instance, this advert (got milk?) largely assumes that many people know who Julianne Hough is, and that they can efficiently recognize her in the advert.  However, this is not always the case, and the advert may fail to achieve the intended impact.  They will also assume that people will follow in the footsteps of the hero/heroine on the face of the advert. Although this often works, it is not an absolute guarantee. There have been several cases in which celebrity endorsements failed to work out. Marketers must have current information on the trends in the society in order to design the most effective adverts. The arrangement of the various components of an advert is particularly vital for success (Drewniany and Jewler 201). Rhetorical strategies should be employed too in order to persuade customers.


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