Essay about An Analysis of Four Advertisements

1301 Words 6 Pages
Imagery, literature and language - modes of communication - are all ways by which a society constructs its beliefs and narratives, and how we are able to find meaning in the world. As contemporary notions of capitalism have reigned in North American culture throughout the 20th century, an awareness of production and consumerism is essential to an understanding of culture itself. As psychologically savvy advertising executives plague the fashion industry, it is often cited that "sex sells", that consumers are drawn toward purchases due to the sexual content and appeal of an image; but is this clichéd utterance enough to grasp the cultural phenomenon of material fetish? Even if one accepts that mass culture is driven to consumerism as a …show more content…
Initial notes and observations

The first advertisement, that for Anne Klein available at Lord & Taylor stores, is an excellent starting point for this analysis as it represents a common advertising style - it seems transparent, honest, and is in no way offensive. The image clearly denotes the characteristics of Anne Klein designs - professional and business-oriented, yet stylish and sexy. The brand-names (of both Klein and L&T) serve as signifiers of a high-class lifestyle, thus the viewer is instantly aware that this woman is successful, powerful and in control. Her body language is also interesting: while in an obviously manufactured pose, she is gently pulling down her jacket, intentionally "covering up" from and deliberately ignoring the gaze of the viewer.

The second advertisement, for Burberry, boasts many similar elements. The well-known plaid design clearly indicates affluence and luxury. The black and white shading of the image, as well as the car, also contributes to the conveyance of class and tradition, and the combination of umbrella and police officer identity it as a distinctly British image.

The second Burberry advertisement follows the same tradition as the first in its use of black and white, yet the other components are unique. In this advertisement, the viewer is unable to find any concreteness - one cannot identify the country, city,

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