I went out for the day with my notebook and my camera, it was really hard to photograph many of the ads as they were often on busy roads on billboards, so some I photographed and some I noted and looked up on their web sites when I got home, this last approach enabled me to get clearer images of the adverts and made it simpler to understand the words and digest them.
my first advert was on a billboard on the Aldershot road, in a place that was incompatible with taking a picture so I sourced the same advert from the Peugeot web site. The text in This advert in my opinion closes down the image and directs you to think about the grip that the tires have on the wet road. It feeds on the normal human emotion that most people have fearing that a car will slide or loose grip in the wet. The car is also cornering and the image is slightly tilted in the direction the viewer expects the car to slide in to. All of these factors in the image are there to build the tension of the viewer to expect the car to slide , the fact it isn’t sliding creates a relief in the viewer and reinforces the belief that there is some mysterious technology locked into the car to enable it to stay on the road under the conditions. The text closes our thinking along these lines and focuses the viewer on the message Peugeot want to deliver
The asda adverts are delivered in clusters to expand the idea that they sell many different types of product, these adverts are much more open than the first as they conjure a picture without forcing a thought on you they use text to stimulate ideas, the first one says “Slimzone”, which means very little in fact but helps the viewer to conjure up ideas if healthy living and a slim waste line the rice dish in the pan promises to be healthy as does the spatter of greenery.the fresh apples conjure up thoughts of not needing a doctor from the children’s rhyme. All of this requires the viewer to dig into their imagination to contribute to the result. The same is true withe the second image making us jerk from healthy food to having summertime fun, images of playing on the beach are drawn by the flip flops and the beach ball all sitting atop a nice golden sand. This does not really tell us what the sell it just makes us imagine that they can supply us with everything we need to have fun in the sun and links to the first image which promises the health to be able to enjoy it. The final image is direct it tells me that I can get my own selection of 4 craft beers for £6 and relies on the packaging to tempt me in. Interestingly this also seems to tie in to the others promising a nice time on the beach with a cold beer. Nothing too overt in any of these but they certainly get the imagination posing questions and drawing conclusions.
In the BT advert the text is quite closed, the words deliver the information very directly, “UK’S Most powerful WI-FI signal”. Then the image is a graphical representation of the awesome wi fi signal pulsing out of the device. This is not a subtle ad it is meant to sock you straight in the face with its direct message. It further alludes to a deadline that you must respond to or loose everything.
The text is closed as it draws your attention straight to the point and allows very little deviation from the advertising message which is all about drawing you in to enjoy yourself while they sell you lots of food and drink. The food and drink part relies on imagination but is almost implicit with a Pub.
The text is somewhere between closed and open parts of it direct me to the subject but they also rely on my imagination to conjure up my memories of this kind of dining experience while out in the USA, I assume for people who have never been it drags their thoughts to the abundance of images and examples on the TV and in movies.
The advert shows us some very exact images of what we can order and combines them with an American theme that in reality has little to do with the object itself but paints us an image that allows us to blindly accept the message.
Lastly it sets us up to keep going back as there will be different varieties in different weeks and if we miss a week we will loose out on a whole genera of American culture.
Finally the overall logo draws on all the popular colours and cultural memes for America to further convince us that we are in for a pure bread American treat steeped in their culture and endorsed by hundreds of cowboys and Harley riding bikers, the latter reinforced on the web by the little film that plays showing to English office workers slowly becoming American bikers as they decide to go to McDonald’s for this treat.
We are swamped and surrounded by advertising and subtle messages all day everyday, advertisers are supremely cleaver at focusing our thoughts and mental images along the path they want us to tread. Some of this could be seen as quite sinister and we have become glased over to what they do to us as they convince us to spend our money on their products . The use of text can be very subtle but extremely powerful at other times it is completely in your face depending on whet the advertiser wants to sell.
some local adverts created by local companies without big budgets are often just text and straight to the point such as this add for music in the park, which is mostly factual and informative it does not seem to try to convince me to go only to inform me its on.