For a majority of this semester (I did have two weeks where I attempted to analyze post cards but it was difficult since I didn’t have access to a lot of them) I have been focusing on commercials and what makes them effective. I’ve looked at commercials that told a narrative, commercials that have tugged at the heartstrings, and commercials that transport the viewer into a fantastical world of color. I’ve found that the commercials that employ bright colors are the ones that move me the most.
For instance this lean cuisine commercials focuses primarily on the colors of the food in the snacks they are providing.
This commercial is clearly targeted towards women, especially those who are concerned with what is “in”. This is evident from the beginning when the narrator asks “ready for a taste of what’s hot?”. The statement makes it sound like the narrator is sharing an untold secret with viewers.
The juxtaposition of women enjoying the snacks in brightly colored dresses with the dish itself makes it appear like buying Lean Cuisine snacks makes a person fashionable. This is compounded by the end of the commercial when the narrator declares the snack to be “this season’s must-have accessory” as well as its tagline “Be Culinary Chic”. The upbeat music and smiling faces on the women in the commercial help solidify Lean Cuisine’s position that what they are selling is stylish and fun.
Not only does the commercial focus on the juxtaposition of dresses with food, it also focuses on the juxtaposition of the Lean Cuisine prepared food with fresh ingredients, leading the viewer to believe/perceive that the ingredients in the snacks are fresh. This positive association that viewers might make with the ingredients also helps viewers to draw the conclusion that Lean Cuisine is healthy.
I think that the analyses that I have composed of these commercials have led me to a greater understanding of the marketing tools that I am actually watching being employed. I find that now I am more aware of the use of music in commercials to dictate mood as well as the use of colors.
Though I did try, I feel like in some of my posts I haven’t even scratched the surface of some of the decisions that advertisers made to engage viewers and display their product. However, I did attempt to look at many of the semiotic and narrative elements in them that I found to be effective. It was interesting to see what techniques that advertisements employ to send their message to the receivers–colors, pictures of abandoned animals, fictional factories, sporadically sprouting apple trees, famous songs like “Right Field” and “Alouette”, etc. The amount of information that we have to process when receiving these messages is both complex and astounding.
Sometimes I found it difficult to analyze the commercials because I had to analyze their appeal not only to myself, but to other consumers. I also had to really consider the associations that I was making with the product and what people were perceiving as a result of the content within the commercial. I can’t say that this has made me that much more of an informed consumer but it has helped me to recognize why I find these commercials so compelling.