Skim and Scan Reading 2 – The Advertising Handbook

Describe the article in as much detail as you can after SKIM reading

  • Advertisers decided to focus on gaining the audience’s attention than selling their product. This received backlash from critics.
  • Some examples of companies that have used this method to gain an audience are Tango and Mazda.
  • However, more companies took to this idea, and tried to challenge TV advert conventions and used ‘real people’.
  • Advertisers now want to use savvy methods of gaining attention, and do this by using even more new media technologies.
  • In the 80s-90s advertisers tried to gain popularity by parodying advertisement.

Describe what you think are the three key points after SCAN reading

  • Over time advertising has become more focused on getting consumers to admire a company’s advertising techniques rather than sell the product, which has faced criticism.
  • Debate over effective advertisement rose and in the 80’s and 90’s they tried different methods to gain the consumers approval
  • Recently the possibility of interactive advertisement has opened up and research has been made

Now that you have read the article in DETAIL, explain what the article is about

The article explains advertising methods used in the past. It says that in the past, advertisement has suffered and the effectiveness of adverts declined in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In recent years advertisers have focused on gaining the audiences attention rather than persuading them to buy into their brand. This is because advertisers believed that the main priority was to provide a unique advert that made their product look original. But this got backlash and crtitics were saying that its no longer about persuading people to want your product, but to make them admire your advertising instead. They also suggested that in advertising the product comes second and the advertising comes first.

This debate on effective advertising became more heated in the 80’s and 90’s because of the fluctuation of money concerns. Agencies would try to get planners and researchers to convince the public that their adverts were effective, but at this point the public had become more savvy about buying into brands. Judie Lannon was the person to point this out in 1993. Since then, agencies have tried different methods of involving the audience in their advertising. For example, in 1994, Tango tried to sell themselves by asking consumers to ring in if they had seen anyone pushing a pirated version of the brand. Another example of this was Mazda who invited viewers to turn the sound up on their television sets to hear the sales message.

In recent years, advertisement has become more invested in new media technologies because it opened up the possibility of interactive advertisement, such as choose what sort of advertisements they’d like to view. Research has been made which suggested that if an advert was interactive it should ‘stimulate and not reflect the consumer’.

Advert Comparison Report

In this report I will be comparing an old and a modern advert. I will compare the similarities and differences, through codes and conventions, technology used, methods used, and editing techniques.

The older advert I have decided to uses is an 80’s Lucozade commercial.

The modern advert I have chosen to use is a 2014 Lucozade advert.

 

Codes and Conventions

There are conventions that are present in both adverts. One of them is that both of them start off with a long shot/long/mid shot which is a convention of TV advertisement. It sets the scene for the audience so they understand the setting. Another convention used in both adverts is that they use close ups of the product. In both adverts they show the lucozade at the end or near the end of the advert which is a convention in TV commercials. This is done to emphasise the presence of the product and it highlights to the audience what the brand is selling. In addition to this another convention used in both adverts is voice over which is used in a lot of adverts to describe whats happening on screen or to add additional promotion of the product. Also another convention used in both commercials is that they show the use of the product and the after effect. In the older advert, it shows the woman drink the product and then her having energy to hug her child, and in the modern advert it shows them drinking the product and then partying. They also both use slogans to promote the product further.

Technology Used

Because of the gap in time between both adverts – 80’s and 2014 – the technology used is much different. For example, the camera quality is much different. In the older advert it is more pixelated and blurry than in the modern advert as back then they did not have as high quality high definition cameras as we do today. In addition to this the editing is different as back then using cuts and fancy editing techniques was more difficult so could not be used so much as in the modern advert. The sound quality is also different as we have better microphones and recording studios than they did back in the 80’s when the older advert was filmed.

Methods/Processes

Through Vance Packard’s theory of advertisement techniques, we can see that both adverts use a few methods to grab the attention of their target audience. The target audience has changed for Lucozade so the methods used are different in each advert. The target audience used to be grown ups who are looking for medicine as the product was used as a medicine instead of a beverage back then. Now the product is a beverage aimed at young people. In the first advert, methods used are nostalgia and sense appeal. The nostalgia is used when the woman refers to buying the product previously, and the sense appeal is used when showing the product being poured. In the modern advert, methods that are used are bandwagon. This is used when showing large amounts of people consuming the product and makes it look like the product is why they are all together and all happy – you can be this happy if you buy the product.

Editing Techniques and Camerawork

The editing techniques in both adverts are very different. In the older advert, there are far less cuts and the length of the shots are much longer. The editing techniques used are techniques such as cuts, dissolve, and fade which do little to speed up the pace of the advert. The advert is mainly shots that are long in time length and long shots and close ups/extreme close ups of the product.

In the modern advert, the edits are far more frequent and chaotic. There are a large number of cuts and jump cuts, and the shots vary in position from long shots, close ups, tracking shots, and mid shots. There is also a contrast in the shots and editing – there will be a longer shot and then a shorter one, and the advert goes to slow motion at certain points and then returns to a faster pace.

However a similarities between the two adverts is that they both use text at the end of the advert. The older advert uses text for a slogan and the modern one uses it for a slogan and the brand logo. In addition to this they both use voice over.

Conclusion

In conclusion we can see that some features of the adverts are similar, such as some editing techniques and codes and conventions. We can also see that there are differences through methods, technology used and editing techniques.

Delish Packaging Evaluation

For this unit I designed three packaging designs for an artisan savoury cracker company called Delish. I used the program Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign to create these three packaging designs, and presented them to the lady representing Delish.

Effectiveness

A problem I came across whilst designing my packaging was using the the tools available. I found Photoshop difficult to use because I had little experience with it so understanding how each tool worked and what effect they had on my design was difficult at times. I solved this by trying all of the tools out and undoing what functions I did not want so I therefore understood the program better. Another problem I encountered was the macs freezing up occasionally whilst designing my packaging. To resolve this problem I saved my designs consistently whilst creating them so that if the mac froze up I could shut down and restart the mac without losing any progress or unsaved work.

I could improve my designs by choosing softer colours, for example in my second design the background layer colours which were purple and blue they compliment each other well but would look better  if the colours were softer. In addition I could make the text less tacky and more professional like.

Response to feedback

The lady from Delish gave feedback for each of my designs, with a pro and a con for each. For my first design she liked the photographic background, and also the handwritten font and logo. However for this design she did not like the fish aperture. For my second design, she liked the design as a whole. However she would change a few things such as exchanging the flame graphic for a surf spray graphic and use an alternative seaweed graphic to be kelp or coral. For my third design she liked the overall design, especially the ‘under the sea’ effect. However given the graphic mermaid includes over four colours, it could not be included if it were to be produced as this would be a cost implication due to the amount of ink needed.

Creative ability 

Personally I think I did well in creating my designs. My technical skills could have been better which I could of improved with a little more experience and instruction, but overall given the limited skills I had I think my designs turned out fairly well. If I researched each tool and how it worked I could have used them more effectively, but the tools I did use gave me an advantage in designing my packaging. I think I was quite creative with my designs, as I used different ideas to represent one flavour instead of an individual for three different flavours. I chose unconventional ways to reflect the flavour rather than using images/graphics that were the product itself, which shows creativity in representaion. I also used a range of colours that suited the product.

Finished Product

Final Design 1

For my first design I constructed it the way I did because I wanted to reflect the seaside/ocean element of Spicy Cornish Seaweed. Firstly I reflected it by using a photographic background of the sea. I decided to use a photograph instead of a digital design or solid colour because I thought this would make the package stand out more and look more professional, so therefore it would be more visually pleasing. I also decided to construct it with a fish aperture because I thought that it would be a good idea to show the product inside so that if the design were to be used on the shelf, customers could see the product they were buying. I used text that was a similar colour to the background so that it would not clash, but chose colours that were readable and noticeable against the background. The colours I chose were cream, and for some of the text I used the overlay layer style. The logo and flavour font were designed in InDesign with the paint tool, which I used for all three design ideas. I chose to do this because that way the logo and flavour font design would be more creative and individual, rather than a duller, pre-made font.

Technically I think the design looks good, but could be improved if I used a wider range of tools because if I did this it would look more professional.

What’s visually pleasing about this design is the colours are all soft and not too harsh to the eye. The photographic background is also a plus, as it adds quirk and has a modern vibe.

Final Design 2

For my second design I constructed it the way I did because I wanted to reflect the spice and the seaweed combination in Spicy Cornish Seaweed. I reflected this through the graphic design of the flame and the seaweed, which I decided to use to represent the combination. Technically I think this looked good as it didn’t look tacky and the images looked suitable overlaying. For the background I chose two complimenting colours that were separate to the graphic design – dark purple and light blue. In the design the purple has turned out darker than originally intended, however still suits the design well enough so technically it looks okay. The text I used were the same blue and purple as used for the background, but the blue was on the purple background and vice versa. I also added drop shadow in order for the text to stand out from the packaging, and so it was easily readable. Technically this was done well and looks effective.

What’s visually pleasing about this design idea in particular is that the design is bold which means that it stands out against other products on the shelf, and the colours compliment each other well.

Final Design 3

For my third design I constructed it the way I did because I wanted to create an alternative design to represent the seaweed in Spicy Cornish Seaweed. I decided to reflect this through the graphic design of a mermaid, who is a common mythical feature of the ocean, which relates to the flavour of Spicy Cornish Seaweed. Technically I think this part turned out well as it compliments the colour of the background and also the rest of the design, and the complex design of it contrasts the simplicity of the rest of the front section. The background is an ocean blue with some sections showing an underwater view of the sea, which has an added overlay effect. I designed it this way because it reflects the ocean theme and also in a way gives the mermaid graphic a habitat. Technically I think this looks good because it looks soft but bold and the text stands out against it so it’s readable.

What’s visually pleasing about this design in particular is the bright colours which stand out, but are not too loud. It’s colourful which will attract customers and the logo is aesthetically pleasing.

Comparison

In comparison to the existing professional artisan style designs on the market, my designs have similarities They are similar in some ways – they include the standard text, slogans and food related symbols (e.g. bar code and recycle) and graphic designs e.g. the mermaid design. However in comparison they are different. Some differences are that typical artisan products on the market nowadays don’t include brighter colours like in my designs. They also don’t typically have bold logo designs – they usually include smaller, thinner fonts. In my design, my logo is bold and eye catching so that the customer can easily recognise the brand off the shelf and so that the brand appears more fun, so therefore more appealing.

My designs compare differently with my original intentions in some aspects, but have still turned out well. For all my ideas, my original intention was that the box would be a different shape, more like a pouch. Instead the box is more oblong which is an improvement as the box would then be more durable. There would be a sticker on all three of my designs stating the flavour, but this idea was ditched due to size. Instead I used a font which I designed myself, which is better as it is clearer and makes the designs look more exciting.

In my first idea, what is different is that the fish aperture is vertical. My original intention was that it would be horizontal, but due to the box proportions it had to be changed to be vertical. This is an improvement as it allows for more product to be shown through the aperture.

In my second idea, the seaweed and flame graphic is different as my original intention was for it to be larger, but due to box proportions and the placement of the flavour font it turned out smaller than expected. However this is an improvement as it means that you can see what flavour it is easier and the design in general looks more visually pleasing.

In my third idea, my original intention was for there to be a square/rectangular aperture to show the product and the mermaid graphic would be sitting on top of it, as though the aperture were a rock. However this is different in comparison to my original intention as in my final idea there is no aperture, just the mermaid in the middle. There is no aperture due to the proportions of the box design, and the original idea would not work as well. However the final version is better as it shows the mermaid graphic better.

 

Questionnaire Analysis

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(Some sides were not scanned, and one questionnaire not included.)

In our questionnaire, we asked our participants a selection of questions to help us understand what adverts and advert conventions appeal to a variety of audiences.

We asked people in our class who were our age, and older people. The advantage of asking different people of different age groups were that it helped to see if what conventions were appealing changed with age.

We also asked whether they were male or female, which affected our results because it altered what adverts men and women found appealing, for example the males found adverts such as Titanfall 2 appealing because of the live action but not perfume adverts because of the lack of engagement. However the females found adverts such as the Doritos advert appealing because they found it cute, but not adverts such as Wateraid and Unicef because it made them sad. From this we can see that men and women find different factors primarily appealing or unappealing.

The first question we asked our participants was:

‘What type of adverts appeal to you most?’

The answers available were:

  • Humour
  •  Fantasy
  • Adverts with a strong story line,
  • Realistic (relatable scenarios)
  • Strong visuals (special effects)
  • Other (participant could suggest own individual answer)

8/10 people who filled in our questionnaires selected humour as one of their choices for what they find appealing. The age group that selected this ranged from 16 -57, which tells us that humour is appealing to a wide age demographic and not just younger people. This result also tells us that if you were to create an advert it would be favourable to include humour.

5/10 people who took our questionnaire selected fantasy as an option for what they find appealing in an advert, which suggests that it is favourable but not as much as humour. The age group that selected this range was 16-33, which shows that fantasy in an advert appeals to a younger audience. This result tells us that if your product is aimed at a younger demographic it is favourable to include fantasy.

5/10 people chose adverts with a strong story line as an option for what they find appealing in advertisement. This suggests that making an advert with this aspect is a favourable choice if you are a large brand with expendable money and a wide audience. The age range for who this kind of ad appeals to is 16-57 which suggests that story line based adverts does not apply to a certain age so much as what individuals find appealing.

2/10 people selected realistic (relatable scenarios) as an option for what they find appealing in an advert. The age group for these people are 33-57, which shows that adverts which are relatable are more appealing to an older demographic than a younger one, so if your product or brand is aimed at an older demographic it would work better than if your product was aimed at a younger audience.

3/10 people selected strong visuals (special effects) as an option for what they find appealing in an advert. The age group for this is 16-57, which tells us that having strong visuals in an advert can appeal to a wide age range so has no niche age group target. Both of these factors combined tells us that strong visuals are favourable, but not essential in order to sell a product or brand.

For our second and third question, we asked:

  • Whats your favourite advert and why?
  • Whats your least favourite advert and why?

The answers to these questions often fell in line with what each participant found appealing in an advert.

The people who chose humour as a factor for what they found appealing chose brands/adverts as their favourite such as:

  • Baked bean ad
  • Money Super Market
  • Doritos (the one with the dogs, and the one with the mermaid)

They found these adverts appealing because they had a ‘clever plot’, were ‘funny’ and ‘catches my attention’.

However their least favourite adverts contrasted this, such as:

  • Head and Shoulders – ‘boring, no spark, no fun’
  • Always Discreet – ‘cringe worthy’
  • Unicef and Wateraid- ‘sad, make you feel guilty’
  • Go Compare – ‘annoying, loud’
  • Long story line adverts – ‘boring, sad, doesn’t intrigue me’
  • Perfume ads – ‘not engaging, promotes double standards’

People who chose fantasy for what they find appealing in an advert chose brands/adverts such as:

  • Doritos (the advert with the mermaids – this applies as it uses fantasy to sell the product)
  • Baked bean ad
  • Titanfall 2

They chose these adverts because they had a ‘clever plot’, ‘use of fantasy’, ‘live action’, and special effects such as slow mo.

However the people who chose this had least favourite adverts that contrasted this such as:

  • Perfume ads – ‘not engaging, promotes double standards’
  • Long story line based ads – ‘boring, sad, doesn’t intrigue me’
  • Wateraid – ‘sad, make you feel guilty’
  • Always Discreet – ‘cringe worthy’
  • Flash adverts – ‘annoying’

People who chose adverts with a strong story line chose adverts such as:

  • John Lewis
  • Doritos (with the dogs)
  • Titanfall 2

They chose these adverts because they were ‘cute’, ‘grabs your attention’, ‘has dogs in’, and because they were ‘action based’.

In addition to this their least favourite adverts were the opposite of this:

  • Loan adverts – ‘looks silly, unprofessional’
  • Go compare – ‘annoying, loud’
  • Perfume ads – ‘not engaging, promotes double standards’
  • Unicef – ‘sad, make you feel guilty’
  • Head and shoulders – ‘boring, no spark, no fun’

People who chose adverts that were realistic as favourable did not provide an example as they favoured humorous adverts over realistic ones, even though they did still approve of realism in an advert.

Despite this, they did provide an answer for what adverts were their least favourite, which were:

  • Head and Shoulders – ‘boring, no spark, no fun’
  • Always Discreet – ‘advert isn’t discreet’ ‘a little cringe worthy’

People who chose strong visuals and special effects as a favourable feature of adverts chose adverts as their favourite such as:

  • Baked beans ad
  • Titanfall 2

They chose these adverts because of ‘humour’, ‘use of fantasy’, ‘live action’, ‘action based’, and ‘slow mo’.

People who chose this option chose least favourite adverts such as:

  • Head and Shoulders – ‘boring, no spark, no fun’
  • Perfume ads – ‘non engaging, promotes double standards’
  • Wateraid – ‘sad, makes you feel guilty’

Our fourth question of our questionnaire was ‘What three words do you associate with Christmas adverts?’  For this question, the answers were consistent. The majority were positive answers. These positive answers were:

  • Cheerful (twice)
  • Fantasy (twice)
  • Family (twice)
  • Fun
  • Colourful
  • Christmas movie
  • Happiness (three times
  • Food
  • Santa
  • Trees (twice)
  • John Lewis
  • Joyful
  • Celebratory
  • Funny (some are)
  • Festive (twice)
  • Snow
  • Exciting
  • Cute

The negative answers were:

  • Spend
  • Debt
  • Money
  • Bad music

From this question we can see that most people view Christmas adverts positively rather than negatively, however some still do. This tells us that a Christmas themed advert would be productive rather than counter productive and will sell the product more than make it look cheesy and unappealing. It also tells us that people associate Christmas with positive feelings and vibes as well as materialistic things, so basing an advert around a mood works as well as an advert based around the materialistic elements of Christmas.

Our fifth question we asked on our questionnaire was, ‘Which words do you associate with a perfume advert?’

The options given were:

  • Elegant
  • French
  • Funny
  • Lust
  • Love
  • Adventure
  • Dance
  • Fashion

10/10 people selected elegant which suggests that elegance is a highly associated trait with perfume advertisement. From this we can gather that if we were to create a conventional perfume advert it would be favourable to include elegance, however if we were to make an unconventional advert it would be a wise idea to make it so it was non elegant.

4/10 people selected French, which suggests that a smaller portion of people would associate perfume commercials with another country. This could be because Paris is the Capital of France, which is the city associated with romance. From this we can gather that creating an advert that is multi-cultural is favourable and would gain more customers globally.

0/10 selected funny, which suggests that humour in a perfume advert is rare/never happens. From this data we can see that if we were to create a conventional perfume advert it would be conventional to not include humour. However, if we wanted our perfume advert to stand out against the rest, adding humour would make it a memorable advert.

7/10 selected lust, which suggests to us that adverts are often associated with intimacy and enticement. Our target audience is young women which means that if we were to create an advert lust might not be an appropriate factor to include, however including romance through the theme of sending a card to a lover is favourable as it reflects the connection between two people.

7/10 selected love, which tells us that perfume is a product viewed to be romantic that ideally attracts people. This suggests to us that if we wanted to create a conventional perfume advert, that the idea of focusing on the romance of two people in the advert would be a good way of reflecting this.

0/10 adventure which suggests to us that people do not associate perfume adverts with having a strong plot. It suggests that perfume adverts are more simple than adventurous, so therefore deciding to pick perfume as a product for our advert was a better idea than picking a product which would require more plot to advertise. It is better that we picked a simpler product to advertise as it means we can focus on getting our advert to a better standard, rather than picking one which would mean more difficult production and a less satisfactory result.

0/10 people selected dance, which suggests that perfume adverts are more associated with the vibes and emotions they portray rather than what visually happens in the advert. This tells us that focusing on the emotion in our advert is important and would be a likely factor that would gain the attention of our target audience.

1/10 people selected fashion as a trait they associate with perfume adverts. This tells us that a small portion of our audience would pay attention to the costume of the actor/actress, so to target and include this niche audience it would be a good idea to make sure the actor/actress involved wore suitable fashion.

 

Meeting Minutes

First Meeting: 27/09/16 

Members present: Carmen Earnshaw, Tarrin Vane, Chloe Woollacott, Emily Gagen

For the first meeting I was not part of the group, but Carmen’s advert proposal was chosen out of the group. It was chosen because it was the most achievable and involved the most realistic amount of work load without being too much and being overbearing. Each member of the group had a different idea of what product to advertise – Emily’s advert was a Dove advert, Chloe’s was a chocolate bar and Tarrin’s idea was a Lynx spray. In addition to this during this meeting our group discussed ways of communication such as Facebook and Skype, ideas of location for the advert, costume, and an actress who could be involved in our advert which was to be arranged by Tarrin.

Second Meeting: 4/10/16

Members present: Carmen Earnsaw, Tarrin Vane, Chloe Woollacott, Emily Gagen, Anne-Marie Weiss

At this point I was part of the group and joined this meeting. In this meeting we talked about what potential challenges we could face throughout production. For example, ideas for this we came up with are time management and weather. Time management could be a problem if our work schedules and out of college ideas clash, or if an actress is unavailable on the day of filming. However this problem could be solved or avoided if there was enough communication and everyone in the group was up to date. In addition to this weather problems could be solved or avoided if we planned which day to film and where, and keep up with the weather news to make sure production would not be problematic because of the weather. In addition to this we discussed that it would be appropriate to have back up plans in case any part our production failed.

Third Meeting: 18/10/16

Members present: Carmen Earnshaw, Tarrin Vane, Chloe Woollacott

Unfortunately I was absent for this meeting and Emily joined a different group. In this meeting interpretations of the original idea were proposed. In Chloe’s and Carmen’s advert ideas there was no narrative and focused on visual aesthetic. Tarrin’s idea was voted forward because it had narrative and it was based on the Christmas season which was favourable given the time of year and it fitted the Nina Ricci theme (winter wonderland) who’s adverts inspired Tarrin’s idea.

Tarrin’s idea was very visual and focused on the festive theme. In her advert there would be a woman writing a Christmas card to her boyfriend, who then posts it in a red pillar box but before she does she sprays it with the perfume to add the ‘magic touch’. The advert focuses on romance and a fairy tale, festive aesthetic.

Fourth Meeting: 11/11/16

Members present: Carmen Earnshaw, Tarrin Vane, Chloe Woollacott, Anne-Marie Weiss

In this meeting we altered our original group idea. We decided to film at the college woods instead of St. Marychurch precinct as it was less busy and suited our idea better. We also organised what shots we needed and who would film each one, and discussed the issues with our prop cape which was that it was smaller than we thought it would be, so this was an issue. The original actor for our advert was unavailable so I agreed to take her place in our advert.