Semantics looks at how the meaning is constructed interpreted, clarified, obscured, illustrated, simply negotiated and paraphrased. (Semantics lecture notes 2007) The website Answers defines semantics as study of meaning, one of the major areas of linguistic study. Linguists have approached it in a variety of ways. Members of the school of interpretive semantics study the structures of language independent of their conditions of use. In contrast, the advocates of generative semantics insist that the meaning of sentences is a function of their use. Still another group maintains that semantics will not advance until theorists take into account the psychological questions of how people form concepts and how these relate to word meanings. (www.answers.co.uk)
Advertising is seen as form of promotion. Advertising has long been viewed as methods of mass promotions where a single message that can reach a large number of people. Advertising is about selling to the target audience and making an impact on the audience. Pleading its case through the strongest, most persuasive means, advertising informs, entertains and sells. Occasionally, it even inspires. If advertising is about selling, then persuasion is how we get there. Consumers are not persuaded by illogical or irrational promises and can see through ill-conceived ideas. In t oday’s advertising world, around 80 percent of new products that are launched fail. The reason maybe for this is because those marketers do not deliver the quality of the product as shown in their adverts.
In today’s world, the society we live in is fortunate to have an abundance of products and services, consumers have the privilege to wade through millions of products overflowing on retail shelves and sort through thousands of marketing messages that filter and grab their attention every day. Commercial messages appear just about everywhere on TV, in magazines, newspapers, billboards, on the radio, on buses, in phone booths, sports arenas, on the Internet, even in public toilets. Considering that we live in an electronic generation, advertisers are challenged as never before to get their message to consumers. As a result, advertising’s job is extremely difficult and very competitive.
The key to creating advertising that engenders persuasion is to have a sound and properly focused advertising strategy. It is necessary to understand who the consumer is and what their attitudes and product usage habits are in order to develop this strategy. The Tango advert made such an impact on the consumers that it also brought out bad publicity for the Tango product. The structure of the advert was three men on the street and one of them is drinking an orange Tango. A voice-over of two men who commentate on the man drinking the Tango, reverse to when he takes his first sip. When the two men commentate their tone of voice is an ironic tone of voice. When the man takes his first sip a fat, bald orange man appears to be running in a comical way. He comes towards the drinker, taps him on his shoulder, runs around, comes back and gives him a slap on his face with both hands.
The commentators state that the slap reflects on the ‘bite and buzz’ of the orange taste within the drink. The reason why the advert was controversial is because that young children who had viewed the advert were going around and slapping their friends. There were complaints made, even though it gained bad publicity, the product was still selling. The advert was later banned from being shown. It was voted the third most popular advert out of 100 on the website uktvadverts.com
Another example of the tango advert using some controversy was is in 2006 when Sony launched their ‘Bravia’ TV. The advert was had lots of colourful bouncing balls. Tango then launched a parody of the advert. Using the same production style and the same music track. It also copied almost exactly the moment from the Bravia advert when a frog leaps out from a drainpipe. It parodies Sony’s slogan ‘Colour like no other’ with ‘Refreshment like no other’, finishing the advert with “its clear when you’ve been Tango’d”
When the tango slap advert was banned, the company then came up with alternate endings to the same advert. One alternate ending is when the orange man is supposed to slap the drinker, the drinker runs away instead of getting hit. Another alternate ending is when the orange man gives the drinker a kiss instead of slap. Even though it wasn’t as successful as the original slapping ad, it still continued to make an impact on the consumers.
The Tango Slap advert uses the rhetorical type of a metaphor. The website Know Gramming defines a metaphor as the substitution of one idea or object with another, used to assist expression or understanding. The definition of metaphor is generally divided into living and dead metaphors, which refer to metaphors which are still considered “novel” versus those which have been incorporated into normal usage. The dividing line between these two is very hazy, and may depend on the culture, language, region, dialect or jargon it is found in. (www.knowgramming.com)
By analysing this definition and applying it to the Tango advert, when the voice over uses the sentence “It just illustrates the bite and buzz of real oranges in every tango”. By taking this line from the advert, the consumer can have a perception of the drink already. The ‘bite and buzz’ is telling the consumer that when they drink this their tastes buds will have such an effect, that they will think that there is no other beverage that can have the same impact as a Tango can. The advert was played and promoted continuously on television and other sources of media such as billboards. It’s a form of pathos persuasion it’s an emotional and irresistible buy, it’s shall I or not buy it factor. This is the power of advertising; it can have an emotional effect on the consumers both physically and mentally.
The Tango advert can fall into the truth effect category. The truth effect is when a company wants to use their advert to persuade to their target market that if they use the specific product that they will be elegant just like the person in the advert or sporty as the person in the advert and so forth. For the reason that its powerful advertising launch and gimmick it has had a high involvement in consumer’s beliefs. This is due to the fact that people think and believed that every Tango can had a little fat orange man waiting to slap you every time you had a sip, or in reality terms a hit from real oranges.
Therefore, hence this is the truth effect. If the advertising has not changed the consumer’s belief then over time it could because the advertising is very strong, depending on the target market and their beliefs of how a product is sold to the consumers. For example the Chanel Number 5 advert persuaded women that if they sprayed on some of their fragrance they will beautiful and elegant as the woman in the advert. This is what the truth effect can have on potential customers.
To conclude on the Tango advert, even though the advert is dated and there has been debate surrounding it, the advertisement was very successful and it was because of the way it used persuasion and marketing to sell the product. From the time of production to the time it went off air the Tango slap advert was a good idea. It was showing that their product had the effect of hitting the consumer with their orangey tangy flavour. To show us that the taste would suddenly hit you.
In today’s world of advertising and promoting, adverts are important. Companies need to find fun ways, not only to keep the audience interested in it but to actually want to go out and buy their product and tell their peers about the product. Even though when people drank Tango at the time, every one knew that when they consumed the drink that a fat orange man would creep up behind and slap their face, because he never needed to, the figurative slap in the face was from the taste of the actual product. Looking back at when the advert was launched and compared to the other advert at the time, the Tango advert was ahead by miles. It looked at everyday situations and used the situations to influence the consumer.