Some adverts appeal to our sense of humour as laughter is nearly always in favour and is pleasurable. To appeal to humour enforces the idea that if we buy the certain product we will also laugh and have fun. One advert that does this is the advert for Skoda cars. The brand name ‘Skoda’ has never been associated with quality cars, but cheap cars made not to a high standard. As the new Skoda range is now improved in quality, it is the manufacturer’s view that they deserve to be respected.
The advert shows a few men lowering a Skoda onto a platform of a car show. A man comes in wearing a suit and comments on the fact that they are lowering a Skoda(!) and that they should take it away. This man portrays an important man in the running of the event, but not important or maybe wise enough to realise that the Skoda should be there. The advert is for television and when watched is funny. This appeals to our sense of humour, but also our curiosity, as it makes us wonder if, in fact, the cars have improved.
VIRGIN MEGASTORES Adverts Another advert that appeals to our sense of humour is the advert for Virgin Megastores. This store sells music and media products. The advert, which has been televised, is of a man, around 20 years of age, stirring a saucepan of food and listening to music. The advert then cuts to show the deals that Virgin are promoting and then cuts back to the man who is still listening to music.
The music climaxes and he reacts and pretends he is playing the drum part, thereby covering himself in the food from the end of the spoons that he was using for drumsticks. A voice-over comes on to say the stores slogan ‘Whatever turns you on’. This is also funny, as it is a pun on the fact that to play music you have to ‘turn on’. The music that they are playing parallels with that you would imagine the man’s musical tastes would be. This advert would appeal to those in the teens or early 20s age groups.
Other adverts use different types of language to appeal to different types of people. People who like to think that they are helping the environment or are against scientific testing on animals will be attracted to words such as ‘proven’, ‘tested’, ‘passed’ or ‘eco-friendly’. Language like this is usually associated with products from the cosmetic industry. These words don’t mean anything. Even though it is illegal to lie or promote false information about their products, the scientific tests would be minimal and not tested on the right things. How do you know for sure what the tests are and which products have not been tested? The language, however, is very effective.
Some products are promoted as the best by the language used. If this language is used broadly enough the potential customer will eventually start to believe it. Words like ‘fabulous’ and ‘the best’ are very convincing if used a lot. Also adverts will try to flatter the potential customers. The term ‘for delicate skin like yours’ can be flattering. For a part of you to be delicate implies that you will be fair, pretty and gracious if you use the product. This is not always true, but it works.
Many adverts appeal to our human instincts and desires that need to be satisfied. The Heinz advert for some soup appeals to the human need to be warm and well fed. It showed a cold wet woman going home and eating the soup in a large comfy chair. She was warm and felt better. This would appeal to everyone. In our society, celebrities are often used to sell products. When we see a popular celebrity promoting a product we will immediately think that they obviously like it. They are so successful and popular and only want the best. We therefore think that we must have it too, as it must be good. Advertising is very big business. Vast amounts of money are invested in it to promote goods and services. If we are not to be tempted to buy goods that we do not really want or need, then it is vital that we understand the language used.
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