Advertising is to publicise the qualities of a product, service, business, or event in order to encourage people to buy or use it. In the modern times that we live in, advertising comes in many different forms and in various different media types. It ranges from being used by big multi-million dollar companies who use various techniques to sell their products, to the average man trying to sell his car in the local newspaper.
Adverts appeal mostly to the sub-conscious part of the brain and companies who are trying to make you buy their product lure you in with catchy slogans and a enticing man or women depending on which gender they are trying to appeal to in that particular advert. They hope that your sub-conscious will pick up on the qualities of their product or brand and later be reminded of it whilst doing the shopping.
Such modern medias which are used for advertising are as follows; the internet survives primarily on the fact that people will pay to have their adverts publicised on a popular web-site. Television also benefits from advertising, a lot of popular programs are sponsored by companies wanting to advertise their products and television commercial breaks are now so common that statistics show that over 65% of television time is dominated by pure advertising. The VW Audi advert, “In the nick of time” incorporates a very interesting story line, the advert is very different to most other adverts as the viewer’s attention is drawn to strong narrative but also incorporates a great deal of information about the qualities of the car.
The advert begins by showing a house which appears to be owned by a wealthy man. This is apparent for the reason that the smartly dressed middle aged man lives in a large and very modern house. The male character in the advert is a figure that many men can aspire to. This helps to sell the Audi 90 car because he is portrayed as a wealthy and happy man and the fact that he owns that specific car means that perhaps this is the road to happiness. This also suggests that the target audience and for that matter, target buyer for the product is middle classed, probably male in gender and in his thirties to forties, with a family. The advert is using the technique of aspiration in order to sell their car, the viewer can also aspire to the male character because he is made out to be a model family man.
The opening shot in the advert is the predominant figure of the towering house, lit up with very bright shades of orange and red. The well dressed man with a concerned look on his face answers the phone placed on the wall. The phone is situated in a wide hallway, which is very empty and has dimly lit wide open spaces. This has the effect of creating a sense of curiosity at this early point in the advert, because the camera is showing nothing but empty space. The man then nearly instantaneously drops the phone and lets it dangle from side to side. This creates suspense because the viewer is eager to know what the telephone conversation was about.
Using suspense at the beginning of the advert is an excellent way to ensure that the viewer is kept focused on the advert and will not be tempted to switch the channel. A small boy is then displayed, he is seen playing with a zoetrope which revolves very fast and in tandem casts shadows of the penny farthings on the adjacent wall. The penny farthing is amalgamated into the advert because it is in line with the circle imagery which is recurably used, the viewer will notice this as the narrative progresses. The penny farthing was one of the first modes of transports used in England, this takes us through the evolutionary process of transportation. The Audi is the new generation of car and relates to the penny farthing as being the first.
The Audi slogan “advancement through technology” clearly highlights the progress made through the years in the field of transportation and reiterates the point being brought across by using the penny farthing. Circle imagery is often used throughout the story partly due to the Audi symbol which consists of four circles linked up together. The viewer is then thrown into further suspense when the curtain in the living room starts blowing furiously and an unknown man’s shadow lurks around in the background.
This scene lets us realise the influence that the British born American director, Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock had on the story. He is world-renowned for his suspense thriller films and often used shadowy figures to create tension and suspense. This is apparent in a film he directed in 1950 called “The Third Man”, it also involved shadowy figures in the subway and had a theme about the regeneration of the circle of life. It uses the same genre which is apparent in the advert, which is called in French “Film Noir”, (translated into English this is dark matter). This is apparent in the advert because of the dooming music creating tension and shadowy images lurking behind in the background.
The father helps his son put on his coat, they seem to have a close relationship and are very content in each others company, proving the point made earlier about the father being a good family man and making the audience aspire to be like him. In addition this represents the quality of the car as a family vehicle. Side by side, father and son then emerge from the house, down the stairs heading for the glistening, sophisticated looking car, located in the grand driveway.
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