Analysis of Advertisements for Two Different Things


In order for advertisements to succesfully portray a product, they must
be directed to the appropriate intended audience. Magazines, in general, are
usually geared towards a specific audience with distinct interests. Therefore,
the \'ads\' need to be carefully designed to attract the attentions of the
magazine reader. This very concept is well displayed in the two selected, yet
very different, magazine ads from the software magnate Microsoft Corporation.
The first ad is taken from Computer Games Strategy Plus - a gaming
magazine, as one might infer from the title. The product \'Monster Truck
Madness\' is a computer video game designed, quite obviously, for entertainment
purposes. The second ad is from PC World, which is of a much more technical
nature than its previous counterpart. The product in this ad is \'Microsoft
Project for Windows 95\', a software used for businesses and project development
teams.
The \'Monster Truck Madness\' ad encaptivates the casual browser with its
bright yellow background with a large purple type set across the top of the
page accompanied by the words: \'Size Matters". This leads the reader to ponder
the meaning of this rather unusual phrase and to further read the smaller
print. Here, the reader encounters an irregular font of different sizes to
accentuate certain words. While this may be annoying to many, its overall
purpose is to create a lively playful environment through the usage of fonts.
This, of course, is an attempt to appeal to a younger gaming audience. On the
other hand, the \'Microsoft Project\' ad does not envoke any visual desire read
further into the text. The sections are divided into fine print paragraphs
with a slightly larger heading above. Everything is set plainly and
unassumingly. This can be justified to mirror an American professional\'s
lifestyle: simple, neat, and organized.
The first four lines in the \'Monster Truck\' ad: "bigger tires, bigger
competition, bigger thrills, bigger mud-splitting" uses repetition to
accentuate the fact that this game is bigger and better than all the other
racing car games. Microsoft then introduces the product in a rather blunt
manner but just stating the title of the game. The reader is then asked to
"strap yourself into a 1,500 horsepower tower of American pig iron, punch it
when the light turns green, and you\'re in for the biggest race of your life."
Having read this far, the reader should be overwhelmed by the forceful way the
ad delivers its message. From this, one can derive the intent to parallel the
\'brute force and run over everything attitude\' that only a monster truck can
possess, in the text.
The \'Project\' ad explains very straight-forwardly what the software is
capable of doing for the readers and their businesses. What this lacks in
excitement is made up for through a very complete description of the product.
This is appropriate for the intended audience: no-nonsense, no-hassle
businessmen. Strangely enough, the \'Monster Truck\' ad, in sharp contrast,
discusses absolutely nothing about the actual game itself. Instead it
elaborates on other parts of the ad more important to persuading the intended
group of people.
The pictures and images are, of course, \'everything\' to an advertisement.
They retrieve preconceptions from each individual without using words at all.
Consequently, these pictures must express a meaning related to its intended
purpose - in this case, to sell the product. In the \'Monster Truck\' ad, the
first image the reader should notice is the massive blue and yellow monster
truck. Certainly because it is the largest picture, but also because it is
seemingly \'standing\' on its back tires. My first impression of this picture
was one of pure awe. I imagine hearing the powerful revving of the engine and
the massive tires rumbling through the grass. However, if the reader has no
preconception of what a monster truck is or how large it is, this picture may
be nothing more impressive than a Micro Machine. Nextly, two additional
pictures are taken from the computer game itself. Both, in an attempt to
impress the viewer, are taken at an inspiring frame deserving of a highlight
reel. The viewer can see the rich color and high resolution details of each
individual screenshot. The purple monster truck in mid-air flying off a ramp is
strategically positioned in the exact middle of the photo, bringing all
attention to the truck. The picture on the lower left shows the interior of
the vehicle, the speedometer and tachometer; everything a real-life monster
truck would have. Lastly, the last corner of the rectangle holds the picture
of the box of the software. This is most likely intended to