ML3, Final Draft

Ads, A Way of Promoting Consumerism
Lebanese American University
Marwa Ben Khalifa

Abstract

Ads have become a huge part of our lives. Wherever we look, we find ads; billboard ads, magazine ads, TV ads…. This paper discusses, analyzes and critiques three ads found in “ArabAd” and “Le commerce du Levant”. It also compares and contrasts the three ads chosen. Moreover, this work studies the diversity present in these ads and how consumerism is affecting our worldview. Furthermore, the analysis and critique are based on readings, class lectures and mostly personal knowledge and interpretation.

The presence of the internet and our extra use of social media gave advertisers the opportunity to show ads almost everywhere. This advertising developed what we know today as “consumerism”. In other words, the more we consume, the happier we think we are. Analyzing and discussing various local ads give us a clear insight on how the advertising industry work and how it’s affecting our society. Critiquing these ads also shows their goal of accumulating wealth rather than making people content.
The first ad (Appendix A) is for Eden Park which is a French clothing brand. The ad portrays a typical white, handsome and rich man since Eden Park is somehow expensive for the average income person. As Paris has always been considered as one of the top fashion capitals in the world, most people consider and view Eden Park as this classy and elegant clothing brand. The model presented in the ad does not look very young but is still classy and fashionable. In other words, age does not matter if you know how to dress and mostly from where to dress. The model is looking straight at the camera which shows confidence in himself and in what he is wearing. The medium shot makes the background details very minimal thus it makes the viewer focus on the model’s upper body in order to stress on details especially that the model is wearing various items: a shirt, a pullover, a tie and a blazer. The medium shot and the emphasis on details also suggest the importance of fashion to men. Studies have shown that men tend to over worry and care about the way they look. According to the Guardian (2012),” 29% of men thought about their appearance at least five times a day” (p. 1) .This stresses the huge importance men give to their appearance in order to feel satisfied, accepted and pleasing.
The second add (Appendix B) is for Air France. It is promoting certain flights at certain prices. More specifically, it is advertising flights from Beyrouth to Paris at the price of 699$ and from Beyrouth to Bordeaux at the price of 1039$. The ad is very clear and informative. Other than providing information about the departing and arriving cities, it also provides contact information such as the airline address, email and the website itself. Airline ads have become very dominant in our culture as people have started to give more emphasis to traveling as a way to escape the daily routines and conflicts happening around them. The model in this ad is like most ads. A young, beautiful, tall and thin woman. However, the fact that a racial minority is present and dominant in the ad is of significance. An African woman is portrayed in this ad showing the racial diversity among French citizens. It also portrays France as a tolerant and accepting country especially that this is a commercial for a major enterprise. The use of the blue color represents trust and comfort which makes Air France a trustworthy airline. The use of a plane component which is the engine nacelle also makes the ad more appealing and related to the concept of flying. Having the model laying on this engine and the presence of blue and white pillows around her also shows how comfortable traveling with Air France is. The insertion of the phrase” BIEN DANS MA BULLE” which translates to “COMFORTABLE IN MY BUBBLE” shows how staying in one’s own bubble is good and enjoyable. In other words traveling with air France is always an enjoyable and exciting experience. The ad even mentions that this comfort is found in the economy class. That is to say that there is no need to book a business class ticket in order to have a great experience and to be at ease during one’s flight. Economy class can also offer its customers that comfort and everyone can afford an economy class ticket. Something that attracts the viewer’s attention is the use of the blue color with an African model as it makes her stand out as a dominant figure.
The third (Appendix C) is an ad for Medyar which is a real estate developer and aims “to create a community with the best environmental and lifestyle conditions” (Medyar.com). The ad presents a couple with their backs to the camera as they look across the streets of Medyar. The use of this pose pushes the viewer to focus his/her attention to the city of Medyar rather than the couple itself. Furthermore, the couple’s pose indicates their interest and focus on the city. The couple shown in the ad is young and show affection towards each other through their body language. The advertisement suggests that the couple are most probably planning to start a family and taking Medyar city into consideration. The city as portrayed in the ad looks lively and welcoming. The colors are attracting and makes the people want to invest in this place. Additionally, the ad provides various options to customers: villas, town houses, residential buildings… This flexibility gives the customer various options to choose from. As mentioned before Medyar’s main objective is to provide the wellbeing of its people and this can be shown through the people laughing while walking around and the kids playing and running in the city.
The three ads chosen show diversity in terms of models, products and services. They portray various types of people. The first ad shows a typical white man. The second one presents an African woman and the last one portrays a couple. They also advertise for foreign brands and services such Air France and Eden Park. However, we cannot deny that the three of them is pushing us to consume more and more through travelling, wearing expensive clothes and living in the fanciest places in order to attain happiness.
In a nutshell, ads are a way of pushing people to adhere to consumerism buying things they don’t need just to look good and fancy. This consumerism is not benefiting local economy but the foreign one. In this whole process, I can only hope that NGO’s would work on making awareness campaigns hoping that people will eventually understand that consumerism is an ideology that does not promote happiness but rather it makes of people slaves to products and services.
References
Air France {Advertisement}. (2017, March). Le commerce du Levant, (5686)
Campbell, D.(2012). Body image concerns more men than women, research finds. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/06/body-image-concerns-men-more-than-women
Eden Park {Advertisement}. (2016, September). ArabAd, 26(9).
Medyar {Advertisement}. (2017, February). Le commerce du Levant, (5785).
MEDYAR. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.medyar.com/#concept.

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