Advertising Methods in Old Magazines

Have you ever stumbled across an old magazine advertisement, and wondered what was the true intention behind this advertisement? Many companies, then and now, have chosen to grasp the consumer's attention by overblown promises all for the sake of selling products and thus making a profit. In spite of the fact that this concept appears to be farfetched, or out of date, many brands are still using this type of propaganda in our present-day society. Many companies use techniques that appeal to the senses in order to sell their items.

For instance, you may see a beautiful woman or man being used in a Clorox commercial, even though you know that cleaning will not make you extremely handsome or beautiful, you are still more likely to buy the item because the actors in the advertisement made the product seem more captivating. In this essay, it is my intention to demonstrate that it is not just the item shown in an advertisement that is being sold, but it is often what the manufacture believes will appeal to the consumer emotionally, ethically, or logically.

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To bolster my claim, I examined the Kellogg's PEP Vitamin Cereal advertisements that were made in the nineteen-thirties. Many of the advertisements for this product included married couples, friends, and family households, which led me to believe that the intended audience for this advertisement at the time was the general public. One of the advertisements includes a married couple having a conversation about their workday. The woman in this advertisement, the stereotypical stay-at-home wife, was wearing an apron and had a duster in her hand.

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My assumption to the woman being one who stayed home was due to the fact that during the time period of the ad, women were expected to stay at home while the men of the household maintain an outside job. The household chores performed by the wife was often downplayed as meager, and to some degree, meaningless. The husband, known as the breadwinner, was wearing a nice suit and tie portraying a regal look of importance. In the lower right-hand corner, a short comic was placed including the conversation that was held. As the husband comes home from a long day at work, he asks his wife how she has the energy to cook, dust, and clean all day while he is exhausted from his long day at work. The wife proclaims, 'Vitamins Darling! I always get my vitamins. It is my belief that Kellogg's advertisements are using the ethos appeal to persuade its audience to purchase this vitamin-packed cereal, by showing that the average family consumes this product, so it must be a reputable product for their family to consider purchasing as well.

Ethos, defined by Webster's Dictionary, is the 'distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution'. Supporting this belief, Kellogg's advertisement contains the phrase, 'So the harder a wife works, the cuter she looks! This expression helped the advertisement target wives by pitching the idea that their husbands would find them more attractive if they had more energy to perform their household duties. In Killingworth's words' Ethos focuses on the attractiveness of the character and the authority the author inspires'. The Kellogg's PEP Cereal advertisement emphasizes the idea that most women were highly concerned about their looks, and used that angle to gain potential female buyers.

Kellogg's nineteen-thirties PEP Cereal advertisements utilized the logos appeal, in order to gain consumers' trust by stating facts and trying to reason with their audience. Logos, as defined by our textbook, is the 'logic and methods of reason used to make an argument. The Kellogg's advertisements stated that the product was doctor recommended, was enriched with vitamins B and D, and would help you appear younger in age. By stating these claims, Kellogg's was persuading the general public that they would have been making a healthy food choice by buying this product. According to the medical website WebMD, it was recently discovered that vitamins E and C along with the mineral selenium have been proven to reduce the harsh effects of the sun. Because they did not know of this information in the nineteen-thirties, many individuals may have opted to obtain this product, because they may have sought confidence in the information that this organization had provided.

Despite of the fact that companies do not state that their advertisements will be depressing or exciting, corporations can use motivating forces in order to surface your emotions. Kellogg's PEP Vitamin Cereal infomercials and magazine advertisements are aimed at several emotions which include appreciation, confidence, and caution. Perhaps, some individuals may have considered purchasing Kellogg's product because, they supposed, that if they had the extra energy they would be able to achieve more tasks, which in turn would leave them feeling more confident. By the advertisements declaring that the public should consume the cereal daily to ensure that they would have 'More zip and Zest!', the advertisement helped to stimulate the feeling of being cautious. To clarify, in the hope that the product would give them efficient energy, customers would be cautious to eat the cereal daily. This promotion also used the pathos appeal to secure both female and male customers, because it attracted the idea of being appreciated from both genders. If women were to buy this commodity, they would be able to complete numerous tasks henceforth they would be more appreciated by their spouses. The idea of being appreciated can reach the men's perspective, because they may feel that if they had the energy to complete more tasks in the workplace, they may get a promotion as a sign of gratitude from their bosses.

Feelings and emotions are the catalysts many corporations are banking on with their use of the ethos, pathos, and logos appeal techniques in order to reach their intended audience and to gather new customers. By using choice words, actors with certain features, and even certain props, companies can easily grasp the consumer's attention and get them fixated on their products. For instance, have you ever noticed that majority of toothpaste commercials include dentists, and they frequently mention that the brand is number one recommended by dentists? This is due to the fact that many consumers will remember the words, 'doctor recommended', when they are at the grocery store, or even at the dentist office, and figure that the product must be a good product to purchase. Now, the next time you see an advertisement you will know that it is not just the item shown that is being sold in the advertisements, it is what the manufacture believes will appeal to the consumer on an emotionally level, ethically, and even to their sense of logic.

Updated: Dec 18, 2021
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Advertising Methods in Old Magazines. (2021, Dec 18). Retrieved from

Advertising Methods in Old Magazines essay
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