Whether you like it or not, the media, to a large extent, defines your life and the way you think. It includes television, cinema, radio, video, magazines, books , the internet and newspapers.
In this essay I will be taking an analytical look at two computer advertisements that caught my attention in two different newspapers, namely The Guardian, and The Sun. What is amazing is the amount of space taken up by both advertisements. Both adverts can be categorized as advertorials as the companies they represent are describing and promoting their respective products.
As the Guardian is a broadsheet and The Sun a tabloid, it goes without saying that each will target a different audience.
The content in text A features a computer and tells the reader about the software and hardware that they are trying to sell. The article is written in quite a persuasive style. The Macintosh Performa in text A is advertised in The Sun and makes use of an attention-grabbing heading that is also ambiguous: “Difficult. Temperamental. Hard to understand.” On a quick glance at the text and looking at the picture of a sullen-looking boy, one is ready to make the association about a boy who is possibly throwing a tantrum. And it is in the ambiguity where the punch-line lies. Unlike the boy who will be tantrumming from time to time, “with the Macintosh Performa, there’s no frustrating, baffling patience-trying set-up procedures”.
The layout is really spectacular. The article takes up an entire page. The main text is set out in three columns, relatively densely printed with early paragraphs playing on the implication that both computers and children can be “Difficult. Temperamental. Hard to understand.” The rest of the text stresses that the Performa is a “well-behaved” and versatile computer.
The text is broken up by the use of two line drawings of the computer and the software.
The tone of the text is reassuring, helpful, and stresses accessibility of the Performa’s functions.
The price of the computer is tactically delayed until the third column: ” The price of the computer start at just ï¿½1,099.” The reader or prospective buyer will at this point feel that it is worth every penny with all its functions.
There is also a constitutional reference to the model featured and appears in very small print at the foot of the page. And a list of dealers is also in very small print at the foot of the page.
Advertisement B shows a weak distant view of the front of an Aptiva computer. The company that promotes this product is IBM and their logo is located in the right hand corner at the bottom of the page.
The complete system is there for the reader to see. I also think that they are trying to tempt the reader as they use a cluster of adjectives: ” Loud, colourful, fast-moving, enjoyable, stuff”
The immediate contrast between the two texts is the layout. Unlike text A, that has three columns, text B has no columns, only paragraphs with sub-headings. And this makes the advert appear dull and unattractive to the readers. But then again, the audience in this case is different to that of text A. As this advertisement appears in the broadsheet newspaper, its readers are usually keen business people and the emphasis is not so much on entertainment but on efficiency and cutting edge technology. Therefore, when the price “1,799” is quoted the reader will not be surprised at all. However, a touch of humor is added when “OK, maybe not for dogs.” appears in very small print next to the price. This humorous note may have been included to discourage readers from dwelling on the price. Reference to the model featured appears in a very small print at the foot of the page.
The heading is fairly conventional, using bold, white lettering against a black background.
The main text is set out in paragraphs and the word “Stuff” is repeated in the large 5 sub-headings.
The tone of the text is light-hearted, whimsical, with a joke in each of the first two sections.
You can also see the TOYS “R” US logo under the photo of the computer which tells you they are the outlets for the new Aptiva.
Both advertisements use persuasive techniques for example, repetition in text B – the word “stuff.” The word “stuff” gives it a more colloquial style.
Of the two advertisements I liked the Performa more as it appears to be very user friendly: “As soon as you plug it in, the Performa can run,…” However, it needs to be said, that when you buy an Aptiva, you buy into a new lifestyle.