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In the article I have chosen to analyze, it is promoting “Tag Body Spray” for men in ESPN magazine. It is set up with a man on the ground, his shirt ripped and his belt is undone, and five women, in short-skirts and low-cut shirts with an open lab coat over them. The scene seems to take place in a laboratory where the five women appear as researchers with their lab coats and clipboards. The researchers are over the man, pinning him down with their feet in a somewhat sexual pose.
In the lower right-hand corner of the image, there is a want ad that says “Wanted: Testees”, “Can you hang? Looking for replacement testees to trail Tag product. Must be willing to work under the hottest conditions.” This article perpetuates the American myth that if you buy and wear a certain product, women will want you.
There are three ways to analyze an article; seeing the big picture or understanding what the advertiser is saying, observing the characteristics of the image to understand all aspect of the ad, and interpreting the meaning of the image to realize what the advertiser is really promoting.
When looking for the big picture, there are a number of things to consider such as the source of the image, the prominent element, and the focal point of the image. The source in this image is the man in the center of the five women because the product is for him, the male.
The purpose of the image is to attract to you the ad so you will see what has happened to the man to convince you to buy the product so women will want you. The audience of this image would be teenage and men in their twenties. By looking at the want ad, the viewer can tell that the ad is directed toward men by the comment the want ad says, “Wanted: Testees”. Most men who read ESPN magazine are in their late teens and twenties. The prominent element that immediately may attract the viewers attention is the five women in the center of the picture. They are all standing in a sexual pose over the man with low-cut shirts to reveal cleavage and in miniskirts, exposing most of their legs to attract the viewers attention. The focal point in this image would be the man pinned down on the ground because the ad promotes the body spray for men and he is the only male is the picture. The path my eyes followed when looking at this image was first to the lady in front, looking back at the viewer, then to the man pinned down on the ground, then to the other four women, and finally to the writing in the lower right hand corner.
When identifying the characteristics of the ad, you must discuss a number of items. Some include: objects included, figures, action taking place, background, colors and shapes, the function of the image, and any written material that is included with the image. The objects that are included in the image are the bottles of “Tag”, the equipment in the background which looks like machines used for testing, the lights overhead, the researchers clipboards, and the want ad. The colors are mostly white and black, accented with some red and purple; the shapes included are mostly square, with some circular objects. The design associates a feeling of basically sexuality, and a “feel good” if you wear the product. The pictorial elements relate to one another because the researchers need to test the product, Tag, on two “testees”, the man, who volunteered from looking at the want ad.
These relationships, as a viewer, tell me that the product has been tested, and can be tested as frequently as desired. The image uses the space well; the researchers are spread out across the scene, with the man below them, the want ad filling up the dead space, and the equipment in the background and overhead the women filling up space. The function of the image is to create a desire to buy the product in the viewer. The typeface, or font, used in this image is that of which you would find in a newspaper’s want ad. It impresses upon the viewer a sense of urgency for the testing of the product.
Finally, when discussing the meaning of the image, you need to explain the feelings the ad’s image convey, mood ad image convey, and any sign or symbol that need to be explained. The general feeling that the viewer gets from looking at this image is a feeling of desire; desire to get the product, have attractive women around you, and a desire to be wanted by attractive women. There is mutual cultural relation in that everyone wants to be desired whether it be by men or women. In this ad’s case, a desire to be wanted by women. Body language is included in this image with the position of the women while pinning the man down. All of the women are in a sexual position over the man. Perhaps the body language in this image is saying that the women want the man wearing Tag. The sign that it readily identified by the viewer is the want ad. The role that the ad plays is to round up volunteers to be tested with the product. The theme of the image that the viewer can identify is that if they buy the product, they will become more attractive to the opposite sex.
Now knowing how to analyze by looking at the big picture, observing the characteristics of an image, and interpreting the meaning of an image, we can know what the advertisers are trying to tell us. When considering the female audience, this article perpetuates the fact that if women dress in a way that is revealing, then men will want to do anything, such as wearing the product, to impress them. With analyzing this article, we now may come to the conclusion of the American myth that if you buy a certain product, and wear it, women will want you.
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