Sample English Essay on Images in Advertising

Images in Advertising

An advertisement is an announcement put in the public domain with the intention of promoting a commodity, service or an event, or making public a job opening. Ogden and Rarick define advertising as a tactic that marketers deploy to convey messages to their customers and stakeholders (1).

This essay approaches imagery advertising from an academic angle by arguing about whether a chosen print visual advertising has accomplished the purpose for which it was intended.

Some of the properties of an effective print visual advertising include: a good caption, color and contrast, use of concrete imagery, use of interactive imagery and a good representation of the actual product.

The visual advertising image shown below was intended to promote a foot deodorant by a Brazilian agency, Z+ Sao Paulo.



Baruel Foot Deodrant: Puppet dumped



Upon seeing an image, once attention is usually drown to the caption of the image. The caption for this image has been provided in bold and larger font. The boldness and the larger size of the font make the caption more distinct and noticeable to the potential consumer than the rest of the text in the print. This effectively helps the consumer to get the intended message very quickly and without effort. The caption is also short and crisp. Despite the fact that this is a visual advertisement, the advertiser has taken care of the verbal content very well. The interpretation of an image can be subjective, that is the interpretation varies with the person observing the image. The verbal content orients the observer’s attention to the information that is intended to be passed. The potential customer is able to access the caption quickly and with little effort, and hence look for the relationship between the caption and the visual advertisement.

The coloring and the contrast of the image is effective. The advertiser seems to have exploited this characteristic very effectively. The dark background helps bring out the bright colors of the characters and their attires in a visually alluring way. The use of a theatrical setting has helped accomplished this very well- a dark background with an illumination of the main characters. It is no doubt that the image is visually irresistible. It cannot be overlooked. It is certain that the customer will spend some time on the image before moving on to other images or reading other texts on the page. Having a visual advert take a potential consumer’s time on one of the key elements of advertising and this image appears to have taken care of that very well.

An effective advertisement should be able to avoid abstract visuals and use more concrete imagery. While an abstract visual relies on shape, form, color and line to convey its message, high imagery or concrete visuals are those that invoke other senses. Abstract visuals are usually less visually attractive than concrete visuals, especially when abstract visuals are in the same place as high visuals. The advertisement for this deodorant has used a high visual image. It is likely to appeal to a consumer’s senses. The effect is that the potential consumer’s time and attention is harnessed.  Further, the image is likely to stand out among other images, not only because it’s a high visual image but also because it has the capacity to appeal to other senses.

The advertisement has also used the property of interactive imagery. Rather than just have a single image, the product, the advertiser has included a woman and a man carrying a flower.  The method of interactive imagery has been known to be effective in visual advertising. The potential consumer does not just see the product, in which case he or she is likely to just give the image a glimpse and proceed on rather than spend time on it, but he or she is able to spend time on the image and he or she would be analyzing the interaction in the image.

The advertiser has clearly used the property of interactive imagery but as to whether his or her approach is effective is another question. His or her theme is romance. Romance is a good choice based on its universality. The choice is very good but has it been used well? The advertiser has chosen to use puppets for the man and the woman. The puppets are being controlled using feet rather than hands. That is a good choice given that the product being advertised is a deodorant for feet. Both the man and the women are controlled by feet, which shouldn’t have been. The man appears to be trying to woo a woman using a flower that is falling apart. The source of the man’s facial expression of disappointment cannot be told whether it is from what appears to be the disinterest the woman appears to be showing or from the falling apart of the flowers he is presenting.  It would have been more effective if it was from smelly feet. On the other hand, it cannot be clearly distinguished if the nice smell that has overcome the woman is coming from the flowers or the feet controlling the puppet, which, actually, have not been clearly indicated that the deodorant has been used on them. If the deodorant is irresistible it should have distracted the man from the woman also. The advertiser does not appear to have used the characteristic of interactive imagery effectively. On the contrary, its effect appears to be the reverse.

Another limitation of this visual advertisement is that the representation of the product itself has been offered very little space. The caption clearly gives the potential customer an idea of what is being advertised. In fact, it clearly mentions the product. Having said that, it is apparent that the customer would susceptible to being overcome by the romantic scene so much that he or she would forget what he or she read in the caption. The customer is likely to be lost as far as the intended information is concerned. The image of the product is not only proportionately small compared to the entire advertising image; it has also been place at the periphery of the scene- at the bottom right hand corner. The customer is likely to ignore or overlook it after processing the entire image.

While it is evident that the advertiser has used almost all the elements that constituted an effective advertising, it can be seen that the advertiser’s use of interactive imagery is weak. In fact it appears to have sabotaged all the other elements used.  The focus on the actual product is very limited, having only been mentioned in the caption, in which there are other distractive words ‘puppet dumped’, and represented as a small image at the corner. The advertisement is not effective.










Works Cited

Ogden, James R, and Scott Rarick. The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Advertising. Santa Barbara,

Calif: Praeger, 2010. Print.