October 5, 2009
Soap Over the Ages
Many of these advertisements feature soap. It makes you smell great and can even attract a member of the opposite sex. Soap advertisements have been baiting men by bringing attractive women into the ads for decades. The soap ads of the 1950s and the ads of today are equally effective; both use sex appeal, although the bluntness and textual content vary greatly, the new ads are more explicit and less wordy.
The audience of the 1950s needed soft colors and visual images with many meanings. The Lifebuoy ad uses cartoon people and very pale colors. Visually, this allows the few things in a bright color to stand out. The tag-line “It smells so good now, it makes me wonder...” stands out along with the Lifebuoy box which is also red to grab the attention of the reader amongst the dull colors surrounding it. The woman in the background has a few possible meanings; sex appeal, appeal to women, or maybe even a figure of cleanliness.
Text in an ad of the 1950s is a must and tells exactly what is being advertised and why it is better than the competition. The text in the ad builds up Lifebuoy by saying, “Now you get protection as long as 3 days.” Lifebuoy also announces its discovery of something new called Puritan. Then, Lifebuoy start bashing the competition with words such as, “ New Lifebuoy protects you longer than the old Lifebuoy, and longer, of course, than any leading toilet soap.” The use of italics with the phrase toilet soap is meant to draw your attention to it and make sure you understand how bad all other soaps are. Lifebuoy also guarantees you will like it or you will receive a refund. The text of the 1950s ad is the bulk of the ad unlike the ads of today. This is most likely due to the culture the 1950s had a slower pace of life than the 2000s.
The LYNX advertisement of the 2000s is almost entirely based off images. The focal point of the ad is a woman in nothing but...