“Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee…” This opening line of the Catholic prayer, The “Hail Mary,” epitomizes the importance that the Church, the larger Christian Church, places on grace and women. The culture of America, and arguably Western society, carries Christian values. Because it is such a core notion in our culture, Christian language and references can many times be used to connect with even non-Christians in America. The Philosophy (2012) perfume ad for Living Grace illustrates how religious metaphors can be used effectively in advertising. Description of Text
The Philosophy (2012) ad for Living Grace perfume was found in a popular women’s magazine. Magazines such as Glamour, In Style, and Lucky feature fads and trends, what’s hot now, and what women ‘should’ be doing. Subsequently, their ads also carry these messages. Philosophy uses the medium of a magazine advertisement to reach their target audience: women.
The ad itself is very minimalistic, with a predominantly white background. On the bottom right hand corner, the sky can be seen. Beneath this is black blocking with logo. The product itself is centered below the texts, “you don’t wear it, you live it, introducing a new fragrance from philosophy,” and “philosophy: the deeper we dive the more remarkable we become. and in the end, the one truth that rises to the top is that our tomorrows belong only to this day. the lesson we learn is to passionately express our daily moments with living grace and gratitude.” The text throughout is all lower cased. The bottle is clear and square, with the label in blue, and looking very similar to the ad setting. When researched, the bottle looks the same as in the advertisement. Philosophy (2012) boasts its scientific background. On their main web page, it states, “philosophy is a brand that approaches personal care from a skin care point of view, while celebrating the beauty of the human spirit. Our skin care products, fragrances, bath and body products and philosophy gift sets are formulated with scientifically-proven ingredients” (Philosophy inc., 2012). According to the website, “theskinplace,” the scientific background is reiterated saying, “The story of philosophy products begins with the story of BioMedic, and medically-based skincare line distributed by the world’s leading plastic surgeons and dermatologists and the first company started by philosophy cosmetics brand creator and founder, Christina Carlino” (Tulsa Web Design, p.1). The product in the text being analyzed is the Living Grace scent. According to the company website, one can purchase the 0.5 oz bottle for $15 dollars, and the 2 oz. bottle can be purchased for $44. The other 9 scents include: Amazing Grace, Summer Grace, Pure Grace, Inner Grace, Falling in Love Summer, Falling in Love, Unconditional Love, Love Sweet Love, and Field of Flowers (Philosophy inc, 2012). Description of Method:
I will be analyzing the Philosophy (2012) ad for “Living Grace” through the lens of Metaphorical Criticism. Sonja K. Foss (2009) discusses this method in her book, Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice; describing metaphors as being, “the process of transferring or carrying over aspects that apply to one object to a second object (p.267). Metaphors use the imagery of one object to describe another. They consist of two parts: tenor and vehicle. According to Foss (2009), “the tenor is the topic or subject that is being explained;” whereas, “the vehicle is the mechanism or lens through which the topic is viewed” (p. 267). The vehicle will be the major focus of this criticism.
Using metaphorical criticism, I will analyze the Philosophy (2012) ad through the lens of women and religion as it relates to grace. In doing so, it is important to understand what grace is, along with understanding how women and grace have been connected in the Bible. Burton Scott Easton’s...