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Analysis of an Advertisement

This is an advertisement for the I-phone. The ad shows a hand against a black background which is holding the I-phone. Electronic music plays as a hand demonstrates each of the functions of the I-phone: phone, music, email, Internet. Meanwhile, images flash on the I-phone’ screen, including a flower, a child, and the front page of the New York Times online. The form of the ad appears basic but still glossy and “high-tech. ” The images are presented in full color and are meant to convey a sense of boyant happiness.

Each of the ad’s elements: music, image, and voice-over are designed to present a snappy, upbeat, personalized “pitch” for the savvy tech-hunter with some money to spend. The first aspect of the ad is its music which starts just before the imagery and voice-over of the ad join in. The music is bright and electronic-sounding as though it may have been generated by the I-phone itself! The music: a harpsichord/electronic tone also sounds at or near the pitch of any “ring-tones” as though the viewer is getting a call.

Coupled with the personalized narration : “This is your…. ” and the image of the I-phone functioning whilst in someone’s hand, makes

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the ad’s overall approach one of putting the prospective buyer into the picture already. In other words, the anonymous hand is, by association, the viewer’s hand. The advertisement for the I-phone appears to have been created with both Internet and television audiences in mind. As such, it presents a slightly more focused set of images and spoken information than a typical ad designed primarily for television.

The advertisement might almost be viewed as written in a “code” or slang that Internet users and tech-buyers would respond to. For someone who is familiar with and uses: the Internet, email, videos, and cell-phones, the ad would appear concise, exciting, and utilitarian: demonstrating in a pleasant, aesthetically “slick” fashion, the benefits of compressing your daily tech interfaces into a portable, stylish cutting-edge I-phone. For someone unfamiliar with tech, the ad would probably appear as a bunch of gibberish.

The overall strategy of the ad is to present the I-phone as both a comprehensive and easy-to-use E-interfacing tool. This effect is accomplished by showing an image of the I-phone going through its various functions while an anonymous hand touches the controls. A voice-over details some of the processes being demonstrated and repeats the word “Your” again and again, to personalize the product. By saying “This is your video, this is your Internet, this is your phone” the ad manages to convey a sense of personal entitlement and personal intelligence, gratifying the potential customer’s sense of self-importance and vanity.

The aforementioned analysis of the ad is good for an appraisal of its surface-level attributes; however, these attributes function in unity throughout the ad, which brings about a less obvious but perhaps more potent series of associations and assumptions on behalf of the prospective buyer and it is these less-obvious associations along with the aforementioned surface-level attributes which gives the ad its sense of “bright possibilities” which, in final analysis, may be the ad’s underlying theme. The idea of organic growth is further enhanced by the image of a very young boy which precedes an image of e-newspapers and “current” headlines.

The impact of these images: flower, child, headlines is to show that the tech-world and the viewer’s participation in it is both growing (like a flower or a child) and keyed into the most cutting edge current events and information. This, by association, places an emphasis on the viewer to be part of the “stream of life” and the insinuation is that the viewer will be cut-off from this stream of life without an I=phone. Another association of these images and sounds is that of wholeness and organic simplicity.

This is a direct antithesis of how many people view technology, so to portray the I-phone in this way is a particularly ingenious solution of the “tech-fatigue” that may be associated with the intended demographic. Even among tech-lovers a certain amount of “burnout” can be expected with new products, upgrades, and changes in tech happening so often. The I-phone advertisement deals with these possible obstacles by turning them into virtues. The I-phone is presented as small enough to fit in your hand, a source of flowing, happy music, of a friendly, guiding voice, and is a source of flowers, children, and joy.

Rather than succumb to the possible alienation from new technology which could, obviously, be portrayed as hostile to nature, dangerous for the environment, and somewhat dehumanizing, the ad with its “ginned-up” poetry of images and voice-overs gives the exact opposite impression, suggesting that one actually stands apart from nature by not availing oneself of its bounties. That is: the I-phone is represented in this ad almost as a natural “fruit” or natural force which grew out of productivity and love — and those who have not experienced its capacities are, in fact, living a lesser-life.

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