The textbook explains that, although counterintuitive, advertising should not focus on the product or service being sold, but should rather focus on the needs and desires of its target market. It quotes Michael Newman (2003) stating:
“Don’t tell me about your manure, tell me about my flowers”
View the advertisements, below. Then, select three and explain if and how you see the above concept in action. Describe what product or service each of the three ads is trying to sell (e.g., manure). Then, explain what you think each ad is actually selling (e.g., a beautiful flower garden). Finally, describe whether you can think of any ethical concerns related to this approach of communication.
- Obama: “Hope” (Political Campaign Poster) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama_%22Hope%22_poster)
- “We Can Do It!” (Propaganda Poster) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Can_Do_It!)
- Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE)
- 1984 Apple’s Macintosh Commercial (HD) [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/embed/VtvjbmoDx-I
- Click here for a transcript of the video.
- Volkswagen: “Think Small” (Print Ad) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Think_Small.jpg)
Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your peers. How did your interpretation of the advertisements differ from theirs? How was it similar? Finally, looking at the possible differences in interpretation, what does this tell you about communicating a message in advertising?