Essay on Advertising and Subliminal Messaging

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Advertising and Subliminal Messaging

Modern advertising companies rely heavily on subliminal messaging to entice their target audiences. Advertisements are often crafted for the purpose of appealing to specific characteristics in the hopes of drawing the attention and appealing to the senses of prospective buyers. Tobacco companies have become notorious for the implementation of such techniques. The images portrayed in many of “big tobacco’s” ads stimulate a variety of senses and emotions. One common tactic used by Camel cigarettes (a subsidiary of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.) is to isolate and promote life’s pleasures, and American patriotism. A specific Camel ad found in Elle, a common, upscale women’s magazine is a perfect example of such advertising. “Pleasure To Burn” is the slogan centered upon the advertisement’s page. Above the slogan, “CAMEL” is written, all letters in Camel’s trademark font. A beautiful orange sunset serves as a mesmerizing background to an attractive, young women relaxing and enjoying a cigarette on the back of a pristine classic car. The image is painted in the style of the early ‘50s “pin-up doll” image. Smoke lazily wafts up through the lettering from the cigarette positioned directly beneath the word “Burn”. The woman relaxes lazily, eyes closed, facing up towards the orange sunset. There is no question that she is blissfully enjoying her cigarette, and her surroundings. She is dressed in the uniform of a diner waitress, complete with hat, apron, and “JANE” stenciled upon her left breast patch. Rather than conjure the stereotypical images of young women on roller-skates rushing around busily serving patrons, the subject of this ad is very much relaxes, and very much alone. Rather than appear to be...

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...and social freedom without necessitating any need or help from others. The ad’s appearance in the modern fashion magazine Elle, further implies that the female target audience would find appeal is a somewhat artistic ad portraying such qualities, and their obvious benefits. Even her blue and orange roller-blades are color coordinating with car and the sky above. The ad definitely speaks volumes with the words “Pleasure to Burn.” The underlying theme strongly supported by the subliminal imagery serves Camel’s purposes wholly. By conveying a product associated with pleasure, relaxation, patriotism, sensuality, independence, and rebelliousness, Camel successfully utilizes advertising to target and appeal to specific audiences. Every aspect of the full-page ad creams to the viewer to smoke for pleasure, for independence, and nonconformity, and of course, for America.

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