Archives For author

Ads are cultural intermediaries, which mediate between advertisers and consumers. They are concerned with the “representations of commodities” (Leiss 48). In other words, advertisers explain the meaning of their products through ads. The advertisers of Evian want to represent their water as one that can keep adults young at heart. They accomplish that by associating their ads with baby dances, which can symbolize energy and youthfulness at the same time. By focusing on that message, Evian brings its audience’s attention to a societal norm: everyone wants to become young again as they gradually grow old. In order to communicate the idea, Evian has made a series of advertisements on the theme of “Live Young”. Through the campaign, advertisers hope that their audience can learn the strategy of living young by consuming Evian water.

Throughout the campaign, computer technology played an important role in channeling its message to its audience. The campaign is a good example for illustrating producer-driven forces of advertising. This type of advertising is driven by “changes in the technology of industry” (Schudson 169). Evian’s YouTube Channel is its main channel for its promotion. Advertisers simply upload videos and ads to their channel without paying for it. The YouTube channel serves as the “television channel” for Evian, which can save Evian a great deal of money. What is more, YouTube can be accessible to people all over the world. All it requires is a stable web service.

Baby and Me:

In years 2009 and 2013, Evian produces two viral ads respectively: Roller Babies and Baby and Me, which were published on the YouTube channel of Evian. The Roller Babies ad features babies that are about one year old. They perform break dances throughout the ad to show the effect of Evian on the body. The Baby and Me ad features men and women of various ages and races, who dance in front of a mirror, which can show reflections of them as babies.

To start with, ads can be seen “as discourses that socially and culturally construct a world” (Goldman &Papson 95). In terms of “sociality”, babies and adults in both ads always appear in groups. The babies and the adults either dance together in groups or serve as other “performers’” audiences. Dance becomes a tool for social interaction which links people who do not know each other. As shown by the second ad, dancers are only pedestrians who walked past the mirror that a man is dancing in front of.  Dance is a universal communicative tool, which does not require verbal capabilities. Anyone who is willing to move in front of the mirror can become part of the small community that the pedestrians have established. In short, the dance links people of different ages, races and genders to form a community.

In addition, the ads also transmitted some cultural attitudes and beliefs to its audience. Before the release of the Evian campaign, audiences may already have some associations related to babies. They may describe babies with adjectives like cute, young and active. Evian advertisers created a connection between Evian and babies. The “Live Young” slogan was used to direct its audience to read the desired meaning of the babies, which is to be young. This quality of the babies can be transferred to the product through the ad. By joining a brand name product with specific meanings through the Roller Babies ad, a commodity sign can be formed, as shown by the formula “brand name commodity + meaning of image = commodity sign” (Goldman &Papson 81). In this case, Evian water has created a cultural meaning for its brand; the youthfulness of babies becomes a commodity sign for Evian.

Moreover, the advertisers want to convey that living young is not an exclusive right which can only be enjoyed by youths. The baby-reflection of adults in the Baby and Me ad highlighted the idea. Through the mirror, adults can instantly become babies. In other words, youthfulness is something that adults can aim to acquire. From their semi-formal outfits, it can be inferred that the actors that are chosen to feature in the ad are at least in their thirties. For them to dance in the city seems to symbolize that adults can also act according to their instincts when they put down the constraints set by society. In short, this ad wants to introduce a new idea to the present culture that living young is not defined by a person’s physical age, but by a person’s psychological state. Adults can also live young if they believe they can do so.

Secondly, ads can be seen “as discourses that disguise and suppress its inequalities, injustices, irrationalities and contradictions” (Goldman &Papson 95-96). In both ads, babies and adults of different races are included. In particular, whites, African Americans and Latinos can be seen in the ads. In this instance, advertisers did not highlight the particular racial characteristics that distinguish each of them from the others. Rather, the advertisers seem to portray that each race is equally significant. The movements are exhibited at the same time, in front of the same mirror. All of the movements that are exhibited are respected and accepted by others. No one in the ad id judged how well or how bad are the dances performed.

The cohesion of the races in this ad illustrates the concept of consumer societies. This society can be characterized by “popular styles and expenditure patterns among consumers become a principle force for social cohesion” (Leiss 69). The ad shows the effect of Evian by showing people of different races, who can all become young after drinking Evian water, as suggested by the slogan of the brand. Although the adults belong to different racial groups, they can enjoy a commonality of living young, which can be done by buying Evian’s water. By consuming the same product and enjoying the same effect brought by the product, those characters can be considered as a consumer community, one that is formed through consumption. By portraying the harmony among people of different races, the idea of multiculturalism can be exemplified. It is a state when racial and ethnic variation is encouraged. This can be seen through the portrayal of a community among people of different races. The use of multiculturalism can appeal to people of different races. As the advertisers of a Hilfiger ad described, “by respecting one another we can reach all cultures and communities” (Klein 76). When various races are included, the ad can speak to global customers who are represented by the characters present in the ad. The harmonious picture also seems to suppress the unequal treatment towards African Americans in American history because they can dance together with the “whites”. By showing signs of equality among people of various races, Evian may be able to sell its product to a global audience. This is especially important when selling commodities that are applicable to people of all races, genders and ages, since water is a necessity to their survival.

Moreover, these two ads also suppress irrationality by using different advertising techniques. Both ads feature babies who can break dances. Ideally, brilliant babies may know how to walk in the ages of one or two. However, it will definitely be impossible for babies to break dance. The break dance moves can only be made possible by the use of computer software. Also, ordinary mirrors will not be able to reflect an image that differs from the original object. In other words, adults will not be able to see their reflections as babies. Given a number of irrationalities presented in the ads, Evian advertisers made use of two techniques to suppress them. First, the choice of babies works as a gimmick. In other words, since babies are cute and lovable, it is easier for the audiences to be fascinated by their movements. More importantly, advertisers tried to “disrupt and disturb audience expectations…to create bizarre messages” (Leiss 435). In other words, advertisers may purposefully make the ad so irrational and strange to a point that the image may seem humorous. With the combination of gimmicks and bizarreness in the ads, both serve to level out the other. In other words, the cute babies may make it easier for the audience to accept the irrationality in the ads. “Believing that curiosity [generated by bizarreness] stimulates attention, creative gave audiences images to puzzle over” (Leiss 435). By leading its audience to focus on the ad, it is hoped that they may be more likely to receive the branded message of the ad. Moreover, by using these techniques, advertisers can generate buzz by giving their audiences an intent to talk about the ad during conversations. By doing so, the message of the advertisers may be passed on through word of mouth, making the ad viral.

Thirdly, ads can be seen as “discourse that promotes a normative vision of our world and our relationships” (Goldman 96). The two ads promote the vision by reflecting a value of society. It shows the audiences the positive effects of living young. Through watching the ad, the audience may associate youth with many qualities of the youth, as represented by babies. The dances may symbolize that youth is active, flexible and energetic. Youths can also have smooth skin which is related to beauty. All of these positive characteristics point to the idea that youth is an ideal stage in life. On the other hand, aging is frequently associated with negative qualities, like sicknesses and physical deterioration. Given the negative impacts of aging, it is normal that people may want to value youth. The main selling point of the product – to live young – corresponds to the natural desires that adults may have, even though the aging process is inevitable.

Last, but not least, ads can be seen “as discourses that reflect the logic of capital” (Goldman &Papson96). In other words, they are discourses that can foster market transactions on consumer products, so as to sustain capitalism. The Evian ad fits into this ideology by making use of technique that Jackson Lears called therapeutic ethos. He introduced the concept during the transition from industrial to consumer society. In this period, there was a great deal of uncertainties brought by urbanization and the rise of industrial technologies. At that time, products are portrayed as things that can help to ease the uncertainty brought by the environment. Today, people are socialized to believe that aging is a problem due to the negative connotations connected to it. In the campaign, Evian water is presented as a product that can “solve” the problem of aging. The effect of Evian water is exaggerated by letting adults become babies again. It serves to “arouse consumer demand by associating the products with imaginary states of well-being” (Leiss 74). Evian encourages consumption by linking its water with babies, an ideal state of being in which people, especially adults, would want to return to. They suggest to them that by drinking Evian water, they may also be able to become, at least psychologically young again, due to the portrayal of babies in Evian ads.

Besides the two ads that are uploaded to Evian’s YouTube channel, Evian also put a “print ad” in different bus stops in Chicago. It is very innovative for Evian advertisers to incorporate touch-screen technology to replace traditional print ads posted on streets. Evian claims that it is the first brand to do that. Audiences may be curious about this new approach to presenting print ads. By interacting with the screen, they may be one of those who witnessed the technological development of the advertising industry. What is more, the technological innovation can make audience’s brand experience with Evian more memorable, because they have never interact with an ad like this.

By formatting the ad that way, the advertisers have made use of pull marketing. This is a technique in which audiences can “choose to click on the icon, whereupon a targeted message for a product is delivered” (Leiss 345). In this case, bus-waiters can decide whether they want to receive the advertising message or not. By allowing audiences to opt-in to the ad, advertisers can reduce audience’s resistance to the advertising message, possibly making the ad more effective. When audiences interact with the ad, they may not realize that Evian advertisers can use this new technology to test audience reception of the ad. By building an interactive device in the ad, Evian is able to come up with accurate statistical information on the amount of activations throughout the length of the four-week campaign.

Evian advertisers are very clever to put the ad inside different bus stops. People may easily get bored as they wait for their buses to come. The boredom may increase the possibility for them to be curious in the ad, increasing the chance for the ad to be tapped. When people actually tapped on the screen, a baby body dances according to the rhythm of a song, Wordy Rappinghood. When advertisers place the ad inside different bus stops, the space inside it can allow its audience to dance with the babies, increasing the level of interactivity with the ad. By including sound effects to the movements, not only could the opt-in audiences watch and interact with the ad, but those who are walking past the bus stops when the ad is airing may also be attracted to it. It is a human instinct to stop and find out what has happened when they suddenly hear a sound. As more and more people stopped and watched the ad, the crowd can generate even more audiences. As people see the crowd from faraway, they may want to join the crowd themselves in order to find out “what is happening over there”, to fulfill their sense of curiosity.

Due to the creation of commodity signs through the Roller Babies ad, advertisers can create accelerated meanings of the babies in other Evian ads that followed. When the online ad audience see Evian babies again in different bus stops, they will automatically be able to sense the meaning brought by the babies. This prevents the advertisers from repeatedly explaining the association between Evian water and the babies seen in the ads. The accelerated meaning of the babies is important to make intertextuality possible in the bus stop ads. It is a technique in which “ads refer to other ads” (Goldman &Papson 94). By referring their bus stop ads to their Roller Babies ad, advertisers can continue the spiral effect that was brought by the Roller Babies ad. Not only could advertisers remind the audiences of the baby moves presented in the previous Roller Babies ad, but the audience’s affection towards the babies can be reinforced and transferred to the bus stop ads.

Evian Baby Dance: Baby Dance

In addition to the bus stop ad, Evian also introduced a promotional event online: the Evian Baby Dance. This event plays into pull marketing because it requires the voluntary participation from its audience. Evian is basically asking its audience to create an Evian ad together. In order to participate, they need to choose a T-shirt among three, which are printed with African American, white, and Latino baby bodies. Afterwards, they have to turn on their webcams and take photos with the virtual shirt on. Evian would record those pictures and combine them to form a long Evian music video. Evian also required participants to enter their names and current locations along with their submissions. Although the event can encourage audience engagement with the brand, the interactive component of it can serve as a surveillance tool for the advertisers. As suggested by Andrejevic, viewer engagement is a way of “gathering detailed information about a desirable demographic” (Andrejevic 67). In this case, by participating in the baby dance, participant’s name, location, race, gender, age range will be revealed to the advertisers. In other words, this may become a resource for advertisers to learn about who exactly are the customers of Evian and who are interested in the “Live Young” ads. This information can be used as an audience reference when Evian plans for their next campaign. Advertisers may be able to tailor-make ads that may fit the interests of identified audience groups. To sum up, there is a “double role played by interactivity: as facilitator or both participation and surveillance” (Andrejevic 67).

Aside from introducing online promotions, Evian has also made use of unconventional marketing techniques to promote its water. Evian advertisers built an adult playground near London’s Canary Wharf Subway Station. When adults played with the Evian swings and seesaws, snow could be generated. In “Alt Everything”, Klein describes a set of techniques that are used by BMG, a music label, which “hires street crews” of urban black youth to talk-up hip albums in their communities and go out on guerilla style postering and stickering missions”  (Klein 75).Both Evian and BMG are using guerilla marketing as their promotional method. Instead of using mass media as their means of promotion, guerilla marketing is a technique that involves unexpected promotional events that aim to attract localized target demographic audiences at a specific geographic location. Not only could these events increase consumer involvement with the brand, consumers can also gain a memorable brand experience. Through the experience in the Evian playground, the participants may be able to feel the central idea of Evian – the importance of being young at heart. Due to its unexpectedness, participants or bystanders are likely to share the branded experience with their significant others, further spreading the brand message. In other words, Evian uses guerilla marketing to generate word (s) of mouth, in order to spread Evian’s brand message at a low cost.

Besides attracting the attention of participants, the event can also attract media attention. Playgrounds are traditionally recreational venues for children. By building an adult playground, Evian breaks a norm. However, by being special, Evian may be able to generate interest in local reporters in covering the story. This can serve as a free advertisement for Evian water, further saving their advertising cost. In short, this event helped Evian to reach a great deal of target audience at a low cost. If the participants react to the brand experience by actually consuming Evian water, Evian may be able make huge profits.

Evian Protection Water Institute: Evian Water Protection Institute

Aside from using guerilla marketing, Evian also practiced cause-related marketing. Cause-related marketing is a “strategy in which corporate brand identities and products are connected to charity or non-profit organizations, primarily through the sale of commercial products with a percentage of the profits being channeled to the good cause in question” (Littler 29). In the case of Evian, Evian established the Evian Protection Water Institute in 2007. The institute aims at protecting wetlands and promoting effective water management in third world countries. By being capable of teaching water management techniques to the people in third world countries, Evian presents itself as an expert in the field. The expertise can be transferred to Evian water, giving its customers an impression that Evian water is of high quality. This can be helpful for establishing a trust between the brand and its customers, which is essential for cultivating brand loyalty.

Evian’s association with the Institute can also let it be seen as a company which is willing to take its part in enacting social responsibility. By being involved in maintaining water quality in third world countries, “the West and the rest are presented as embracing on equal terms” (Littler 28). The west is often associated with wealth and sufficiency. On the other hand, the rest can include developing countries, which can be characterized as having insufficient capital and resources to develop. The imbalanced distribution of resources sustains a gap between the developed and the developing countries. This act of Evian can possibly reduce the gap and improve the quality of life for partnering third world countries. By doing so, Evian can be portrayed as the savior of selected third world countries. When customers know that part of Evian’s revenue will be allocated to help others, they may be less reluctant to purchase Evian water, even though Evian water is three times more expensive than other brands. In other words, by associating their brand with charity, Evian can give customers an alternative reason to buy their products, other than that of fulfilling a want or need. By working towards a cause, Evian can establish a brand image, one that does not only focus on generating revenue, but one that has contributed to solve social problems.

In conclusion, throughout the campaign, Evian has tried to establish a community among its audience, who can hopefully become customers. The Evian Roller Babies and the Baby and Me ads portray a global dancing community formed by people of different races, genders and ages. The Chicago bus stop ad and the Evian playground both build a community by letting them share the same brand experience by interacting with the Evian ads and events. The Baby Dance links global consumers by connecting their images to form a long Evian video. In both programs, Evian tried to maintain their current customers. Meanwhile, Evian is trying to recruit new ones, to inform them of the brand if they have not come across it before. The global community is reinforced by the operation of the Evian Protection Water Institute, making it possible for the west to help the rest, giving people a feeling of global togetherness.

After building a community through various components of the campaign, Evian wants to spread their message to the community. Evian wants to remind its audience, especially adults, to live young. The nature of its message is one that can possibly show Evian as a consumer-caring company. By using dancing babies in their ads, adults can be reminded of being active and energetic when they were young. The Evian playground arouses their memories of themselves playing in playgrounds when they were young. In short, Evian ads and events can initiate audience’s nostalgia towards their youth. This can create an emotional tie between the customers and the brand. The audiences of this campaign may appreciate Evian for giving them back their youth memories through watching or interacting with their branded message. The emotional ties between them may eventually become the reason for consumers to consume the product, given that Evian is more expensive than other water brands.

Works Cited Page

Andrejevic, Mark. “Productive Play 2.0: The Logic of In-Game Advertising.” Media International Australia 30 (2009): 67. Print.

Goldman, Robert, and Stephen Papson. “Advertising in the Age of Accelerated Meaning.” The

Consumer Society Reader. New York, NY: New, 2000: 81-96. Print.

Klein, Naomi. “Alt.Everything: The Youth Market and the Marketing of Cool.” No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. Canada: Knopf Canada, Picador, 1999: 75-76. Print.

Leiss, William, and Jackie Botterill. Social Communication in Advertising: Consumption in the Mediated Marketplace. New York: Routledge, 2005: 48-435. Print.

Littler, Jo. “Cosmopolitan Caring.” Radical Consumption: Shopping for Change in Contemporary Culture. Maidenhead, Berkshire, England: Open UP//McGraw-HillEducation, 2009: 28-29. Print.

Schudson, Michael. “Historical Roots of Consumer Culture.” Advertising, The Uneasy Persuasion. The United States: Basic Books, 1986: 169. Print.

Personalized advertisements focus on the relationship between people and products. By associating the product with people’s roles and personality, those audiences with similar characteristics may be attracted to the product. By relating the product to self-transformation and to the maintenance of interpersonal relationships, the advertisement serves to portray an image to its audiences, so that they may be invited to imagine themselves being placed in similar situations in real life. By creating a narrative which links all of these personal qualities to the product, the advertisement may appeal to a wide range of audiences. This is especially useful when the advertisement is selling a product which can be applicable to nearly every audience who watches the ad. By using these techniques, audiences can easily identify themselves with the product in the ad, and ultimately become consumers of the product.

The “Got Milk” advertisement follows the personalized advertising format. The advertisement develops according to a narrative. The narrative serves as a kind of testimonial to show how important the product is without directly presenting it in speech. It shows how the product interacts with the people inside the ad. The narrative revolves around people’s “experience with use or consumption” (Leiss 186). Through the narrative, the advertisement starts off showing the audience when and who will consume the milk. It suggests that milk can be served at breakfast as a beverage or as an accompaniment served with cereals. It also suggests that milk is an essential product for the children in the family.

When Dwayne Johnson, who acts as father, finds out that his house runs out of milk, he is so anxious of losing the milk that he immediately runs out of his house to catch the truck giving out milk, by going through all the difficulties that are happening on his way. This shows the level of anxiousness a father can feel when he knows that he may risk having no milk for the family. In reality, the family can opt for another type of breakfast, one that does not require milk. By not even considering the “easier” approach, it reflects how satisfied the family is with the milk as a food to start the day. In addition, “a person’s role, or even fame, provides the connection between the product and its recommendation” (Leiss 186). In the ad, Johnson recommends the milk to the audience through his chase. It can be assumed that parents want to give the best to their children. His chase implies that the milk is an essential component of a healthy breakfast. It seems that he cannot accept the fact that his kids need to have a breakfast without the nutrition in milk. It is easy for audiences to associate health with sports. Sports can be seen as an essential element for health. As a professional wrestler before being an actor, the sense of healthiness is transferred from Johnson’s previous profession to the product he is advertising for. In short, his previous role and fame work together to add credibility to his endorsement.

Besides interpreting Johnson’s character in the perspective of a user of the product, the character can also be “a representative of some personality type” (Leiss 184). In other words, Johnson’s character stands for a group of people who have some identifiable character traits. In this ad, Johnson’s character exemplifies a family-oriented person, who puts his children in the first priority. In the chase, he ignores everything that may prevent him from not catching the milk truck which can give him the milk that his children need. By relating the narrative with the trait of a caretaker, the homemakers who watch the commercial may first resonate with the character, and then with the product. The chase may lead its audiences, who have become parents, to reflect on their own performances as homemakers. It may stimulate a feeling of wanting to be as competent as the father in the ad. The ad seems to suggest a way in which they can reach their goals. The narrative seems to suggest to these audiences indirectly that, “if you buy and serve this milk to your children, you may be considered as a responsible homemaker who cares about what your children are consuming and why they are consuming them.”

Moreover, the ad can be interpreted as a self-transformation ad, which is a subcategory to the personalized ad format. In this subcategory, “people change – make themselves better – through the possession or use of the product” (Leiss 186). In the ad, Johnson is shown as a muscular man. Being muscular may be an ideal body shape to many men. By showing Johnson drinking a cup of milk himself towards the end of the ad, it can be interpreted that drinking milk is one of the tricks to getting the muscles. In other words, the ad portrays that milk can be a factor transforming him into an idealized body shape. In the process, advertisers can suggest to their male audiences that they can also become a man with a perfect body shape if they drink milk. By casting Johnson as the main character of the narrative, “consumers are invited to imagine themselves in some more idealized state” (Leiss 186). In short, the ad can reach male audiences by showing them visually the “results” of drinking the milk.

More importantly, the personalized format portrays a product’s impact on interpersonal relationships within an ad. It “places the product at the very center of social interaction – that is, within the stream of human relations” (Leiss 190). The ad starts with a setting in a kitchen, where a family runs out of milk. After a bunch of social relationships which happen outside the house, the ad closes by returning to the setting of the kitchen, forming a complete narrative circle for the ad. This way of organizing the narrative can remind the audience of the original context of the narrative. It directs the family relationship to the center of focus. Ultimately, the product has played a part in maintaining harmony within a family since the father has regained the product, relieving the anxiety that the family has at the start of the commercial.


Kobe vs Messi: Legends on Board – Turkish Airlines

Since it costs a large amount of money to advertise on any media platforms, advertisers must strive to convey the most in the least amount of time. One of the methods of achieving the goal is to convey meaning through signs. Signs are composed of two elements: the signifier and the signified. “The signifier is the material vehicle of meaning; the signified actually “is” the meaning” (Leiss, Kline, Jhally and Botterill, 164). In other words, a signifier is a visual object in the advertisement that carries meaning; the signified is the implications for this object.  The concept of signs will be used as a framework for analyzing the advertisement of the Turkish Airlines.

Turkish Airlines has invited Kobe Bryan and Leo Messi to be the main characters of this advertisement. They serve as signifiers in the ad. Both are top-niche athletes who serve their countries by competing in national sports competitions. There are specific attitudes and qualities that they can represent. As a representative of their countries, they must strive for their best in competitions. In order to win, athletes must be able to adjust to changing situations promptly in their basketball or football matches. They must maintain high standards of skills to be the top players in their teams. These qualities and attitudes can be transferred to the cabin crew, who represents Turkish Airlines. It implies that the cabin crew of Turkish Airways always tries to give their best service to passengers on board. They are so skillful in answering the queries of passengers that their services can be comparable to the skills that Bryan and Messi possess in sports.

Besides, the advertisement captures a competition among Bryant, Messi and a flight attendant who try to capture the attention of a young boy. Each competitor competes to become the best by surpassing the others when performing his or her series of acts. The competitive sequence highlights the social value of striving to be the best in the heap. Ultimately, a flight attendant manages to win by serving the young boy with a plate of ice-cream. In other words, she has won victory over two of the best athletes in the world. The victory implies that she is the best of the best. Since she represents the Turkish Airlines, the victory can be translated to the Turkish Airlines. Therefore, the Airline is also portrayed as the best of the best.

What is more, the competition also signifies the improvement made by Turkish Airlines between  2011 and 2012. Kobe Bryant was the brand ambassador of Turkish Airways in 2011; Leo Messi was the ambassador of 2012. It is obvious that the acts performed by Messi are more complicated than that of Bryant. For example, in the first round of the competition, Bryant passes his basketball between his legs in the air. In response, Messi does the same while holding a football on his forehead. In the second round, Bryant has built a pyramid with a deck of cards. In response, Messi builds a castle with his cards, which is longer in length, with an addition of four spinning cards on top of his castle. In the third round, Bryant twists a cat with his yellow balloon. In response, Messi twists a rabbit with balloons in three different colors. In short, the relative complexity of Messi’s act symbolizes the advancements of Turkish Airways from the time since Bryant was the ambassador.

However, there may be alternative readings of the competition. Prejudice and discrimination to African Americans may be interpreted in the advertisement. Specifically, since Bryant’s acts seem to display lower levels of difficulty, it may be perceived that African Americans are not as capable as those people of other races. In terms of competition, they may be seen as “losers”. The difference in the environments of performance is one of the factors causing Bryant to lose. Messi has a seat with extra leg room. In other words, he can have more room to perform his acts. With all the extra space, it allows him to perform more flexibly and  with more complexity in his acts. On the other hand, Bryant can only perform in a relatively cramped space which limits the acts he can do in his seat. For example, he has so little space that he needs to roll up his body before he can pass a basketball between his legs. Given this possible implication, the advertisement can turn away some African American audiences.

Furthermore, the competition promotes the value of innovation. For example, it requires a creator to think outside the box to make cards spin in the air. Also, the choice of twisting balloons, which requires DIY (Do-it-yourself), instead of traditional balloons, also emphasize the importance of creativity. The emphasis on innovation can attract audiences who are interested in or working in the professions of art and design or any other industries that involve creativity.

Besides the competition, the ball is also an important signifier in the advertisement. By looking at the signs on it, the audience can be informed about Turkish Airlines. Since both the ball and the globe are round in shape, the ball is used to signify the globe in this advertisement. Towards the end, the advertisement shows the audience how the lines on the ball are formed. Initially there are no white lines on the ball. The lines are only formed when airplanes fly through them. Therefore, they can represent the various routes that the planes of the Turkish Airlines fly through. When the lines eventually meet, it represents that the whole world can be connected by the service provided by Turkish Airways. In short, it is conveying that Turkish Airlines can bring you to every country around the globe.

Besides the shape and the patterns on the ball, a white logo of a bird at the center of the ball also serves as a signifier within the advertisement. It is the company logo of Turkish Airways. The bird symbolizes the function of the Airways, which is to fly from one place to another. Since birds are creatures alive, it can be predicted that they have the ability to choose where they want to fly to. This idea connects to their current or prospective passengers of the Airways. Given nearly 40 destinations to choose from, passengers can freely make their decisions on where they want to “fly to”, just like the birds. Besides, birds can also symbolize freedom. This idea can easily appeal to those who value a life without constraints.

Furthermore, the colors and the design of the ball serve as another signifier. The ball overall is red in color, while the company icon (the bird) is white in color. Similarly, the background of the Turkish flag is red in color, while the icons of the star and the moon are white in color. In other words, the design of the ball has a similar structure as the Turkish flag. Advertisers are trying to create a “floating chain of signifieds”, which is a series of interpretations brought by a signifier.  In this case, advertisers are trying to create a connection between the Turkish flag and the ball, which represents the Turkish Airlines, so that more positive associations can be related to the brand of Turkish Airlines. As a result, audiences may identify Turkish Airlines with nationalism. Since patriotism may be a globally recognized virtue, regardless of nationality, Turkish Airlines’ association with nationalism can attract not only Turkish patriots, but also patriots around the world. Moreover, its created relation to the Turkish flag can also suggest that Turkish Airline is an airline, which can represent Turkey in the aviation field. In other words, the Airline is trying to present itself as the best Airline in Turkey.

In conclusion, the use of signs is a very effective way of conveying meaning within short time limits, just like advertisements. As shown in this ad, one signifier can signify a wide range of ideas related to a company. All of these ideas can be open to audience’s interpretation. Since the interpreted meanings are arbitrarily based on the audience’s cultural exposure and life experiences, it is possible that the audience may attach negative implications to specific advertisements. This is not likely to be beneficial to the advertisers. Therefore, it is wise for advertisers to clearly direct their audiences to the intended meanings of the signs in their advertisements to minimize the possibility of negative interpretations made by the audiences.

In the consumer society, advertisers focused their attention on gathering audiences. They would conduct audience researches, so that they could learn more about the audiences who may be interested in their products. With that knowledge, they could easily connect their products to the lives of these audiences, who ideally can become their prospective consumers. (Leiss, Kline, Jhally and Botterill, 69) Nowadays, advertisers become even more sophisticated in relating their products to the lives of specifically targeted audiences. Yet, some advertisers may still value the advertising techniques that were introduced in the consumer society to sell their products. A fairly recent Samsung phone advertisement can be used to illustrate the application of consumer society advertising techniques in contemporary advertising.

The advertisement starts by telling the audience some basic information about Samsung phones. It informs the audience about the brand name of the phones by zooming into one of the Samsung phones. By doing so, advertisers are trying to make sure that the audience is able to see the brand name printed on the phone before it is being mixed with the other phones in the commercial.

Besides providing the audience with some general information about the product, the advertisement also tries to humanize the corporation. It shows images of robotic hands, which are composed of different models of Samsung phones. Those robotic hands have performed different hand gestures to convey meanings that could be understood by humans. In other words, the “hands” seem to know what these gestures mean in the “human world”. For example, it raises its “thumb” to suggest that Samsung phones are good. The robots raise their “thumbs”, their “index fingers” and their “baby fingers” to refer to the level of enjoyment Samsung users can feel when they are using their phones to play rock music. It shakes its “hand” with another robotic hand when it is “socializing” with the other. It raises its “index finger” when it is conveying that Samsung phones are the number one medium used to connect with others. Through the performance of these gestures, the advertisers have given “life” to some supposedly dead objects. By creating some common “capabilities” between the audiences and the phones, the audiences can relate to the Samsung phones shown in the advertisement more easily.

With these humanized gestures of the phones, the advertisement sells a social lifestyle and the value of interpersonal relationships. The advertisement demonstrates different ways of interacting with others, including text-messaging, hand-shaking and gang gestures. It is trying to construct and convey the idea that people must connect with others, no matter in what ways they choose to do so. The exposure to the idea may create a desire in the audience to socialize with others. The advertisement suggests that the presence of a Samsung phone can fulfill the need. Therefore, it is important for the audiences to possess at least one of the Samsung phones. In short, the advertisement is intended to create materialistic needs in the audiences, while aiming to direct them to the products of the company.

Furthermore, the value of social life is reinforced by the formation of several imagined communities through the advertisement. Given the wide variety of Samsung phone models available, many phone owners may at some point in their lives buy Samsung phones. The advertisement tries to create a connection among all the customers who have bought or will buy Samsung phones. In addition, the advertisement also suggests the presence of a virtual, online or mobile community. The members of these communities use the same method to communicate with each other through text-messaging. They also share the same way of entertaining themselves by listening to music with their phones. However, the “faces” of the robots are not shown in the advertisement. It suggests that interpersonal relationships can be established and maintained through Samsung phones, without having the users meet others in person. The advertisement helps the audience to actually visualize the structure of the community by creating the “Samsung robotic hands”, which can perform gestures that symbolize togetherness, friendship and brotherhood.

In conclusion, the Samsung advertisement uses different soft-sell approaches to sell the products under its brand. In other words, the company creates associations in relation to its products, and uses those associations to appeal to its audiences, hoping that they will become one of the consumers of its products. In the case of Samsung, the advertisement is selling the lifestyles and the values that can be bought together with the Samsung phones. It is also selling a sense of belonging to the imagined communities that Samsung phones can create. The successful use of this approach can bring customer loyalty to the brand, so that its market share can be maintained.