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ANSWER TO THE QUESTION
There is more to advertisements than meets the eye. While most of us get caught up in the theatrics, advertisers use a subtle but manipulative non- verbal proxy to convey their message. Such a medium encompasses the use of space, language, color, political, social, and cultural undertones to condition their audience. Every advertiser or marketing team must understand these intricacies if they are to be effective in their work. The Old Spice advert perfectly integrates these aspects of advertisement and successfully delivers the intended effect on its audience.
The advert creates an ambiance of desire while creating a mood of sexiness. It does this in two ways. The message is directed to the ladies while the product is for men. The intended effect is to stir up desire in the ladies and jealousy in the men. The ladies want their men to look like Luke Garroway and the men are jealous of him. These two sensations create the desired ambiance (Kuntz).
There is a heavy application of asymmetrical balance in the advert. The focus of the advert shifts between the model and the body wash through the difference in their sizes. In addition, this type of balance is visible in the use of light and dark objects. Finally, the use of isolation directs the focus to the only animate object in the frame. This keeps the viewer focused on his body language and message.
Only the final frame in the advert contains written material. In this case, the words summarize the message in the advert. They contain the punch line, the call to action and the product name. These three are the main components of an advert. It ensures that the embedded message traverses the language barrier.
The advert effectively utilizes the space in its frames. In frames where the background is plain, the camera zooms into the object of focus while in other frames the free space is occupied by inanimate objects, the product or the written material. This ensures that the frames are packed but not destructing of overcrowded (Kuntz).
There are several signs and symbols utilized in the advert. The first are the symbols of masculinity. The character’s body is chiseled and hairy; these are the symbols of an ideal masculine body. Secondly, the choice of locations symbolizes wealth, power and class, the desire that drives men. Finally, the white stallion symbolizes moderated aggression, strength, and grace. These aspects of the advert define the product itself.
The choice of character for this advert betrays its intended audience. The product is made for middle-aged working-class men. Garroway has the ideal body, height, and deep voice for a man. The choice of the character is designed to stir up desire in its audience. Furthermore, he is a middle age African American with intense but convincing facial expressions. He fits the profile of a successful businessman and that of a corporate individual(Livingston 87). These attributes are designed to appeal to the target audience.
As mentioned earlier, there is a story embedded in the background. The bathroom setup stirs up a sexual ambiance which creates desire. Secondly, the boat represents wealth and class. This communicates the class of the product being advertised. Finally, the stallion represents moderated masculinity. This means that the product projects the masculinity of its users but maintains their class and demeanor.
The plot of this advert is designed around the theme of desire. The actions in the advert spark up desires in the audience: The desire for a perfect man and that to be one; the desire of achieving wealth and class like the character in the advert; finally, the desire to be a real man which compels the viewer to purchase the product.
There are two themes in the advert: Desire and jealousy. The plot begins by creating a desire in the ladies and jealousy in the men. However, the position of the male viewers is carefully coined into a desire to be like the character in the advert. In the end, the viewer desires the product. In this case, the primary theme is desire supported by that of jealousy.
The advert has a heavy use of comparisons and sexual innuendo in its language. This approach creates humor while stirring up an emotional response to the advert. The response then directs attention to the product. The director diverts attention from the product at the beginning but punctuates every location with it. This maintains parallel presentation of information while setting the stage for the climax which is the product (Hill 113).
There is a limited use of typefaces in the advert. The written material is at the end of the advert an only two types of fonts are used. The product name is italicized while the tagline is in a simple legible font. Both fonts are red in color. These typefaces convey a message of simplicity and boldness.
The item being advertised is a body wash and has become the standard of hygiene in the American society. As the advert suggests, real men are expected to use body wash. This portrays a new way of judging masculinity. Men who use body wash are considered more masculine and more appealing.
The advertisement mainly utilizes close-up shots in its photography. The focus is maintained on the character throughout the time. No angulations were used as on the background changes. The rest are just variations in spaces within the frame. These close- up shots maintain the focus on the
There are a lot of cultural and political undertones in the advert. The first is the ethnicity of the character. The mainstream media rarely portrays middle age African Americans as successful businessmen and models of masculinity. This advert challenges this perspective. The use of a black character also challenges supremacy perspectives in the American society. Finally, the words “I am on a horse.” are politically symbolic. During the slave trade era, no black man was allowed to ride a horse. In this regard, this statement taunts this ideology. It purports that using the product makes the black man a boss.
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