Superiority is shown in a number of ways in this advert, using this successful man in contrast with more ‘lowly’ less capable people. The central man is high up in the blue sky at the top of his block of flats on a sunny day. He looks tanned and athletic. He is watching over the other inhabitants of his block of flats as though he pities them. Dockers are introduced as a ‘convenience product’ because of the fact that they are non-iron cotton. Dockers puts itself one above other ‘convenience products’. It shows the only person who is really having an easier, stress free lifestyle because of this product is the man wearing Dockers. The other ‘convenience products’ such as the rotating spaghetti fork, the hair dryer that gets out of hand and the exercise machine that breaks down are made unattractive and ridiculous by the inept people using them. Dockers are there to replace them, as an apology for these things on behalf of America.
Adverts have become more specialised as they have developed, and more companies have taken to television advertising. The fact that for the bulk of the advert the man is not wearing the trousers at all, but simply his underwear, brings in sex appeal. A close up shot is shown of the man doing up his zip. Originally this would never have even been thought of, but adverts have begun to cover more ‘taboo’ areas in order to appeal to a consumer for example sex appeal is used to make a company stand out from others. Adverts now need to have more to them than just showing a product looking good.
There has to be an element of surprise or humour in an advert, something that will attract people to the name. The man in the Dockers advert is self assured and good looking; he is independent and has a nice apartment showing him as successful. This would attract men to the advert because they aspire to be like this man, whereas the sex appeal would attract women to buy Dockers for their partners.
The music in the background of the Dockers advert sets the scene very well. The words to the song, ‘I’m sitting on top of the world, just rolling along’, immediately gives a laid back impression of the scene. It is the tune that helps keep the advert in your mind, and in this advert it worked after only a few viewings, so therefore fulfilled it’s marketing purpose. Songs in adverts are usually catchy, and often well known. As advertising has developed sound tracking in an advert is now expected to keep the viewer entertained, although in the 1950s this type of sound tracking was not expected.
Devices are used in the Dockers advert to enhance the successful, happy image. The advert uses colour to attract the viewer, for example a bright blue sky is more appealing than a dull grey sky, therefore making the advert, and consequently the product, more attractive. Modern adverts, such as the Dockers advert, also use sweeping camera movements, which contrast greatly to the static position of the camera in the Cornflakes advert. In the Dockers advert the main scene is not always shown from front on, giving a different viewpoint than a static camera angle would.
The style of the cornflakes advert is to give two possible outcomes to a day. Before eating the Cornflakes an unsuccessful, bad day in which the central character is bullied by others and unorganised in his work. Secondly after eating the cornflakes to show a successful businessman, conducting his way at work in an authoritative, ordered manner. Before eating the Cornflakes the man is shown as incompetent, but they seem to stimulate a miraculous change in him, changing his life completely. This is unlike the Dockers advert, in which the man is shown throughout the advert as capable and accomplished, making Dockers the ‘choice of a successful person’, instead of a remedy to the state of your life. To me this consequently makes the Dockers advert much more attractive, and the Cornflakes advert unrealistic.
Each advert offers a complete change of life as soon as the product it used. Is this what people have come to expect from the actual product now, or is it just what is expected from the advert and not to be taken seriously? Many adverts offer instant stress relief or change in lifestyle because of the products advertised, but these are not necessarily to be taken seriously. People don’t expect that the moment they buy Dockers they will have an infinite amount of time to watch the world go by, but the convenience of not having to iron your trousers is played on so much they seem to be actually worth buying because of this. The aim of the advert is to try and make you buy the Dockers, but not to make you believe literally that you can be the man in the advert.
The Cornflakes advert is similar in the way that it presents something completely unrealistic, but you are not expected to believe it, but it is used as a device to attract people. Cornflakes just want people to buy the product. Other companies don’t advertise for a specific product, but just to make the brand name better known. Companies today are prepared to spend large amounts of money on an interesting advert that will make people familiar with the name. The fact that they do obviously means that advertising is successful and influential, and many people are prepared to accept what the advert offers.