Most advertisers use different appeals to create stereotypes about their audiences because people often buy magazines which fit the stereotypes they make about themselves. For example, people who always read Newsweek are mostly people who are at work, who are economically stable, and who are interested in the world situation. On the other hand, the audiences of Shape are mostly young women who are interested in reducing their weights or shaping up. In Jib Fowles’ essay, “Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals,” he discusses the fifteen emotional appeals that are often seen in many advertisements.
To corroborate his postulations of advertisement, I focused on a specific magazine, Cosmopolitan, and checked if I could determine the stereotypes the advertisers make about audiences by applying appeals he had listed. After analyzing ten ads from Cosmopolitan, I realized that there were two common appeals in most of the ten ads: sexual, and autonomy. First, let’s look at the three ads about different perfumes, “Splendor,” “Dazzling,” and “True Love. ” Both the ads of “Splendor” and “Dazzling” have women clad in strap dresses and held by men.
The photo of “Dazzling” hows a woman in black party dress, dancing with a man in tuxedo. Next to her dazzling smile is the word, ‘Dazzling,’ and the two perfume bottles. In the ad of “Splendor,” a young, attractive, blond woman with her left arm around a man’s neck is about to kiss him. Its copy reads ‘A fragrance Sensation,’ ‘A Sparkling Love Story,’ and ‘Wonderfully Romantic. ’ These ads surely involve sexual appeals because it is obvious that the advertisers are trying to make the women look as feminine as possible by having them expose their skin and embrace their en.
Also, the copies of “Splendor” fetch audiences’ attention by appealing to their longing for romance and affections. The ad of “True Love” also appeals to sexuality by showing a woman with a drowsy expression in a lying down position. The second appeal I found is the need for autonomy, the need to credit the self. The three ads about women’s suits, glassware, and make-up are great examples. An ad of women’s suit has five women in five different gray suits who look competent. The catch phrase says, ’Let’em know who you are. The other ad of glassware shows a beautiful white woman in a white blouse with glasses.
She has her blond hair put up, and she is reading a paper. The copy on the upper left corner reads, ‘Endless Possibilities. ’ The third ad of Maybelline’s foundation cake also has a white woman wearing white blouse with her hair up. All of these three ads have women who look aspired, intellectual, and independent. These ads strike women’s strong need to become the way they want, and to endorse themselves. These appeals are effective in persuading women to buy the products by giving women llusions that they will look ‘sexy’ or ‘independent’ just like the women in the ads if they buy the products.
By finding the appeals advertisers use, one can tell how the advertisers view the audiences. Women usually buy perfume to add to their charm and confidence. Especially, women who are physically matured are easily attracted to sexual appeals as advertisers intend because such women consciously fear the fading of their sexual glamour as they age. Also, women at work or women who want to work strongly seek independence because women are sually oppressed by the society, for the stereotypes about women that they are incapable have not completely been removed.
To overthrow such false assumptions about women, many wish to prove to themselves and to the society that she is aspired, and she has abilities to deal with things. With such women’s tendencies in mind, the advertisers of the magazine, Cosmopolitan, are stereotyping about their audiences that they are young women of age twenty’s to early forty’s who are living in cities, who are interested in relationships with men, and who are seeking to be looked as independent women.