Historical Advertising Study: The Clock

People have measured time for as long as history has been documented.  Though in the very beginning all time was relative, as time progressed, so did the way people measured it.  Eventually, the clock was invented.  Throughout the twentieth century, time became more of a crucial aspect of life that people wanted to measure.  Because of this, advertisements for different types clocks began to appear more frequently.  Clock companies made different types of advertisements to try to sell their products effectively.  To do this, the companies had to change with the times.  From 1911 to 1946, the methods that clock companies used to sell clocks changed dramatically, going from simplistic advertisements to more detailed and targeted ones.

An advertisement from 1911 features a drawing of a clock, called “Big Ben”, that takes up half of the page.  Elegant, detailed, and easy to read, the clock has a prominent position on the page, stressing the importance of its appearance and effectiveness.  In addition, dividing the space between two things, a drawing and two small paragraphs, allows a simplistic and straightforward approach to selling the object.  The advertisement is in all black and white.  This lack of color allows the audience to focus on just the words and the drawing, as opposed to any colors or details that could distract from the advertisement’s main purpose of selling the clock.  At the bottom of the page, two paragraphs begin with the slogan “Leave your call with Big Ben…”  As the paragraphs continue, they consistently refer to Big Ben as a person who will help his owner keep track of time.  The personification of Big Ben, which also appears in the object’s name itself, gives the audience a sense of comfort, as though each owner can depend on a reliable person not only to remind them to do something, but also to do so “gently”.  Even in the description of the clock, the advertisement refers to Big Ben as a person, leaving the audience feeling as though this clock is more than just an object.

An advertisement from 1919 promotes the Tiffany Never-Wind Clock.  A drawing on the left of the page shows an elegant, soft, classic clock that would appeal to many home-owners.  Underneath the drawing, the slogan “You Never Wind a Never-Wind” is written in bold font.  Next to the drawing is a detailed description of the clock, which explains how the never-wind clock is much easier to use than normal clocks.  In large letters, the clock is described as “a beautiful thing made of gold and glass”.  Underneath it, the first paragraph describes the clock’s characteristics and how easy it is to use, while the second paragraph gives a physical description of the clock.  The advertisement refers to the clock as “a beautiful ornament” and “gem”, which “cannot fail to please the most fastidious taste”.  In addition, on the very top left corner, the word “Free” in bold and capital letters attracts the audience’s attention.  The advertisement says that this clock normally costs $20.00, which is the equivalent to about $282.00 in 2014.  At such a high price, the indication that the clock could be free would be very attractive to consumers.  This advertisement plays on the combination of easy-to-use and visually appealing aspects of the clock, as it explains multiple times how this clock, while beautiful, effectively tells time without the owner doing anything.

General Electric’s 1947 advertisement promotes its Clock-Radio.  Though a different product than the other two clocks, as it functions as a radio as well, its main purpose is the same.  The advertisement features three pictures of the clock, a smiling young woman, and the title “ ‘Wake-up-to-music’ Clock-Radio”, which all take up the majority of the space on the page.  The picture of the woman, who is smiling and holding her arms up as if stretching, implies that the clock radio makes her wake up happy and will do the same to the consumer.  Underneath her, three different colored versions of the clock show in different settings.  The four pictures, along with some musical notes and the words “Rise & Shine”, give the audience many visually appealing things to look at, which could lead them to spend time looking at the advertisement in more detail.  Next to the pictures is a small paragraph that begins with the phrase “Wakes You Up Smiling — Automatically Turns on Favorite Programs — Anytime”.    Underneath, the paragraphs describe the multiple types of uses that the clock-radio has, such as waking the owner up as “gently as a falling leaf” and recording the owner’s favorite program.  According to this advertisement, the General Electric Clock-Radio will make the owners “wake up smiling”, just like the woman on the top of the page, and can appeal to many types of people because of the multiple color options.

Throughout the thirty years during which these advertisements were used, the clock companies’ methods changed in order to fit what consumers wanted.  For example, the advertisement for Big Ben is simplistic, as in the early 1900s people needed clocks primarily to tell time.  Eight years later when Tiffany’s Never-Wind clock was sold, consumers wanted more visually appealing clocks that were easy to use.  In 1947, almost thirty years later, General Electric’s Clock Radio targeted yet another audience, who wanted to get more out of a clock than just the time.  All three of these clocks seem to be intended to sell to middle or upper class consumers, although each has a more specific audience that it targets, as well. Big Ben is fairly simple, therefore targeting a broad audience.  Tiffany’s Never-Wind clock is targeted specifically to an upper-class consumer, as the original price is very high and the advertisement states that it would be good for an office or home, implying that the consumer would have a lot of money.  The Clock-Radio is aimed more towards women who stay at home, as the advertisement shows a happy woman and many colorful pictures that women would be attracted to.  The clock companies wanted to sell their products effectively, and to do so they play on the wants and needs of their consumers.

Since these advertisements were shown, many different types of clocks have been produced in order to continue to follow the advancement of time measurement.  Though some of the same methods are used today, such as the personification of objects, others, such as using a picture of a woman who stays at home all day, would not work because the society’s values have changed over time.  What is important in all advertising is that companies advertise their products in a way that forms a connection between the object and the consumer, and to do that they must play on the values of that time period.


“Big Ben” Advertisement. Chicago Daily Tribune. 14 May 1911. K3. ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

Buffalo Specialty Co. “Tiffany Never-Wind Clock”. Advertisement. 1919. Duke University Libraries. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

General Electric Company. “GE Clock Radios”.  Advertisement.  Life Magazine. 1947. Duke University Libraries. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.


Historical Advertising Study

This is not a specific analysis of advertisements for Nintendo Entertainment System, but rather all consoles that appeared in the same time period since they shared similar qualities and their companies used similar tactics in order to market the consoles during the early years of personal computing and gaming.


One of the most important aspects of video games is to immerse the player; make it feel as if they are really there inside of the game. This is because one of the primary attractions for video games are as an escape from reality, and the more convincing the game environment is, then the more immersion and enjoyment will come out of the video game. Immersion in today’s video games are primarily achieved through compelling storylines, realistic characters, and realistic graphics, but in the 1980s we were stuck with simple arcade games such as galaga and pac man due to technological constraints and the infancy of a new technology. The goal then was the same goal as now, namely immersion, but with just a few pixels floating across a machine it raises the question as to how marketers for these early arcade games could compare the virtual world to the real world while also targeting certain audiences for their games. This billboard shows an example of multiple targeted audiences, as well as a parallel between reality and the virtual world. The most important thing to note is that in the game Mrs. Pac Man, Mrs. Pac Man does not look like this. She looks like this, with a more common depiction outside of the game being this. With the large, poofy scarf and sexualized features of a bow, hair, eyeliner, blush, lipstick, eyebrows, gloves, high heels, and long legs (note, pac people do not have legs), it’s obvious that Mrs. Pac Man has been likened to a model, though comedically so. Of course, it is highly doubtful marketers attempted to raise a sexual attraction to Mrs. Pac Man, but more rather liken her to a human being, blurring the lines between real and virtual for the children of the world. Pac people are given human features (the most desirable ones, at least), which draws them closer to real people. Another notable aspect is that this billboard is for Mrs. Pac Man, rather than the original Pac Man, which is likely an attempt to appeal to the female gender, a largely unrepresented demographic of the gaming population. This billboard shows that the association with men and gaming is outdated, since the woman of the year, implying modern times, was Mrs. Pac Man.


This next advertisement for the Game Boy Pocket Color appeared over a decade after the Mrs. Pac Man billboard and focuses less on the appeal of video games themselves as the Mrs. Pac Man bill board did, but more so on the machine. Advertising a machine relies on more traditional means of toy and entertainment device advertising, so it is less new than the Mrs. Pac Man advertisement and primarily targets the traditional avenue of gaming revenue: young boys. By 1997, the gaming industry had more or less solidified and established itself as a popular product for entertainment, and did not need as much exposure as the a comedic depiction of a video game character, but more a safe “tell your parents to get you this for Christmas”. The advertisement was initially printed in a November Newspaper, and clearly targets a Christmas audience with the fir branches and slogan likening the Game Boy Pocket Color to the classic Christmas carol “Joy to the World”, while also referencing a “White Christmas” in contrast to a colored Game Boy. These are nice wordplays, but altogether safe and bland, which is representative of the stability in the industry that occurred in just over a decade. By this time, marketers could not risk the excitement and revolution of a fledgling industry that relied on attention for survival, and so they preferred to make calm advertisements that would never stick in one’s mind past Christmas. There is no message, or draw, besides “here’s our product, now buy it for Christmas”, but it is good to see how the advertisement reflects the stability of the gaming industry.


Rather than reflecting the gaming industry, the video in this article for Nintendo Power Magazine is more representative of the general era. This advertisement is again clearly marketed towards young, excitable boys with its bizarre animations, dancing “cool kids” in sunglasses, brilliantly flashing lights, wacky wordings, loud announcers, and nonsensical gigantic explosions with fire. Though this commercial appeared in the 1990s, just as the Game Boy Color ad did, this advertises another aspect of the industry: critique and review. Similar to the television industry’s shows, physical sets, and critics, we have seen the video game industry has its games, consoles, and reviewers. But what is most different about the video game industry is this reviewing section, since the market for video games is niche relative to the television, and so the demand (and need) for review is far less). So, in order to garner readers and subscribers, magazines such as Nintendo Power needed to resort to more exciting advertisements, similar to the Mrs. Pac Man advertisement and contrary to the Game Boy Color advertisement. The commercial is, in a word, bizarre. But flashing lights are what capture the attentions of children, and so using this constant blaring of the brand name marketers can force the young mind to remember to buy their product. This technique is also used in other videos in the 1990s, such as music videos, other advertisements, buildings, and clothing. That was what worked during the decade, so that’s what was done for Nintendo Power.
The advertisements in the video game industry differ according to three factors: period, industry stability, and culture. This has been shown through the three different examples of ads that highlight each of these factors, and also what may occur when the factors overlap. Since the primary target audience of video games are young boys, advertisements are mainly made in order to appease the demographic, though there are exceptions to this case, but it reveals a weakness in the stagnancy of the industry as a whole for catering to a singular market, while the appeal could potentially expand across other sectors of the general population.

Works Cited

Atari. “Atari Presents the Woman of the Year”. Advertisement. 1983. Duke U. OAAA Slide Library. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

Nintendo. “Boy to the World”. Advertisement. 1997. Academia.edu. Leo Burnett. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

Nintendo. “Nintendo Power”. Advertisement. 1994. Wash U. Critical Gaming Project. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

Historical Advertising Study: The Camera

The camera is an object that has been developed and redeveloped over the years to bring about a revolution in the way we “see” things. With the popularity of this electronic device growing immensely ever since it’s inception, companies that develop the camera have been coming up with creative advertising campaigns to sell their product to consumers. When the camera first hit the market, inventors believed that the device could sell itself, which is why advertisement campaigns surrounding the camera were very rare in the late 18th century. Since Kodak paved the way to technological advancement when it came to the development of the camera, they produced some of the first advertisements for the camera and consequently had the widest reach in terms of audience. George Eastman, founder of Kodak, was considered to be one of the key factors behind the popularization of the camera. His work with the development of the device helped bring the camera to the common man and made photography a mainstream phenomenon. Entering the market with a simple yet catchy slogan that read “you press the button, we do the rest,” Kodak made capturing images sound extremely simple. Eliminating the public perception of a cumbersome, complex process behind clicking pictures, Kodak’s advertising campaign was the main component behind its success in the past. In fact, today’s Kodak is known not only for photography, but also for imaging applications that can be used in a variety of industries.

The first advertisement by Kodak published in a popular magazine nearly a year after the invention of the camera was a very small image placed onto the bottom of a page. This picture was very basic in terms of design and only looked to incorporate the essentials. Since the computer wasn’t a very advanced design tool at the time, a hand drawn picture of the camera was the highlight of the advertisement when it came to graphics. Kodak’s slogan, “you press the button, we do the rest,” was emphasized in the center of the advertisement along with the name of the company. Kodak uses its brand value or ethos to attract audiences. Known as one of the largest producers of cameras and photography related products at the time, choosing to highlight the name of the company would create great awareness amongst the audience. Another very important component of this advertisement that attracts attention is the caption that goes along with the slogan, which reads, “the only camera that anybody can use without instructions”. This caption appeals directly to the audience through persuasion as the company tries to convince potential customers that it is extremely easy to operate a Kodak camera. The rest of the advertisement focuses on providing important information such as price and sellers information. At this point in time, it was very important for the company to advertise wisely as the camera had just been introduced to the world. Spreading the word and successfully publicizing the object would be the key to its success in the future.

Another advertisement that was published by Kodak as a result of the success of the camera came in contact with the public through the means of a magazine. This time, the company decided to publish a full-page advertisement to increase the reach of their campaign and build on to their consumer base. This advertisement, unlike the previous one, was more colorful and used an actual image as its central component. Published in the year 1913, this advertisement was created by the company with the intention of improving on the quality of the previous campaign. The first thing that grabs the attention of the viewer here is the large picture that takes up more than half of the page. This image is a colored sketch of a couple holding up their Kodak camera whilst they are out at sea on their boat. The lady that has been captured in this image is holding up the camera as if it were a trophy, a proud possession that she values greatly. The man in the background is smoking from a pipe and is wearing fancy clothes, telling us that the couple is well off and extremely happy with their purchase. The caption below this image reads: “At the moment- the fun of picture taking- afterward the joy of possession. There’s all this for those who keep the personal story of their outings with a Kodak.” Here, the advertisement appeals to the audience’s pathos in talking about the “joy of possession” and the “fun of picture taking”. This advertisement is trying to highlight the fact that photography can be an enjoyable hobby and that the camera is an essential purchase for every family. The image of the couple on the boat suggests that the company is looking to appeal to a certain target audience, as the duo seems to be well off financially. Finally, another striking aspect of this advertisement is the way the name of the company has been highlighted. “Kodak” has been written in bold print across the page. As mentioned earlier, this decision appeals to the consumer’s logos and urges the public to purchase this product with the comfort of brand value.

The final advertisement published by Kodak in the year 1919 in the “Country Gentleman” magazine looks to attract a specific audience by pin pointing their target consumer. The central element of this full-page advertisement is the black and white picture of a bull. Unlike the advertisements that were discussed previously, this commercial contains an actual image taken by the advertised product. Looking to attract readers of the “Country Gentleman” magazine, this advertisement has been tailored specifically to grab their attention as seen through the incorporation of the image of the bull. As opposed to a picture of something scenic, the head of the campaign chose to use this picture as it appeals to the target audience. A small box towards the end of the page contains the text component of the advertisement and contrasts the image in the background to stand out. Yet again, the name of the company has been highlighted to create logos and enforce the credibility and reliance that comes with the name that is “Kodak”. Further, the caption says “YOU can take pictures like this- can make a Kodak album of everything that interests you. It’s simpler and less expensive than you think.” Like the previous advertisements, this one looks to create pathos and appeal to the audience by putting emphasis on something the target audience would appreciate.

In conclusion, it can be said that Kodak has followed a very similar advertising model over the years. Relying heavily on their brand name, the company has always decided to put emphasis on the name of the company, making it the first thing the audience sees. Another observation that can be made on the basis of the analysis of these advertisements is that the company resorts to advertising through the means of magazines and selects its target audience on the basis of the readers of the given magazine. Finally, Kodak always puts the power in the hands of the consumer, appealing to their emotions and making them believe that this product would be perfect for them.

Works Cited:

Kodak. “The Kodak Camera” [K0538]. Advertisement. 1889. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Ad* Access. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.

Kodak. “The Kodak Camera” [K0163]. Advertisement. 1913. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Ad* Access. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.

Kodak. “Kodak” [K0280]. Advertisement. 1917. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Ad* Access. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.

The Wheel. Historical Ad Campaign Analysis

The Wheel is one of the most important creations/inventions ever. Without the wheel locomotion would be impossible and extremely difficult. The wheel is also a basis for new invention, with the most important use of the wheel in cars. The wheel was invented really early and was always being redesigned for something better than the original. The wheel is a tire that is attached in cars and selling it and promoting these tires would be difficult without the availability of very good technology at that time (1900’s). Hence, sources like magazines, newspapers and billboards would need to be used. I have looked at 3 companies that had released advertisements in the mid 1900’s. Armstrong Tires, Hartford Tires and Goodyear Tires.

The first ad has definitely done a good job in grabbing the customers attention. The title with the big font and text takes the attention of the customers. Right after that the big visual representation of the a ‘Rhino’ signifies strength and power. The Rhino on top of the tire is showing dominance and power and the tire is being compared to the Rhino, hence making the tire powerful and dominant over the others. The graphics definitely communicate the product, however, the information given is very technical and in my opinion doesn’t feel like it was for regular customers but intended for customers who have more technical knowledge about tires. Also the enlarging of the tire shows the technical details of the tire. Also the guarantee is boxed which means it has a lot of emphasis and people wouldn’t miss it, cause it has a shadow and ‘boxing’ it is like highlighting it. This shows how confident the company is with their tires. Also spreading awareness would be hard so this would be posters and and ads in newspapers and magazines due to amount of information present.

“A Last Look at Tire Ads – Today’s Inspiration.”1953. A Last Look at Tire Ads – Today’s Inspiration. Armstrong Rubber Company, 19 Nov. 2007. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.
(Image link: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2233/2046593941_a420d0338e_b.jpg )

The second ad is of Goodyear Tires first year in business in the 1900’s. This advertisement of theirs is extremely simple with simple information that all customers would understand and also consists of all the things that people want to see in their car tires. ‘Perfection, Quality and Absolute Satisfaction’ with their product. That’s what Goodyear puts forth. The visual is the aesthetically appealing part of the add and catches your attention immediately and from there the first thing you look at are the adjectives you look for in any product placed right in the center of the poster. Also the addition of technical details in not very small text shows how they are first trying to build a reputation with a good product and then get to the technical for people who understand it. This way it serves both customers educated about tires and those not so educated about them. This poster is an initial poster and for any customer doesn’t offer any background to their company cause there is none. Its their first year and simple is their best step forward. Also they are looking for customers who are keen on their product by mentioning perks if interest is taken in their product by offering customers catalogs about their products and information to help them out.

“History of Early American Automobile Industry from 1861-1930.” Good Year. History of Early American Automobile Industry from 1861-1930. n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

The third ad is of the company Hartford tires in 1900. So their title is on the top right of the poster, however, the visual starts from the left and moves to the left taking you to the title which is ‘Hartford Tires’. From there the first box to the right talks about how the tires are worth the money and relate it to the economy. Also when overtime Hartford tires are mentioned it is capitalized and bolded putting more emphasis on the company. The ad is mainly for the customers as every detail on the advertisement is for the consumers, Value of money, and also the fact that the they are telling the consumers to be proud of themselves for owning their equipment; making them feel good about themselves. The audience for this ad is everyone as there is absolutely zero technicalities in the ad. This creates a downside as there are no technical details about the product people don’t know what the product is exactly. Just explaining to people about the excellence and worth of money is not enough. Some technical information is needed on the tire as well.

“History of Early American Automobile Industry from 1861-1930.” The Hartford Rubber Works Co. History of Early American Automobile Industry from 1861-1930. n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

All these advertisements are showing an improvement in the world of invention and creations.Going from Goodyear to Hartford to Armstrong, the technicalalities in each add increase and get more descriptive about the product as there is so much information to put in. With that we can see that the amount of information represented is greater as the ads get more technical and detailed and have more specific customers to reach out to. The wheel is such an integral part nowadays with so many cars and the amount of accidents that happen, getting good tires would definitely be an important plan for all manufacturing car companies for the safety of their consumers.

Historical Advertisements

When it was first introduced to the drug market, there were several issues that affected the sale and advertisement of the birth control pill. There was significant debate over the safety as well as the morality of oral contraceptive usage for years after its FDA approval in 1960. The pill was not marketed directly to consumers in its early stages of sale, but instead it was advertised to doctors who would then prescribe it to women. Because of these issues there are not substantial amounts of advertisements that can be found from the early decades of sale.

One of the few early advertisements is for Envoid, the first brand of the pill to be sold. It is marketed toward doctors rather than the women who will use the product. The ad is rather simple, containing a small drawing of a women, the product name and slogan, and descriptive information regarding the function and benefits for the doctor’s patients. The creators of this advertisement perhaps had in mind that their customers were doctors with their own existing knowledge about birth control methods, and who would most likely not be using the product themselves. Therefore, in order to be persuasive, logos and ethos are more prevalent than pathos in the ad. The logos exists in the description of how the regulation of menstruation is beneficial to women, and the ethos in the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of Envoid. There is an element of pathos when the ad tells physicians that their patients will be grateful if they are to be prescribed this product. But there is a lack of visual pathos hat might be evident in an ad directed at the women who use the product.

What is interesting to note about this ad is that it does not promote the contraceptive aspects of the pill, but instead focuses solely on the fact that it can delay menstruation for the purpose of “convenience” and “peace of mind.” The ad completely ignores the primary purpose of the pill, possibly due to the large number of people who were against the prevention of pregnancy in its early stages. Doctors of the early 60s who had strong moral views about birth control would have been difficult to persuade into prescribing Envoid using the rhetoric surrounding pregnancy prevention. While this ad provides a limited amount of insight into the actual function of the product, it does provide insight into the social context surrounding the introduction of the birth control pill. There existed stigma against the pill and marketers had to find ways around that to successfully promote their products.

The advertisement that came up most frequently in searches is for Ortho-Novum. This ran in 1993, decades after the first sales of the pill, yet still one of the earliest ads directed at women that were easily found in records. The focal point of the ad is a photograph of pills laid out in a circle next to the line, “We’ve come full circle since 1960.” This acts both as a way to grab the attention of the audience as well a form of ethos. The circle of pills is a recognizable image because it resembles the way that these pills are packaged in the circle that tells women when to take the pill. This also establishes ethos for the company by saying that it continues to consistently what it did in 1960, which is provide an effective form of birth control that also provides additional health benefits. The differences between this early 90s ad and the 1960 ad are quite noticeable. With the change audience, there is a change in the rhetoric and the method of marketing. The Ortho-Novum ad includes no discussion of the chemicals, the dosage, or the scientific explanation of how the pill works. It instead advocates for the benefits that this pill has to offer women and presents in a way that would be easy for any non-physician to understand.

What this advertisement also accomplishes is a look into how the social contexts of the 90s was different from that of the 60s regarding the pill. The Ortho-Novum ad is able to discuss the contraceptive benefits primarily because the stigma against birth control had a less overwhelming presence socially. From the beginning the 1993 ad mentions that the pill “changed women’s lives” and gave them “reproductive control.” By the 90s, women had for some time been speaking out and using language such as reproductive control to fight the legal and social battle over birth control. The advertisers are using language that will resonate emotionally with women who can relate to the idea that they deserve to have control over their own bodies.

A third ad, from 1996, also contains both visual and verbal elements that act as pathos directed at women. This ad for Ortho Tri-Cyclen contains the headline “A birth control pill that’s in tune with your body.” It also features a painting of a bouquet of flowers the covers a large portion of the page. This can be interpreted as an appeal to women’s belief in their right to reproductive control. The product is promoted as a pill that is in tune with a woman’s body, as opposed to those who are against birth control who are not in tune and do not show respect toward a woman’s body. The flower seems to be an attempt to represent nature and promote the idea that this product is natural, rather than a drug made in a lab, and works naturally and safely with the body to prevent pregnancy. This ad reaches out to women by exploiting what women are most drawn to when it comes to birth control using pathos.

Work Cited

G.D Searle & Company. “Envoid.” Advertisement. Obstetrics and Gynecology 16 Nov. 1960. PubMed. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.

Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation. “Ortho-Novum 777.” Advertisement. Vogue 1 Mar. 1993: 266. Proquest Historical Newspapers. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.

Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation. “Ortho Tri-Cyclen.” Advertisement. Vogue 1 Nov. 1996: 210. Proquest Historical Newspapers. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.

Watkins, Elizabeth Siegel. “How the Pill Became a Lifestyle Drug: The Pharmaceutical Industry and Birth Control in the United States Since 1960.” American Journal of Public Health 102.8 (2012): 1462-472. Academic Search Complete. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

Ad Analysis: Energy Drinks

Energy drink companies have been one of the most attacked targets for their decisive marketing practices. This attack comes as a result of pinpointed advertising that makes lofty promises to susceptible youth. Many energy drink companies encourage young males to purchase their beverages by suggesting that their drinks have stimulant effects that increase endurance, performance, and attention. The most dominant companies in the segment are also partnering with organizations and individuals involved in extreme sports and activities in effort to increase their credibility as a stimulating and active beverage. As a result of these practices, both the media and the government have begun to disseminate and condemn these undertakings.

While the broader advertising patterns mentioned above try to appeal to a wide cross-section of the population, the advertisements featured here target a much more niche audience. The following advertisements come from Triathlete magazine. Therefore, one must take into account the typical demographic that reads Triathlete magazine when reading an overall evaluation of their energy drink advertisements. The most obvious yet most important fact about triathlete magazine is that triathletes themselves consist of the overwhelming majority of readers. As such, this makes the demographic of the magazine extremely homogenous in a quite few different ways. First, the readers are interested in maintaining an active lifestyle and place an emphasis on health. The readers also enjoy competition and are proficient swimmers, bikers, and runners. These readers enjoy discovering ways to increase their competitive edge over their peers. Finally, as training for a triathlon requires a lot of time and a sizable amount of money, these readers are at the minimum middle class and most likely tend to have sufficient economic security. This homogeneity makes is especially easy for marketers to design advertisements to place in Triathlete magazine.

The first advertisement comes from Now Spots and promotes their “L-Carninitine” energy liquid. This half-page print advertisement utilizes a molten inspired color palate that subconsciously highlights the vitamins and minerals used in their drink. The advertisement builds pathos by showing a pack of male and female triathletes participating in the running portion of the race. Within that group there is one man that is ahead of the others. The problem is that this gap is fairly subtle and it is not immediately clear that his lead is a result of his increased energy from drinking the energy drink. The audience of Triathlete magazine will be able to connect with the situation depicted and will strive to be the man in front. Additionally, this advertisement demonstrates ethos by describing the mission of the brand and by including the year in which the company was founded. Still, the overall layout and design of the advertisement is rather amateurish and does not leave the reader overly eager to go out and purchase the product. A final design flaw is that the disclaimer, that says the FDA did not verify the statements made in the advertisement, is the same size as the promotional text. The advertisement would be improved if this notice were incorporated in a way that was more obscure.

The second advertisement is from the company GU and promotes their energy gel. This is a full, two-page print advertisement. The majority of the ad is dominated by an image of a middle-aged lady who just competed a triathlon and is smiling with her hands in the air. The image is very zoomed-in and does not show any context of the race. The image features a small caption in the bottom left corner that says, “Miranda Carfrae, 3x IRONMAN World Champion, Fueled by GU and Roctane since 2010”. The main problem is that while this statement does build ethos, the connection between the product and her win is not prominent enough. On the left sixth of the page is the only portion of the advertisement to which the image does not extend. That small section contains the company logo, a small picture of the product, and the texts “Congratulations Rinny!” and “Great things come in small packages”. The way in which this entire section is planned out and integrated is very crude and unprofessional. The font choice, white background, and slogan are all very uninspiring and appear to have been chosen without much thought. That being said, the primary issue with this advertisement is that it does not offer the reader any information about the product or convey solid logos. The only knowledge the reader obtains about GU is that it is small and that a winning triathlete uses it.

The standout advertisement is from Gatorade and promotes their Endurance formula. One of the most noteworthy features of this ad is that it achieves a nearly perfect balance between text and imagery so that neither dominates the other and both work together in harmony. The layout consists of four equally sized images, each showing a runner in a distinct environment. This demonstrates pathos because most readers of triathlete magazine are able to make a connection to the advertisement when they see another runner. The way in which these images are arranged is very clever in that each photo leads the viewer’s eyes towards the center, where there is a perfectly sized picture of the product. Above the product photo is a slogan that is witty yet easy to grasp. The designers selected colors that are eye-catching yet show restraint. Likewise, the font that is utilized is sophisticated yet it maintains a contemporary flair. The advertisement conveys a sense of ethos through the quality and sophistication of the ad itself and by incorporating the Gatorade name. One of the most intelligent choices the designers included was information on where to buy the product. While all the ads take into account the demographic to which they are marketing to, this advertisement is definitely the exceptional one of the group as it is clear, professional, concise, informative, and cohesive.

 Works Cited

Gatorade Endurance. Advertisement. Triathlete Nov. 2014: 22. Print.

GU Energy Gel. Advertisement. Triathlete Oct. 2014: 18-19. Print.

Now Sports. Advertisement. Triathlete Dec. 2014: 24-25. Print.

Blog #3 – Second Revision

Code-switching is the practice of switching between languages or vernacular in conversation. In Matt Thompson’s article “Five Reasons Why People Code-Switch” he describes fitting in as a major reason why people code-switch. He states that “Very often, people code-switch – both consciously and unconsciously – to act or talk more like those around them…” I agree with this statement as a major reason why people code-switch. I have witnessed this type of code-switching first hand, when listening to the conversations my mother has with people of other ethnicities.

I often notice my mother code-switching when talking to people of other races other than Indian. To me, it is very obvious: her voice becomes a bit higher and she pronounces certain words differently because she feels she needs to compensate for her heavy Indian accent.

This is only noticeable to our family (and I’d assume a few of her friends) because we know how she speaks around us. Around us, she doesn’t care if she is messing up her English grammar, as long as she gets her point across. For example, she will often say things like “Go to Indian store and pick up all vegetables on list.” Notice anything funny? She struggles to incorporate articles such as “the” when she speaks English. The case is not that she doesn’t know how to use articles, rather for the sake of convenience she doesn’t attempt to use them. Around others, however, she is often careful about what she says as she doesn’t want to let out improper English.

Around us she will often try to use common sayings, and fail miserably. In our conversation about studying hard in college, she said, “You have to hit head on the nail.” Although I understood her message, I still died laughing. She understands that she has not mastered English, however, for this reason she does not feel comfortable speaking with native speakers.

Thompson describes code-switching to fit in, both consciously and unconsciously. It is difficult to tell whether my mom does this consciously or unconsciously. There may have been a certain point where my mother code-switched enough to make it an unconscious habit. For example, when she first came to this country, to avoid scrutiny, she began to code-switch – with the symptoms depicted above. However, she may be at a point where whenever around other ethnic groups, she will code-switch to fit in. So, at a certain point, it is possible that code-switching can go from a conscious decision to an unconscious one. Some examples of code-switching may not be as clearly definable as others, like in the case of my mother’s code-switching.

Code-switching can indicate certain qualities in a person, and at the surface, these qualities may seem negative. For example, one may deduce from my mother’s code-switching that she gives a great deal of importance to people’s judgments. At times it may seem that she has low self-confidence. While these statements may hold some truth, it is perfectly normal to code-switch to fit in. Humans have evolved as a social species, with each of us playing an integral role in society. As a result, it is likely that the desire to belong is a human characteristic, and so code-switching – especially in the case of unconscious code-switching – makes sense in the context of human nature. Therefore, although caring about what people think about you is not something that should characterized as a good quality, there is an unconscious aspect to it that might just be out of our hands.

The Evolution of Cell Phone Marketing

The object I chose to study on is the phone. The concept and the idea of being able to talk to someone without actually having to be physically present intrigued me and made me want to find out more about the devices today by analyzing and learning of how it originated.

The first advertisement is that of the Motorola DynaTAC 800x which was released in 1983. This is a television advertisement presenting the item to the public at $3995. The advertisement is in the form of a message to the viewers and the targeted audience mainly includes the businessmen, businesswomen and influential government authorities, who could actually afford the phone. The advertisement begins with a man in a suit driving a vintage Mercedes talking on the cell phone. Throughout the one-minute long promotional video scenes like these keep flashing while a man reads out the message added to it in monotone. The advertisement includes scenes where there are people walking up and down the stairs to a building or even at the dinner table proving that this phone is portable. Through the lines spoken during the advertisement the viewer is made aware that the phone is portable and that they were on the brink of a cellular revolution at the time. During the advertisement, in the later half, there is a scene where the narrator says that the phone weighs only 30 oz. and the tone depicts exclamation, which to us today will be a heavy phone. The ad shows that at that time only a certain percentage of the population could afford such an expensive phone. Even through the comparison drawn between checking time on a digital watch and using the mobile phone shows that in that age this was going to be the biggest technological breakthrough. The biggest assumption this advertisement has made is that this device had (in that time) become a necessity for businessmen and women and that sooner or later the rest of the population would also follow suit. The advertisement also shows that at the time there were only a few thousand phones in circulation while now there might be a few billion. This shows the evolution of the mobile phone from then to now.

The second advertisement is one, which was displayed on the billboards in 1985. This advertisement by Cellular One Car Phones reads: “Traffic Crawling? Start Callin’.” 1985 was still new to the concept of cellular phones and the devices with which you could talk without being stuck to one place therefore in order for people to buy such a product the company Cellular One Car Phones came up with this advertisement. This ad is directed at a much larger audience than the first advertisement, thus catering to a larger market. While analyzing the two articles we can also see the shift in emphasis of the target audience for companies. In 1983, the first advertisement dealt only with businessmen and women without targeting the public at large but the second advertisement targeted the public at large. So what changed in those couple of years? There are two possible and plausible explanations for this. One, that the manufacturers tinkered with the existing pieces and cut down on their production cost thus causing a subsequent and dramatic change in the selling price of the phone or two, that the people seeing other people use it felt that they would also be better off buying the car phone at the existing 1983 price. Thus upgrading the phone from an accessory to a necessity and causing a subsequent hike in demand.

The third advertisement is a magazine article, which was released in 1943 at the time of the Second World War. This advertisement is for the radiotelephone, which had created a rage during the war. This gadget had made communication during the war so much easier and the company, which had manufactured this device now wanted to introduce a prototype into the commercial market and see what effects it had. This advertisement creates an imaginative scenario in which they are making people hopeful for the unexplored aspects of communication, which might occur in the future. The tag line for this particular advertisements reads “Buses will have ‘phones!” and this was not the only article released by the company but there were two more in which they had presented two new scenarios with the help of ‘Planes’ and ‘Streamliners’. This advertisement shows that people in the 1940s did not have any medium of contacting anyone once they stepped out of their house.

All of the above articles show the various stages in the production and marketing of the cellular phone. The last article being the first to be released in Time magazine in 1943 presents an almost impossible picture of the future. However with the prototype of the radiotelephone already in use during the war it did not seem so unrealistic. The second article shows that even in 1983 the modern version of the cellular phone was miles away and they had launched the car phone. Even in the second advertisement the gadget does not advance in technology that much but just becomes more accessible by the public.

All three articles show that the mobile phone, which today has become such an integral part of our lives never, existed in the way it does today until a few decades ago. Sometimes I wonder if I would be a part of that nearly pre-historic telegraph and telegram era would I be hopeful for the future of communication or not?

Works Cited:

Mixed Goodies. “1980s mobile phone Tv Ad.” Online video clip.

YouTube. YouTube, 11 Sep. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

” These Vintage Cell Phone Ads Will Make You Even More Grateful For The iPhone 5.” Businessinsider.com. Businessinsider.com, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

Cellular One Car Phones. “Traffic Crawling? Start callin’” [SLA2498]. Advertisement. 1985. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Ad*Access. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

Jefferson-Travis Radio Manufacturing Corporation. “Buses will have ‘phones!” [R0840]. Advertisement. 1943. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Ad*Access. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.


While doing laundry one day, I imagined what was life before the washing machine. Just out of curiosity I checked the true date the washing machine came into existence and was surprised by the result. Though I didn’t get one particular date I did come across several advertisements related to the washing machine printed in nearly ancient times and I chose to do my historical advertisement paper on the washing machine.

The first advertisement that I came across belonged to a company called P. Mallory & Co. that had invented the automatic timer switch for the washing machine. At first I was kind of confused by looking at that advertisement because I did not see the requirement of an image of a Bombardier Jet, which was used during the war. It however piqued my interest and I continued to read the entire text. The advertisement stated that the automatic time switch was also used as a part on the Bombardier Jet and the advertisement was to declare that this switch would now be used only in washing machines, now that the war had gotten over. This advertisement shows that the main beneficiaries of adding this switch to the washing machine would be the housewives who were sick and tired of doing their laundry by hand.

The second advertisement is a black and white advertisement. The billboard with this advertisement appeared in 1946. This advertisement included all the functions of the washing machine including rinsing, drying and washing at the touch of a button. It targets the housewives. The ad shows a little girl peering which shows that handling the washing machine was easy and doable by even children of that age and you didn’t need someone with expertise and rough hands to work it or do the laundry. This advertisement shows the washing machine in the shape, form and size similar to what exists today.

The video advertisement I saw was one by whirlpool in 1956. The advertisement was childish and immature showing two puppets talking to an old woman. The advertisement showed that in those days there weren’t too many machines that were capable of being used as a washing machine or as a machine to reduce effort while doing laundry. In the advertisement while one puppet argues that there is no machine that she can use to ease her effort the other puppet brings out the whirlpool machine on her request showing to the audience and the viewers that on the contrary there existed such a machine in the market.

The fourth and the last advertisement that I found is probably the oldest piece of paper that I have ever come across which means the ad was even before World War 1 and before the time of Gandhi in the year 1869. The advertisement is on yellow paper, which once may have been white and shows a very dignified house lady in a very British attire standing beside the machine, turning the handle. The machine itself is just a huge barrel with a kind of device looking like a sewing machine attached to the top. The tagline states ‘Celebrated Home Washer’ because in those days there never existed multiple companies manufacturing a single product and even if there did, there was always one who enjoyed the monopoly and the company that released this ad was one of them. Now if we see the date this ad was released we can deduce that before this there existed no such pre cursor for the benefit of woman and house ladies doing laundry.

This advertisement when compared to the second advertisement released by Bendix shows a complete transformation and evolution of the washing machine in over ninety years. The latter of the two advertisements shows and depicts a picture of the machine closer home because the shape, the size and even the look of it is similar and somewhat exactly the same to the modern day machine we use at home or in the Laundromat.

Researching these advertisements on washing machines makes me appreciate the ones we have in our dorm because before the first washing machine in the 1860’s I don’t think there existed such a device and my efforts would have been multiplied to no limit. As it has happened with all gadgets and machines, with time they have evolved into something that has made the daily lives of the human race easier than ever before. Washing machines being such an integral part of every household has caused the competition to grow leading to more and more commercial advertisements over the years.

Works Cited

Advertisement 1:

Mallory “Out of the Washing Machine Into the Superforts” R0731. Advertisement. 1945. Duke U. Rare Book and ManuscriptLib. Ad*Access. Web. 1 Dec 2014

Advertisement 2:

Bendix “Bendix Automatic Home Laundry – washes – rinses – damp – drys All Automatic!” BBB5319. Advertisement. 1946. Duke U. Rare Book and ManuscriptLib. Ad*Access. Web. 1 Dec 2014

Advertisement 3:

Whirlpool “1956 Commercial For Whirlpool Washing Machine”. Advertisement.1956. Television.


Advertisement 4:

Home Manufacturing Company “Descriptions, Testimonials and Directions of the Celebrated Home Washer”A0478. Advertisement. Ca.1869. Duke U. Rare Book and ManuscriptLib. Ad*Access. Web. 1 Dec 2014

Historical Ad Analysis: Teddy Bears

The teddy bear phenomenon began in 1902 when the President of the United States at the time, President Teddy Roosevelt refused to kill a bear on a hunting trip. While, President Roosevelt was on the trip, news got around very quickly of what he had done and before he knew it he was the inspiration for what would become one of the most successful toys of all time. However, because this was a time with no Internet or TV, the only advertisements were written in newspapers, catalogs, magazines etc.

The first known written advertisement for the bear didn’t come until 1906. It was an advertisement for E. I. Horsman and was published in Playthings Magazine. This ad was the first time that the toy was formally published with the simple title, “Teddy’s Bears.” The first thing noticed from the ad is how simple it is. With just a simple sketch of a teddy bear in the upper left corner and a large title, it likely stood out in the sea of writing in the magazine, which was likely the entire point of doing so. It came out before Christmas, in hopes of appealing to shoppers. The ad has one line in it that is purposefully bolded in order to make it appeal to both sexes, “Dolls, Toys and Games.” This is important in the marketing strategy of the ad because the word “Dolls” is more feminine and is aimed toward catching parents of girls, while the words “Toys and Games” makes it seem more fun and masculine making it appealing towards the parents of boys, thus making it a gender neutral item. Lastly, the ad contains a line that says that the teddy bear “Contains everything new and desirable for Holiday Trade.” This line makes the reader want to buy the bear by using the words “new and desirable” which are very appealing to most and make people want to buy things. The only thing that’s missing is a price for the bear.

Another written advertisement was published in Sears Roebuck Catalog in 1908 with the title, ““Teddy Bears” Are All the Rage. The Best Plaything Ever Invented.” This ad is very different from the original ad from 1906. This ad is much more wordy and intricate in that there are four bears on the top followed by a long paragraph presumably about the bears. The bears at the top are very eye catching. They are all different sizes and are all holding hands and representing, love, affection, and care, and resemble a family. The ad briefly mentions that it could be for adults as well as children, but it is mainly geared towards parents in hopes that they will buy them for their children. It mentions that it can be bought for both your little girl and little boy as well as that they are “practically unbreakable.” It ends the paragraph on the product details of the bear explaining that there is no other toy in the world that will give your kids “more actual pleasure and entertainment.” This is an effective way to end because it hopefully will leave the reader wanting to buy it because most parents want their children to be happy and entertained. Finally, in the bottom corner, there are a list of prices, provided in a neat and organized way, which makes it easy to order.

Lastly, an advertisement published ten years later, in the 1916 Sears Catalog, is far more detailed than both of the earlier ads. This ad has very intricate drawings of little girls playing with the teddy bears. Below each bear is a description of the type of bear above it. This ad repeatedly mentions how great of a deal these bears are because of their high quality at such a low price, which is their big sale pitch.

Overall, the three ads are similar in that they each have drawings of teddy bears and mention that both boys and girls can use and play with them. The ads also mention how durable and soft they are. Each of the ads is straightforward and easy to follow, in that nothing is confusing or complicated. There is an obvious increase technology from 1906 to 1916 because the ad goes from being plain and boring with very few words and details to multiple images and paragraphs. The details and information in the ads increased as the years went by, most likely because the audience, they are trying to attract is changing from people who don’t have one, to people who probably already have one, but might be interested in purchasing a newer and nicer one.

Works Cited

E. I. Horsman. “Teddy’s Bears” Advertisement. Sept. 1906. Playthings Magazine. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

Sears Roebuck Catalog. “Teddy Bears Are All the Rage. The Best Plaything Ever Invented.” Advertisement. 1908. Sears Roebuck Catalog. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

Sears Roebuck Catalog. “Teddy Bears are more popular than ever” Advertisement. 1916. Sears Roebuck Catalog. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.