Many of you must be super familiar with the gigantic Abercrombie & Fitch ad that has been plastered at Orchard road. It features a model with what deemed as a perfect male body wearing only a pair of jeans hung loosely below the hips. What makes this ad so “captivating” and attention seeking is that it challenges the conservative nature of Singapore to a whole new level; it is displayed at the downtown of Singapore with nudity displayed at its maximum without violating the laws. This ad is indeed, sensual and sexual and it has successfully captured the attention of almost all Sinagporeans, including those who have never walked down that street but have heard it from others, social networking sites or news portal.
This ad is very different from conventional ads. Instead of featuring their products, Abercrombie & Fitch is creating an image for itself. No face of the model was shown, and appearance of product kept to a minimum, but nudity and sexuality kept to a maximum with the brand printed at the bottom of the picture where it attracts passer-by’s attention the most. But it can be contraditory. People’s first instinct would be to find out which brand it’s advertising for instead of the text having to seek their attention. It’s portraying it’s brand as being sexy, young and attractive. It reminds me of last lecture, where people look out for brands and nicknames and only trust these instead of trusting the actual product. By creating such a name for itself, it has successful penetrated into people’s mind that their products are sexy, so are you if you’re like the model wearing that pair of jeans. Girls will now notice guys wearing that Abercrombie & Fitch pair of jeans,while guys now seek after that pair of jeans.
It amazes me how the ads dont seem to be advertising the products at all, yet a greater response was drawn from the public than from those other fanciful ads. While writing this post, i did a research on other Abercrombie & Fitch ads which were found in other countries. Not to my surprise, the same image was created, but some were in fact, more sensual the one above.
Now that Abercrombie & Fitch has created such an image for itself and being one of the first to be a challenge towards the country’s conservativeness, any brand that tries to create the same impression will be deemed as inferior or a copycat.
Communication skills as such are really powerful weapons. One simple yet unconventional ad is able to convey many messages, not only promoting itself in a special way but also creating an unique image for itself.
Every time when I wait for my train at the train stations I can’t help but pay attention to all the ‘quit smoking’ ads plastered all over the barricades. I realized the ads very different from last years’, which focused on educating the public on the severe health implications from smoking through the use of scary pictures and harsh usage of texts, mainly by threatening and scaring them, has adopted another approach instead. No more educating, no more threatening, they’ve now used a more subtle approach, by letting them know the reasons why they should be quitting smoking, and as emphasized, for the sake of their loved ones.
These ads feature happy looking people who look like just anyone from the streets, with the ‘quit-smoking’ gesture, wearing a plain tee with their reason for quitting smoking written on it. It was simple and not harsh or reprimanding, yet it effectively allows the smokers to ponder, while letting the message penetrate deep into their thoughts. One of the ads caught my attention the most. It featured an ordinary happy looking couple with the text “I quit smoking so that I can save $ to travel with my girlfriend” written on the guy’s shirt. Instead of learning about the ‘everyone-knows’ consequences of smoking, it reminds the smokers that if they quit smoking, they will be able to save lots of money, and that allows them to spend more on their loved ones and thereby providing a better life not only for the smokers themselves but also for those around them. This example of an ad is effective and appealing to those who lament of not having enough money or that life is just too difficult financially. However, in the case of the higher income group, I doubt it would be as effective.
This is where other versions of the ads serve their purposes. A delighted woman in her thirties wrote on her shirt “I quit smoking because I want to protect my (pictures of lungs and heart)”. The message is simple and straightforward –to protect your health. It reminds the smokers to quit smoking for the sake of their health. They’ve seen enough scary pictures of rotting mouths, bleeding gums, greying complexions, and eyes that look so sad and desperate for help. A little reminder triggers the emotions they developed when they saw those horrifying and spine-chilling pictures which were plastered everywhere, even on television commercials.
These ads engage the audience’s thoughts, and convey many simple yet meaningful messages to not just the smokers, but also to everyone who comes across them. By offering many versions of the ad the rich content is broken up into many short segments that are more easily registered by the audience. I’m impressed by these ads, as the simple depiction of happy people and the direct messages touch even a non-smoker like me.
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