How do Advertisers Try to Manipulate Us In Sport?

By Logan Riley
Feb. 24, 2020

Advertising has become one of the most important aspects of marketing because of its ability to increase profits of companies and attract business partners. One can hardly find a published or Internet resource without advertisements or commercials. Moreover, advertising companies attempt to implement various strategies of presenting their message in a wide variety of sources. It is evident that advertising practitioners are skillful psychologists, because the images and concepts they produce interact with various customers’ interests. Despite some ads being annoying, the most beneficial strategy is to use stylish and interesting images in order to create aesthetic, emotional, or physical appeals. As a result, the products, which are advertised in this way, are characterized by increased popularity and public attention. However, there are claims that advertising has turned from an art of visual design into an art of manipulation. This perfect student essay has the purpose of investigating the aspects of public manipulation by means of descriptive analysis of the full-page advertisements of the Gentlemen’s Quarterly magazine published in April 2016. Additionally, it applies the concepts developed by Jib Fowles analyzing the presence of the fifteen typical public appeals. The performed analysis allows stating that advertisers use various images, appealing to the customers’ need for aesthetic feelings, viewing their audience as middle-aged male individuals valuing authority, expensive goods, domination, and design. The concepts of appeals are used by advertisers with the aim of stimulating the interest of potential customers. This paper would be useful for readers of magazines as a basic guideline on how to oppose the psychological pressure of advertising.

Appealing to the Need for Aesthetic Sensations

The discussed magazine has a great number of advertisements, which present clothes, shoes, watches, and other attributes of style. Typically, they appeal to the need for aesthetic sensation. Among them is the advertisement by Gucci, which is a split of two images presenting people in vivid clothes. The young people may look interesting to customers aged 20-30.

It is evident that the advertisement appeals to the emotional feelings of prominence, aesthetic sensations, and attention. The reason for the assumption is the fact that the brand represents fashion, which has the focus on prominent outlook and vivid design. Bright and screaming colors of the advertisement are intended to attract attention and make people admire the design of the clothes. It is expected that a person wearing such clothes would achieve the goals of becoming more prominent, looking more aesthetic, and attracting the attention of the public.

The advertisement by Dolce & Gabbana operates within the same appeal, because the advertised brand shares the domain of fashion. Moreover, the advertisement attempts to associate the concepts “fashionable” and “tasty” associating groceries with the brand. Therefore, the concepts of color, style and fashion are combined with images of food in order to focus the attention on the aesthetic aspect of the picture.

One more advertisement from this group is by Omega, which is a brand of watches. The image of a superb watch washed by clean water on white surface stimulates aesthetic feelings and satisfaction indicating that these feelings would be persistent in case a person buys the product. It is suggested that the advertised watch is an attribute declaring the status of potential middle-aged customers.

Appealing to the Need for Attention

Another group of advertisements shares a common image of a man focusing on the predicted characteristics of the audience, appealing to the desire of readers to associate themselves with the advertised image and attract the attention of others. The message of this kind comes from the advertisement by Boss, which promotes clothes. The pleasant-looking background amplifies the image of the neat clothes on the man on the photograph. He has an assured look and promotes the image of a businessman, stimulating the wish of the reader to look like the depicted stylish man and be at the center of attention.

Another analyzed advertisement appealing to the concept of attention is by G-Star, a fashion brand selling denim. The image of a “young” and “naive-looking” man may be of interest to younger readers of the magazine. The stylish choice of black and white colors and unusual pose of a man wearing advertised clothes cannot help but raise the attention of the public. As a consequence, it intrigues the readers and makes them willing to attract similar amounts of attention. The target age group of this advertisement is younger readers intending to resemble fashionable models. The depicted man does not look serious and stylishly represents freedom and individuality, which is a source of admiration of the public. The advertisement suggests that these qualities are inspired by the product of G-Star, which can be bought at the company’s store. As a result, it is expected that the readers would be interested in looking like the fashionable model, which is why they have to buy the advertised goods. Similarly, the advertisement by ALDO, which is a shoes brand, has an appeal for attention.

The image mostly appeals to the need for attention because the depicted man does not represent a dominant individual but a creative person, whose style reflects a creative inner world. Thus, people willing to raise attention by claiming to be creative might be interested in buying the advertised shoes. As in the previous advertisement, it focuses on males aged 30, who associate themselves with stylish individuals similar to this image. The bottom part of the advertisement has a creative element depicting a shoe standing on a hammer, which is mostly directed towards attracting creative individuals. The slogan “Inspiration is everywhere” approves this statement indicating that casual things may stimulate creativity if one buys them.

Appealing to the Need for Dominance

One of the appeals relevant for the male readers of the magazine is the need for dominance. It is evident that the expected successful person as a reader of the magazine would seek attributes allowing to highlight the dominating status. As a result, advertisers use this need in order to communicate messages to the subconscious. Thus, the advertisement by Jimmy Choo brand advertises shoes referring to the image of a successful and dominant man. It depicts a young man wearing a costume and white shoes sitting near a fountain or a basin. The presented man has a stylish look and the advertisement concentrates on the concept of a “cool guy” appealing to dominant people. This concept is created by the fact that an unshaven face and a serious look in the eyes are mostly associated with domination and autonomy. Therefore, it is expected that the potential reader would want to associate himself with the image of the described man and achieve domination by means of buying the advertised attribute, which is shoes.

Furthermore, exactly the same appeal is communicated in the advertisement by Yves Saint Laurent presenting perfume.

The peculiar feature of the images presenting men is that they have serious faces and look stylish or brave despite having casual but stylish clothes. It is difficult to render the concept of positive smell of a perfume brand, which is why advertisers substitute it by style. Such stylish image is created by using vivid fonts and a black-and-white photograph, which adds seriousness and “dominance.”

Another advertisement differs from the previously discussed ones because it presents an alcohol product, which is the Jameson brand. The advertisers attempt to bypass the difficulty in representing the taste of the product by means of the slogan “Rich smooth character”. Consequently, the image and slogan appeal to the needs for domination achieved by consuming a product associated with it. An interesting fact about this ad is that advertisers attempt presenting a bottle of alcohol as a male, who is rich and has a strong character.

Lastly, the advertisement of TAGHeuer, a watch brand, also uses the need for dominance. The man on the picture wearing neat clothes and the advertised watch points at the reader and looks as if in the one’s eyes, which creates a sense of pressure.

Moreover, the advertisement is supported by the tag “Don’t Crack Under Pressure”, which intensifies the discussed concept. Similarly, bluish and white colors might represent seriousness supporting the official style of potential readers.

As a result, the subconscious mind of the readers of the magazine is practically bombarded with various hidden appeals and stimuli. Moreover, this influence is directed towards a desire in the readers of the magazine to buy the presented products. The advertisers expect their target audience to be middle-aged men, which have a respectable social position and have a will to highlight their status by various goods. Among their interests is official work, design, and art. Therefore, the advertisements often use stylish images in order to successfully communicate the discussed appeal.

In conclusion, the analyzed edition of Gentlemen’s Quarterly is filled with advertisements manipulating readers’ minds and stimulating them towards buying the advertised products. Primarily, the communicated appeals in the magazine are the need for attention, dominance, and aesthetic sensations. The selection of such appeals may be explained by the fact that the ideal group of readers of the magazine is predominantly males having specific social status and interests such as official work and arts. As a result, rich individuals may want to highlight their status by buying the advertised goods. Moreover, in case the readers have no high social status they might want to buy the advertised goods in order to approach the created images and obtain the communicated concepts. Therefore, modern advertisements have a specific focus on the aspects that allow manipulating public thoughts and consumer choices. Consequently, the society should be aware of the discussed issue in order to successfully recognize the manipulative effects and oppose them.