Effectiveness of Advertising
In today’s society, advertisers are becoming increasingly creative when it comes to promoting products. They carefully choose their context, target audience and message that they want the advertisement to send to viewers.
When analyzing these three criteria, it is easy to judge the effectiveness of ads such as the print ad for Dolce and Gabbana perfume featured in the February issue of Allure Magazine. This advertisement pictures a man and a woman embracing in a sensual way with a picture of the product being sold in the lower right hand corner. By placing this advertisement in Allure, Dolce and Gabbana is able to effectively sell their perfume through lifestyle marketing to fragrance wearing men and women. First, it is important to look at the context of the advertisement, or the place in which the ad is strategically placed. In this case, Allure Magazine, the 85th most popular magazine in circulation, is a women’s beauty and fashion magazine that proves to be the perfect context for Dolce and Gabbana’s risque perfume ad.
As stated by their public relations department, Allure admits to only including products that are of a high quality in order to give women a glimpse into the current fashion world and an understanding of the ever-changing trends in pop culture. The magazine generally caters to middle to upper class women, ages 18-34, as depicted by the demographics on megamediamarketing.net (Megamediamarketing.net, 2013, para 3). The fact that Dolce and Gabbana’s perfume ad is displayed amongst other related products, which are guaranteed by the magazine to be both trendy and of high quality, gives the essence that this fragrance meets those criteria, making it more appealing to potential consumers. Furthermore, by placing it in a magazine with a rather low ranking, there is less chance for competition from other name brands, which would likely choose to place their advertisements in a more popular publication.
This context goes hand in hand with Dolce and Gabbana’s target market for this product. By placing their fragrance advertisement in Allure, it ensures that women in their target age range are seeing this ad (Dolce and Gabbana, 2013, para 1). These viewers would be the most probable consumers of the perfume as 72% of all women in America wear a fragrance, as stated by a study done by Tru Fragrance. These women also have the purchasing power to buy this relatively expensive perfume. Dolce and Gabbana also does a thorough job at covering the rest of their potential market by directing the ad toward the small portion of Allure’s readership that is men (averaging an age of 32), by including a photograph of the men’s fragrance. In the same study conducted by Tru Fragrance, it was found that 59% of men wear a fragrance daily (Tru, 2013, para 1).
The basic message of this ad goes far beyond the simple act of selling perfume to consumers. Dolce and Gabbana employs various lifestyle-marketing strategies to create an emotional appeal. In the advertisement, a man and a women, both with high levels of physical attractiveness, are seen in an intimate embrace. This obvious sex appeal gives the viewer the impression that this perfume is associated with, if not the cause of, such encounters. Also, the incorporation of sex appeal helps embody the qualities that Dolce and Gabbana likes to associate with their female market, including passion and sensuality.
Similarly, the company tries to portray men as being irresistible and tender (Dolce and Gabbana, 2013 para 1). Potential consumers associate themselves with these characteristics since people typically strive to demonstrate these positive qualities. The fact that Dolce and Gabbana chose to combine this message with a clear visualization of the product they are trying to sell, alongside the company’s logo, also does wonders for the ad campaign. According to a study conducted by Business Insider, sexual images in an advertisement are relatively ineffective on their own, as it was proven that textual elements of an ad are one of the first things that women’s eyes are drawn to while viewing an advertisement in a print medium (Signature9, 2013, para 4). Though most viewers appreciate the attractive features of the models, the strategic placement of the text and photograph of the fragrance (directly below the model’s chest regions) allows for easy interpretation of the advertisement and the intentions of the company are very evident. Not only does Dolce and Gabbana use techniques of sex appeal to attract potential consumers, but they also create an association between their brand and sophistication, which is part of the company’s desired identity (Dolce and Gabbana, 2013, para 1).
In the advertisement, the woman is seen wearing a necklace and earrings, which are gold in color and appear to be rather valuable, which implies wealth and classiness. Similarly, in the small portion of the man’s pants that are shown in the ad, the viewer can tell that they are that of business attire, which classifies him as being a working class, respectable individual. The colors used in the ad are also essential to the effectiveness. For instance, both models are wearing black clothing. Black is a sleek color, which gives the impression of excellence, and reiterates the idea of class.
The colors of the perfume bottles themselves also contribute to this concept. The bottle of women’s fragrance is a pale pink, a color used to represent femininity, which makes it easy for the target market to relate to. The men’s scent, on the other hand, is sold in a yellow bottle. Yellow is generally associated with energy and rejuvenation, which is important when marketing beauty products (Oracle, 2013, para 4,7). Finally, the inclusion of a scent strip in their advertisement helps ensure that the perfume will sell. Not only is the ad pleasing to the eye, but it also appeals to the viewer’s sense of smell by giving them a sample of the fragrance in the convenience of a magazine.
This gives the company the opportunity to put a preview of their fragrance directly in the hands of their target audience for a very low cost. Also, it has been proven that when senses are combined, it leaves a longer lasting impression on the consumer (Malcolm, 1988, para 5). Overall, the marketing industry is becoming increasingly competitive and advertisers are forced to be more creative to guarantee that their ads are effective. In the case of Dolce and Gabbana’s perfume ad, found in Allure Magazine, the effectiveness is obvious when looking at the company’s overall message through the use of various strategies, context, and target audience.