Advertising in the modern world has a much greater role than just promoting a specific product. Increasingly, global brands and local organizations try to convey a certain important message to their audience through advertising. For example, it can be topics related to racial equality, LGBTQI+ rights, environmental issues. What important techniques are used by ad creators to draw people’s attention to the product or issue raised in the image? I think that proper analysis of different details can be made in order to understand the power embedded in the picture of advertisement. By dividing advertising into individual aspects and examination of their meaning, it is possible to perceive the whole meaning and effect of the ad.
The methodology for the essay was taken from the article “Breaking Down an Image,” written by Jenna Puck. The reason is that she proposes well-structured and clear technologies which are needed for picture analysis. Her main argument is that the main aspects that should be taken into consideration while analyzing pictures are context, audience, and purpose (Puck, 2013). In fact, the list of elements that matter is long: one can analyze tone, arrangement, location, scale, and text (Puck, 2013). However, it would be wrong to see some hidden meaning in literally everything. This approach can lead to a distorted understanding of the message. Thus, it is important to explore all the information and details about the picture and to find ideas that bring value to the advertisement.
The target audience of this ad is men looking for jobs in medicine. It is evident from some kind of slogan “Are you man enough to be a nurse?” which is written in big capital letters. The images on the advertisement correspond to the written slogan. The ad depicts several men in a rather attractive and masculine image. Some men are dressed in a medical gown, while some are dressed in business or sportswear. Under the image of each man, it is written that he works as a nurse, which may surprise the viewer. It becomes clear to the viewer of the advertisement that male nurses are the same people as everyone else. Some of them served in the army; others have great achievements in sports, etc. Such an image does not fit with the stereotypical view of nurses.
The context of this ad is that the modern world still has not gotten rid of gender stereotypes. Our modern society has evolved in such a way that gender differences still matter. In particular, the problem of gender stereotypes has an impact on the labor market. For example, it is generally accepted that it is common for a man to choose either work associated with energy-intensive physical labor or managerial positions. In contrast, women are viewed by society as a nurse, teacher or shop assistant. This advertisement breaks with gender biases and explicates that it is absolutely normal for men to be nurses. This message is extremely important for the ad creator, and almost every detail says it. The author deliberately chose men who are completely different from nurses. With the help of such radical examples of people, the author wants to convince absolutely every man that his prejudices about this profession were wrong.
In most cases, the main purpose of advertising is to sell goods to people. This is obvious because commercials are made specifically in order to attract people to stores in search of the advertised product. In the context of advertising analyzed in this essay, it can be said that its task is more than encouraging men to become nurses. The ad creators wanted to achieve a broader goal of defeating stereotypes. This advertisement helps to open our eyes to all the absurdity of the views of society about the role of women and men.
Finally, as Pack recommends (2013), one can pay attention to minor details like the arrangement of the objects and font chosen by creators. What is interesting about this ad is how the author works with the position and size of the text. The author puts the main slogan of all advertising in large capital letters, from which the message begins to become clear. The place where the ending of the phrase “… to be a nurse?” is located is just above the smaller text, which makes the viewer pay attention to the small print as well. There, the author uses an interesting game of uppercase and lowercase letters, focusing on the skills that a person needs in order to become a nurse. It helps to look at the nursing profession not as a minor and unimportant one but as essential and skill-demanding work that is very reputable in the country. In the end, we see a link to the organization’s website highlighted in bright color. With the help of such color marking, it is easier for people to find and remember Internet links depicted in advertisements.
The in-depth analysis performed in this essay highlights the main aspects which make this advertisement special. Using Pack’s way of analyzing pictures, I looked at the context, discussed the target audience and purpose, and paid attention to the arrangement of the text on the ad. The images of strong men in the middle appeal to the gender biases that exist in society. Text used by the creator makes the profession of nurse become more reputable in the eyes of ordinary men through the way how sentences are written and located. This ad greatly combines recruiting new employees and raising important issues for modern society.
Pack, J. (2013). Breaking down an image. Sinclair College, 126.