Avertisment analysis

Ever since the day we were born, we as Americans have been taught to grab the bull by the horns and go for their dreams. Family, schools and the media, to name a few, have carefully programmed us to accomplish great things, to have good jobs, and most importantly, make money. In this success driven culture many people will do what ever they need to do to become wealthy and powerful. Unfortunately, the paths they take to their pot of gold can leave, us as a society, looking greedy and shameless. With its new advertisement of the Viper SRT-10, Dodge has clearly captured some of our society’s view on money; do whatever it takes to get it. It pictures an old wealthy man and his beautiful, young bride with a brand new Dodge Viper sports car sitting in the background. In our days of Anna Nicole Smith and countless other gold digging Playboy bunnies, not to mention all of the not-so-famous people doing the same thing, this ad truly fits into our time and culture. In fact, if this ad was published 30 years ago, the majority of the population would be shocked, maybe even outraged. However, seeing it today, most Americans, including myself, laugh at it because it is something we have become accustomed to. Dodge has done a great job in choosing their audience and knowing how to get their attention, by using a humorous and thought provoking picture, a well planned color scheme and a clever slogan.
The primary audience for this ad is very wealthy, single males age 40 to 80 that are possibly going through a mid-life, or end-of-life, crisis and need something to make them feel young again. Who better to make an eighty-year-old man feel younger than his new, voluptuous, twenty-something wife? Not only does this ad target older men, it also brings in the younger upper class, as well. By having this very old man and very young, beautiful model pose as husband and wife, it gives the message to all men, that regardless of appearance, they can have a beautiful girlfriend as long as they have the money and a Dodge Viper. Dodge is definitely targeting the self-esteem of wealthy men. Men that, although wealthy, may not have everything they want in life. They’ve made their fortune but are lacking in joy. This ad is using another exploited emotion in this country, lust, to sell the Viper. It shows wealthy men that they can find joy in lusting after a younger woman and that the Viper and money will help them keep her. The men that Dodge targets with this ad, old or young, know how to use their money to get what they want. It is no mistake that the ad appeared in Automobile Magazine. This magazine frequently features high-end cars such as Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari and gets more of an upper class audience than its competition. This audience knows that some women, especially those seeking riches, are attracted to nice cars. Therefore, they will purchase expensive cars, like the Viper, to attract a beautiful woman. But what about those men that cannot afford to buy the Viper for his bride? I don’t think Dodge has turned its back on them. This ad will draw the average, middle-class male to it just the same. This final, more general, audience may not be able to go purchase this vehicle right away, but Dodge has planted the seed. This average guy may decide to set a goal to someday purchase a Viper or perhaps settle for another, less expensive, Dodge vehicle. Regardless, Dodge has landed one more customer.
The image is the attention-grabber in this advertisement. The first noticeable thing is a beautiful, young, blond-haired woman in a wedding dress that is doing all it can to hold in the silicone. Next to her, an elderly man between the ages of 75 and 90. He looks to be very wealthy due to his attire and surroundings. He is dressed in a nice tuxedo and has a proud, distinguished look on his face. If that isn’t enough, he supports a gold, “big-pimpin” dollar-sign ring on his finger. Dodge has also made sure the audience can see the wedding rings on each of their hands. This ensures that the audience doesn’t mistake the gentleman for the woman’s father or more appropriate, grandfather. The woman, of course, has a huge diamond ring. This, again, signifies that the man is wealthy and she is not afraid to spend it. By the look of her smiling face, she is very happy. After all those years of searching for the perfect man, she finally found the pocketbook, I mean the man of her dreams. Dodge has truly captured the essence of greed with the image. The background of this ad also expresses wealth. With the large courtyard and beautiful white gate, the picture hints to the audience that the couple is standing inside an expensive country estate. Actually the gate also gives the impression that the bride and groom are gated off from the rest of the world. The only things they need are each other, the Viper and, of course, money.
Not only does the background show wealth, but the color scheme helps to accent the car. The greenery and the white wall are very natural, peaceful colors, while the car is bright red. This was obviously done so that the car will catch the eye of the audience and stand out from the rest of the things in the picture. Red has always been the color used to describe the classic American sports car and it symbolizes a fun and exciting lifestyle. It says that this car will get you noticed. The type of men they are advertising to want to be noticed. They need to be noticed in every area of their life including the type of car they drive.
That is why the words in this ad are few but effective. Certainly the picture speaks for itself, but the two phrases sum up what the audience wants to hear. “Grab life by the horns” is what Americans have been taught to do. The target audience has taken every opportunity to get where they are in life and they want to continue to get everything that is available to them. If they don’t they may look like failures. Our society has been programmed to achieve, achieve, achieve. If we don’t take advantage of every opportunity then we are not truly living. That is what we are told anyway. This phrase is simple but well understood by the target audience. “Need we say more?” has a very sarcastic tone to it, but is also humorous. Again, this screams American culture. No, they don’t have to say more because we, as a culture, know exactly what that picture is telling us. When it comes to even a once sacred union, marriage, our values have gone straight out the window. Instead people will settle for money, greed and lust. The ad is a promotion for materialism with the focus being money and a fancy car. However, it is effective because that is what so many people want in their life. Little words are needed when you see a 25 year-old woman vowing her love to a man that should be her grandfather. It is humorous to Americans though. This marriage is so unimaginable but we laugh because it happens all the time. It is sad that Dodge can print ads like this and NOT have to use more words or not have to “say more.” We should have to explain what is going on here, but money is power and power is attractive.
This is not an uncommon thought to Americans. After all, from the time we are young, we are targeted by advertisements. We are pushed to want things we can’t have because we can’t afford them. That is why we have so many women willing to marry for money. They can finally have what they have always wanted. They can finally be happy and they didn’t need to have a relationship or be in love to get to that point. Or so they think. The same goes for the men that marry out of lust. The ad says it all. These men are seeking what the media has portrayed as the ultimate situation. Beautiful, model-like women, red sports cars, country estates are all the keys that unlock the doors to happiness. Or so they think. Unfortunately, our values when it comes to happiness and marriage have skewed over the years. We have become so driven to succeed and so unfocused on what makes a great relationship work. The sad thing about this ad is that it is so wrong but so on target. Anyone American that watches the media can look at that ad and know exactly what Dodge is trying to convey.
Because we live in a free society, we will always have choices. That is the wonderful thing about living in America. However, it is difficult to see so many values that were once held in high regard being mocked by advertisers. Although the ad has its humorous side, it doesn’t say much for our standards in this country. Dodge definitely got the job done by capturing its target audience and leaving a lasting impression. People relate well to it because it has become the norm. Generations before me might say “money doesn’t buy happiness” but, unfortunately, in the world today, it can buy just about anything.

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