Advertising Analysis – A Comparison of Axe Dry Antiperspirant and Old Deodorants Ads

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The highly competitive business environment makes companies from different industries continuously outdo one another with attractive and effective advisements. High levels of creativity and branding strategies make advertisements more advantageous and significant to consumers. A company’s advert receiving more consumer views and likes takes a bigger market share and ends up generating higher sales. Endless surveys and extensive research makes up the art of advertising aimed at determining prevailing market preferences. An effective advertisement should create awareness of the product in question and condition the minds of consumers to purchase the product (ReadexResearch 1-2).

The ads presented on this case sell body sprays, (a) the Axe Body Spray and (b) the Old Spice deodorant. Advertising of this product is significant because most customers have no idea of the type of sprays to buy. The two ads present different types of advertisements depending on the target market and the level of knowledge of the company.

The New Axe Dry Antiperspirant ad is more effective than the second Old Spice Deodorant ad because it has an appealing logo that catches the attention of consumers. In addition, the New Axe Dry Antiperspirant ad show a more pathos (credibility and appeal), and easily persuaded consumers.

Generating the objectives of the ad should pose as the first step when creating an effective advertisement. An effective ad should sell the product and not the company name. A close study at both ads shows that the first advertisement communicates more to the consumer the purpose of the product than the second advertisement. An advertisement should communicate with the audience and make them make a decision on buying the product. In addition, the ad should show readers what they should gain from the product. The designer of these ads has shown some rhetorical appeals such as logos, pathos, and ethos. The pathos shows credibility and values of an ad while ethos may be divided into extrinsic and intrinsic.

A logo makes an advertisement look attractive and appealing. A brand logo plays a vital role in selling a product to potential consumers. Brand logos offer effective means of assisting marketing managers achieve the target markets for their products. An attractive logo catches the attention of consumers in an advert creating more curiosity on the power of that brand (Winter 2014). From the figure above, both ads are accompanied by brand logos that indicate the name of the product. The logo on the Axe Body antiperspirant ad offers identification benefits and makes it easier for the consumer to identify a specific brand. It contains the brand name and some graphics representing the purpose of the brand. Consumers easily understand the function of a product when a brand name and visual graphics are used in the logo. When designing a logo for each of the advert, the marketing managers for both products considered the following. Does the logo offer benefits other than enhancing brand identification? In the Body Axe Antiperspirant, the logo used creates more sense of feeling to a buyer and offers more benefit compared to the Old Spice ad’s logo. Does the logo strengthen a company’s performance by attracting more consumers? The Axe Body Antiperspirant logo promotes company performance by attracting more men to use the product by attracting their emotions.

An ad should incorporate brand logo with visual symbols for increased opportunity in reaching out to buyers (Danesi 55-56).  In the Old Spice Deodorant ad, the logo contains only the name of the product but lacks visual attraction. The ad eliminated a sense of emotion that connects consumers with the advertised brand. On the other hand, the Axe Body Antiperspirant ad represents a logo accompanied by some visual symbols. In addition, availability of visual symbols in Axe Body Antiperspirant ad overcomes communication barriers since the information communicated is more self-explanatory.

            The second element of an advertisement that makes it attract the attention of consumers is the pathos. Pathos appeals the audience’s emotions and values in an advert. Pathos introduces a sense of emotion to a consumer through the appeal it creates in an advert. It makes a buyer more confident in buying and using the brand through reinforcing brand. Some elements the pathos that makes it increase consumer’s emotions include safety, pride, well-being, and desire. Bothe the Axe Body Spray and Old Spice Deodorant ads create emotions to a consumer to some degrees. In the figure the Axe Body Spray ad, the writings on the ad says, “Men’s sweat only attracts other men, is that all you want.” This message creates a high emotion for the reader. Psychologically men are attracted to women, and no man would like to smell the sweat because it turns away women. The ad encourages men to use the Axe Body Spray to smell nice and attract more women. In addition, the captive on the ad shows two men holding each other with sweat in their armpits. The Old Spice Deodorant ad shows a man lifting his hands showing his armpits while two other people stare at him. The male counterpart seems to enjoy the smell from the first man while the female counterpart seems bored. Words like “STUDIP” and WEIRDO” are shown in the picture that seems to interfere with the moods of the female counterpart.

Pathos also presents values in an advertisement. Examples of values demonstrated in the ad include fear, worry, sadness, sensitivity, desires and affection.  At first glance, the reader of the Axe Body Spray ad may not understand the meaning of the advert because the product is not clearly shown. The viewer understands the importance of using the advertised product through the value created by the picture. A sense of worry and sadness develops especially for a man whose desire is to attract a girl and lacks the said values. On the other hand, the Old Spice deodorant ad represents a feeling of sensitivity and affection. The girl shown in the far right seems more sensitive with the smell from the man’s armpits. The amount of attraction created by the Axe Body Antiperspirant is more credible compared to the Old Spice deodorant ad in terms of value (Shao 179).

            The final element of an advertisement that plays a critical role in selling the product is ethos.  An ethos portrays an argument in the advertisement through persuading consumers. Ethos appears in an advertisement in two forms. The extrinsic ethos represents the authority, experience of the designer, and education while the intrinsic ethos shows how the designer managers to persuade people using attractive language and terminologies. The designer should show some ethics while developing an ad in order to make it socially acceptable. An ethical ad could make use of celebrities and heroes in promoting a certain brand. The character of the designer and the respect shown in an ad plays a role in persuading consumers (Hua, Tao and Hanjalic 22-24).

Use of testimonial is a nice example of intrinsic ethos’ use in an advertisement. Figure 1 (a) has a testimonial message that associates men who smell sweat with gay behavior. The message persuades men to buy the product in order to become attractive to ladies and not fellow men. Ethos also appeals to fundamental rights. The ad captures the emotion of many who would rather use the product than getting associated with gay behavior. In addition, the extrinsic ethos is represented in the ad by building consumer’s credibility. The Axe ad claims that only a body-wash produced by Old Spice has the capacity of making men smell good and attract ladies. Unlike the Old Spice ad, the Axe Body Spray establishes its extrinsic ethos increasing the credibility of the product. The statement represents the experience and authority of the designer to attract more people attention.

The analysis concluded that an effective advertisement must all the three elements discussed above. The Logo plays a role in attracting and influencing consumers to make a decision of purchasing the product. The pathos plays a role in making the consumer more emotional through increasing buying desires. On the other hand, the ethos persuades a consumer to purchase a product by using customer-friendly language and attractive advertisement design. These three elements analyzed two advertisements discussed in this case. The New Axe Body Spray Advertisement is more effective than the Old Spice Deodorant in terms of logo quality, pathos and ethos. The Logo used in the Axe Ad is more attractive than the logo used in the Old Spice deodorant. Moreover, the uses of pathos in both logos create different emotions that attract consumers to the products. The pathos shown in the Axe Body Spray adds more value to the advertisement and persuades the buyer to purchase the product. The value created in the Old Spice advertisement does not fully persuade a consumer. The extrinsic ethos shown in the Axe Body spray advertisement commands an authority and demonstrates more experience. All the buyer needs to do to prevent smelly armpits is to apply the Axe Body Spray. The analysis concludes that the Axe Body spray advertisement is more effective compared to the Old Spice Deodorant advertisement.

Works Cited
  • Danesi, Marcel. Why It Sells: Decoding the Meanings of Brand Names, Logos, Ads, and Other Marketing and Advertising Ploys. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008. Internet resource.
  • Hua, Xian, Tao Mei, and Hanjalic, A. Online multimedia advertising techniques and technologies. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, 2011. Print.
  • Readex Research. Some tips to consider before designing your next ad. N.d. Web http://www.elsmediakits.com/common/med_rsrch_lib_content/Creating%20Effective%20Advertising.pdf
  • Shao, Yanwen. “Ethos, Logos, Pathos: Strategies of Persuasion in Social/Environmental Reports.” Social and Environmental Accountability Journal 33.3 (2013): 179-180.
  • Winter 2014. “The Power of a Good Logo | MIT Sloan Management Review.” MIT Sloan  Management Review RSS. N.p., 23 Oct. 2013. Web. 26 Aug. 2014. <http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-power-of-a-good-logo/>.

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