The power of an advertisement lies on its ability to provoke interest from its audience. The moment the audience sees the ad, it should have the capability to lure its audience into becoming its willing consumers and this charm must be strong enough to create a loyal market. Nowadays, however, this has become increasingly difficult to do. With the consumers getting wiser and more critical of what they perceive in society and the environment, advertisers must create more innovative ways to reach them.
Advertisements today need a more global reach in such a way that they have to touch every aspect of daily life making new forms of address more essential. The ad by the clothing company Diesel cleverly attains this. At first glance, it immediately demands the attention of the consumer. The mere idea of a young man kneeling to pray evokes a sense of conscious reflection. In a world where everything seems to point to materiality and gratification of worldly desires, it is an ingenious idea to use faith to capture attention.
The young man, in casual Italian Diesel jeans and shirt having that look on his face indicating that of an intent plea, creatively portrays a notion of spirituality or probably the ironic lack of it. It appeals to its audience and highlights the role that faith play in society; its importance and meaning. At closer look, the man is apparently praying while on the treadmill. This adds to the intrigue because it symbolizes the culture of the youth and society in general. The words “live fast” on the bottom, with text effects and all, enhances the appeal of a fast paced world.
The fact that the man wears a watch also assumes the idea of a society where time is important and critical use of it must be employed. The identity that the ad has established is easily assumed and related. Combined together, the ad exploits the irony between the fast moving lifestyle of people and the slow realm of reflection and prayer. It is rather difficult to reconcile engaged prayer into a world that essentially inhibits it. With a lifestyle that seems to promote only stop and go, as to be seen carefully from the “pray runner” treadmill, the option of pausing for a moment in prayer and faith is unlikely.
This striking image attempts to stand out among all the confusion that advertisements bring, and it succeeds. Jacobson et al discusses that most often, “ads speak directly to our innermost, unarticulated needs, proffering ineffective palliatives for real social and personal problems” (Jacobson et al, 1995). Ads may turn out to be ineffective solutions for real problems but the idea behind it is to create an avenue for deep thought and contemplation, a mode to capture the consumers’ inner reflections and influence and direct them towards the brand. In this the Diesel ad does well.
The idea implied in the ad may be seen as to provide a social criticism while introducing a lifestyle geared towards consumerism. The idea commercial appeal and introduction of conflict creates a space for difference and being able to make the two meet means being able to conquer more diverse markets. As Giroux points out, those that shock people have become the most effective means of getting to the consumers. (Giroux, 1994) Moreover, as the ad is intended to promote to consumers its online stores; it effectively relays that fast lifestyles need fast ways of consuming.
Thus, through the internet, Diesel provides the conveniences of “high speed shopping”. It works effectively as a target specific ad but it may be seen as an ad aimed for the general public as well. The impact that it implies and associates with the brand will linger on in the minds of its consumers, and it would not matter whether they purchase online or at the stores. The ad inculcates the idea of living fast on its audiences and thus the modern lifestyle of people today is held in close association to the brand.
The ad strives to create a sense of relation, a connection to the modern consumers and it reinforces the idea that advertising ingratiates itself to the daily functions of modern life. (Vanderbilt, 1997) In all, the Diesel ad employs an ingenious way to address the consumers’ search for the meaning of public truths. It effectively captures the attention of its audience by creating an image directly intended to evoke human feelings of morals and principles.
The ad uses irony to question society and the lifestyle that people currently have. It reminds people of their faith, values and inclinations but does so in a way that is not negative and condemning. At the same time it suggests a solution geared towards complimenting the fast paced world of society, successfully creating an impact for the Diesel brand. The ad becomes a powerful tool for Diesel to connect to its consumers and instill on them an enduring influence that would last even if the ad’s idea of prayer and faith had not.
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