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Cryptic Communication Essay

1073 words - 4 pages

Have you ever wondered why corporations spend over 620 billion dollars per year in advertisements?. Since the Ben and Jerry's advertisement will become what most students will be viewing in their handbook, it should be acknowledged that the communication employed by the advertisement is cunning and deceptive. The appeal to ethics in the Ben and Jerry's "brownies that do good" advertisement is a simple tactic which distracts the viewer. David Wall in "It Is and It Isn't" describes this as a social assumption which builds off of cultural expectations. There are countless concealed messages and symbols within the Ben and Jerry's advertisement that contain these critical assumptions and require closer examination of content.
At first glance one may get the feeling that Ben and Jerry's ice cream has a community value, a primary example of a social assumption. Community value comes from the claim that the ice cream that goes beyond the function of ice cream and makes the assertion it provides many with "jobs, training, and childcare" (Entertainment). Another key component of the advertisement's communication mechanism would be imagery, in particular, the two men carrying the brownies out of the factory. Showing a community bond becomes a marketing scheme used for making a company seem responsible in the eyes of the consumer and make the them feel as if the product is more acceptable to buy. Wall elaborates further on this by stating "...we are still no less subjected to the emotionally inflected manipulations that have always targeted fear, sexual desire, and the need for community" (Wall, 53). There is an underlying need for serving our community and do what helps the largest number of people at a minimal cost. Many can see an advertisement, such as this Ben and Jerry's advertisement, and rationalize that in order to help large quantity people it is worth the few dollars.
Ultimately, one of the most important aspects of this advertisement, is the mention of children within the text. Even though child care has only a single mention it goes far beyond the call of duty. Children are something that humans naturally produce a sympathetic response as noted by Hugh LaFollette when he makes the claim "Rather, as responsible people we should care for children in need, especially since they are paradigmatically vulnerable and innocent. This is our natural sympathetic reaction." (LaFollette). Consequentially, this sort of subliminal communication allows consumers to mentally reason and justify buying a product if it helps a child. Ideally, the desired objective has been set for make their ice cream feel superior in comparison with other brands, resulting in the success of the advertisement. On top of the reference supporting child care directly, there is an indirect connection were children are associated with ice cream. Both connections assist in amplifying the effects the consumer feels towards the product. Additionally, in an attempt to...

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