Cryptic Communication Essay

960 words - 4 pages

How many of us in our busy lives stop and really examine the countless advertisements placed in front of us? Being something available to all students for viewing, 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 simple tactic to distract the viewer. David Wall in "It Is and It Isn't" refers to 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 social 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 is generated from the claim that the ice cream that goes beyond the function of being just an ice cream and makes the assertion it provides many with "jobs, training, and childcare"(Entertainment). Imagery is also used communicate this point, in particular the two men carrying the brownies out of the factory. Showing a community bond is a marketing scheme to make a company seem responsible to consumers and make them feel more like it is acceptable to buy the product. This is a fantastic example that "...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). We see an underlying need to serve 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 it is worth the few dollars to help all of those people.
Ultimately one of the most important aspects of this advertisement is the mention to children. Even though child care has only a single mention it goes far beyond the call of duty. Children are something that humans naturally have a sympathetic response to. This sort of subliminal communication allows people to mentally reason and justify buying a product if it helps a child. Ideally the net result is to make their ice cream feel superior to other brands, resulting in the success of the advertisement. On top of the reference to supporting child care directly, there is an indirect connection with children and ice cream which helps amplify the effects the consumer feels for the product. Balloons used in various places of the advertisement also invoke an adult's inner child in attempt to help them relate to the child in yet another way. These three aspects combine to make one strong arsenal at the disposal of the advertisement engineer.
Further analysis reveals even more information surreptitious in nature, specifically the appeal derived from the farmland. Rather than...

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