Advertising relies on the consumers interperation of their product or corprate image, but sometimes that interpretation is altered due to the context in which they appear. In order to prove how context can alter the interpretation of an ad I have chosen two advertisement images to compare. One advertising was done for the GAP franchise by a well known photographer Duane Michaels, and the other is an advertisement for the Altoid product by an unknown photographer. Each of these ads intend to promote the product and the companies image in a positive manner and of course increase sales. However, the GAP ad states that the photograph is a self portrait of the photographer and includes text which promotes indivuality and independent thinking. These elements make this ad very conceptual and would appeal to the informed reader. But, if the reader was not aware of of Duane Michaels they could still understand the indivual undertones of the text. The Altoid ad has a much simpler read, its simply selling a product. Its acquired picture would catch the audiences attention and its text would support the strength of the product. I do not feel there is a deeper meaning than that. In creating these ads the manufacture can not always account for the publics misread of the ad and therefore the product. I am confident that no one would misread the Altoid ad, its simplistic manner limits another interpretations. However, the GAP ad could be misread as exclusive or snotty if someone was not understand the image or the text. They might interpret their unability to relate to the ad with GAP+s unwillingness to appeal to a broader audience. It could be seen as a store for only educated people with an understanding of art.
Advertising limits the influence of the photographer on the image many times an art director will tell the photographer exactly what to do, and the author is lost. This is what seems to have happened in the the Altoid ad, the photographer was totally disconnected from the final ad. The photographer was to shoot the boy holding the product so that it could be altered by the computer artist. The GAP ad used a self portrait of Michaels in order to convey their message more vividly. This allowed a great deal of the author to remain in the final ad. The text that was included was probably not from Michaels, but in order to have it along side his photo he must of approved of to some degree. Finally the sum of these ads place them in a larger contextual framework appealing to certain classes, cultures, ect. The GAP ad has aimed its advertising at the private sectors+ upper to middle class primarily American and European culture. It also identifies with a educated consumer seeking a simple yet mature wardrobe. The altoid ad is not so specific in its aim. They appeal to any class in the private sector. Perhaps this ad is directed towards an older, American culture due to the dress and race of the boy in the picture. They identify with just about anyone looking for fresh breathe. As you can see advertising can provide more than just a simple promotion in sales. In a world in which are bombarded with media we acquire many of our social cues from the media, so we must be aware to the influences in which they can provide.