Advertisements for Harley Davidson Both Have the Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

advertisements for Harley Davidson both have the overall message that Harley Davidson's are for rebellious individuals and that societies rules do not apply to the Harley Davidson owner.

The text of the first ad, "in some circles, paisley and florals have yet to catch on" sets the tone for the ad and also conveys the meaning. Firstly, the text has an air of importance to it as well as an air of indifference. The "in some circles" is patronizing and suggests that these 'some' are not as good as the rest. The humor associated with 'paisley and florals' takes the edge of this patronizing feel, so that overall the text has a humor that means it is not to be taken too seriously. This creates a humorous and ironic tone to the ad. This text, without the picture, also captures the meaning of the ad. These 'circles' that haven't caught on are implied to be the ones without the Harley Davidson's. The irony is in the mismatch of the two images, 'paisley and florals' and the Harley Davidson. Overall, this suggests that individuals with a Harley Davidson do not have to conform to societies rules, but set their own. This captures the independent, rule-breaking spirit of the Harley Davidson rider, with this rule-breaking in a way that is harmless.

The picture has the same message, but is most important because of its ability to attract attention. The image is a humorous one, with the irony of it enough to catch a reader's attention. The picture does not add any more meaning than the text, but is important to catch the reader's attention so that they read the text.

The second ad with the text "the necktie is society's leash" is very similar to the first, except that the text does not have the humor of the first. Instead the text is more serious. Without the picture to accompany it this text would be sad, rather than ironic. In this case, it is the picture that adds the irony. Again the mismatched image of the biker and the necktie creates interest. As well as interest, it communicates the same message as the first ad, that the Harley Davidson owner can be independent and break free from societies rules.

Combining the text and the picture the message is that the necktie is society's leash, but not the biker's leash. Therefore, the Harley Davidson allows the individual to break free from the confines of society. At the same time, the humor in both ads ensures that the Harley Davidson owner is not seen to take themselves too seriously.

The overall message of both ads is that if you own a Harley Davidson you are a rebellious, independent free spirit, rebelling from the rules of society and enjoying your individuality.


3. Look at the ad for Time Magazine in Figure 11-4 and then answer the following:

a. How does the dialogue in the ad give the reader a sense of what is at issue in date rape?

Firstly, the ad shows the two people involved in date rape and their interactions. The girl saying no is made clear firstly by her repeating "no" and "please don't" and also by presenting the girl's statements in bold, while the boys statements are in non-bold italics. This suggests something very different than the normal understanding of rape. It does not appear overly violent but more persistent. This lack of violence is quite forceful in creating meaning, because it shows that there is a relationship between the boy and the girl.

Secondly, the ad creates a clear image of the scene. The tempo of the text changes, mimicking the actual change in the scene being represented. In the beginning the text is slow-paced, however as it continues, there is a faster pace and more repetition. This captures the rising energy of the scene, the boy's increasing annoyance and urgency and the girl's increasing concern. The end "shut up and do it. Now" coming after all the repetition comes as a shock to the reader, much as it would come as a shock to the girl. The text then parallels the situation not only as dialogue but by the pace of the dialogue, creating a greater impact on the reader.

b. Why do you think this ad received awards?

The ad is effective in that it is unsettling without being horrific. Clearly, date rape is not an easy subject to write about, but this ad captures it with enough power to make the reader want to read about it, but not too much that the reader is turned away. The ad also very cleverly distinguishes date rape from violent rape, representing it as a very different...
...The ad also manages to dispel one of the common myths about date rape, which is that the girl is to blame. The emphasis on the repeated "no's" and "please stop's" shows both the girl wanting it to stop and her naivety. This very cleverly creates sympathy for the girl, while ensuring it is not represented as her fault.

c. Assume that you run an advertising agency. What might be an alternative way to present an issue on date rape for Time?

Another way to present the issue would be to focus on the girl after the event and present how she feels about it. The girl could be shown standing looking at her own face in the mirror, with her face undamaged. The text could indicate the girl's thoughts with her reflecting on the fact that she doesn't look any different. This would reinforce that date rape is not a violent crime and not a crime that can be seen. This would show how date rape is a silent crime. Like the first ad, this would create sympathy for the girl, distinguish date rape from violent rape and present the issue in a way that interests the reader to want to learn more without being too disturbing.


1. (Group 1): Give an argument in support of using such ads as Benetton's that show poverty, disease, death, and destruction.

The ads that Benetton uses are designed not to advertise the products, but to advertise the company, with the political statements of the company something that makes them stand out. While, these ads could be described as too graphic, the important point is that they receive attention. With the many companies and the many products being advertised, it is difficult to get the attention of consumers. Picking up a magazine or newspaper, consumers are bombarded with advertising, most of which they pay little attention to. The first important thing about advertising is that it is interesting enough for people to notice it. Benetton's ads with their disturbing images achieves this. These disturbing images are distinctive and this makes Benetton stand out from the rest.

These ads do not advertise a particular product, but instead advertise the name of the company. This means the brand Benetton remains familiar to consumers. The ads with their disturbing images also suggest something about the company Benetton, which is that the company is concerned with more than just fashion and making money. Comparing this approach with some of the other clothing companies, whose ads show models wearing the clothes, Benetton's ads suggest that Benetton has a more sophisticated approach. The message is that there are things more important than fashion. These ads are in direct contrast with the many advertisements that offer a fantasy world and instead capture the real world that people may be blind to. These ads then are a means of making the name Benetton stand out from the rest and in doing this, they are effective.

2. (Group 2): Give an argument in opposition to such ads.

The Benetton ads offering images of death, sadness and destruction can be seen as being in poor taste, as well as being offensive.

Firstly, Benetton is using these images to attract attention to itself and to make the company appear like it cares about these issues. The ultimate result for Benetton, though, is to sell more products and make more money. It can be seen then, that Benetton is using tragedy for its own benefit, which is in very poor taste.

The images are also very disturbing and offensive. From an advertising point-of-view, this can backfire and while it does make the company stand out, it makes it stand out in a way that causes customers to decide not to purchase the products. This is exactly what happened in Germany, with the ads too offensive and causing consumers to reject Benetton.

Other consumers can also react the same way, disliking Benetton for presenting these disturbing images to them and so actively deciding not to purchase Benetton products.

3. (Group 3): What exactly is the role of advertising? Is advertising only to sell a product, or does it serve some other (maybe even very different) functions in our society?…

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