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Some marketers purport that a consumer cannot be truly satisfied until they own their product. Kia Soul and Chanel No. 5 are products that have utilized this approach frequently. These firms rely on the emotional appeal of prominence to get their message across. When tapping into people’s insecurities, it is often necessary for organizations to create images of individuals who seem so successful that others will want to be like them.
Advertising appeals refer to emotional strategies that marketers use in order to get their message across. Human beings are exposed to too many advertisements per day. They have learnt to develop a mental filter in order to sieve out all this extra information. Fowles states that “to be among the few messages that do manage to gain access to minds, advertisers must be strategic.” (17). Marketers employ emotional appeals because they assume that humans have unfulfilled and hidden vulnerabilities, urges and desires. Advertisers seek to supersede the rational layer and tap into people’s raw sub rational thoughts.
The advertising appeal under analysis is the need for prominence. Fowles (23) affirms that people have the need to have high social status. They value prestige and respect from others in their lives. It is for this reason that advertisements will contain images synonymous with the trappings of wealth.
Fowles adds that the question “Do you know who I am?” is often reflected in commercials (23). Individuals soon learn that their prominence may be put into question if they do not possess the advertised product. These companies seek to redefine the usual accompaniments to affluence. While some commercials will consist of elaborate antiques, cars, furniture, they will also insist upon the relevance of their product in this wealth equation.
Product 1: Chanel No. 5
Chanel No. 5 perfume has been in existence since the 1920s. This fragrance had completed 83 years in the market during the advertising campaign under analysis. The campaign was called ‘The film’ and featured prominent actress Nicole Kidman, who also doubled as the brand’s spokesperson.
Chanel No. 5 is a women’s fragrance that has dominated this industry for a long time. The organization is one of the most predominant and boasts of a 3.2% market share. This company has managed to stay at the top regardless of the level of fragmentation in the global market.
Therefore, the popularity of the product is not in dispute. However, certain challenges still pervade its sale. Since the fragrance has been in existence for so long, it more relevant to an older audience. Chanel No. 5 needed to show younger audiences that they too could use the product. The Nicole Kidman campaign was thus an attempt to reach out to a new market segment. The celebrity is popular for her roles in several modern films and would thus strike a chord in the minds of the targeted audience.
This commercial starts with another prominent actor known as Rodrigo Santoro seated on a rooftop containing the letter C, which represents the fragrance’s logo. He appears to be thinking about something as he looks at the city below. The next scene features Nicole Kidman in a gorgeous couture dress. It is shot in black and white, thus inspires a feeling of timelessness. As Kidman dashes out of her car, the words Coco and Chanel can be seen on billboard advertisements.
Kidman then enters a taxi with a stranger and lies about her identity. She kisses him against the city’s backdrop. She is aware that the relationship cannot work but assures him that they can still dream. Nicole then reappears in a red carpet event in color, looks back at the Chanel logo across the distance and sees her illusive lover.
Rodrigo ends the advert by stating these words “Her kiss, her smile, her perfume” (Funny Commercials 3). Kidman walks away wearing a necklace with the C logo on her back. Everything about the commercial oozes sophistication and elegance. Kidman is a well known celebrity who is known for her class and grace. The garment she wears on the red carpet inspires such sentiments. She wears a diamond necklace and walks like a real lady on the red carpet.
As Fowles (23) stated, most marketers using the ‘need for prominence appeal’ will rely on a number of artifices to make their point. The expensive jewelry, couture dress and magnificent hair are all reflections of Kidman’s status symbols. It is likely that a female watching the advertisement would want to have the same things. She has all the trappings of wealth even though she does not seem to be equally blessed in relationships. Perhaps this minor flaw makes her even more endearing to the audience.
Lost love is the price she must pay for her position in society. In fact, she had to lie about her identity in order to get this mysterious man to love her genuinely. The advert is thus designed to reinforce social status. It indicates that users of Chanel No. 5 belong to such a certain ilk. However, even those who lack sophistication and elegance may achieve such traits by wearing the fragrance. As such, this emotional appeal works.
Product 2: Kia Soul by Michelle Wie
Kia is a Hyundai-owned motor vehicle manufactured in South Korea and sold all over the world. Just prior to the advertisement, the organization did relatively well. It was revered for its high quality and value; however, most people did not think of it as edgy.
In essence, it was a quirky but functional car; Michele Wie’s campaign sought to redefine this image. The firm’s executives wanted to reach out to a younger demographic. They needed to show the world that the Kia Soul could also be stylish. Therefore, a female professional sportsperson like Wie was just what the company needed.
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The advertisement starts with two typical male golfers at a country club. They seem content and secure with themselves until the legendary Michele Wie glides through in her red Kia Soul. The men are so taken aback that their jaws drop. She walks confidently past these two gentlemen and says hallo to them. Wie then takes a swing at a golf ball while the gentlemen watch on. The commercial then ends with the words “a new way to roll” (Funny Commercialsb 2). Throughout the ad, one can hear loud music from rap artist Kid Sister.
Clearly, this advertisement also makes use of the prominence appeal. First, the sport of choice is golf, which is widely known as a sport for the wealthy. The main character is a leading female golf player, so their point was made. However, the organization was audacious enough to suggest that even these trappings are insufficient to demonstrate one’s social status.
The two gentlemen were out staged by Wie’s Kia Soul. Hyundai was thus suggesting that one merely needed their product in order to let others know who they are. The advertisement works because it has successfully associated its brand with what rich people do.
The two products under analysis have worked well to indicate human beings need for prominence. They use prominent personalities who are both sophisticated and classy. Furthermore, the settings and background echo this message. It is likely that a person watching the advertisements would long to be like these outstanding women through their products.
Fowles, Jib. “Advertising’s fifteen basic appeals.” Common Culture: Reading and Writing about American Popular Culture. Upper Saddle River: prentice Hall, 1998. Print. 16-29.
Funny Commercials. “Kia Soul Commercial “The Arrival” with Golfer Michele Wie” Funny Commercials, 2010. Web.
Funny Commercialsb. “Chanel No.5 Commercial: The Film (Nicole Kidman)” Funny Commercials, 2004. Web.