Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
The advertisement that I have analyzed for this assignment is an advertisement that was ran by the Starbucks Coffee company, which I found online. The advertisement will also be attached at the end of my analysis for reference to it.
To begin, I looked first at the color scheme of the advertisement. It is a rather basic, for lack of better wording, color scheme that is used throughout the entire advertisement. It uses a basic three colors – black, white and the typical “Starbucks green” which they use throughout all of their products and stores as well. The green is used as more of an accent color that off-sets and adds a pop of color within the basic black and white surroundings, foreground and background to the advertisement. Upon first look and even upon looking deeper into the images, I don’t believe that there is meant to emotions or underlying meaning attached to that of the color scheme with this advertisement. At the same time though, the lighting in this advertisement is very clearly displayed, in my opinion. The lighting of the picture captures that of the coffee cup on a table and even through the black and white surroundings, is able to portray the perfection of the shadows around the cup and the way that the lighting causes the reflection of part of the cup and part of the lid onto the table. The lighting, in that sense, and especially the shadows created by the lighting around the cup in the advertisement, causes the viewer of the image to more clearly feel as though this cup is right in front of them. The lighting brings about a familiarity to this image, in personal viewing of it.
In addition to giving this 2D advertisement a more realistic feel through the way the lighting is used in the image, it also adds to the texture. The reflections and the shadows are expressed in a way that causes the texture of the cup and the table to be brought into the foreground of the advertisement. You can see the smoothness of the glass and the rougher feel of the cup jumping off of the page as you look at the advertisement. I think that the use of the texture is meant to cause the person to think about having that paper coffee cup in their hands and cause them to think more about what would be in the cup. After all, the purpose of an advertisement like this is to cause people to want to have their product, so by using the textures of the tabletop and the coffee cup, they are able to pull people in and make them want to rush out and get Starbucks – it pulls them into the image and pulls them into wanting that cup of coffee.
Now, looking at the balance of the advertisement, it is arranged in an asymmetrical style. This is due to the heaviness of one side of the advertisement versus the other side of the advertisement. The side that is the heaviest is the side where the coffee cup itself is, but there is an attempt to balance it by the inclusion of words on the other side. I think that this heaviness that I feel on one side plays into the focal point of the piece which is the coffee cup itself as well. The advertisement wants you to see the coffee cup first, to see the logo on it and the atmosphere around it – it’s the entire purpose for the advertisement to start with anyhow.
Beyond the balance and center pieces of the advertisement, the lines also play into the purpose and the meaning of the advertisement as well. The lines that are used throughout are very calm and soft, almost soothing. The curves of the cup and lid, the lines through the background that are slightly blurred (which also gives the background a notion of being in motion while the foreground is stilled) all have this soothing feeling to them, something to calm the emotions and come off soft to the eye. They are repeated through the advertisement too. There isn’t a mixture, but the lines and the color are constant and repeated through the entire advertisement to have a continuity of the feelings they are trying to present.
Aside from selling the obvious in this advertisement, my analysis of the advertisement has led me to see that the Starbucks company is trying to sell the atmosphere of their coffee shops as well as their coffee. They want to get people in the door and have used this advertisement to do so. The way that the advertisement is laid out and the details of the advertisement is what gives off the feeling of the atmosphere in their coffee shops to people viewing this ad. The ease of the lines and the softness to the features expresses the laidback atmosphere that their shops have. Then looking at the foreground, which is a moment of stillness with the coffee cup, versus the background, which expresses a fast paced, moving lifestyle, they are attempting to get people to see that coming in for coffee at their shop locations, they can have a moment of quiet and stillness while there. So they are attempting to pull people in and make them get a glimpse of the atmosphere of their shops, in order to then sell them on that idea and that atmosphere too. It is easy to see how they can pull of recreating that atmosphere in the advertisement, which also makes it easy to see how recreating that can make for an easy sell and get more people into their shops, myself included.