The studied advertisements are made by Gucci; Gucci Guilty (2016) by Gucci & Gucci (2013) by Gucci. Gucci is an Italian fashion brand that is globally known for their high-end clothing and accessories. The brand itself, is worth billions of dollars and is ranked among the top high-end brands of the world along with Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Louis Vuitton. In advertisement, there may be countless signs from fashion to speaking manners and facial expressions that are attempting to convey a message to their intended audience in regards to their product. The codes and signifiers must be decoded in order to reveal and understand this underlying message in advertisement. The two Gucci fragrance advertisements are studied by first revealing the signs of superiority, luxury, sex, and desire, we will then be able to understand the underlying message and its fairly-obvious intended audience by attempting to measure the effectiveness of their methods over the course of time.
Our first impression of the Gucci Guilty advertisement made in 2016, are the gender opposites; the fact that they used both genders implies that their intended audience are both men and women. The underlying message for this particular sign of the ad is that Gucci fragrances are made for men and women, where both are made for each other, as opposed to the Gucci by Gucci ad where it’s advertising a men’s perfume only. If you look closely, you will notice that there’s a slightly greater amount of space that the man’s face covers in the ad compared to the women’s face. This may very well signify power and dominance of men over women where in this case, the man is hardly pleading for attention, and the woman clearly is. The fact that the man has greater coverage of the ad connoting power and dominance could relate to the traditional cultural context of males being the dominating gender in society.
In the bottom corners of the Gucci Guilty by Gucci ad, both perfumes are displayed where the bright colored perfume is for women on the right, and the dark colored perfume is for men on the left. Specifically, the women’s perfume is featured in a rose gold color connoting elegancy and luxury, where as the men’s perfume, featured in dark grey and black, solely connotes luxury and not necessarily elegancy. The ad includes Gucci Guilty capitalized in the center bottom part creating an emphasis and awareness of the perfume’s name. On the other hand, Gucci by Gucci features the perfume on the center-right area of the ad with a gold tip on the perfume itself connoting luxury and superiority, as compared to, perhaps, other perfume brands. The lettering font on Gucci but not by Gucci is shown in bright-gold as well as the perfume’s lid, attempting to draw an emphasis on the name of the perfume, assuming its viewers already know Gucci as the brand.
The Gucci Guilty ad features movie stars and celebrities which are Chris Evans and Evan Rachel Wood. The inclusion of these celebrities implies that if they use Gucci Guilty, then you should too. These celebrities are widely-known to be wealthy and therefore, part of the higher social classes. This means that by purchasing Gucci Guilty, you too, will form part of that higher social class to a considerable extent; connoting superiority. This is an effective way to reach their potential consumers because viewers may instantly be entertained by the fact that Chris Evans and Evan Rachel Wood are in the ad as “lovers”. The two celebrities shown in the ad connotes pleasure and sex as seen by their faces coming in contact with each other followed by their facial expressions, which are clearly implying they are “lovers”. Gucci is attempting to persuade the audience to believe that Gucci Guilty offers pure wish fulfillment of pleasure among other things such as beauty. Their flawless faces and particularly, the women’s bright-red lips are a sign of beauty, suggesting that Gucci customers are all physically attractive and superior in that sense, and therefore, you would be too. The targeted audience for the Gucci Guilty ad are both men and women that form part of the higher social classes, and those who are physically attractive without excluding, and in fact, encouraging those of lower and middle social class to form part of it too.
Similarly, the Gucci by Gucci ad attempts to target and attract their audience too, however, with the exception of their audience being men solely but not necessarily. The ad features James Franco, a famous filmmaker and actor, as the face of their campaign for their brand-new fragrance. The famous actor is featured as the driver of a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 (a very expensive car) wearing a tuxedo. It’s evidently obvious that he forms part of a higher, if not the highest, social class where viewers are encouraged to use the fragrance in the same fashion. So while Gucci by Gucci focuses on a particular fashion connoting luxury, Gucci Guilty focuses on the connotation of beauty and pleasure. The facial expression of James Franco suggests that he is studying or measuring something, in a way, by noticing his right eyebrow slightly lower than his left eyebrow purposefully as he also firmly grasps the steering wheel, connoting power and confidence. Choosing celebrities is not easy for any brand. They must have a good reputation in order for them to qualify as the face of their brand-new product. The celebrities in Gucci have been carefully selected to appeal to the likes of their own fan base and the celebrity’s fan base as well. James Franco and Chris Evans are known to be sincere and morally good characters in their movies so the people like to think that they are the same way in real-life. In turn, this helps Gucci in terms of the credibility of their advertisements, and therefore, the product being advertised. Gucci effectively applies the use of celebrities in advertising with the purpose of generating awareness towards the product that they are attempting to sell.
Gucci has effectively been able to maintain their market share by successfully reaching their customers in most of their ads. The inclusion of celebrities has been a fundamental idea that not just Gucci, but other high-end brands have implemented in their ads too. The signs of luxury, beauty, pleasure, and superiority are easily perceived by their potential consumers with a promise of pure wish fulfillment through the use of their products. These effective methods of advertising Gucci has been a fundamental process for them to be known as one of, if not, the best high-end brand in the current market.
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