From fashion to food, advertising has proven integral for reaching out to target consumers. The sheer variety of products present within the consumer market means that advertising techniques differentiate from company to company; the main reason for this is that different companies attempt to convey different messages and as a result, have to adopt different methodologies in their advertising campaigns, as will be explored.
For example, consider the following action-film adverts;
The common trend is that in all the adverts shown, there’s at least one image of a gun. The main reason for this is that by using such symbolisms, our value judgements of what the film is going to be like, is influenced; images of weapons such as guns generally connote violence, excitement and action.
Likewise, many companies also resort to using iconic figures to help promote them. In the case of Swarovski, they have consistently used models such as Miranda Kerr to help promote their products (see image below). Once again, these types of methodologies are employed to influence us by changing our perception (and the value that we place) on different types of products. In the case of Swarovski, it could be argued that using high-profile celebrities (such as Miranda Kerr) causes consumers to create idealised perceptions of what they might look like if they also bought the product. This concept is also supported by numerous research investigations conducted in the past which have outlined how adverts, such as those for fast-food companies, never appear to use ‘over-weight’ or ‘out-of-shape’ individuals as they do not want to send out the message that their food is unhealthy when actually, that’s exactly the case. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9avFo6PgEQ (link of video about use of models etc)
In fact, as highlighted, companies adopt different methodologies that help influence our perceptions of what to expect in general; this can be present in the form of using different types of scenery, celebrities, colours, music and so on.
Our research proposal entails the understanding of how aesthetic (in specific, factors such as colour) and external (such as audiology) values can influence our perception of taste. In this case, we began by investigating the different approaches to advertising that fast-food chains take.
One thing clear from the outset was that the use of colour is integral to most, if not all companies. For instance, as highlighted by research conducted by journalist Kate Bratskeir, fast food companies often use ‘catchphrases’ to influence us; ‘The actual taste of the food still has to do some of the lift, but the description of the food can influence what customers taste (think KFC’s "Finger lickin' good," Subway’s "eat fresh," Arby's "slicing up freshness” and Papa John's "better ingredients, better pizza," etc). Ultimately, you are subliminally trained to believe in a taste that has yet to touch your tongue’ (Bratskeir, 2014). This demonstrates how by using certain ‘phrases’ or ‘buzzwords’, fast-food companies create this perception of what to expect (in terms of taste) and accordingly, can influence what we believe foods taste like v. what they actually taste like.
Likewise, a ‘2011 Technomic report’ (available at URL: https://www.technomic.com/Reports_and_Newsletters/Consumer_Trend_Reports/dyn_PubLoad.php?pID=36) found that when terms such as ‘premium’ are used, consumers are 28% more likely to purchase a product and would also pay 5% more on average. In fact, since the year 2007, there has been over a 100% increase in the number of fast-food chains using the term ‘premium’ highlighting how fast-food chains actively manipulate use of aesthetics (such as the use of text via wordplays etc) to change our perceptions of a product and influence our behaviours.
Fast-food chains also manipulate the use of colour to interact with their target consumers. For example, consider the following fast-food logos;