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The Deodorant Makes the Person

By Edited Sep 1, 2015 0 0

The world we live in is flooded with advertisements. They show up everywhere we go, around every corner, in everything we read, and they even make their way into our own homes. Seeing hundreds of them on a daily basis, our eyes only pay attention to ones that actually stand out to us. As I was reading a couple Cosmopolitan magazines, a few ads caught my eye. These advertisements were for women's deodorant, something that we all hopefully use everyday. With there being so many types of deodorant out there, which one do you choose to use? You never can know for sure what deodorant you like until you try at least a few different options because there really are so many different kinds available for us. Maybe the thing that makes one deodorant better then another is the way they are advertised. However, many of these advertisements have become controversial, so you can never be too sure that a simple advertisement could really help you decide which one is better. These ads could tell us a number of different things, both fact and fiction. They could inform us of how the deodorant is good and well made or they could tell us all sorts of lies and just be putting thoughts into our heads that will never really happen. For our society, as a whole, these advertisements could be extremely helpful to us, telling us everything we need to know about the product and more, but they could also be harmful, feeding us with lies and false hopes.

Adidas, probably most popular for its shoes, also has its own line of women's deodorant. The advertisement for this product has the Adidas brand symbol in three different places, making sure the consumer knows exactly who it is that makes this wonderful item. The entire top-half of the ad is nothing more then a single Adidas symbol and the image of a young woman, hair tied back, tank shirt on, and eyes focused on something we, as consumers, cannot see. As our own eyes move down the page, the secret to this woman is revealed. The words "re-inventing sweat control" run across the page straight into an image of the Adidas women's deodorant sticks. The faded picture of reality at the top of the ad is made up for by the blue of the bottom half, drawing us into the ad even more, and just maybe by using this deodorant our lives will become more colorful too. We, as women, see this ad as something made just for us, new and improved to make us as athletic as the lady is in the picture, or at least make our sweat not as noticeable. For all of the paranoid people out there who think that nearly everything can cause cancer, Adidas makes sure to mention that their women's deodorant has "0% Aluminum." Also with "cotton tech," it seems that it could be the most absorbent and comfortable deodorant of all women's dreams, while at the same time making us athletic and putting color back into our lives.

Another type of women's deodorant has an advertisement that could catch almost any consumer's eye. Soft & Dri, the pink stick, has a full-page ad that looks mostly plain, but what is seen is just full of information. The majority of the page is overtaken by the image of a very elegant looking woman. This seemingly naked, from what we can see, but not quite sexual, lady is positioned with one arm up over her head, so that we all have a great view of her underarm, which is where this deodorant is supposed to be applied, in case we had forgotten. In the midst of the shadowy contours on the woman's body are the words "it's a cause we feel especially close to." This phrase seems to act as the connection between the woman's underarm and chest. Looking down a little farther, the consumer sees the bright pink contrast to the plain, natural tones of the picture. The Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization symbol, conveniently the same color as the Soft & Dri deodorant stick, tells the viewers that buying Soft & Dri Clear Glide helps give money to this organization. Thus, Soft & Dri really is seen as being "…especially close to" Breast Cancer, even in a physical sense.

The final advertisement of women's deodorant that manages to catch my eye is for Ban deodorant. The background setting is a bunch of blue lockers, seemingly the hallway of a school. A woman is standing there with one leg kicked up in the air, a bright yellow dress on with black boots, and short choppy brown hair. Looking most like a punk rocker, this woman is obviously anything but ordinary because you definitely won't see another woman like her in most other deodorant ads, especially in a Cosmopolitan. It also seems as if she does whatever she pleases by the look of the position she's standing in. In big block letters right across the middle of the picture are the words "BAN CONFORMITY." Someone being different is why most consumers would pay attention to this advertisement. On the bright green deodorant stick just below this picture, it says that it's "new" and since none of us here in America are scared of trying new things, people will buy it. In printing towards the bottom of the page, it says, "Whatever you do, Ban Invisible Solids are right there with you." Ban deodorant, therefore, is a very loyal companion, but apparently never shows on your underarm, so instead of people seeing your deodorant, people will see how you are being different too.

These advertisements of women's deodorants use many different ways to sell their products and make all consumers interested in the product. These different ways could best be described by Fowles' idea of "15 appeals." These ads each have one main appeal that they use, even though others are also being subtly used. The advertisement for the Adidas deodorant uses mainly Fowles' "need to achieve." This appeal is seen throughout the entire ad. It is seen in the image of the athletic woman that some consumers would long to be and also by the phrase saying that Adidas is the "world's first absorbent deo for women." The advertisement for Soft & Dri deodorant, even though it's not seen at first, mainly appeals to the "need to nurture." Soft & Dri, being affiliated with helping Breast Cancer, appeals to consumers that by buying this product they are helping to take care of people who really need it. Ban has a different appeal then both of these other advertisements. The Ban ad mainly focuses on the "need for autonomy." This is stated from the picture and the main phrase across the page. People will buy this product because it shows that you can be unique and be your own person no matter what anyone else says. There are a few other appeals that these three advertisements use other then the main ones. All of them subtly appeal to the "need for attention," the "need to escape," and the "need for prominence." All three of the women in these images want to be looked at, that is why they are on the ads and these women desire to get away from reality and be carefree for awhile. Being athletic like the girl in the Adidas ad, trying to help others as in the Soft & Dri ad, and being a non-conformist with Ban deodorant are all different ways of forgetting all about your troubles and escaping from your real life for awhile. The women all also want to be the best at what they are trying to do and be respected for that. Adidas deodorant is making this woman be the best athlete she can be and Soft & Dri is helping that woman give money to the Breast Cancer Foundation, whereas Ban is letting the girl be the best nonconformist she can possibly be. These three advertisements are good examples of how these appeals are used and how it is never just one appeal being used at a time.

The audience of these advertisements is women, more specifically young women who might possibly be unsure of whom they want to be or what they want to do with their lives. This audience mainly is the age group of approximately 13 to 25, the main age group of women that read Cosmopolitan magazine. These three advertisements each portray a very different type of woman. There is the athletic woman, the elegant and sensual woman, and the punk-rock woman that does whatever she wants. Any consumer that doesn't know what she wants to be in life could look up to any of these women.

These advertisements could be seen as helpful or harmful to our society, especially the targeted audience, depending on how you look at it. For instance, these women show some possibilities of what a young girl could be like. It could be helpful by letting the girl know that there are many options of what can be done with life, especially since the nonconformist in the Ban ad is so different from most other models seen in a Cosmopolitan magazine. The options are never-ending, though, whether you want to be an athlete or help change the world. Another way these ads could be helpful is by letting consumers know that they need to buy deodorant because it makes people smell better. The advertisements could also be harmful by telling the same girl that she has to be the way that is portrayed and that she needs to do all she can to be exactly like the person in the ad. Another harmful thing though is that these advertisements could give false hopes. We don't want a society where people think that just because they buy a certain product, they will become exactly the same as the person portrayed in the advertisement. For instance, just because you wear Adidas deodorant doesn't mean you will automatically be a good athlete and you are not going to just be able to do whatever you want because you wear Ban deodorant. Deodorants are not miracle workers. They can't just make you into a certain type of person, but some might say that that is exactly what the advertisements are trying to do.

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