Usually, the core objective of an ad is to create a desirable image of a person or lifestyle. It is hinted that this image or lifestyle can only be obtained if the product or service in the ad is purchased. This image is usually quite unobtainable and does not accurately represent the target market. If you looked or felt like the people in the ads then why would you need to buy what is being offered? Advertising is built on desire, and desire, a lot of the time exists upon the need for something different or the need to feel attractive. Take for example this Jaguar ad;
There are two main approaches which an account planner can take when choosing how to represent the target market in an ad. One way is to do as Jaguar have just done ; show a bunch of deliriously beautiful people getting by in life because they’re gorgeous like this car. The people who are in the ad are not the people who used to buy Jaguars. Jaguar has a much older customer base and was experiencing a decline in sales and a dulling brand image.
They used this campaign to mark a change in who the brand hoped to become. According to Marti Eulberg, head of sales and marketing for Jaguar, they hoped to guide the car out of its traditional image into the new generation of XF convertible. They wanted this new car to be viewed as fashion, to be consumed as a luxury, an indicator of style rather than a sign that the man driving it had lost interest in his wife and is using the cars engine as a sort of wealthy mating call to younger men and women.
The Jaguar ‘Gorgeous’ campaign was deemed a success by representing potential customers in a flattering but unrealistic light, classic advertising.
The new Canon camera ad is different. The planners involved in this ad have gone down a different route than the makers of the Jaguar ‘gorgeous’ campaign. They have not represented customers as they would like to be seen but rather have depicted them as they actually are.
Both the flattering, unrealistic form of advertising and the candid, realistic form of advertising are effective in very different ways. Everyone has an image of how they’d like to be seen even if they know it’s not real, it’s called the ego. Feeding into this can be a very persuasive selling tool. The Canon approach, though less sexy and flirty comes across as much more genuine, presenting a product which is custom made for the user as they already stand, not offering a product to the kind of person they could be (If only they buy the product). I’m not a photographer and have proved crap the one time I picked up someone else s camera, like most things, those who are good at it make it look easy. I admit that I’m not an expert in this line of products but just from watching the ad and reading the comments underneath, it seems that the ad captures the life of a dedicated photographer accurately, showing them in a realistic and complimentary light.