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Ad Deconstruction

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Richard Reardon

on 9 November 2011

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Transcript of Ad Deconstruction

Step 1: Make observations:
camera angle,
text. Michael Jordan: a basketball icon who possesed a competitive fire and a killer glare. He looks serious, he looks tough, he looks ready for a game. And as for the camera angle, he is looking the reader right in the eyes -- straight on and close up. As for lighting and color, the ad is in dark, serious tones with parts of the ad in shadows. There seems to be a soft light on Jordan's face and a spotlight on the images of the product. The text (or copy) is sparse --
there's not a lot of it. The language and
sentence structure are VERY simple.
The text is in all caps and "GAME" is capitalized. What else should I notice before I
get into analysis?
The silhouette (framed in Bulls' red?)
matches up exactly with the picture of
Jordan's head. The "23" on the bottle refers to
Jordan's jersey number. It's difficult to see, but there's a
shadowy figure on the far left of the
page. He has the ball raised apparently
looking to dunk. Step 2:
Determine the
purpose of the ad:
What's being sold?
Is the product appealing?
Who's the target audience?
What feelings / emotions
are associated with the
product? Jordan is selling his fragrance
by selling himself. Ethos everywhere!
Targeted at men and young men, the ad
appeals because of Jordan's steely reputation, which
is bolstered by his menacing stare and the cold
colors used in the ad. "Game" can refer to a man's ability
to play basketball, but it can
also refer to his ability to talk to and date
women. The ad assumes that men need
a fragrance to have "game," and certainly
implies that Flight is the fragrance a man
should have. So what's the message?
Spend money to purchase the cologne,
and you will raise your "game" to Jordan-like
The ad certainly encourages men to
"Be Like Mike" in (maybe) the only way
they can -- by wearing a cologne sold
with his image. It is as unrealistic for a
man to believe that wearing this fragrance
will allow him to have the swagger of Jordan as
it is for a woman to believe that a certain
make-up will turn her into Scarlett Johannson.
The ad certainly encourages unrealistic
expectations in this way. Step 4:
Possible consequences
of the ad. Step 3:
What are the assumptions
the ad makes and the
messages it sends? And doesn't the bottle itself
look like it's covered in a
basketball shoe-like material?
The creators of this ad certainly
wanted us to remember MJ's hoops.
Full transcript