While I was flipping through the pages of “Maxim” magazine looking at thegorgeous women and laughing at the funny captions, I stumbled upon anadvertisement that made me laugh out loud. It is a series of four pages, twofacing each other, and then two more layed out in the same way. The first set oftwo pages has a hot dog on the left page and the Nike Air Flight Posite on thenext. Its not fancy, nor does it have beautiful women on it, it just says inbold white print, “Made of many hard to define things”.
I kind of chuckledat this, not quite laughing out loud yet. What made me laugh out loud was whatwas on the next two pages in the magazine. On the left hand page there is a blowup doll still wrapped in the plastic it was purchased in, and on the right isthe Nike air tuned max. In bold white letters across both of them it says,”Air is what makes it good”. I nearly fell of my chair I was laughing sohard. Even though this ad is very simple, it is very complicated.
It is locatedin the very front of the magazine. This is important because it sets the moodfor the whole magazine. This ad is very funny, so when the reader sees it, he isin a good mood for the rest of the pages. Maxim magazine is directed primarilytowards men, ages 17 to about 30. This ad is obviously directed towards that ageand sex group. The hot dog appeals to the younger generation because recentlythe Food and Drug Administration has been doing many studies about food.
Withthe new way of thinking and as many health regimes as television stations on asatellite dish, people want to know whats in their food. Nobody knowswhats in hot dogs. Im sure the F.D.A. did a study on whats in hot dogs,but does anyone really want to know? By the same token, the Nike shoe picturedon the right side of the page is made of many hard to define things, but if itworks well, or in the hot dogs case, tastes good, then who cares? The shoepictured in the right of the first page is very futuristic looking as well. Noone over the age of 25 would buy a shoe that looks like this. On the top of theshoe, there is a solid black fabric that stretches almost to the toe.
It lookslike there is Velcro where the laces should be as well. Under the black fabric,there is a gold plastic piece that flows in and out of the black fabric. Towardsthe back of the bottom of the shoe, there is a clear plastic air bubble thatacts as a support for playing basketball, or other sports. So there is no waythat anyone under the age of 25 would buy this shoe. There is a space-age lookto the flight posite shoe. This is why its hard to define whats in it likea hot dog.
The space shuttle is made of many hard to define things as well. Weare always hearing about new, “space-age material” I think that is thesecond point the advertisers are trying to get across. The second set of twopages is by far the funniest advertisement Ive ever seen. It appeals to theyounger generation of men because these men all know what blow up doll is. Ifyou showed this ad to a man in his late 50s he wouldnt find it funny, andprobably think it was disgraceful that magazines have fell to the level ofpornography. The man in his 20s however, would think it is hilarious. Onceagain the shoe pictured next to the blow up doll is futuristic looking.
Not tothe degree the previous shoe was, but the Nike Air Tuned Max is definitely notan average shoe. Its colors are gold and blue, and the patterns on the shoe arevery streamlined, they flow to the back of the shoe. It looks like if you wereto run in these shoes you would be faster. At the bottom of the shoe there aremany air pockets that are in a yellow plastic. This is what the ad is referringto by saying, “Air is what makes it good”. The main thing that makes theseadvertisements work is humor. There is a little touch of sex appeal with theblow up doll, but it is not the main concentration. The main theme is simplicityand humor.
The only things in the advertisement are a shoe, large white words,and an object. The way in which they are set up is the important part, thatswhat makes the ad so funny. The other important thing is Maxim magazinestarget audience. If this ad was in any womans magazine, or a “country homeand garden” kind of magazine, it would do horribly and a lawsuit aboutwomens rights might ensue. All in all, this ad works because its funny,simple, easy to understand, and is directed towards the right target audience.