Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Toulouse-Lautrect’s Moulin Rouge poster.
The role of Vintage Advertisements as a form of media and how they change through time to reflect society and serve different means.
When Vintage Advertisements first emerged during the 1870’s in Paris, they immediately became the main means of communication and of spreading of information, not only in Paris but also throughout most of Europe and the US. Because of this exclusivity they held until the radio and television became prominent, they were a powerful media tool. In this essay will be discussed how Vintage Advertisements influenced and reflected society from the 1890’s to the turn of the century and the purposes they served in each time period as powerful media tools. Among other thing it will be seen that they were used for as an art form, to promote culture and industrialization, progress society and spread ideas.
When Vintage Ads first became prominent during the 180’s, they were at first used more often to advertise events, rather than products, such as the Moulin Rouge. Around that time, Toulouse-Lautrec designed his first poster, advertising the Moulin Rouge, which turned Vintage posters into something more than mere ads; it transformed them into art form reflecting the fine culture of French society and giving rise to Art Nouveau (Cheret, Lautrec, Picasso, Mucha and Steinlen, Couser, Kristie). For example, in France there were a lot of posters advertising absinth, other alcohols or cafes, which showed “the cult of the café” that dominated Paris. On the other hand, In Italy there would be a lot of vintage posters advertising opera and fashion, while in Holland it would be “literature and products for the home.” The kinds of topics vintage posters focused on in every country, reflected each country’s culture and interests of that period. Because it was seen as an art form, vintage posters had elaborate floral patterns and details with each country developing its own style (History of Vintage Posters). This time period came to be called the “Belle Epoque” because posters were seen more in terms of their aesthetic value rather than their commercial value.
Below, an Italian poster featuring a fashionable woman advertising alcohol
Having said that, the commercial value of vintage ads was still very significant since these ads were promoting a consumerist culture that the industrial revolution had already brought, by “creating new needs, consumers never thought they had” (History of Vintage Posters). Convenience, luxury and status were some of the new needs vintage ads were creating.
As seen, these ads promoted culture by advertising theatre and shows, art, etc. which in turn greatly increased French society’s need for culture with demand for books and magazines increasing, which also led to higher literacy and the number of people that went to theatres and art exhibitions. In general these ads created an atmosphere of intellect, especially since the ads themselves were an art form, which French people found very intriguing and sought to embrace (Couser, Kristie, CreativeOrange). Therefore, vintage ads during those times spread a “positive” propaganda portraying a culturally advanced society, which was not completely reality in order to make people strive to achieve what they saw in the ads also in turn fueling the economy.
Above is the Fin-de-Siecle advertisement of elegant women riding bicycles breaking a social taboo.
Above are two vintage ads featuring women serving/drinking alcohol as an attempt to appeal the product to men and resulting in breaking the taboo of women not drinking alcohol.
However, despite mostly promoting society’s pre-held notions to appeal and promote consumerism, there were vintage ads in France that attempted to propose revolutionary ideas, which is very logical if one considers that vintage ads were the main media tool at the turn of the century. For instance, during the 1890’s, a bicycle company selling Fin-de-Siecle (Safe Bicycles) featured ads of elegant women riding bicycles. This was a bold move since bicycles were mostly ridden by men and since the main audience most ads were directed towards were white males (Couser, Kristie ). These ads therefore, brought women to public visibility as consumers and actually resulted in more women riding bicycles, this way gaining more consumers, while elevating women’s place in society. Another example, are alcoholic ads, such as absinth, which featured beautiful women praising and sampling the products. Back then women drinking was a social taboo, which vintage ads broke. These ads were created because men liked looking at pretty women and since ads main audience was men, businesses decided to feature women in their ads. This however, also led to the breaking of a social taboo, with women starting to drink alcohol, which empowered women, despite the fact that they were being in many ways objectified in these ads. Michelin was another company that often reflected French culture and national identity in its ads that served various purposes. As Stephen Harper put it, Michelin wanted to “create and promote a certain idea of France.” Appealing to upper class men, it featured characteristics of their class, such as a cigar the Michelin mascot smokes while riding a tire, presenting its products as a luxury. It also mirrored the Bell-Epoque by reinforcing “key-early twentieth century notions” of the roles of men and women with women presented as passive subordinates of men (Harp, Stephen).
Above is a Michelin ad featuring the mascot smoking a cigar while riding a bicycle, trying to appeal to upper class men.
With the turn of the new century, vintage ads abandoned the intricate, detailed style of “Art Nouveau” introduced by Toulouse-Lautrec and began serving a more functional purpose and focused more on promoting the actual products/or events. The commercialization of vintage posters was characteristic of the times, which led to a simplification of the posters. The goal in this case was to capture the viewer’s attention on a crowded boulevard. This is why vintage ads became more minimalist, usually featuring simple images that were funny or bizarre and lacking intricate patterns (Vintage Poster History). Leonetto Capiello was the father of the movement, who being a caricaturist brought about the simplicity of this art style (History of Vintage Posters). This shift in style signaled the change to a more efficient and past-faced lifestyle that would characterize the 20th century with technological advancements and industrialization fully taking over. The 20th century would be an information and technological era where people would be constantly bombarded by images and information.
Below the first image is the poster by Lucien Bernhard, a great example of the functionality and simplicity that characterized vintage ads at the turn of the century. The second as is another example of the simplicity in style following Art Nouveau trying to promote products and consumerism.
To conclude, it is seen how during the 1890’s and the turn of the century, vintage ads were utilized as a powerful media tool for different purposes by promoting different ideas, such as art, consumerism, culture and literacy. Moreover, these posters reflected the culture and society of each country. For example, in Italy they conveyed the country’s interest in fashion, while in Holland they expressed the country’s interest in literature. What is more, they helped in transitioning countries to technology based information societies that would characterize the 20th century and also elevated the status of women. The artistic style of this time period reflected current art movements and also expressed the ideas the posters were trying to convey, such as elegance, luxury, culture and aristocracy. Therefore, like all powerful media tools, vintage ads, successfully served their purpose in spreading culture, progress, information, particular ideas of specific interested groups and in reflecting society in each time period.
Sexuality, sensuality, and innuendo are integral elements of French media. This is made evident through French perfume advertisements and their prevalence in French media. In the world of fashion and marketing, advertising is an imperative tool as it is one of the biggest sources of revenue in media, and French perfume advertisements are particularly significant in that respect. Continuously transforming, advertisements are typically a reflection of current cultural tendencies and styles. Progression and alterations in French perfume advertisements throughout the 1900s perfectly illustrate how changes in French cultural perspectives concerning sexuality and gender stereotypes have transpired over time.
Perfume plays a significant role in French culture, as throughout history, France has become the epicenter of perfume manufacturing. Perfume has a long history, but the perfume most commonly used today was developed and initially produced approximately 300 years ago in a small coastal town called Grasse in the south of France. Whether it is through food, fashion, media, etc., quality is paramount in French culture. Thus, it is no surprise that in Grasse, traditional methods for producing perfume are still employed to preserve the caliber of French perfumes. Hence, French perfumes are renowned and universally regarded as luxury items. The prestigious reputation of French perfume corresponds to the elaborate, opulent advertisements produced by perfume manufacturers.
Due to the importance of perfume in French history and culture, it is to be expected that perfume is ubiquitous in almost every type of media. Whether it is in magazines, on television, in newspapers, or on the internet, it is inevitable that one will come across a perfume advertisement. French perfume advertisements aim to evoke emotion, fascinate, and almost seduce consumers rather than focus on being informative or humorous. This demonstrates how the French society cultivates an inquisitive, sophisticated mentality that honors looking deeper into and contemplating media, uncovering the underlying meaning of a message, and encourages sensuality. Clearly, advertisers have been successful in their endeavors through marketing because by 2008, perfume advertisements evolved into such a crucial part of French media that it developed into a $10 billion industry. Although French certain perfume advertisements may be lucrative in France, this does not assure that they will be successful received elsewhere.
Differing cultural tendencies, as well as technological and social progression, affect the way campaigns are designed, produced, and accepted among potential consumers in various countries. For example, the way that one ad is received in France may be completely different than that of the United States. In the case of Chanel’s men’s fragrance “Eogoiste” in 1994, Chanel initially produced an advertising campaign through branding, packaging, and marketing, with the intention that it would be universally accepted. However, consumers in the United States found the commercial (which features beautiful French women flinging open windows of a hotel and crying "egoiste" as they raged at men's selfishness) offensive, violent, and overall distasteful. In the United States, after introducing this campaign, the brand held only a one percent market share. Yet, in Europe the advertisement was successful and “Egoiste” eventually became the fifth largest men's fragrance brand in France. This controversial commercial was received differently among American and French audiences, thus reflecting the differences in values and societal expectations between the two cultures. Although cultural differences can hinder the success of a perfume campaign, some campaigns and fragrances have attained universalsuccess. For instance, one particular perfume that has remained globally marketable for almost a century is Chanel No. 5.
Chanel No. 5 is an iconic French perfume, noted as being one of the most recognizable and “legendary” fragrances in the world. First marketed in 1921, this fragrance is still successfully sold due to its avant-garde, seductive advertisements. Although the advertisements are known for being sensual, they are by no means tasteless and were often commended for being classy and sophisticated.
Prior to the 1970s, advertisements aimed towards women focused on encouraging them to use fragrances to entice men. However, advertising took a turn in the 1970s as a result of social and political changes for women across the western hemisphere. Rather than objectifying women as sexual objects, which is often seen in French fragrance advertisements, Chanel advertisements aim to glorify female sexuality, sensuality, and female empowerment. This was visible in perfume advertisements, specifically in Chanel’s 1979 campaign for Chanel No. 5 entitled “Share The Fantasy”. The success of this campaign through print and television media, as mentioned by brand researcher William Baue, "became a defining moment for the French fragrance and company's fashion advertising." In particular, he is referring to a commercial in which a beautiful woman in laying by a pool, a handsome man proceeds to dive in, swims towards her, rises out of the water, and ultimately disappears. William Baue says that in the creation of the advertisement, “Focusing on fantasy allowed Chanel to harness the power of sexuality without crossing the border into distaste”. Although Chanel upheld sophistication in their campaigns, the same cannot be said for all French perfume advertisements based on social changes and different demographics to which a manufacturer is marketing.
Sexuality, romance and innuendo are fundamental aspects of French culture and as such, these elements are clearly prevalent in perfume advertisements. Nudity is often utilized and gender stereotypes tend to be heavily accentuated. For example, in the 2009 advertisement for Yves Saint Laurent Perfume "Parisienne", the clear and provocative representation of Kate Moss as a sex object cannot go unnoticed as trivial.
As noted by Tom Reichert, author of The Erotic History of Advertising Aromatic Aphrodisiacs: Fragrance, “Sexual content in fragrance advertising is manifest in the usual ways: as models showing skin-chests and breasts, open shirts, tight-fitting clothing-and as dalliances involving touching, kissing, embracing, and voyeurism. These outward forms of sexual content are often woven into the explicit and implicit sexual … promises to make the wearer more sexually attractive, more likely to engage in sexual behavior, or simply ‘feel’ more sexy for one's own enjoyment.” These ideas have been created from notions of French society. Thus, advertisers are translating the stereotypes and consumers’ desires into images their consumers will understand and gravitate towards when looking to purchase perfumes.
Many car companies have come and gone throughout the decades in France and now only three major automobile manufacturers remain, Citroen, Peugeot and Renault. Citroen and Peugeot are owned by the same company, PSA, and together they are ranked sixth in the world in automobile production. Renault comes in at number eleven in the world rankings of automobile manufacturers. These companies have all been around for a long time with Citroen being the youngest at 91 years. They have all developed unique marketing strategies to sell their products. Each company has its own identity. This case study will analyze how each company has changed how they portray themselves through television media by comparing a commercial from the past to one from the present day.
Citroen was founded in 1919 and gets its name from its founder, a technician named Andre Citroen. It is the youngest of the three companies and this fact is reflected in its marketing campaigns. All of the advertisements preach creativity and looking towards the future. They also try to pull at the rebellious nature of the youth audience by promoting the philosophy of living free. In the vintage ad from 1980, a young couple driving a Citroen 2CV Charleston drive recklessly through a picturesque beach. Through this ad, Citroen is trying to project an image of youthful romance and exuberance to consumers. The car carves out the words “amour libre” in the sand of the beach. The aim is to have people who view this ad associate the Charleston to the words “free love” and hopefully encourage them to purchase the car. The direction of the modern ads for Citroen models is completely different than that of the 1980 ad. The first modern ad is simply an excerpt from a John Lennon interview where he acknowledges the past is good for inspiration, but it is better to look to the future and try something new that hasn’t been done before. Then the ad cuts to the word “ANTI-RETRO” and shows computer generated footage of the new car, the DS3. The ad is a little controversial due to the use of a beloved music icon to sell cars and the fact that the voice was dubbed. It still had its desired effect of connecting the Citroen brand with the ideas of innovation, creativity and genius. Citroen’s new strategy is to promote a media identity of a company that is on the cutting edge, looking to the future, full of energy and their target audience is the younger generation. Gone are the ideas of “free love” and romanticism.
In both samples of Peugeot commercials, the media identity that is portrayed is that of tradition and reliability.
Peugeot got its start producing a wide variety of industrial tools in 1810. The first Peugeot car wasn’t produced until 1891. The company has been around for almost 200 years and is deeply proud of its tradition. In the vintage commercial dating back to 1977, a Peugeot model is shown driving on windy roads at high speeds with a voiceover listing all the accomplishments Peugeot has achieved. The ad gives off a sense of tradition and pride that is supposed to make the viewer feel comfortable in investing money to buy a new car. If the company has been around for so long, then they must be doing something right. The modern sample ad is a 3D animation that shows the evolution of Peugeot products from music box and bicycles to the newest model cars. This ad is meant to give the company a sense of credibility by showing how far they’ve come in the past 200 years. Peugeot’s marketing strategy is to use the media, in this case television, to show how long they’ve been around and how much they have accomplished to instill confidence in their products.
The mood of the Renault commercials is decidedly more light-hearted when compared to the other two companies. Renault uses media to give the image that their cars are fun to drive and practical. In the first example from 1960, the commercial aims to show how fun to drive the Renault Dauphine is by utilizing cheerful music and comparing it to roller skating. The driver always has a smile on his face as he parallel parks and shows off the city and country horns. The narrator boasts about the 40 mpg and how it’s “handy as roller skates and twice the fun!” This theme is continued in the commercial from the 80’s for the Renault Encore which asks, “Are you what you drive?” It depicts the stereotypical guy from the 80’s so that the viewer can relate to him. The modern ad almost ignores the car altogether. Instead it opts to use humor to sell the product. The model is only mentioned at the end, so the commercial is only meant to get the attention of the viewer and tie the humor and relaxed attitude to the Renault brand name.
The three major French automobile manufacturers utilize media, specifically television ads, as a tool to sell their products to consumers. Through media, they are able to project a favorable image of their products by tying them to celebrities, humor or tradition. When viewing French car advertisements, it is important to realize where they are coming from and who is producing them. Their purpose is to sell you a product first and to entertain you second. Each company uses its own unique marketing strategy to accomplish this goal.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Its context consists of three different formats: magazines, documentaries and news (9). Furthermore, these contents are classified into six sectors of the luxury market: 1) Jewelry and Watches 2) Beauty and Fashion 3). Sports and Leisure 4) Hotels and Gastronomy 5) Cars and Yachting 6) Real Estate and Home Design (10). However, unlike other broadband channels, Luxury.tv has no strict schedule. Instead, it airs different programs during the week while a selection of programs from previous weeks are shown during weekends. Shows are relevant to specific themes or cities and are later placed into sub-groups known as “The Quartet” (11). Here, shows are based on days of the week. Monday: Enjoyment, Tuesday: Style, Wednesday: Technology, Thursday: Concept, Friday through Sunday: includes programing from “This Week”, “The WeekEnd Gallery” and “Press Cut-Outs” (12). After surveying France, Luxembourg, Russia and Morocco, Luxetv, decided to tailor its programs to offer its audience three hours of fresh on-air content. With the help of more than 17 teams around the world and over 2,500 reports, the network has built the largest HD library dedicated to luxury (13). Moreover, on January 2009, Luxetv hit the market with its second version which included: A La Carte, Arts e-motion, shopping, lifestyle, destination, prestige and more events from the week in unique flashbacks and moments (14).
A La Carte: Is dedicated to world tours in search of fine dining. Here, four high skill chefs present acclaimed recipes from their restaurants. Nevertheless, every half hour the show opens with a featured house cocktail, followed by a first class 3 course meal. A La Carte airs for 30 minutes on a weekly/weekend period (15). Arts e-motion: Is a section where viewers are offered events relevant to the world of art. Featuring art from four corners of the world this section is amongst one of the most popular and during 2008 its pilot became an independent program. Each weekend Luxetv devotes half and hour to arts e-motion and sometimes it features one single event (16). Shopping: Explores boutiques and exclusive shops with one of kind creations. It offers exclusive looks at showrooms and runways in the most happening cities in the world (17). Lifestyle: Is the sector that displays the most luxurious lifestyles of the movement. It gives the who, what, when and where of the best in the world. This is compromised of events, places, books, magazines, creators and their creations, new products and new technologies that are most current (18). Lifestyle is also divided into four segments: enjoyment, style, technology and concept (19). Destination: serves as an HD guide to dream destinations that feature world class hotels, restaurants and hot spots. It is compromised of a 60 minute air base broadcasted during weekends (20). Lastly, Prestige is dedicated to five-star world locations. It elaborates on hotels, restaurants, sports gardens, ports, resorts, fascinating city-centre, parades, galleries, golfs museums and more. Its broadcasts lasts about 30 minutes and airs during weekends (21).
Additional Features: Luxetv features a, “unique moments” sector were viewers can see behind the scenes and upfront documentaries of world renown events in high definition. These are featured on a daily basis as events occur and last 30 minutes. On the other hand, “Flashbacks”, refers to the week highlights of the best captured HD photographs and programs and is offered on a weekend basis (22).
Appeal in Audience: In a market research in 2007, Luxetv discovered that its most sought audience are demographic groups that include high income households and young professionals. Its target audience has viewers who purchase luxury goods on a frequent and occasional basis and those who are entertained by luxury (23).
Economical Role: During Luxetv's partnership with China's, “Sun Media Investment Holdings Limited”, China and Luxetv agreed to facilitate television and online purchases to Chinese viewers. The “Luxe.TV Interactive” utilizes the Sun's Media technology to enhance luxury shopping in China. In a press statement Chairman of Sun Media “Bruno Wu” declared, “The Chinese market is ready for the LUXE. TV concept. China is expected to be the world-largest market for luxury goods. At the same time,its has an expanded growth in broadband internet usage. Today, more than 30 million households already have access to broadband internet connectivity.” In other words, this partnership only expands further the viewing rate of luxetv programs to broadcasters through the Chinese media. (24)
Moreover, Luxetv serves as an economic enhancer for various products and companies. One example can be found in its new jewelry shopping network, expected to premiere this fall. After its announced partnership with a design and development jewelry network “Zalemark Holding Co.”, luxtv has gathered the remanding assets of retailer “Germs TV” and will launch a special jewelry line on air and over the internet. Luxtv will provide marketing operations that will reach over 40 million households through its cable stations and proceed on expanding its market to shoes, handbags and other celebrity endorse lines (25).
Review of Channel: LuxeTv caters to a wide range of viewers who enjoy fine living and extravagant shopping. It unites, la crème de la crème from around the world in one network. Unlike, American broadband’s, LuxeTv gives its viewers fine products and offers a variety of options and suggestions that enhance and facilitate their luxury experiences on a daily basis. There is no U.S. network that provides viewers with all the perks of Luxe.tv. While American's have the shopping notwork (for shopping), the travel channel (featuring traveling programs) and the food-network (centers upon American chefs and their recipes) there is not a single American network that features shopping, travel and fine dinning together. Likewise, Luxetv breaks six language barriers and is broadcasted in different parts of the world. It is a successful economical enterprise that promises to advertise products to their fullest. While American media features limited broadband's that appeal to different language and ethnic groups, it has a minuscule at home audience and therefore, does not fully break different language barriers in advertisement and/or marketing.
In this text, Guy Debord presents the commodity as the fundamental aspect of the spectacle, which is the concurrence of capitalism and mass media. Since the importance of images has come to replace actual social relations, the spectacle utilizes these images to convey the necessity of the commodity and the relationship between the commodity and money, the fetishism of the commodity. The spectacle creates an unceasing social desire and demand for goods and this, consequently, resulted in the replacement of the production of quality with production of quantity. Thus, the growing market created a shift from the small-scale production of the Pre-Industrial Revolution period to large-scale production. This growth also converted human labor into a commodity in its own right, for quantitative development relies on a large human work force. The economy, now being the foundation of social life, has transformed the world by exerting its dominance through the generation of commodity. Furthermore, the capitalist economy has washed away the importance of use value. The usefulness of a commodity is now simply considered as an aspect of exchange value and the illusion of commodity consumption. According to Debord, the capitalist economy is a constant and endless cycle of production and consumption where there is no escape because being a part of the system is the necessary means of survival. The author continues by writing that the conjunction of capitalism and mass media, the spectacle, will forever continue to expand as long as there is privation and the desire to have is present in society. However, Debord predicts that this system is bound for downfall because society and the economy are mutually dependent on one another. When and if society breaks out of its unconsciousness and comes to the realization of the immense amount of domination that the economy possesses, the economy will lose its control and power.
Marc Hayward, “Vernacular Geopolitics and Media Economics in and Enlarged Europe”
The relationship between Italian media and Saudi capital can tell us about the role of media in an Enlarged Europe.
Saudi Prince Al Waleed purchased Italian Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s shares in the Mediaset television networks in order for the Prime minister to avoid contravening conflict of interest laws.
Al Waleed was under investigation under possible involvement in financing the World Trade Center Attacks.
Ben Ammar has a central role in negotiating the distribution agreement between RAI and Al Baraka Investments for the distribution of RAI International.
The interest in Prince Al Waleed, Dalla Al Baraka Investment Bank and Ben Ammar is related to the vernacular geopolitical knowledge that defined aspects of life in Europe post Sept. 11. Media coverage of relationship between these two entities was framed by cultural and political contexts that emerged in the aftermath of the attacks.
Attention to these events shows issue of relationship between cultural identity and economic activity. Economy has become a site of significance, through which members of the national population identified themselves as having something in common. The institutional and economic organization of broadcasting and the nature of its content and reception are not separable. Therefore, political economy of the media becomes a part of media representation.
This case of investment in transnational Italian media provides an example for one of the problems of media in an enlarged Europe. Mappings of political economies of media and information are themselves a product of power relations they seek to describe, and do not just exist outside of them.
link to Al Baraka: http://www.albaraka.com/
Alex Benady, “Maurice Lévy: The Napoleon of advertising”
Maurice Levy, chief executive of Publicis, a French global advertising behemoth. He is the first Frenchman to have “world domination” on his to-do list since Napoleon, via this advertising agency. He has brought this company to the top, regarded by many as the best ad agency in the world. He transformed it from a regional ad agency into a global communication powerhouse. Publicis has become a global contender in advertising. However, it is rare to see a French agency (all big firms are Anglo-Saxon, German, and Japanese). Advertising and marketing are generally considered Anglo-Saxon skills. British work usually includes humor and demonstration of the product. American ads are head-on in their approach, presenting product, benefit and rationalization. French creative work down plays rational and plays up emotional, emphasizing aesthetic aspects. There is a handicap to demonstrate that a French agency can be creative.
Publicis dominates in size, but it also needs flexibility, and the willingness to absorb new ideas to keep it a float. Present and future campaigns now need a digital element—not just internet now, but the ability to reach cell phones.