In the world of marketing and advertising, reaching the target audience of a magazine or other media source is essential for the success of the marketing campaign. Advertisers take many factors in to consideration including age, sex, race, and class when creating ads to market a product or service. By emphasizing these differences, advertisers are able to create images and advertisements that they believe will appeal to the majority of their target audience. These ads will reach different individuals and appeal to their sense of identity and self to market products from lip-gloss to potato chips. The advertisements found within the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine and Essence magazine typically market the same products, but in different ways. A theoretical analysis of how the ads work might suggest these advertisements interpellate subjects based on notions of difference between the races.
[...] Subjects are found in relation to other constructions. subjectivity is socially constructed, not mystically or naturally found. There is no meaning or self that exists temporally before the law; meanings and selves are only articulated in terms of certain laws and we are born into a context where those laws are already at work” (Nealon and Giroux, 40). Therefore, subjects are always responding to other independent factors such as culture and society. Subjects are culturally influenced and change accordingly. On the other hand, tent to understand the ‘self' as an inwardly generated phenomenon, a notion of personhood based on the particular (yet strangely abstract) qualities that make us who we (Nealon and Giroux, 37). [...]
[...] In recognition, individuals become subjects because they agree to and participate in the “cultural codes of subjectivity” (Nealon and Giroux, 47). With these terms defined, the next question is how do advertisements in magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Essence interpellate subjects and on what differences do they base their marketing strategies? On the surface, these magazines are very similar publications. Both are fashion magazines, published monthly, and target women. They feature articles on topics such as love, sex, fashion, and celebrities. [...]
[...] Find the beauty in every hour.” These two advertisements for basically the same product still interpellate different subjects. The ad found in Cosmopolitan begins its interpellation of white upper middle class women by first featuring a model that this category of women can relate to. The model appears to be a member of the race and age group that the magazine targets. She is the ideal white American woman; her make-up is clean and fresh and though she is certainly not unattractive, she is also not a striking beauty. [...]
[...] Though the analysis of the four advertisements fond in Cosmopolitan and Essence, it is evident that advertisers interpellate different subjects according to notions of the differences in the races. The readers of these magazines become subject to the ideals and standards of society by responding in the expected manner to these advertisements. Being subject to society is unavoidable; by simply being recognized an individual becomes a subject. In fact, there is no way for individuals not to become subject to culture because for individuals to define themselves, they must use the standards and expectations that are created by culture and society. [...]
[...] When taking into consideration the target audience of this magazine, it is evident why the marketing campaign chose to have the model wear white. Essence targets professional black women. While colored bras and panties may be fun and exciting, they are not particularly practical. The white bra can be worn under business attire or out to the club. The versatility of this bra is featured simply in color choice. Also, the Vassarette ad features the “ideal woman” while the Playtex ad has a much more realistic model. [...]
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