How far we've come: How Drugs are even in Advertisements
As governments fight against the production and consumption of drugs, some companies are using them as advertisements to sell their product and make it look as if it was normal. In fact, almost fifteen percent of the population in United States with the age of fourteen and older is consuming drugs (Borden). There are dangers of using drugs in advertisements directed toward the youth culture, such as the one illustrated by an SISLEY print advertisement. In the article "Sisley: Fashion Junkie" Balendu asserts that some advertisements are promoting the consumption of drugs indirectly. The purpose of the author in the article is to avoid using drugs in advertisements directed towards youth culture, because it can have damages that it causes to society, families and individuals in the long-term. Balendu also presents his arguments by analyzing the dangers of using drugs in advertisements directed to youth people. In fact ,Youth culture is Balendu's primary audience;
Therefore, using credible sources and analyzing he tries to persuade his audience by effectively use pathos and logos. In this advertisement for SISLEY we can notice a dark background and black bricks with a peculiar white mark on the upper left as if someone had painted his hand. Below there are two girls one of them lying on a couch and the other kneeling looking relaxed, around a black shiny table. The girl in the left that is kneeling has blond hair and a black hair line in the middle and black shades under her eyes. She is wearing a black transparent dress. She has black-painted nails and is holding a white straw in her nose as if sniffing the white dress that is resting on the table. The other girl is wearing a small purple dress and has brown hair. She is looking into the camera with blank eyes and with an expression of being on some kind of intoxicant. This girl also has black nails and is holding a white straw that is placed on the white dress. Near the front you can see a type of card and on the top it contains a white powder. Also in white bold letters is the brand name SISLEY and below it the catch phrase "fashion junkie."
The colors and the photograph make the advertisement look elegant and modern, appealing to a youth audience from the ages range of 14 to 26. The camera is focused at the two girls, and the light is focused on the bright white dress that is resting on the table making it stand out. The girls seem to belong to the middle or upper class. Their expressions and gestures seem to want to get high, but it also gives an impression that they had drunk alcohol. In fact, these girls are given to understand that SISLEY should be like a drug; therefore, their message could be interpreted as those women are addicted to SISLEY's fashion. In this case they use the white and bright dress that is on the table to symbolize heroine and alcohol, not good for the young teen girls who looked at this. Since focused to a youth culture, the ad has beautiful women that are in a party. Youth culture is attracted by the idea of parties and beautiful women. The media has the power to influence young people in a tremendous way; for example, in a survey made by Teen People magazine (Crisis Connection).
Twenty-seven percent of women feel that the media pressures them to have the perfect body. Therefore, knowing this SISLEY uses this advertisement to attract more young girls but at the same time they send the wrong message by the use of drugs in their advertisement. This makes young woman believe that there is relationship between drugs and fashion and they should have both to fit in with their peers. The advertisement is absolutely controversial; the cultural issue in this ad is the use of drugs or alcohol in advertising directed for a youth audience. In fact, High rates in the youth culture are most likely to consume heroine.
According with the National Institute on Drug abuse (NIDA) in 2009, 605,000 Americans age 12 and older had abused heroine at least once in the year prior to being surveyed. This controversial advertisement it's what is called a "shocking advertisement." According to United colours "shocking content in an advertisement significantly increases attention, benefits memory, and positively influences behavior, also they are most likely to be remember."
Therefore, this advertisement is increasing its attention and also having people remembering it, perhaps this is what SISLEY wanted in the first place. In conclusion the dangers of using drugs in advertisements directed towards youth culture are the long-term damages that it causes to society, families and the individual. Especially when advertising to a population that includes teenagers who are more likely to be influence by the mass media and advertisements such as SISLEY’s. Companies should be more careful with their messages and cause controversy but in a positive way.
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