How successfully can advertisements change peoples attitudes?

Skoda and the Spastics Society are two companies that have both suffered a serious problem with their image, both companies have been the subject of jokes over the years and their original advertisements did nothing to change their problem infact they probably made it worse - How successfully can advertisements change peoples attitudes? introduction. The Spastics Society’s original advertisement was of a helper aiding some one to do a simple task, cutting a slice of cheese. This reinforces the stereotypical view that most people have of spastics, that they are not capable of proper communication, that they are all quite thick and that they need help in doing everything.

The Skoda advertisement was of a box shaped car on a road with a grass bank behind it, it was not a very interesting advertisement. This also backs up people’s stereotypical view of a Skoda car that they are dull and unattractive. The Companies realised that they had an image problem. Skoda could’t sell many cars because of peoples view and Scope had to change from the Spastics Society because ‘spastic’ had become an offensive term. So they released new advertisements to try to change people’s stereotypical view.

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The Skoda advertisement tries to improve the public’s opinion of them by showing that they have changed their company and the cars that they produce. They do this by admitting that they were getting things wrong and saying they have changed. They also try to remind the reader that some people did buy their cars before the change and liked them so they were getting some things right. The Scope advertisement tries to show the reader that their stereotypical view is wrong and that people with cerebral palsy should be given equal rights.

One of the ways it does this is by having a picture of a woman in a suit in a wheelchair her facial expressions look stern and angry. I think that this shows that people with cerebral palsy can be very normal. I think the facial expressions are to show her frustration that she or other sufferers do not receive equal rights or that people don’t take the time or effort to try to understand them. Both of the advertisements include slogans. The Skoda slogan is: ‘We’ve changed the car. Can you change your mind? ‘ and the Scope advertisement is: ‘Cerebral palsy often impairs the ability to Communicate.

Yours, not mine. ‘ Both of the slogans turn the problem on the reader. With the Skoda advertisement it like they’re saying we’ve done our half of the deal now you do yours and it gets the reader to think that it might be their problem. The Scope advertisement is saying there is a problem and its your problem. The Scoda advertisement has its title in a much larger font than the rest of the advertisement, this is to grab the readers attention. The picture in the Skoda advertisement is of a brand new, shiny car and a new Skoda sign being erected next to it.

This is to show that the company has now been turned around and is virtually brand new like the car. The sign being erected is like a new company has being founded and the new sign is to mark this new company. The dull background may be to make the car and the sign stand out. Or the bright car on a dull, dark background may be to represent the light at the end of the tunnel like Skoda has had a bad past like a dark tunnel but they have now turned around and there is light at the end of the tunnel, they are looking forward to a bright future.

In the dead centre of the advertisement there are three pictures and the Skoda emblem. These are arranged to form a large exclamation mark, this also attracts the readers attention and its trying to say “We’ve changed ! ” It might also be to symbolise the readers surprise. Another thing that stands out on the Skoda advertisement is their slogan, this is in a larger font than the text but smaller than the title. They have made this stand out so it will be clearly visible and the reader will be able to read it easily so hopefully it will stick in their mind or make them at least think about it.

The third thing that stands out is the writing above the slogan where it says ‘Volkswagen Group’. They have made this stand out because this will influence the reader by making them think that Skoda has being taken over by Volkswagen and Volkswagen is a good company so Skoda probably has improved to nearly the same standard as Volkswagen. The Scope advertisement attracts the reader’s attention by having a dark picture on a white background so it really stands out and is clear. The writing is in a column down the right hand side of the page.

There is not a lot of writing and it is very well spaced out so it does not put the reader off reading it and so it is easy to read. Both advertisements draw the reader’s attention to the pictures and have their slogans at the bottom of the page after the writing so it is the last thing that the reader will read and it will stick in their mind. The Skoda advertisement is divided into approximately 5 sections the first section is a general introduction that talks about change and how Skoda have reviewed themselves.

The second section is called the good news and tells the reader about Skoda’s achievements like the J. D Power customer satisfaction audit and that they were the most elegant cars on the road as well as the fact that people who buy their cars like them. The section after this is called “The other news. ” it is called this because it does not sound as bad as if it was called “The bad news. ” and it doesn’t sound as negative. The section admits that Skoda were getting things wrong and changes had to be made. When they admit they were getting things wrong they say things like ‘We were too “inward looking”. Being too inward-looking does not sound like it is a very bad thing where as if they had said We were too self-centred this makes us feel worse about them and think “can they have changed that much”. The last two sections are called ‘The change’ and ‘The evidence’ so it tells the reader it has changed and then backs it up. In the section called ‘The Change’ there are some very powerful words like ‘revolutionised’ and ‘revised’ and ‘scrutinised’. The word ‘revolutionised’ is used because it makes it seem like Skoda have drastically changed.

Scrutinised was used because it makes it seem like Skoda have looked at every last detail and got everything as good as it gets and revised was used because it seems like they have checked over everything and it wasn’t easy. The last section repeats the word ‘expect’, for example ‘It doesn’t look the way you’d expect a Skoda to look. It doesn’t feel the way you’d expect a Skoda to feel’ The purpose of this is to try and change the reader’s stereotypical image of what they expect a Skoda car to be like and convince the reader that Skoda cars are better than what the reader would expect.

Throughout the Skoda advertisement the company refers to itself as ‘we’. This is to make the advertisement more personal and so Skoda is not seen as a big faceless company instead it seems more like a friend or just another person who we might trust more. So we believe them more when they say that they have changed, and we would feel more comfortable about going to buy a car from Skoda because we might feel we know them. In the section called ‘The good news’ Skoda talk about how they were one of the greatest ‘marques’ in the first half of the century and their car the ‘Hispano-Suizas’ was the most elegant cars on the road.

It then says ‘When the cold war started that all stopped. And the years of isolation took their toll’ The advertisement blames Skoda’s failure on the cold war it does not fully admit that it was their fault. In the next section the advertisement says ‘We made the cars we wanted to make, rather than the cars most customers wanted. ‘ This sentence sort of blames the public for not liking their cars. The slogan at the bottom of the Scope advertisement is in two sentences. The first sentence, ‘Cerebral palsy often impairs the ability to communicate. is a fact where as the second sentence, ‘Yours, not mine’, is more of an opinion. The slogan is similar to that of the Skoda slogan because they both make it seem like the reader’s problem. Its the reader’s problem that they can’t communicate properly with someone with cerebral palsy and it’s the readers problem that they can’t change their mind even though Skoda have changed the car. The Scope advertisement blames people for not trying to understand people with cerebral palsy and people who don’t give them a chance with employment and education.

I know this because it says ‘The worst thing is when people just ignore me and look the other way. Schools employers, local authorities. I’ve been ignored by them all. And like everyone else with cerebral palsy. I’m tired of it. ‘ So I believe that the purpose of the advertisement is to try to change the way that people with cerebral palsy are treated. The lady uses humour to show that she is just as capable of making a joke as any one else and that people with cerebral palsy can be very normal people.

The lady shows the reader her anger and frustration by the look on her face in the picture and through the text. For example ‘ I know it’s difficult to understand what I say but it would be easier if people tried. ‘ and ‘And like everyone else with cerebral palsy, I’m tired of it. ‘ the underlined sections seem to show her frustration. The advertisement is quite personal because she addresses the reader as ‘you’ for example ‘And I don’t care how many times you ask me to repeat myself. I’d rather you do that then… This makes the reader feel they are almost talking to her or like they know her and she is a normal person. The advertisement is meant to seem like it’s written by the lady in the wheelchair not like the Skoda advertisement which was meant to be from the company as a whole. First of all in the Scope advertisement the lady tells the reader about the communication problem ‘I know it’s difficult to understand what I say. But it would be easier if people tried. ‘ the problem is that people don’t try to understand cerebral palsy sufferers.

Next she tells you how the problem effects cerebral palsy sufferers ‘The worst thing is when people just ignore me and look the other way. Schools, employers, local authorities, I’ve been ignored by them all. ‘ The communication problem effects her because Schools, employers and local authorities don’t try to understand her. Finally she tells you who is trying to help solve the problem ‘So are the Spastics Society. That’s why they changed to Scope. Because its about time that every one with cerebral palsy, however severely disabled, was allowed the scope to live normally. Scope are the one who produced this advertisementisment to try to change peoples views toward cerebral palsy sufferers, they are trying to get people to overcome the communication problem. The two advertisements are similar because they were both written for the same purpose, to change people’s stereotypical image of the companies and, in the case of the Skoda advertisement, what the company manufactures or in the case of the Scope advertisement what the organisation supports. The advertisements are also similar in other ways.

They both have a slogan that will stick in the readers mind and which sums up the whole advertisement so even if that’s all the reader remembers, it’s the most important thing that was mentioned in the whole of the advertisement. The two advertisements both use pictures to try and change or replace the reader’s image of the organisations. The image on the Scope advertisement is of a woman in a wheelchair wearing a suit, which shows that a person with cerebral palsy can be as normal as everyone else. The picture in the Skoda advertisement is of a brand new, shiny car and a new Skoda sign being erected next to it.

This is to show that the company has now been turned around and is virtually brand new like the car. The sign being erected is like a new company has being founded and the new sign is to mark this new company. The dull background may be to make the car and the sign stand out. Or the bright car on a dull, dark background may be to represent the light at the end of the tunnel like Skoda has had a bad past like a dark tunnel but they have now turned around and there is light at the end of the tunnel, they are looking forward to a bright future.

I believe that the advertisements are affective because the Skoda advertisement really has made me believe that they have improved as a company. The main reason for this is probably because of the J. D Power customer survey and because they have the backing of Volkswagen which has invested so much money into the company. Also the language used in the advertisement makes them seem confident of a good future.

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