The Appeals of Advertisements on a Women’s Magazine

Advertisements are one of the ways that make products appeal to consumers. We see many types of ads anywhere, such as TV commercials, magazines, newspaper and signboards. Advertisements give general information on certain products and help us know about these products. Jib Fowles (1995-2008) has created a system that classifies the emotional needs into fifteen distinguishable appeals, each targeting a specific type of consumer. Using Fowles’ system to analyze the ads in ELLE magazine, we can know the target consumers of the ads and the lifestyle of the readers. The majority of the ads in this magazine are clothes and cosmetics and most of them are very expensive. So, this tells us that the readers of ELLE magazine have purchasing power. Clothing advertisements in this magazine are of well-known, high-end brands in the fashion industry. The three advertisements from ELLE magazine that I picked, and most ads in this magazine, generally appeal to the reader’s need for attention and prominence based on Fowles’ system.

One of the ads in this magazine is a coordinated style-advertisement for empolio armani. The photograph, which is placed next to the cover, shows a woman standing languorously and is looking at somewhere. She wears, and looks great with, an expensive white and black hound’s-tooth satin jacket, a long outstanding silver necklace, and beige short-pants while she roughly hooks onto a white handbag. There is a dark-gray background that remarkably works for her clothes–black, white, beige and her white handbag. Her skin color, tan, shows that she is an active woman. She looks like she is fascinated with something, has disheveled brown hair, and opens her lips. This ad appeals to our need for attention. In his essay, Jib Fowles says that: “the desire to exhibit ourselves in such a way as to make others look at us is primitive, insuppressible instinct.” Her jacket–the white and black hound’s-tooth satin jacket–glues and attracts other people’s eyes when she shows off her clothes. “The clothing industries exist just to serve this need.”

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Another ad in this magazine is an advertisement for DIOR, which is placed at the back cover of the magazine. This DIOR advertisement shows expensive clothes and a handbag, and two women models posing proudly in their outfits. Each woman covers half of the page. One wears a black beret, a setup suit with an extraordinarily shaped necklace, a pair of black pants, and a zebra-patterned handbag. Another woman wears a well-set hair, a fashionable white, long trench coat–inside of which is a stitched black dress; and a huge black ring. Both appear to glaringly look down at the readers like aloof women. This ad appeals to our need for prominence, which Fowles says is: “the need to be admired and respected, to enjoy prestige and high social status.” The visual images of this ad–the expensive outfits, quality clothing, and the position of models–show readers that these outfits are expensive and they can only be possessed and worn by the upper class. Both women wear a lot of makeup too and this helps accent the need for prominence.

Another major ad in this magazine is an advertisement for cosmetics. Our sample cosmetics ad is for CHANEL’s spring 2008 makeup collection. Here is a refined woman who wears the latest collection. Her face and half body take more than ninety percent of the page with her close-up photograph. She wears a black camisole sweater and her shoulders show up. She rests her elbow and looks at the readers with a sharp eye. She wears a pair of black, bold eye-lines, natural pink lips, and dark blue manicure. All of these are greatly emphasized with her really white, silky skin and the black background. Her hair is combed straight back, accentuating her forehead. At the bottom of this ad is a small photograph of a new makeup set introducing an eye-shadow pallet, an eye-liner, a manicure, and a basecoat for foundation.

This ad appeals to our need for prominence and makes us feel like we have high status. Fowles says that people have a “…need to be admired and respected, to enjoy prestige and high social status.” The visual images of this ad–the refined makeup, the model’s beautiful face and her resting, elbow-pose including her sharp eyes–show the readers that CHANEL cosmetics are for noble people or those with high status. Her sharp eyes also show readers that the model is proud of her beauty. Wearing this product appeals to our need for appearing refined and appearing to have high social status.

These three advertisements, and most ads in ELLE magazine, reveal the target readers that the advertisers see. The targets of these advertisers are unmarried women; between late-youth and early middle age: around 25-35 years old; with middle- or above-average income; those who care about their outfits and appearance; and those who especially want to look smart and fashionable. Most of the advertisements in ELLE magazine are for products that are very expensive and are usually the latest. Aside from clothing, accessories, and cosmetics, the other major ad in this magazine is for an engagement ring. Therefore, the ads appeal to the readers’ need for prominence and attention. Also, ELLE has ads for cosmetic surgery and most of its cosmetic ads are for women who desire to look and stay young. The ads encourage women to be smart and fashionable and make them stay young in their appearance.

I belong to the target of this magazine and the advertisements cleverly caught my attention even though I’m still a student. I also have desires for good fashion, but unfortunately, I don’t have time for it yet.


  1. Fowles, J. (1995-2008). Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals. Book Name. Pearson Education, Inc. as Pearson Prentice Hall.
  2. Selected Print Advertisements. (date). ELLE Magazine. Place of Publication: Publisher.

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The Appeals of Advertisements on a Women’s Magazine. (2016, Jun 24). Retrieved from