The ad I chose for this paper was one for Visa credit cards. The layout of the ad was an open wallet filled with all sorts of papers and knickknacks. The wallet apparently belonged to a woman in her 20's who worked for a record company. Every noticeable object in the wallet had a description next to it and where it came from or what it meant in this girl's life. One of the objects in the wallet was a Visa card, and next to it was a list of all her recent credit card purchases with the Visa card.
Visa is marketing towards a young audience, specifically Generation X. This ad was found in "Entertainment Weekly" a magazine read by young, hip people. The girl in the ad was twenty something, and had a very interesting job; a job that most kids her age might want. Also, she is real, and not too glamorous; even though she has an exciting job, she is not a movie star. Thus, the target might want to identify with her, and obtain a Visa credit because it is popular; the young girl serves as a silent authority on what is cool. She's basically telling the youth of America that it is OK to buy Visa. Finances and credit cards have always been seen as an "adult" topic, which is why Visa attempts to bridge the age gap.
The image of this ad is one of youth and "pop culture". The objects in the wallet are all things that are of interest to Generation X: matches from a nightclub, ticket stubs for a concert, receipts from record stores, and pictures of friends. The look of the ad is the complete opposite of official. The writing for the description is not mechanical computer fonts, rather they are written by hand. The language also is not the usual advertisement, grammatically correct English. The ad is made to look like she wrote it, in her own style of language, complete with slang, etc.
Even though Visa tried to sway away from an ad that looked official in any way, they had to convey the product benefits. The style in which they achieved this was very creative. The girl in the ad had a long list of Visa purchases that included a wide array of different stores. This is a subtle message that told people "you can use Visa anywhere: restaurants, stores, gas stations etc." There was a second subtle message in the ad. In her own words she tells about a certain place, and describes that it is "the only place that doesn't accept Visa" implying how few spots actually don't accept the Visa credit card. Another product benefit was the ease of using it, and how it doesn't interfere with your busy life. The girl appeared to have a very hectic life, but the Visa card was the one item that did not give her any hassle.
Finally, this ad had a strong psychological attraction to it. There were many things that lured the passing eye into the ad. First of, the layout was an open wallet with a detailed account of all the materials in it. People are nosy at heart, and if they see an open wallet of someone who looks remotely interesting, people want to find out more. So, folks are bound to peek at the ad initially out of sheer curiosity. After they look at what is in her wallet, they can act even more personal and she how she spends her Visa card. Peeping into her Visa bill fulfills a person's curiosity as well as giving them a chance to compare their credit card purchases with someone whom they find interesting. The last psychological detail in the ad was the picture of her 5-year-old cousin. This was put there for no other reason then for people to be roped in by a picture of a cute kid. In conclusion, this ad is very effective in that it appears to portray the real life of a young girl. The ad is in her words, and has no sign of anything official or corporate. The Visa Company scored a bullseye in who they targeted with this ad and how they went about reaching that crowd.