Monday, 22 October 2012

Context of Practice Task 2: Image Analysis Exercise

These images share various similarities and differences. The first image is an American advertisement for an oven during 1876. The second image is a poster produced during WW1 persuading men to join the army. Although each image is focusing on different subjects, their mannerisms, tone of voice and general approach is similar.

Image one was produced one hundred years on from American Independence Day. From the decoration alone it is clear the image is pro-American. There is an unusual choice of composition. Usually in advertisements the main focus of attention would be placed in the centre, however in this case the oven is placed to the left and there is a wealthy-looking man in the middle of the image instead. This could suggest a subtle hint to other men with families that this advertisement is aimed at them as the man of the house to provide for their family. Both images use a similar idea of wealth and an ideal dream life style. Image one uses a saloon bar, wild west type-face This could be portrayed as a symbolism of gold and 'the American Dream'.

Image two is during World War Two. There are similar themes as used in image one related to wealth and patriotism. Ironically, the war is being portrayed as something 'great'. the caption at the bottom of the image reads 'Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?' This is a strong persuasion tactic causing men to feel responsible for the fate of their families. Another implication of appeal to joining the army is the young boy playing with the palace guards as some sort of game, wanting to re-enact the war as though it is something enjoyable and lighthearted. The use of children in image two is extremely powerful and motivational. By capitalising the word 'you' and the specific expression and direction of the man's face as he looks directly at the viewer, generates a more personal message directly to fathers during the Second World War.

Another way in which image one celebrates the American lifestyle is by undermining and mocking other countries food habits. The contents of food used on the food bill for the other countries is slightly racist. For example there is a reference to Ireland eating potatoes, China eating birds nest boiled and Italy eating macaroni. The name Uncle Sam is personification in its own right.

In conclusion, both images share a passion for their countries. They are patriotic, persuasive and positive. They both suggest a target audience of husbands and fathers during crucial times in both American and British history. Although they do not necessarily use fair persuasion methods they are both effective in generating a powerful, motivational response.

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