EXERCISE 1 – THE NEXT BIG THING
Mercedes-Benz is a luxury car manufacturer that is noted for ‘publishing the first ever automobile advertisement for the patented motor car in 1888’. Benz believed in ‘business recommendation’ and didn’t advertise the car itself but on ‘goodwill advertising’ as a trust-building exercise. He used initial literature such as ‘absolutely safe’, ‘no special operating skills required’ or ‘always ready for service’.
As time went on the advertising looked to be aimed at sophistication, with an elegant woman featured – aimed at the upper-class society, making cars a status symbol. Women also began to drive cars and were featured more in adverts at the wheel. ‘The female advertising icon of these times was sporty, self-confident, romantic and refined. She was seen as having a good sense of judgement and influence over men – and she was portrayed as craving for a car from her man’.
(accessed December 12, 2018)
Today, cars are still a status symbol, cars such as Mercedes-benz and women are still influenced by the appearance of cars or those who drive them. As depicted in one of Mercedes-Benz latest adverts, although a woman is not shown the implication is there. The car is a beautiful Mercedes sports car with the written caption “Men talk about women, sports and cars. Women talk about men inside sports cars”.
(accessed December 11, 2018)
(accessed December 11, 2018
Looking back over vintage advertisements, it would seem women are influenced by the men who own such prestigious cars, the adverts would show men and women wearing elegant or sporty clothes. However, they would also want to be reassured the car was safe and comfortable. The Mercedes slogan is “The best of nothing”.
Denotation: Red sport’s car with Mercedes sign, parked on a road with stunning mountain background, has the wording “Men talk about women, sports and cars. Women talk about men inside sports cars”.
Connotation: Suggesting, it’s important for the car to be a status symbol either for the car she is driving or the man who is driving it.
Sign: Red Sport’s car
Signifier: Shiny red car, large sports wheels, sports car, mountain background, wording “Men talk about women, sports and cars. Women talk about men inside sports cars”.
Signified: Sporty, upper class, attractive to women who like to see a man driving such a car, attractive to women who like to drive a sports car
What characterizes it as ‘new’, is the actual car itself, the make and model, the type of tyres and the number plate. The mercedes emblem is now shown on the front of the car engine, whereas in previous adverts it would show as a standalone feature on the engine, but due to vandalism this was changed with them being broken off the cars.
Having looked at other top of the range models like BMW, I noticed there were no slogans, and if they were they didn’t come across as sexist, more about the car “The Ultimate Driving Machine” is their Slogan. Or the Range Rover, similar mountain background but no slogan on the advert although their slogan is known as “Above and Beyond”.
(Accessed December 13, 2018)
(Accessed December 13, 2018)
Mercedes-Benz – clearly likes to be considered the best, they are a luxury and prestigious car, and women like to be seen in one or be seen with someone driving one, this has come across in vintage adverts and present day. The advert I chose will soon become ‘last year’s thing’ as the style of the car will change by the following year with a new design or features, better wheels, engine or interior. The slogan will mostly like not be used again due to the sexism innuendo, women love a nice car but ultimately want safety and comfort as a priority so perhaps they would be better referring more to this in their adverts.