I. The first advertisement I will summarize and analyze appeared in Adweek Western Advertising News on June 19, 1989. It is a full-page ad for Financial World magazine; its target audience is not readers, but advertisers. It is plain, almost stark in format, limiting itself to bold black, white, and red text with no illustrations.
The headline (in red) is "Well Read", followed by a short paragraph explaining that this epithet refers to the magazine itself rather than its readers since Financial World is read longer and more thoroughly than comparable business magazines. The ad reads, in part, " Some business magazines are poorly read. Some are well read. Some are very well read. But only one can be first among those who answered "all" when asked how much of the last issue they looked through."
Following this paragraph is a three-column chart listing various publications, the percentage of readers looking the all of the issues of each, and the mean reading time for each. Of course, Financial World, in red, is shown to have the highest rank in each category. The source of this data is cited as 1989 Spring MMR.
This ad is primarily an appeal to reason, insofar as it states apparent facts and has a "serious" visual presentation. However, there seems to be a subtle emotional appeal here as well. In all of its apparent straightforwardness and factuality, the ad flatters its audience (advertisers) by implying that it considers them too intelligent and sophisticated to try any gimmicks on them.
It is unsurprising that the ad's designers chose to supplement their rational message with an emotional one: research suggests that an emotional message can often be more effective than a primarily rational communication (Aronson, 1984).
Similarly, I believe that even though this ad is very plain in presentation, focussing on one rational selling point, it can also be considered an "image ad". This is because it presents ...