It is a calm and seductive night. One is walking on a busy sidewalk in a suburban city. There is really not a single eye catching thing as one walks endlessly along the empty and dull driveways of the neighbourhood houses. Suddenly, a lustrous light spectacle that seems to be emanating from a distance comes into play. As one slowly advance towards this spectacle, you can’t help but wonder what it could be. As the eye begins to gain more focus, the figure depicted in the light spectacle starts taking shape. It is a brand new Honda Accord EX V-6 that is parked in one of the neighbourhood’s driveways. Spotlights that emanate from various directions and angles further help to amplify the flawlessness of the car’s exterior. A boxed house that is constructed abstractly is towered on the car demonstrating the fact that car’s wealthy owners are very proud to fit or blend the car’s portrait into their house that looks absolutely perfect. This car definitely feels like its from a different dimension or even a fairy tale, yet this whole experience was a cleverly constructed video advertisement by very wise advertisers that appeared on TBS television and a couple of other cable networks including USA Network and TNT. The car together with the other added features including the spotlights, the house, the subtitles amongst others clearly demonstrate how American advertisers are essentially able to manipulate relatively invaluable objects into advertisements that convince the public that they are indeed luxurious and can give them happiness, which in reality is not real.
The main creators of the advertisement were the Honda Motor Company with the help of Y & R Advertising which is a renowned advertising firm in the United States. Y & R Advertising co-authored the script with Honda but it was the one that did the actual shooting and production of the video. The advertisement released was in late 2012 and was shot in HD quality and this explains the high image and graphics quality that are present in the advertisement.
The target audience of the advertisement is the average Americans, mainly those in the 18-40 age brackets. This advert has particularly coincided with a historical period where every member of the society is becoming more and more attracted to luxurious things in life like cars. Rather than giving the viewers a sense of security in their lives, the advertisement destroys their purported contentment and self esteem by making them believe that they are not capable of leading a luxurious life if they do not buy or possess this highly luxurious car (Nelson 34). This is the case up to the point where they realize that the advertisement is really promoting a more affordable version of the Honda Accord.
Through the convincing of potential customers to purchase the car, advertisers of this particular feature not only attract customers successfully, but also convert the customers into the product package itself by convincing them to show off their cars to the other potential customers or buyers of the Honda Accord .
Through the advert, the car advertiser offer or gives the audience of the advert a chance to be a wealth symbol by buying the vehicle and showing off. Honda Accord throughout the years has been known to be quite a reliable and affordable automobile. Therefore, when an individual see the Honda Accord as displayed in the advertisement, he subliminally or unconsciously applies the reliability and affordability trademark to the car (Connolly 45). This is further proven by the fact that the advertisement does not actually feature a price tag that is the actual retail price of the car is not told to the audience.
Apart from the presumed car’s reasonable price, the Honda Accord is depicted as a visually flawless car with very shiny curves and a silvery paint. The silver painting is made intentionally so as to further emphasize the richness and luxurious values accorded to the car even when in reality; the car is not expensive or luxurious at all. The colour silver is one which is actually symbolizes or is associated with success and wealth (Connolly 67).
This entices the adverts’ audience to make consideration to the point that the Honda Accord can grant them high status and wealth that they have not supposedly quite achieved. The shiny and glossy effect that is displayed by the car’s paint acts like the consumer’s mirror that makes them feel like that their self personality and image will actually be reflected publicly by the brand new car.
The gloss effect also creates reflections that are quite attractive and that essentially transform the Honda Accord into a kind of a precious gem. Gems are in most scenarios used to display one’s wealth. In basic terms, the car’s hard exterior is emphasized to convince the further convince the audience that it is possible to show off their own gigantic piece of gem.
Unfortunately in real terms, this particular car is not really a flawless gem and neither is it a pedestal towards luxury. It is essentially just a simple car situated in a driveway that has been significantly altered so that it can provoke the public’s envious eyes.
It has already been stated that the advert feeds to the public that happiness can be obtained through boasting. However, another element of this particular video advertisement that also contributes to the notion above is the house. The house is used to act as the vice that presents the splendours and rewards that result from showing off. For instance, the modernistic appearance and shape in the video’s background basically stereotypes its residences as rich and artistic folks.
In the United States, it is almost very citizens dream to possess a posh looking house so as to attain an accomplishment sense. This essentially comprises the “ American Dream” which includes having a good job, house and a family (Haydon 87). This is directly incorporated into the video advertisement through the assertion of the point that if the Honda Accord owner shows it off like displayed in the advertisement, it will be possible for them to attain self accomplishment and fulfilment of being the owners of such a very luxurious house.
There are also no spottable cracks, blemishes, disfigurements or smears on the house in the advertisement. In basic terms, both the car and the house are given perfection. This means that if a member of the adverts’ audience purchases the car, he will be able to show it off in a seemingly perfect world. To make a further enforcement of purchasing a product to serve happiness purposes, the house is constructed in such in a way that makes it look like its smiling.
Through the house’s happy expression, the advert is able to personify the new car owner’s reaction that is one of happiness. Sadly though, an inanimate object like a house cannot really give one true happiness. True happiness can only emanate from social interactions. Instead, happiness is only imitated through the showing off of this inanimate object to others.
A point should also be made that the house is actually not the subject of the advertisement itself. The creators of the advert just wanted to evoke feelings of envy from the consumers about who in particular owns the product and to then purchase the product for themselves. In this scenario, the house was actually used as an extra bargaining chip to insist that materialistic glamour that is excessive in nature will result to true happiness.
In conclusion even if the house portrays boastfulness subliminally, the tiny phrases and massive spotlights display the show off nature of the society. This is done by availing the auto show attraction into a potential consumer’s driveway. This actually reveals the incorporation of the luxury car and its associated low price paradox. The spotlights in the advertisement present the owner of the car with an opportunity to actually step into spotlight himself and in the process gain attention. It drives forward the notion that anyone can potentially become a star (Nelson 51). By constantly using words like “ feel free” the adverts creators try to make the customer feel like the choice of buying the car is actually his. The truth is however that what they are basically saying is that eventually, one will have freedom to freely show off his precious asset just like many other people in the society by purchasing this car brand. The Honda advertisement is not entirely different from a host of other video advertisements that dominate our T. V screens. This is a type of advertisement that encourages people to use basic objects so as to draw or get flattery from other people. However, it is quite clear that although these types of adverts do not accurately represent the true facts, the adverts do actually serve their intended purpose. The Honda advertisement is a very good example. The creators of the advertisement definitely took their time in coming up with an effective advertisement that was tailor made for the normal and average public.
Connolly, Sean. Advertisements. Mankato, Minn: Smart Apple Media, 2010. Print.
Haydon, Julie. Advertisements. Southbank, Vic: Thomson Nelson, 2004. Print.
Nelson, John S. Video Rhetorics: Televised Advertising in America. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012. Print.