Rhetorical Visual Analysis of Chanel Advertisement Essay

Mitchell Ms. Blommer English 1010 October 1, 2012 Rhetorical Visual Analysis of Chanel Advertisement Few people realize the true impact of product advertising, but the truth is that the modern consumer is severely affected and often subconsciously influenced by advertisements, especially if it is a quality and persuasive advertisement. But how does one create an effective ad? That is literally the million-dollar question that keeps the advertising industry so competitive and prosperous.The French fashion house, Chanel, has constructed a striking and persuasive image to lure the public into desiring and ultimately purchasing its product through the appeal of ethos and effective visual tools. Fig.

1. Coco Mademoiselle advertisement with Keira Knightly. 2011, Chanel Fragrance Campaign. Fig. 1.

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Coco Mademoiselle advertisement with Keira Knightly. 2011, Chanel Fragrance Campaign. In 2011, Chanel released an advertisement for the perfume ‘Coco mademoiselle’ featuring the British actress Keira Knightly as the ‘face’ of the new fragrance.This advertisement was displayed in women’s fashion magazines, such as ‘Vogue’, all across Europe and the United States. The image shows the young, beautiful, glamorous, Keira Knightly holding a bottle of the perfume while looking straight into the camera.

Most people who view this advertisement are at least faintly familiar with the Chanel fashion house, especially women. The advertisement relies on the company’s prior ethos appeal by making Chanel’s trademark one of the first things the viewer sees.When the target audience sees this word ‘CHANEL’, one immediately recognizes the credibility and status of the fashion house. Chanel has been building up its character and credibility for over one hundred years. The fashion house has become iconic due to its originality and its now trademark clothing design. Chanel symbolizes the ultimate image of class, sophistication, and beauty because of its impeccable and renowned reputation. A woman who wears Chanel, whether it is a fragrance, accessory, or dress, is automatically viewed as possessing an elegant and becoming aura.

In order to maintain its credibility, Chanel has had a number of illustrious celebrity endorsers, including model Kate Moss, actresses Nicole Kidman, Audrey Tautou, and now Keira Knightley. By having such a renowned face for its latest fragrance, Chanel has not only accomplished the feat of maintaining its credibility, but it has enticed the viewer. Though the advertisement is already very strong because of this prior ethos, it is even further enhanced by its selective visual implementations. The medium of this advertisement is photography. This was chosen because only photography is able to portray a completely realistic image.By expressing a realistic image, Chanel suggests that this image, look, beauty, and glamour is achievable for any woman.

Chanel makes the assumption that every woman wishes to have such qualities and will go to many lengths in order to achieve them, such as buying their product. In order to affectively convey these desired qualities, Knightly is photographed wearing light makeup, except for the dark smokey shadow encompassing the flesh around her eyes, suggesting drama and allure. Knightly has a sensual yet penetratingly powerful and confident expression.The composition of the photograph is mapped so that Knightley’s eyes first capture the viewer and then their attention is pulled up to the text in the top right corner, then down towards the fragrance bottle in front of Knightley’s bottom lip.

Chanel’s target audience is concentrated on youthful women. Chanel appeals to this audience by displaying an image of pure beauty and simplicity, while also suggesting a manner of risque boldness. In whole, the overall expression of Knightley’s face evokes these intense reactions towards the advertisement and the product. The text in the advertisement is minimal.

The creator chose to write the company’s name and trademark in the upper right hand corner, making this the most dominant text. The creator also chose to write the name of the fragrance across the bottom of the image in loose, white lettering. This suggests that the product name is not the most important part of the advertisement, and instead the intention is to force the viewer to notice other factors first, such as Knightley’s eyes and the Chanel trademark. Though one text is dominant and the other is easy to overlook, both texts portray an air of light simplicity due to clean and relaxed white fonts.

The simplicity is an effective tool in the marketing of the product in that the advertisement does not feel too blunt or candid— the perfume and the text succeed in complimenting each other. This advertisement incorporates a number of visual appeals, including attention to composition, lighting, and color. The composition of this ad leaves no room for wandering eyes; the viewer is forced to look at Knightley, then the bottle, then the ‘Chanel’ trademark in the top corner. The lighting is very dramatic which again brings the viewers attention towards the lightest and most contrasted areas of the advertisement.The colors that advertisement incorporates are very soft and creamy, thus embodying that sense of chic elegance as opposed to using bright popping colors that might otherwise be overwhelming. Though only an advertisement, the image is effective not only in successfully marketing its product, but in demonstrating the power of visual appeals. The best advertisements do not include the phrase ‘amazing deals’ or even the price of the product they are selling. Truly effective advertisements act as if they are doing one a favor by selling their product to the general public.

The Chanel advertisement portrays a sense of complete sophistication, glamour, and ultimately style through its unique presentation. The advertisement creates a mysterious mood and is almost rendered as a piece of artwork. Visual displays have always been the most effective type of communication, and the Chanel advertisement is a true example of the intensive amount of thought put not only into creating advertisements, but also into creating any influential image. Desire is truly one of the most prevalent and powerful dispositions of human beings, and advertisers know this.Advertising has shaped the entire modern consumer culture off this premise, and as long as beauty is desired, and money is accessible, advertising will thrive. Works Cited “Keira Knightley for Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Fragrance Contract 2011 (s/s 11 and F/w11). ” – Faystyle Blog.

WiFay, July 2010. Web. 5 Oct.

2012. <http://faystyle. com/blog/2012/04/keira-knightley-for-chanel-coco-mademoiselle- fragrance-contract-2011-ss-11-and-fw-11/>. “Coco Mademoiselle. ” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Sept.

2012. Web. 4 Oct. 2012. <http://en.

wikipedia. org/wiki/Coco_Mademoiselle>.


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