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Essay/Term paper: Many advertisements use codes to convey a fairy tale to consumers

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Book Reports

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Many Advertisements Use Codes to Convey a Fairy Tale to Consumers

Many advertisements use codes to convey a fairy tale to consumers,
usually resulting in a happy ending. This occurs at the expense of the price
and means being set aside. Most advertisements rely heavily on visual props
and sometimes on text to convey their meaning. These codes are open to many
interpretations. This ad is no exception. It uses the visual code on many
different levels, and the text is there mainly for explanatory purposes. These
codes all have references to the story-line of Magic: two sorcerers using
spells to fight each other over imaginary regions of land. The advertisement
tries unsuccessfully to convey a happy ending, like in a fairy tale, to the
consumer, while sacrificing price and means.
The code of spatial order is used to show the reader advancements in
periods of time. These advancements can be seen as one looks at the ad from
the lower-left corner in a clockwise circle. The first object one would see is
a skull from a Woolly Mammoth, which is symbolic of prehistoric times. The
next object, a computer, stands out because it does not fit the pattern of
chronological order. Wizards of the Coast and Microprose, the advertisers, use
this purposely by drawing attention to the computer and consequently the
computer game. The computer falls into another pattern. This pattern goes in
the same order, clock-wise, but alternates between Magic (the game) and
something pertaining to the background of the game. The next objects are tarot
cards and a spell book, both of which follow the patterns. These objects,
along with the mood of the entire ad being dark, may be interpreted by the
consumer to mean death or the devil. This is based on cultural beliefs and
rituals. Most people believe angels and good guys wear white, and therefore
devils and bad guys dress in black. Also, people usually wear black clothing to
funerals, which is essentially a ritual for death. The next item in the
pattern is actual cards from the game of Magic. These cards follow
chronological order because they are the result of the movable-type printing
press being invented in the 18th or 19th century. The final components are a
CD-ROM disk and a mouse. These show how science and technology have advance in
the 20th century, and it also reminds the consumer of the computer, and
consequently the computer game.
This printed sales pitch also uses dark and bright colors that contrast
each other to give the consumer more information about the game. The ad itself
is dark and mystic, somewhat evil; it also has blue, mystical back-lighting.
The makeshift table at the bottom of the ad is made up of broken stones that
look cold and gray; the light green, almost magical text appears in the center
of the table. All of these things embody the game of Magic. The darkness
illustrates the dark side of the sorcerers; the green lettering represents the
magic that is being used; the broken stones are the battle lands.
These representations of the game itself make the reader want to buy the
computer game. The advertisers make the ad appeal mainly to people who already
play the card version of the game, because they rely heavily on the background
story. The two companies take the logical next step by advancing the card game
to computers, the medium of choice for most consumers today. Sociology shows
advancements in culture from hunting-gathering societies to the post-industrial
society the United States is entering into today. The companies show how they
are making the card game "New and Improved," something every consumer likes to
hear. Consumers believe they can get better quality when they hear this phrase,
but this ad doesn't really give better quality to the game. Although the
computer game can be used to play with cards on may never own, such as a $350
Black Lotus, the game and its concepts are still the same and will remain so.
The price, which is kept a secret unless you call the 800 number in small print
at the bottom of the ad, just isn't worth it. More cards would be on the
market by the time the CD was released, giving it a disadvantage. The price
and means of the advertisement, or fairy tale, are not worth the end result.
For this reason alone, most consumers would not have a happy ending if they
actually bought this product.


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