The growth of advertising has lately been influenced by company’s competition for business and the urge to broaden their market scope. Most companies today are aggressively advertising their products. The use of propaganda and weasel words is very common in advertising. Propaganda influences the attitude of the target audience. Propaganda portrays only the positive side of the product being advertised. The opinion of the target audience becomes fully changed. Since it is only the positive side of reality that is highlighted by the use of propaganda in advertising, the target audience only gets to know very little of the product being advertised. Some words and phrases used in advertisements may seem real and appear to be true and clear though in an actual sense they are vague and not true. Such words and phrases are called weasel words. The objective of this study is to try to identify the use of propaganda and weasel words in the advertisement, “L’Oreal Ever Crème”, which is about hair products
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Description of the advertisement
L’Oreal Paris, the producers of hair products such as shampoos, conditioners, and creams have designed an advertisement for their products and run it in one of the most popular magazines, The People’s Magazine. In the advertisement, a full-color image of a popular model, Eva Longoria, is displayed. The heading on the advertisement is, “Introducing Ever Crème Sulfate-free moisture system”. “10X HEALTHIER HAIR”, is another eye-catching content of the advertisement. Other works featured are, “NO SULFATES, NO HEAVY WAXES, JUST ALL-OUT NOURISHMENT”. The model is quoted as saying, “DRY HAIR? WHAT DRY HAIR? “. There is a picture of L’Oreal Paris consulting stylist, Johnny Lavoy with some words beside his picture that say, “Dry hair? Give it a luxurious …”.The color of the background of the advertisement is quite attractive. Three containers of L’Oreal’s products are displayed in the advertisement in which two of them are executive tubes and the other is a nice, round container. The tubes are cream in color with metallic writings while the bottle top of the tube is plainly metallic. The bottom remarks in the advertisement are, “Because you are worth it”.
Target and purpose of the advertisement
The advertisement targets women. The pictures of the popular models, Eva Longoria and Johnny Lavoy, and their comments in the advertisement are a form of propaganda called, “Bandwagon”. This form of propaganda involves high ranking people in society in advertisements to create an impression that they use the advertised products. The aim is to appeal to the audience.
The phrase, “Because you are worth it” at the bottom of the advertisement constitutes weasel words that may not have the same meaning to the audience and to the advertiser. The weasel words do not convey the reality of the body cream. The quoted words from the model are another form of propaganda known as, “Testimonials”. The model seems to be telling the audience that she too uses the product but in the real sense, she might not be using the product. The words, “10X healthier hair” also constitute weasel words. It is most likely that there is no scientific proof that the lotion will make the hair ten times healthier. Probably, nobody would confirm that the hair becomes soft after using the product. Other words that denote propaganda in the advertisement are, “No sulfates, no heavy waxes, just all-out nourishment” for they only depict the positive side of the product.
The shape of the containers that carry the body creams is also a form of propaganda. The shape seems to imply that the cream is something precious. The color of the bottle top could be signifying that the product is valuable and treasured. This type of propaganda is called “Card stacking”.