As with all consumer products, the tobacco industry’s marketing efforts demonstrate clear proof of targeting explicit population subgroups by employing strategies and themes designed to generate brand loyalty, as well as, market share. Besides advertising, tobacco products’ promotional channels can include direct mail, affinity magazines, gift catalogues or coupons, and promotional booths at marked venues and as related niche-market efforts. Marketing goals for these avenues range from the formation of new markets to attracting youthful smokers who are building their long-term choice of brand. It is essential to understand targeted marketing when considering design of tobacco control programs. However, this paper posits to provide specific and concrete components of images portrayed in the thetruth.com website as visual evidence-analyses campaign against the use of tobacco.
VISUAL RHETORIC ANALYSIS of thetruth.com.
The images depicted in the website are exceptionally specific. The predominant color on the website is black. This has a powerful visual effect on the audience since black as a color has been stereotyped to symbolize death and negativity. In the context of the contents in the website, it symbolizes death that results from the abuse of tobacco. The imagery recognizes the category of persons that typically abuse tobacco and cigarettes in general. Through this imagery, it is evident that the male audience has been selected as the most susceptible across the two genders in terms of cigarette use. This portrayal is extremely deliberate, since the male gender is lured into tobacco abuse, through perceived imagery of men sampling tobacco in a man’s world. It is essential to mention that tobacco advertisements tend to portray the image of a man in a male domain. The targeted audience in the website is well defined by use of these images. The imagery makes the anti-tobacco crusade appear valid (Truth1585).
The utilization of hyperlinks in thetruth.com website is extremely effective in facilitating effectiveness in regard to the anti-tobacco crusade. In reality, by the use of these hyperlinks, the users can post their feelings and feedback in relation to the topic. This aids interactive sessions whereby users may exchange views on the subject. Through this website, users can indicate how the anti-tobacco crusade has impacted on their lives. The visual effects depicted in the website are compelling enough for users to relay the message to other user in order to generate increased awareness as well as increase the number of visitors to this website (Truth1585).
The website is extremely persuasive through the utilization of sarcasm. In reality, the picture of a leg holding a cigarette between the fingers is justly sarcastic. The significance provides the audience with a reason to reflect over what it would mean. The words in this picture read; ‘Cancer cures smoking, death cures cancer’. The impression of this statement makes the reader reflect on the body placed on what appears to be hospital bed, with a tag on one foot and a cigarette on the other as a depiction of the cause of death or hospitalization. It is by the use of sarcasm in this picture that the audience is made to be conscious of the penalty of tobacco abuse. The utmost consequence is clearly written on the reading in the picture portraying the susceptibility to cancer. The audience is persuaded to desist from tobacco usage through accentuating on the consequences of the habit. This picture is adequately persuasive to any rational individual, in that such an individual would desire to refrain from the danger that cancer presents (Truth1585).
The other picture of a framed photograph of a happy couple, some gold coins in the background, a packet of high-end brand of cigarette, car keys, and an expensive watch placed on a table send the deceptive image of affluence and a happy life. A closer analysis of the picture shows a tag that reads “remove one’. A deeper look reveals that the dotted lines surrounding the cigarette pack and the man in the framed photograph are to be removed. An analysis of the meaning of this would be that upon removal of the two, the lady in the photograph will remain with the affluence, minus her husband. This depicts the tragedy of tobacco abuse in a subtle fashion. This picture borrows heavily from the convectional themes used in tobacco advertisements, whereby male smokers are depicted as independent, successful, adventurous, and a darling of beautiful ladies (Truth1585).
The anti-smoking crusade in the website seeks to purge abuse of tobacco, and cigarette smoking in particular in the U.S. In order to achieve this objective, the designers of the website require acknowledging the American nature and lifestyle. However, this has been well utilized in the website by use of factual information. So as, to depict the gravity that tobacco use brings to society, several factual pieces of information have been cited in the website. The factual information, in collaboration with the message from the anti-smoking crusade, works effectively in persuading smokers to desist from the habit or reflect on a plan of action that would ultimately lead them in stopping abuse of tobacco. While numerous smokers continue smoking as a result of lack of knowledge, the facts presented, as well as the imagery in the website initiates a word of warning to tobacco users (Truth1585).
In the entire website, there is not a single shred of evidence of all the advantages or promises of affluence that tobacco companies place on their advertisements. The subtle lie fronted by tobacco companies in regard to flavored cigarettes is well covered in the website. The rosy picture in the candy flavored cigarette section is effectively downplayed by the pictures of people living with tobacco related ailments. The picture at the bottom that depicts persons living with tobacco related ailments is extremely powerful. This picture unveils the subtleness in the rosy picture above it, which advertises candy flavored tobacco. Note that, in the picture below all the people are dressed in hospital gowns. This clearly sends the message across to the effect that, all the glamour in tobacco advertisement is a big lie (Truth1585).
The penalty of smoking and the complexity of quitting are well elaborated in the website. The statistics section is well done, since it portrays the grave danger that the American society is currently in, despite the subtle advertisements from tobacco companies. Customers of the tobacco companies are suffering, and dying in droves as the tobacco companies continue to lie and mint billions of dollars from them. A closer analysis of the statistics section depicts a dying nation, either from the direct use of tobacco or second-hand smoke from the smokers. In all this, the tobacco companies are indifferent to the plight of the nation at large.
np.Truth 1585.nd thetruth.com.web.05 Mar.2012
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