Logic and Critical Thinking

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What kind of advertisements are these (the Seventeen ads) — identification or promise? Who is meant to identify with whom? Or, what exactly is being promised? What message(s) about sex do the Seventeen Magazine photos convey to young girls? What do you say to young boys about sex?
According to the author (232), pledge ads are those that tell the listener that if they purchase and eat the advertised product, they will be able to fulfill their needs or alleviate their fears. They work by providing a reason for the customer to buy such a product or by describing the relative advantages of such goods in comparison to those of the advertiser’s rivals. On the other hand, identification advertisements convince the consumer to purchase the advertised product by structuring the advert in such a way that its audience can relate to the message embodied therein (233). Although they also incorporate some promise, they primary is that the method takes subtle advantage of the human need to identify with a group or people one respects.
On account of these definitions, it is apparent that the seventeen ads embody either or combine the psychologies of promise and identification. All the images in handouts 9A, 9B, and 9C exhibit teenage female models. They are all shown wearing or carrying fashionable clothing items or accessories. Such portrayals are perhaps an attempt by the advertiser to capture the attention of teenagers by calling their attention to their peers. It is indeed a well-established fact that peer pressure, search for personal identity, and desire to conform to the expectations of one’s social group are most influential during the teenage years. By using young models, it is more likely that the advertiser will capture the intended market for such fashionable items. It is also noticeable that the models appear comfortable in their pose. Such poses arguably as a promise that by purchasing and wearing the items shown in the ads, teenage consumers may experience comfort and improve their self-image.
Some of the images in the advertisements also embody sexualized messages. In Dolce & Gabbana’s advert, the audience sees a male model holding a female on the ground by her hand. Other male models in the vicinity watch passively. The female model also seems passively resistant to the being held down. It is apparent that the subtle violence and sexualized tone of the advertisement embody messages the audience may interpret in specific ways. For the male audience, they may learn that sexualized aggression towards women is acceptable. On the other hand, the female audience is taught to accept submitting to such assault. After all, the female model seems reluctant to counter the male aggression whereas none of the male models in the periphery appears interested in intervening.

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