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Many Advertisements Use Codes To Convey A Fairy Tale To Consumers Essay, Research Paper

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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