The Advertising Amateur

learning to communicate with images

Visual Puns: How Advertising Appeals to Society

March 30, 2013 by tsarain · 14 Comments · Uncategorized

“Say Cheese…”

“Reach. For the places your toothbrush hasn’t been to in a long time.”

“Get A Tasty New Look”

Aren’t these images punny?!

Visual puns are puns that involve an image or images in addition to words and language. Many times visual puns are puns through the use of images themselves. Brands, marketers, and advertisers use visual puns to speak to all of society, but especially to specific demographics.

For example, in order to “speak” to the younger generation, advertisements are now becoming more off beat to catch attention and to deliver their brand’s message. McDonald’s in Finland had an advertisement with udders of a cow in a position of a peace sign. This was used to advertise their milkshakes with double the flavor.

While many adults found this advertisement to be “udderly weird” and a bit disturbing, I found it to be funny and creative. I’m sure this advertisement would capture the attention of other young adults and teenagers around my age because it’s odd and quirky. An odd and quirky advertisement like this still works because once the viewer’s attention is captured through the image, then the rest of the advertisement–the message, can be absorbed.

Advertisers also benefit from the use of quirky, weird, and unusual images because these kinds of images help consumers remember their brand. It’s a recognition-memorization strategy trick that works.

Visual Puns are what first got me interested in advertising. Seeing vivid, funky, quirky and funny images caught my attention and made me wonder about the creative minds that were behind it all. That’s when I decided I wanted to be a part of creating advertisements. Right now,  my interest is to hopefully climb the ladder in advertising in order to work as a Creative Director (the individual who overlooks the ideas and work of the creative team) for advertisement campaigns.

Like we all know, interests always change. Therefore  my dream of becoming a Creative Director is uncertain, but what IS certain are how brands, marketers and advertisers will continue to create odd, whimsical and eye catching advertisements regardless of  what different demographics think–because they work.

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14 Comments so far ↓

  • TVR


    • tsarain

      Thank you for your comment! You are absolutely correct.
      I’m very glad that that you brought up how these visual puns and creative ads are leaving consumers with the feeling of “wanting more”. That is true! That’s what brands set out to do in order to gain consumers and sell their products.

    • alyssa dubois

      love it

  • Shelly Tan

    I agree. Visually stimulating images really help capture the attention of many go the younger generations. I think that having younger generations as well as younger adults intrigued by an advertisement help make the product’s image go farther. Most people who talk about products and discuss things like this through social media. I know this from personal experience. When someone finds something interesting they spread it to friends and so on. Making the image of the certain product larger.

    I definitely agree with everything you stated!

    • tsarain

      Thank you for your comment, Shelly!
      You are VERY right. The younger generation love sharing things they find visually stimulating, weird, quirky, interesting and even controversial. The younger generation is all about being social and sharing thoughts. So, a quirky visually stimulating image–no matter how weird it may seem will be talked about and shared on social media platforms. This now CREATES a product’s image and brand. It doesn’t matter if the brand or company themselves believe they have a great product because if reviews,comments and discussion on platforms like Facebook, Yelp! and Twitter say otherwise, then that’s how consumers will view the product in the end. Once again, Thank you for reading! Happy Studying at UNT!

    • alyssa dubois

      I agree with you

  • asimmon

    I think you bring up a very interesting topic. The Millennial Generation is obsessed with all things visual. You see more and more social media platforms transitioning from words to images. Sites like Tumblr and Instagram bank on this idea. If advertisers are smart they will take this concept and work with it. Visuals are overall more stimulating than texts and have a greater ability to go viral. Hopefully advertisements continue to move into this fun direction.

    • tsarain

      I recently did a presentation in my Media Communication class about the issue of Advertising in society. I argued for the side that agreed advertising is good because it is important and needed. When you think about it, advertising revenue enables us the luxury of many things like reasonable cable prices, free radio, and magazine subscriptions. While many different people have opposing opinions on this issue, one thing IS certain: advertisements are definitely moving in a more fun and engaging direction. Have you seen advertisements on the internet, social media, or smartphones that are aesthetically appealing and visually stimulating because they incorporate engaging elements like an activity or game? These ads are eye catching and interestingly fun and allows the viewer to have control of their involvement with the ad and brand. Thanks for your comment, Aryelle!

  • alyssa dubois

    this is some funny advertisements with puns in them do you have any more of them

    • tsarain

      Hey Alyssa, thanks for your comments! Thank you for liking the ads. I just found them searching around on the internet, you’ll have to find some yourself if you’d like to see more! 🙂

  • alyssa dubois

    funny lol

  • mmarbut

    I think that you made a good point about how PR agents need to consider their audience. I agree that our generation likes quirky and sometimes odd things. Businesses trying to grow and promote their company should keep this in mind especially if they are trying to appeal to our generation.

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