A target audience is the group of people who the advertisement
appeals to. For example, the readers of Glamour magazine have specific values, needs, and interests.
Within the pages of Glamour, there are advertisements that appeal to sub-groups of readers.
To clarify further, an advertisement may appeal to the type of woman who values health and
fitness. This means that In addition to being a member of the group of women who read Glamour,
this lady is in the subgroup of women who value health and fitness, and who strive to incorporate
fitness into their busy lives.
What are Props?
In theatre, props are items included in a scene to make the play
realistic. For example, if the scene occurs in a person’s home, the stage will be set with
all ofthe items included in a particular room. Similarly, advertisers utilize props tomake their
advertisements more realistic and appealing to consumers. When looking at an advertisement for the
first time, consider the setting andfurnishings and what they tell you about the target audience.
For example, if an advertisement for a health supplement includes the photograph of a woman walking
a dog, the dog is the prop in the scene; we can therefore make the assumption that readers of
this magazine value health and the health of their pets.
Analyzing Setting & Furnishings
The setting is the location where the photograph is taken. Setting
and furnishings can also tell viewers a great deal about the lifestyles, values, and incomes of the
readers of a particular magazine. For example, consider your own home, apartment, or bedroom.
If someone who didn’t know you looked through your home, they could learn a great deal
about who you are, and what you value. Domestic magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens,
Family Circle, and Parenting are more likely to include photographs and ads for domestic products
that feature families and living spaces.
Some questions to help students analyze the effect of setting:
Is the setting indoor or outdoor? How does this relate to the product being advertised?
How does the setting relate to the values of the types of people who read the magazine?
The Model’s Clothing
A model’s clothing can tell a viewer a great deal about who the target audience of the advertisement, and by extension, the target audience of the magazine.
The types of clothing and jewelry models wear can tell readers a great deal about how much disposable income the type of reader has.
Some questions to help students analyze the meaning of clothing in advertisements:
What jewelry do the models wear? What does this tell you about how much disposable income the readers of the magazine have?
What type of clothing does each model wear? Is the clothing formal, informal, casual? Is the clothing washed and unwrinkled? Is the clothing torn or soiled? What does this tell you about the amount of disposable income the readers of the magazine have? The type of lifestyle the readers of the magazine lead?