Sunday, February 3, 2008

Canadian Club Ad

The advertisement I will be analyzing is a Canadian Club ad I found in Sports Illustrated magazine. The ad says boldly, in the middle of the page, YOUR DAD HAD GROUPIES. This statement is followed by a number of subsequent sentences, saying "He soloed. People paid to see him. He drank cocktails. But not in martini glasses. They were whisky cocktails. Made with Canadian Club. Served in a rocks glass. They tasted good. DAMN RIGHT YOUR DAD DRANK IT." These phrases were surrounded by old-looking pictures of a man playing guitar, the same man lying with a woman, and three other pictures of the man with his band. There are a number of symbols to analyze here.

First, this ad exploits the belief that being in a rock band will make you cool and also make you popular with the ladies. No matter how music has changed, American children have always had dreams of being a Rock Star. This idea has less to do with music, and more to do with the enjoyable lifestyle that rock stars enjoy. The notion of "sex, drugs and rock 'n roll" is present in this ad by creating a parallel between a favorable lifestyle, one full of groupies and fans, and drinking Canadian Club whisky. In other words, this ad is suggesting that if you drink Canadian Club, you too can live the life of a rock star, even if the "stardom" is relatively small.

The fact that the subject of the ad is "your father" is very interesting, and can be looked at in two different ways. This ad could be working off the stereotype that all dads are "lame" and "boring". By presenting this surprising information- that your "lame" dad was actually in a band, the ad could be giving it an "everyman" appeal. If your lame dad could have fans and groupies, than you can, too- by drinking the same whisky cocktails he did. Also, this ad could be appealing to the desire of a good relationship between son and father. Whether it's going to a baseball game or playing basketball, young men constantly seek a connection with their father. This ad could be exploiting this desire by presenting Canadian Club as a means of connection with your father.

This ad was found in Sports Illustrated, which makes sense, because this ad is clearly geared toward men. The ad appeals to sex with the picture of the man with the woman and the mention of groupies. Also, the ad points out that your father drank the cocktails in rocks glasses, not martini glasses. The rocks glass is bigger and seen as more masculine, which further ties the product to manliness. The ending, "DAMN RIGHT YOUR DAD DRANK IT" is also a very direct, strong way to announce that your dad drank Canadian Club, which is also a nod towards masculinity.

Overall, this ad appeals to men and their desires of fame, fortune, and sex to try to sell their product.

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