Chocolate or Cheddar?
You’re flipping through a magazine, looking for something interesting to read or look at. Oh,
finally, what is that? What caught your eye? Was it the color? Is the design simple or complex? Is it an advertisement trying to sell something? Does the product initially pertain to you or your interests?Readers of magazines don’t usually think of these questions. Instead, we usually either look at the description, or move on if it doesn’t appeal to us. To maximize the product sales however, ad designers know that placement of the ad, along with many other factors, are vital. Placing a Goldfish cracker snack advertisement in a Rachel Ray cooking magazine or Family circle magazine is good placement, but the kinds of goldfish being presented are different. In the Rachel Ray magazine, Goldfish crackers are presented as whole grain cheese crackers that will leave your kids healthy, and the chocolate Goldfish grahams presented in Family Circle, will leave your kids smiling.
Audience, location of the ad, and design are all components of creating ads in magazines. In the Rachel Ray magazine there is a more natural approach; having three goldfish swim in waves of whole grain seeds. They have smiling expressions on their faces, which is important because they emphasize that “Goldfish leaves smiles all around.” There are pictures at the bottom of the ad of fresh flour, a chef hand-grating cheese, a chef taking them right out of the oven, and the picture of what goldfish looks like in the packaging. The article contains a description which says “We baked these guys with 12 grams of whole grain per serving, and still had room for the cheese.” The brand logo is Pepperidge farm, and is placed on the bottom right corner. These descriptions appeal to parents that think about whole grain and health, while other visuals appeal to kids. Perhaps this is so the reader relates this ad with goldfish when they see them at the store.
The other ad has a more fun approach. They are advertising chocolate goldfish grahams. It has a playful vibe, where two goldfish are playing teeter-totter on a popsicle stick and balancing on a chunk of chocolate. There are chocolate shavings in the background, but not too much because they are still using the healthy approach. The description on this ad says they “found that the perfect balance of sweet and wholesome could be measured in grahams.” Just like the whole grain cheese ad, there are pictures at the bottom of fresh flour and whole grain seeds. Then in contrast there is a chef hand-stirring chocolate, and a chef taking chocolate goldfish right out of the oven. There is also a picture of the packaging of what the reader would see at the store with the other fun flavors that Pepperridge farms offer. Right above the packaging is the similar logo which says, “Goldfish grahams – good is in the details.”
Chocolate goldfish grahams are being advertised as a treat in Family Circle, where moms and maybe even kids read about fun family activities. Healthy whole grain is still being emphasized, but not as much as the ad in Rachel Ray. The differences between these ads leave the reader with different feelings and emotions about the product. Although the brand has a similar message for both of the different kinds of goldfish, the cheddar has a more attracting image to health-conscience moms who read Rachel Ray. The chocolate one doesn’t emphasize on this appealing factor, but it lets the reader know that there are also sweet goldfish grahams that are offered for maybe a treat at a fun event. Even though they are supposedly healthy, the picture doesn’t exactly convey that to the reader. Instead it draws the eye with the goldfish playing on a piece of chocolate. The cheddar one draws the eye with the color, health and taste. Moms that read Rachel Ray are looking for a more nutritious approach on snacks for their kids, versus a Family Circle magazine that focuses on sweets and fun for the whole family. Both advertise food, but have different uses and reasons for them.
These advertisers used different approaches on these goldfish ads, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were designed by two completely different people. Considering the audience of both the ads, the two types of flavors were appropriately placed in the correct magazines. The design and appeal for both ads were fitting to the product, which took background knowledge, experience, and more time than anyone would ever think.