Friday, November 11, 2011

Pretty In Print

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In today's huge sea of internet media, it's easy to forget the resources that have been around for a long, long time. Sure, we look online for whatever our current whims may be, and instant gratification is often taken for granted in a society that is obsessed with what's happening every second. At the end of the day, however, it's nice get away from the glare of a computer screen and curl up on the couch with something tangible and familiar. And for those times when you just want next month's trends within your grasp, magazines are a classic favorite.


I love magazines--they're like a grown-up's replacement for coloring books. What I subscribe to changes from year to year, and I never tire of opening the mailbox to a fresh, new copy of Marie Claire, Glamour . . . whatever happens to get to me first. It's like a present to myself, really--personalized mail. And even better, the articles and photos inside are like a little escape from whatever you're trying to take a break from.

Even more interesting, however, is how the ads in magazines can be just as appealing as the articles themselves. Open any fashion magazine, for instance, and the first fifteen pages are likely adorned with expertly-dressed models and products that are difficult for any shop-crazy girl to resist. Bright colors, flawless style, and dream scenarios put us in another place entirely, and the ads quickly become as eye-catching as the fashion articles themselves.

You'll find that this is true with other types of magazines, as well, regardless of the genre. After all, what information do you look for when you open a magazine in the first place? Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast who could use a new fishing rod, a car lover who can't stop thinking about the latest Camaro, or a foodie who is easily swayed into trying new types of cheese, you are not impervious to persuasion and there are likely several relevant ads within whatever publication(s) you prefer.

Here's a handful of my recent favorites, all of which came from one of the assorted fashion magazines I have stacked on my living room shelf. They offer ideal depictions of everyday scenarios, each happening in better-than-everyday ways.

[Click on any image to enlarge]


Kate Spade New York
"FEATURING BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD, STARRING THE KENNEDY BAG - katespade.com - LIVE COLORFULLY"

"FEATURING BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD, STARRING THE SCOUT BAG - katespade.com - LIVE COLORFULLY"
I didn't know who Bryce Dallas Howard was until I saw The Help and 50/50 over the past couple months, but that knowledge isn't needed to see how beautiful these layouts are. The combination of bright colors, bright smiles, and movement create an energy in each of these ads that portrays a sense of youth, fun, and excitement. I actually noticed the first layout above in a recent issue before going back through some old magazines I hadn't thoroughly read, when I found the second layout in an earlier magazine. Several months apart, it's nice to see continuity through these fun images. I know I'll never be able to afford a Kate Spade anything, but a sense of familiarity and friendliness through these ads makes me feel as though a designer-style wardrobe is something attainable and relevant, not stodgy and above everyone who isn't a wealthy socialite.



Chevrolet
"Can you feel it? The all-new Camaro Convertible has arrived. - Chevy Runs Deep"

"It's calling. The all-new Camaro Convertible has arrived. - Chevy Runs Deep"
I've seen these Chevy ads--particularly the first one listed--everywhere recently. Every time I've opened a fashion magazine within the past several months, I've see that familiar swirl of fiery red hair, as though the model in the photo sits inside a gust of air created by the Camaro she alludes to. The effect is a vogue-esque layout that appeals to the average fashion lover, yet sells a product that's typically marketed towards male car aficionados. The truth of the matter is: women drive cars, too, so why not show them how they'd look (in a glamorized scenario, of course) in a chic car that matches the new dress they've been drooling over? In this case, "looking good" is taken to a whole new level.


Clarks


I recently discovered Clarks shoes since moving to Michigan, most likely because they're sold everywhere and there's a ton of shopping in the Metro-Detroit area. I currently own one pair of very comfy Clarks sandals that I found at TJ Maxx, a product that helped me to quickly understand just why some things cost more money.

Likewise, all of the Clarks ads I've seen lately, whether printed in magazines or posted in store windows, portray the brand with these key things: comfort, beauty, and quality. The layouts above in particular are some of the most eye-catching and recognizable, from the care-free models to the colorful, sunny days they each enjoy. The girls are happy, well-dressed, and look like real people. They pick flowers, study music with their classmates, and take weekend road trips through the countryside. They're smart and beautiful, they're put together, and they're us. Put on a pair of their shoes, and you can go on all the same walks of life that they portray in these photos. Now, who can put a price on that?


Tiffany & Co.

I saved the best for last. This Tiffany & Company ad, out just in time for the holiday shopping season, communicates so much without saying a word. Scratch that; the simple mention of the name, "Tiffany & Co.," isn't exactly a tagline, but acts as an obvious answer to what this photo is all about. As the happy couple pads up snowy stairs in this serene moment, the audience quickly sees what stands out: the iconic, blue Tiffany box. And that can only mean one thing--a proposal is not far away.

So many emotions are conveyed within this moment--the man's anticipation as he readies himself to unveil a surprise, the woman's adoration for her lover as she clings to his arm, and the soft quietness that only snowy evenings bring. It's magical, and it's what many girls dream of. A promise of forever, and a little, blue box with a big, diamond ring.



So, who's up for a trip to the bookstore?

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