A 'beepwear' Advertisement

The audience are the readers of Rolling Stone but more importantly a younger audience who are in touch with technology and current affairs. They are a TV generation who need to be entertained with something bold, catchy, and original since they have seen all types of advertising before. Other audience members include those who are in need of pager capabilities, or early adopters of the latest technology.

The purpose of this ad is first and foremost(as with all advertisements) to sell the product, in this case a watch by TIMEX with pager capabilities created by MOTOROLA. A second, less salient purpose is to get the word around about this new watch/pager by sparking interest and further investigation into its full capabilities.

This ad was in the March 19, 1998 issue of Rolling Stone. As Rolling Stone is published on 14" x 11" paper it is larger than most magazines, offering advertisers more flexibility in their content and form. The paper is cheap and lightweight, making the magazine extremely portable--it can be read anywhere, anytime. Since Rolling Stone is intended for a younger audience, advertisers can take more chances in how they present products to readers as well.

There are four typefaces in this advertisement. The first is the typeface in the white text bubble attached to the watch. It is approximately 36 pt with close kerning. The look and feel of this typeface enhances the tone and ethos of the document because it suggests a young and bold way of thinking. The second typeface is the text on the digital display of the watch, 18 pt with normal spacing between letters. This typeface enhances the clarity and tone of the document because it is what is actually seen on the digital display of the watch. The third typeface is Times located at the bottom of the watch in 18 pt, and the bottom of the page below the logo in 14 and 10 pt sizes. The Times typeface is easy to read because it is a serifed font, but it looks rather small on such a big page thus reducing clarity.

The inter level of the ad is quite strong. At the top-right of the page is the "I faked it last night" statement by the watch. Its placement at the top-right against white background makes it stand out above all the other inter-level elements. It enhances the tone of the ad, emphasizing the humouress joke, and it also serves to strengthen the ethos of the company as young and energetic. A second textual element which enhances the tone, clarity, and conciseness of the documents is the "I faked it" digital text on the watchface. It is consistent with the joke, enhancing the tone and ethos, and also conciseness because it contains the most important words of the joke--a connection is made between the text on the watch and the text in the bubble. The text which is centred and curved at the bottom of the picture of the watch helps arrangement and clarity because of its spatial nearness and resemblance in shape to the watch. The text at the very bottom of the ad is centred and appears below the 'beepwear' logo. Its spatial nearness to the logo enhances clarity, telling the reader that this line of text connects to the logo just above it. The lines of text which are in the Times typeface act as summarizing agents, which add to the clarity and conciseness of the document.

There are three extra-level elements in this ad. The first is the text bubble associated with the watch. The second extra level element is the detailed picture of the watch itself. It is located directly in the centre of the page. The third element is the 'beepwear' logo at the bottom of the page. All three elements are contrasted sharply with the plain red background which contributes positively to both emphasis and clarity. The arrangement of the watch itself contributes to emphasis as it is directly in the centre of the page--our eye immediately focuses on it.

The ad is a one-page document which contributes to conciseness because they are able to fit everything on one page. Any more would take away from both the joke, and the essential information about the product. The TIMEX and MOTOROLA logos are located on both the picture of the watch and the text at the bottom of the page which strengthens clarity, by connecting them to each other, and ethos(TIMEX and MOTOROLA are wellknown companies and their collaboration obviously signals something special). The text in the bubble and the text on the digital display act in a supra-level manner so as to contribute to the joke, and the idea that the watch is also a pager(since without the digital display--"I faked it"--we probably would not know what the watch actually does). The bold, red background of the advertisement enhances conciseness, and clarity because of its consistency and lack of visual noise. The background also enhances the ethos of the 'beepwear' company because of its bold look.

Overall, this ad works. The joke and the placement of the ad draws the reader in: we find ourselves wondering what exactly does this contraption do. The simple, but bold and effective layout adds to the information being transferred without any problems. The absence of any visual noise makes 'beepwear' able to get its information across succinctly. The ad tells us all the information we need to know, and if we want to know more we are pointed to both a telephone number and an internet address for the product.