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Giorgio Armani: A Persuasive Campaign

Lets examine the use of Giorgio Armani Company's advertisements for a persuasive campaign. My reasoning is because the company is separated into several different divisions, while each tries to sell their product, the advertisements must maintain an overall company image. I have chosen Giorgio Armani Parfum (cologne), Armani Exchange (A|X), Emporio Armani(Dreamers), and Giorgio Armani Occhiali (glasses) to be the focus for the general image campaign of the Giorgio Armani Company.

Armani uses dark colors with rich lighting and contrasting themes to promote their products. Regardless of the product, Armani seeks to be known as an elite brand with the highest quality and best products for a demanding consumer. The symbols, language, colors and imagery used reinforces this concept of the products by cementing into the consumers mind, the image and brand recognition which the company is hoping will sell its products.

Cultural barriers need to be addressed considering that this company is Italian and most of the advertising, which is used, features "European" looking people and scenes. This works: American's, when it comes to fashion, look toward Europe for emerging trends and fashion. One important fact to note is that when the advertisement is directed towards men, like the parfum, and occhiali advertisement, the people featured are more masculine and rougher looking than the smoothened and more feminine models featured for general company advertisements (A|X and Dreamers).

For the advertisement "Dreamers" I would add a few different words of text to the advertisement in the lighter areas of the advertisement. The words "Envisage" and "Discovery" should be added to give the connotation or "private and emotional conception" (Langer ch.5), which can be experienced by the feelings that the words invoke. These two words in addition to the ad will give a little more power to the message which ask the reader to imagine the possibilities, discover the unknown, and dream for what you've always wanted. This is all tied together with the imagery of three models posing, each staring in separate directions using the strategy of ambiguity in the semantic dimension (p.128). "They [Armani] want each potential persuadee to fill in his or her own private meanings or connotations for the particular word or symbol. (p. 128)"

Armani Exchange is a younger brand, and therefore uses stronger sexuality than other advertisements. In addition colorful clothing is featured more prominently in this advertisement to give a younger, freer and brighter feeling. I would ad the phrase "be bold" in the top right corner of the advertisement. First, since Americans read left to right, the reader would see the images first, then the phrase and would link the language with the color and imagery of the advertisement. Sensory language can be used to influence a person using something they are familiar with and associate it with something that they are not. I would also add the phrase "be strong" to invoke the sense of strength, rather the feeling, which compliments the phrase "be bold". These two phrases can tie the advertisement together with the images used and give the reader a reason to take a second look at the product and image being advertised.

Gender persuasion is used in the Occhiali advertisement where an unshaven, stylish and powerful picture of a man is used to induce us to try to look him in the eye. When you do this, you will see his sunglasses, which is the product being advertised. The words added to this advertisement must be simple and not too "flowery". "Men shy away from all such usages because they passionately fear being labeled sissified (Bruell, p. 143)." The choice of phrase for the advertisement is "an enigmatic impression." These two main words; enigmatic, meaning mysterious, and unknown; along with impression would allow the reader to immerse themselves in the image being shown. This type of language is very discursive, according to Langer, Ch.5, because it is sequential and has meaning, which is created through combinations. Packard's "Eight Compelling Needs" (Larson, 154) easily relate to this advertisement.

The need for Ego Gratification comes out in the advertisement - where it is directed at consumers whom have the need to go beyond a high self-worth and into the highest form of egocentrism. Additionally, the need for a Sense of Power comes through in the imagery used and the rough looking style of the product. The sense of mysteriousness can be associated with power. These two Compelling Needs are often used in advertising and are used in this, the Occhiali advertisement.

The last advertisement for parfum, I would leave alone. I think it already is persuasive enough through imagery and does not need additional words or images. The wide-open and glaring eyes of the model do what is intended. I believe that this advertisement focuses on our needs of love and belonging, the 3rd and 4th need in Maslow's Pyramid of Needs (Larson, 160). The need for love is used very often in advertising because it is a well-understood feeling that all people can relate to. The need of belonging [to the "cool" crowd] is often used when the advertiser believes that the product will promote a higher self-esteem or increased likeability.

Giorgio Armani uses the cognitive consistency approach to its advertising. The idea that things should be simple and consistent is the reasoning behind this theory. Fritz Heider's P-O-X (p.90) theory can be implemented to this advertisement campaign as a whole. First, a Person is oriented toward another, which is apparent in the "Armani Exchange" advertisement. Two separate couples; one in the middle, which are clearly oriented, balance the advertisement and the second separated to each side of the page create tension. The idea of an object being the focus and the positive or negative attitude felt about that object can have an effect on the source and receiver. Advertising is dependant on this concept and Armani understands this idea though use of the imagery in its advertisements.

Overall the image of luxury of the brand is maintained and becomes more persuasive by using language, which promotes feelings and emotions of masculinity and mysteriousness. The colors of the advertisements already do an excellent job of keeping mystery in the minds of the readers by using black/white photos and rich, and bold colors. Reasoning from comparison is used throughout these advertisements. The message is: if you use our products or wear our clothing, you will be popular, beautiful, successful, etc.


Larson, Charles U. Persuasion: Perception and Responsibility (10th Ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth 2004




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