Power of the Poster

In this essay I will be examining how powerful a poster can be in many different ways. A poster’s purpose is to draw public attention to, or to promote, direct or indirect, an organisation, a product etc… Sex appeal is frequently used in advertising. Everyone or almost everyone is attracted to the idea of sexy people although often the sex appeal used has nothing to do with the product itself. ‘The One and Only Wonderbra’ 1994, Playtex

It is an image of the model Eva Herzigova in her underwear advertising the bra, with the slogan “Hello Boys” in bold capital and fairly big writing. The poster stopped traffic due to being pasted on billboards showing Eva Herzigova looking down on her breasts and that caused national controversy, calling it “the poster image of the 90s”. Campaign’s editor, Stefano Hatfield said “the idea had caused little fuss in women’s magazines” proving that the media and the controversy was a key to Wonderbra’s success. The poster could seem to be aimed at both women and men. Women might study the poster and think that their breast could look like Eva Herzigova, a desirable supermodel if they buy the Wonderbra. Men will study the poster and think that their girlfriend/wife’s breast could look similar to Eva Herzigova if they buy the Wonderbra for them. Even if you don’t have a girlfriend/wife you will still look at the poster. In my opinion I think the poster is a clever way of advertising Wonderbra’s.

Both posters are used to promote “beliefs” or “causes of action”. Propaganda is frequently used in posters to advertise wars and protests to get people thinking and convince people of whatever the poster is advertising. The poster by Savile Lumley – “Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?” [UK 1915] This is a good example; the poster has an image of a father with two kids. His daughter is sitting on the arm of her father’s chair. The son is situated on the floor in front of the chair, playing with army figures. The girl asks “Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?” The father has one hand placed under his chin as if he is thinking about the question and stares out the poster at its audience. It was designed to persuade people to join the army. The word ‘YOU’ is in bold, capitals and underlined in the girl’s question, directing the viewer to them. It makes the reader think about themselves and what they’ve done for their country. Thinking, is my kids going to ask me the same question, and how will I respond if I don’t join?”

It’s mainly targeted at fathers or men who hope to have children one day. Kissing doesn’t kill: Greed and indifference do This poster that I am going to discuss now is a completely different to the previous ones, it’s based on AIDS. The recipient is the American Government and the originator the public. AmFAR, American Foundation, produced this poster for AIDS Research, in USA 1989. The poster is of 3 couples kissing, but the couples are modern couples from a culturally and sexually liberated society. One couple is of a black man and a white woman; a male ethnic homosexual couple; a female homosexual couple one of them is a mixed race lady and the other is a black woman. These couples are displaying that it does not matter who you are but kissing is fine and does not kill. Underneath the poster it has an anti government slogan implying that it is the government that are not taking the right action against the AIDS fight.

This poster is aimed at the Government and trying to remind the government that it is their responsibility to combat AIDS it also is mocking the small minded attitude of them and pointing out that AIDS is a political crisis as well. In comparison to the previous poster this is far more sympathetic and thoughtful it also is calming. This poster is also very thought provoking by looking and considering relationships and not casual sex it also requires a response from the audience. This is very good as it makes the audience think and take it in mentally where as the previous poster is very aggressive and hard hitting without any sympathy.

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