Got Meth? Robert Benincasa

Robert Benincasa

ENC 1101-10

Joshua Mehler

Got Meth?

When a “Got Milk” advertisement comes to mind, the image of a celebrity or a famous athlete may follow. Similar to the milk advertisements, most ads include an image , a text, and some sort of meaning underlying it. The images in advertisements are what usually attract a certain audience, while the text helps support the image. Companies use athletes and phrases in order to establish a recognizable icon for their consumers. Athletes are commonly used in advertisements because they are held in high esteem because of their perceived infallibility, and can easily manipulate an audience. The meanings behind advertisements are reinforced by the athlete or icon endorsing the product and are responsible for differentiating the product from one that is similar to it. This often determines the effectiveness of the advertising campaign.

The major problem with advertisements, however, is that they do not always include the truth or the “behind the scenes” elements because they are trying to persuade audiences to either buy their product or believe in their ideas. While this can lead to a more effective advertisement, it forces the people within the advertisement to lie, manipulate, and most of all, cover up who they really are. A great example of this is the “got milk” ad with Andre Agassi and his mother. There is nothing wrong with the advertisement itself or the facts it presents about milk. Instead, the problem is with Andre Agassi, the person who is endorsing the product. The message that the advertisement is promoting conflicts with the person that Andre Agassi truly is.

This “Got Milk” advertisement starring Andre Agassi was developed in 1998,only a short time after he won the French Open, and around the same time he tested positive for crystal meth.  At that time, Agassi denied the allegations that he voluntarily used crystal methamphetamines stating that the positive test results were due to a drug that was slipped into his drink. However, in October of this year, eleven years after the allegations surfaced, Agassi openly admitted to using crystal methamphetamines and to lying to the public about the way in which the substance entered his body (Wyatt). After analyzing Agassi’s behavior and his inability to be honest, one might think that the advertisement should have read “got meth” instead of “Got Milk” because the idea of wholesomeness and purity that the “got milk” advertisement is displaying is not congruent with Andre Agassis actions.

General Mills is another example of a company using a prestigious athlete to help promote its product.  The company uses Michael Phelps on the cover of its Wheaties cereal box. General Mills decided to put Phelps on the cover of its cereal box shortly after Phelps made history by breaking the record for the most gold medals won in the Olympic games (Wang). During that time, Phelps was the cover boy for every magazine, appeared in every commercial, was on the front page of every newspaper, and most importantly, was a permanent fixture in almost everyone’s mind. His life seemed to be incredible as he was praised by millions for his athletic prowess. However, this praise disappeared almost completely when a photograph that depicted Phelps inhaling marijuana from a bong leaked to the press. People were shocked. Many of his endorsements were dropped and the support from millions was lost.  Phelps’ actions are not an appropriate representation of the core values that General Mills and its Wheaties cereal build their brand upon, yet he will always be an icon for Wheaties.

Agassi and Phelps are just two of the many athletes that have represented  something by acting in a manner contradictory to the products values of the company their involved with. Mark McGuire, Kobe Bryant, and Sammy Sosa are some other names that have been used to represent a product and have failed to hold up the true morals of the product. The image of the companies that chose these athletes to represent their product suffered the same fate as the athletes tarnished image.

The “got milk” advertisement featuring Andre Agassi is a very successful advertisement. The success in this advertisement lies in the values that it presents. The most prominent value in this advertisement is obviously the love that a family shares. The charming picture with Andre’s mom wrapping her arms tightly around him represents love and happiness in a family. It does not display any problems that can surround a family, instead it focuses only on love and support. The way that his mother is holding him clearly represents a happy relationship between mother and son. She is also dressed in athletic apparel which makes her appear to be a fan of tennis, but most importantly, a fan of her son. This shows how she supports him in what he does and loves him for it. The photo, taken in his back yard on the tennis court, gives the picture a comfortable feel because of the “safe” environment that it represents.

The secondary value that it promotes is health. It does this through the text at the bottom of the page that is supposed to be a quote from Agassi. The quote reads, “When I was a kid, my mom put a tall, cold glass of calcium and eight other essential nutrients in front of me at every meal”. However, Agassi did not actually say this. The line actually comes from the advertising company and was placed in the ad to manipulate others to believe that he did. The purpose of this quote is and its key words is to lure the audience into the false message. The terms kid, tall, calcium, and nutrients all serve as checkpoints in capturing an audience. Agassi probably wouldn’t use such words when describing milk, but the company did this to make the advertisement twice as effective.

A huge reason that “got milk” advertisements are so successful is because they are directed towards several groups of audiences. With a larger audience, “got milk” advertisements can appeal to many different people, which in turn makes the products more successful. Perhaps one of the major audiences that “got milk” targets is mothers. Moms are usually the ones in the household who go grocery shopping and would be most likely to purchase milk for their children. The “got milk” advertisements basically say one thing, “Buy milk and your kids will turn out like these great athletes”. This milk advertisement also directs itself towards mothers by including Andre Agassi’s mother. The picture and the quote at the bottom of the page attempt to get moms to want to do everything they can do to get their kids to turn out like Agassi or other famous people .

The primary focus in the original “got milk” advertisement featuring Andre Agassi is to show that his mother loved him when he was a kid and gave him milk to show that love. As a result, the milk helped him become the man he is today, and encouraged his love for her. Another focus in the advertisement is showing Agassi as an innocent or harmless person, almost like a child. He is in his mother’s arms looking helpless. He is also wearing all white to show his innocence and purity. The anti-ad ad that I have created focuses on how Agassi is not as pure or wholesome as milk. The fact that he used crystal meth and then lied after testing positive does not seem too innocent to me.

My anti-ad will basically be a replica of the original “got milk” ad with just a few minor adjustments. I chose to replace most of the words so that they focused on him using crystal methamphetamines. I also changed the name of his equipment bag from “Head”, a brand that Agassi is sponsored by, to “ Meth Bag” because methamphetamines were once a part of his equipment. One of the biggest things that I changed was the color of Agassi’s clothing. He is now wearing a dark black shirt and shorts to display his guiltiness and wrongdoing. He is no longer viewed as an innocent child wrapped in the arms of his mother, but is viewed as a letdown to many including his own mother. Next to Agassi is a pile of methamphetamines that he is aching to get at, but his mom is holding him too tight for him to break loose.

The audiences that I am attempting to direct this spoof ad towards are those who look up to and believe their role model or idol based on what they see through advertisements. Many kids will grow up believing that their favorite superstar athlete is a great human being because that is how he or she is viewed through the television or billboards, but in reality may be the complete opposite of what they see. It is very important that people, most importantly children, do not follow the negative aspects of certain athletes that choose to make wrong decisions.

In conclusion, companies often use a well known face, such as a famous athlete, to help promote their products in advertisements. This is usually successful for a company as well as gaining a larger fan base for the athlete, but all comes to a crashing halt if a bad decision is made on the athletes part. In the case of the “ got milk” advertisement, Agassi was able to hide from his “mistake” for eleven years before the world knew of it. The fact that he was able to keep it hidden for so long demoralizes his character. He is one that should not be on an advertisement for one of the most wholesome things on the market today.

Works Cited

  1. Wyatt, Ben. “Agassi admits using crystal meth” CNN.

CNN, Oct 28, 2009. Web. Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Wang, Cynthia. “Phelps Wins Eighth Gold, Breaks Spitz’s Record.” People.

People. Aug 17, 2008.Web. Nov2, 2009.



Paul Dalbery

Josh Mehler


Essay 3


Throughout our modern culture, Advertisements have been present in almost every place imaginable. We might believe that we are not affected by them, but subconsciously we are surrounded by hundreds of ads a day. Sometimes these advertisements can be trying to persuade you to buy an unethical product. I have seen countless ads about unhealthy food, which has been a major part of our nation being addicted to these high fat and sugar items. Some organizations have come together and put out what they call an “anti-ad”. These anti-ads are a way to mock these unethical organizations in a visual way. These anti-ads are usually humorous but are sometimes very serious. I have decided to create an anti-ad to show how sugary cereals, such as fruit loops, are leading to child obesity.

One can’t turn on a T.V. for a child without seeing the all familiar icon, Toucan Sam, for America’s favorite cereal…Froot Loops. The bright colors and happy children chasing their favorite cereal, paints a picture of excitement and happiness. Most people don’t realize it, but this perfect picture is exactly what marketers are trying to get across in order to sell their cereal. To see a great example of this one only need to look at the boxes lining the shelf.


The first thing that pops out is the various bright colors layered all over the box. The Froot Loops pouring into the vibrant white milk allowing the colors to almost pop off the box, causes children to have their eyes open wide with joy while their strolling down the aisle. Young children are always drawn towards vibrant colors and the marketers use that to their advantage. Toucan Sam himself is covered in the colors of Froot Loops and always has a smile on his face trying to portray that Froot Loops lead to happiness. While in fact Froot Loops when eaten in excess can lead to child obesity and other serious health problems.

Six hundred and forty-two times a year, the average American preschooler sees an advertisement for cereal according to a new study by Yale University (Harris). Children are influenced by these ads and most of them are for sugary cereals such as Froot Loops. Froot Loops tries to put across that their cereal is the “Smart Choice” which puts reassurance in the parent’s minds that their children are safe from child obesity. The Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University reports that cereal companies spend more than $156 million a year on ads geared for kids. It’s no secret that the cereal business is a major industry and that their pushing their products on younger kids who don’t know better about unhealthy cereals.

The best example of Froot Loops advertisements towards kids is in their popular T.V. spots. As seen in this video:

The usual characters, Toucan Sam and his three nephews, are all there eating they’re delicious Froot loops. The scene opens up with an alien zooming down towards the jungle where Toucan Sam lives. It is apparent that he is after Toucan Sam for his Froot Loops. As he flies through the canopies, the trees are lush with various fruits. The alien captures Toucan Sam from his nephews and his home and the announcer asks “can you please help save Toucan Sam?”

Again the colors play a major role in this advertisement and are there to show how exciting and fresh the cereal is. The home itself where Toucan Sam lives is completely decorated with these same bright colors. The fruit in the trees are much larger than the realistic fruit they represent. This exaggeration is to show how “fruitful” the cereal is and how great they must taste. It makes the statement that each loop is packed with great delicious flavor, while in reality they are just crammed with sugar. Froot Loops actually started out as “Fruit Loops” until in 1959, a lawsuit was filed by Renee Paxton in Paxton v. Kellogg’s. In the case, Paxton claimed that the branding was misleading, as the product didn’t actually contain any fruit. The case was settled out of court, with Kellogg’s agreeing to rebrand their cereal as “Froot Loops” (Orsen).


The most cunning part of this advertisement is when the marketers decide that they’re going to go with the “Save Toucan Sam” campaign. The commercial asks children to please buy the cereal and log on in order to help save their beloved icon. This is a direct way to guilt young children into buying the sugary cereals. The children also feel as though they are heroes by helping and continue to eat Froot Loops. The marketers also ask the kids to log into their site where many games and pictures of Froot Loops are help which make the child hungry and also keeps Froot Loops constantly on their minds.

The target group for the Froot Loop ads is younger children in preschool, male or female. The bright colors, happy sounds, stories of adventure and of course the sweet tasting cereal all draw in the youth of our nation. The commercial, however, seems to be aimed more toward the younger male group. Aliens and Space often appeal more to the younger males, and the longing for the quest to save Toucan Sam is definitely too great to pass.


This rising problem has persuaded me to create my own “anti-ad”. The anti ad would be an image of Toucan Sam sitting in a doctor’s room, looking very ill. He would be very obese and be holding a bowl of Fruit Loops. He would then be saying “Maybe I should have listened to my doctor rather than Follow my Nose?”  I feel as though this would get a strong point across. The obese Toucan Sam would show children along with parents that they should think twice about letting their breakfast consist of sugary cereals. The kids especially would think that they don’t want to look like that when they grow up and will change their ways.

Since color seems to be the major influence in all of Froot Loops ads, I would make color be a major factor in my anti-ad. The whole picture would be dark grey and black with some faint colors. The doctor’s office would look dreary and lonesome, much different from the usual home of Toucan Sam in the jungle. I would also have Toucan Sam’s beak be completely light grey to show how Toucan Sam has literally lost everything he has come to love. The whole mixture of black and grey serve to portray how Froot Loops really is not a bringer of fun but rather a bringer of suffering if eaten out of moderation.

Up on top the Title would say “Froot Less” in big bubbly letters as if they were about to bulge. This would give off the impression that fruit loops are actually not a good source of fruit and in no way healthy. Parents will definitely realize that they should be buying their children a much more healthful cereal. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so that’s when we should be eating the best food for you. The Bulging letters will again give off the impression of obesity and being misshapen.


The Target Audience for my Anti-Ad will be for parents of younger children and the actual children themselves. It is important for parents to be aware, but it in a necessity for the children to understand what their eating. By using one of the children’s’ iconic figures, the can relate to the anti-ad and understand that it is aimed for them. Seeing Toucan Sam will draw their attention to the anti-ad and then they will be saddened at the fact that he is ill from being obese.

In the corner of the Doctors room in the anti-ad, I’ll have a doctor with a long list of diseases such as Diabetes and high blood pressure. Standing right behind the doctor, would be the three little nephew toucans. They would be holding their cereal boxes and bowls and be crying with their heads down. This will be an emotional image, but it will definitely get the point across. The children seeing this anti-ad will be very disturbed but it will definitely leave an imprint in their minds that they must eat healthier. The list of diseases will also serve as a reminder that your life can definitely be shortened by being obese. This reminder will be targeted more towards the parents, but also the older kids.

This anti-ad would portray a strong point which would be taken seriously by both children and their parent. Eating these sugary cereals such as Froot Loops can lead to child obesity and many health problems if eaten in excessive amounts. The change in color and mood would immediately draw attention and cause Froot Loop customers to reconsider and maybe go for the healthier choice of cereal. As our nation allows more fatty and sugary foods to be marketed towards young children, our problem with child obesity will continue to increase. The “anti-ad” is a very effective way to get a point across, and child obesity is definitely a matter which must be confronted.

Works Cited

Orsen, Walter. “More “fruity” cereal class actions.” Overlawyered — Chronicling the high cost of our legal system. 1 Oct. 2009. Web. 18 Nov. 2009. <;.

Couric, Katie. “Katie Couric’s Notebook: Sugary Cereals – Couric & Co. – CBS News.” Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News – CBS News. CNN, 30 Oct. 2009. Web. 18 Nov. 2009. <;.

Harris, Dan. “Study: Least Healthy Cereals Most Marketed to Children – ABC News.” – Breaking news, politics, online news, world news, feature stories, celebrity interviews and more – ABC News. ABC, 26 Oct. 2009. Web. 18 Nov. 2009. <>.

ENC 1101 – 10
Josh Mehler

The Advertisements That Get You “Hooked”

Every day, customers are exposed to a variety of advertising appeals aimed at influencing the customers’ attitudes towards a wide range of products and services. In the technologically advanced era that we live in, television, radio, telemarketing, magazines, newspapers and billboards are nearly things of the past. Advertising has become as immediate as text messages – in fact, some advertisers are testing and using new methods of advertisement that involve texting consumers’ phones with immediate updates and information on the latest products. The World Wide Web is the single largest vehicle that advertisers have for transporting information of this genre to their consumers. It is also the most effective – the internet combines the visual effectiveness of magazines, newspapers, billboards and television with the audio effectiveness of radio, telemarketing and television while adding a new feature: interactivity with the consumer. Links that take you strait to another web page full of endless, useless bits of information on the product that may have been a single snip of information in an article somewhere or a side-bar pop-up ad on a completely unrelated webpage. Companies of one of the largest ad campaigns in the world make use of all of these advertising methods, and then some!

Cigarettes have been on the American market since 1789, when an advertisement for snuff and tobacco products of P. Lorillard and Company was put in the New York daily paper. The first large cigarette company, created in 1868, was called Bull Durham. Since then, there are over 300 major brands of cigarettes widely available on today’s markets. Winston cigarettes have been on the market since 1954, and from 1966 to 1972 were the world’s best-selling cigarette thanks to their catchy slogan “Winston Tastes Good Like A Cigarette Should!”

The above advertisement was a part of one of the very earliest Winston cigarette advertisement campaigns during which the company claimed that their cigarettes had no additives in their tobacco. This ad in particular stressed the importance of the “No Additives” claim made by the company. During the years when this claim was on their packages and in their ads, Winston cigarette sales went up significantly. At that time, the percent of the population that smoked was approximately half of what it is today, and today smoking population is significantly less than the smoking population in the year 2,000 – a very small amount compared to the numbers of the last decade.  Currently it is estimated that twenty-four percent of men and eighteen percent of women smoke (consuming 100 of more cigarettes per year). However, the problem with this new addition to the campaign was that it falsely conveyed the message that because there were no additives in the tobacco that these cigarettes were safer to smoke.

Winston dealt with flak from many sides, including government organizations like the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, who were upset that Winston was putting this deceptive claim out to the public. Winston’s claim of “No Additives” did not mean that there were less of the harmful ingredients in the cigarettes. Harmful ingredients such as Arsenic, Butane, Carbon Monoxide, Lead, Copper, Mercury, Chloroform, Methane, Hydrogen Cyanide, etc. still existed in each cigarette.  The company battled with the FTC and the FDA to be able to continue printing this claim on their packages. The FTC settled with Winston, saying that it was alright for them to print it as long as it read “No additives in our tobacco does NOT mean a safer cigarette”. When Winston changed their packaging in July of 2000 the company removed the claim all together from the packages.

Ads like these are extremely misleading to consumers, and today’s ads are no better, however recently (within the past two decades or so) there has been increasingly more and more legislation to help the FDA and FTC control cigarettes and other tobacco products. On June 11th, 2009, the United States government passed the Tobacco Regulation Bill giving the Food and Drug Administration unprecedented and expansive control over the production, advertising and distribution of cigarettes and other tobacco products. The bill grants the FDA power to control product ingredients, overrule new products, and it also compels tobacco companies to stop using often used and potentially misleading labels on cigarette packages and advertisements like “light” and “mild”. The bill also increases the size of the Surgeon General’s warning on cigarette packs. Since the passage of the bill, cigarette companies like Winston have spent billions upon billions of dollars re-inventing their own advertisement campaigns to meet the standards set by the FDA. The problem though is this: the advertisements are the ONLY things changing. Over the past fifty years, tobacco companies and other cigarette manufacturers have found sneaky ways to successfully sell their products despite the increasingly larger restrictions on advertising. If one thing is for sure, the companies will try again now in the face of this new legislation.

Cigarettes have been around for one hundred and thirty-two years and are still selling strong. The main difference in the advertisements of today versus the advertisements of a few decades ago are that today’s cigarette advertisements are required to have a (small, ineffective) Surgeon General’s warning, although with the passage of this new bill, the FDA will require cigarette companies to increase the size of this warning label to fifty percent of the front and back of the packages, both cartons and individual packs. This warning essentially states that smokers should be aware that health risks come with smoking and that quitting smoking now will greatly reduce the smoker’s chance of a smoking-related illness or death.

Although smokers know of these smoking-related health risks to themselves and others, they continue to smoke, obviously, since these companies are still in business and doing relatively well under the current circumstances of this poor economy. This just proves the effectiveness of the advertisements on consumers. This quote, taken from the introductory paragraph of an article written by Sanjeev Verma in Global Business Review 2009 best explains the intent of advertisers and their ads.
No communication is complete without feedback or reaction. The intent behind advertising is to persuade consumers to purchase and repurchase the product over and over again, but does the consumer respond to all communications sent by the advertisers? The human brain has a limited processing capacity and consumers have the tendency to process the most useful and appealing information first.”

That appealing information, in this case, is that these cigarettes have no additives and are therefore assumed to be safer to smoke. This is not the case. Also, part of what makes this particular advertisement appealing is the presentation. The advertisement being half black and white and half red and white makes the ad appealing to the eyes. It is catchy, bold, and it gets the message across clearly.


The Anti-Advertisement



This advertisement is the anti-advertisement created in response to the original Winston advertisement at the top of the page.

As you can see, I feel strongly that the original ad falsely conveyed what should have been a simple message to the consumers in a way that made it sound like these cigarettes were safe to smoke. The original ad wasn’t difficult to turn into an anti-ad, so the bold red and white contrasted with the black and white still works for the ad to appeal to consumers. Now the ad takes a new stance: factual and truthful. The well known ‘you might die’ fine print is present in the middle of the page – “…Time is Running Out.” The top of the ad is what Winston was made to put on their cartons as long as they said “no additives”. The bottom of the ad simply reiterates the possibility (as with everything these days…) that smoking can cause cancer faster than you know.

The original advertisement targets the general smoking population. It has no specific age range, and it does not target children. My anti-advertisement targets all of those people with the intent to try and change their minds on the issue of smoking by telling them the truth. The message in the original advertisement is simply that Winston cigarettes have no additives in their tobacco; therefore they are good to smoke, especially in being tasteful.

Cigarette companies (as well as alcohol and other drug companies) are all guilty of false advertising. Many companies advertise to adults and parents through the use of young children. Even worse, some companies advertise to the children themselves, though in a sly secretive sort of way. Cigarette companies have been around for more than a century, and their products are still selling well even with this horrible state of the economy. More and more children are smoking every year, and groups like TRUTH make sure that the public knows the absolute solid evidence of what cigarette smoking does to you and those you love every day, and also to the environment. TRUTH is famous for the amount of teenagers involved in the project (almost entirely teens) and for their own anti-advertisements. More and more people are fighting the fight against cigarettes – there is even a Facebook group for it!

My anti-advertisement shows my stance on smoking and how, clearly, I do not support the way that cigarette companies advertise their products to the public. The advertisements are misleading, and lead people to think that because there are no additives in their tobacco that this means these cigarettes are safe to smoke.

Michael Degnan’s Paper!

Michael Degnan

Enc 1101

Josh Mehler

Bowflex’s way of flexing the truth

Every time I see an exercise equipment commercial, I always see people in perfect shape using the machines. The commercials make working out look so easy and imply that pretty much anyone can achieve the “perfect” body by purchasing the product. As I watched several different Bowflex commercials, I noticed they had many common characteristics. There is upbeat music, everyone in the commercials are always smiling, the people using the machines have huge muscles, and consumer testimonials. These characteristics were strategically placed to make Bowflex products look more appealing to the consumer. If I were to create an anti ad, I would do everything opposite of the characteristics I mentioned earlier. I would show over weight people working out on the machines and have them struggle as they work out.

Bowflex has attractive body builders with their shirts off using their machines in the commercials to play on the insecurities of average people and overweight people. It makes the consumer envious of the attractive body builder’s physique, also the simple fact that sex sells works in capturing the consumer’s interest as well.  Imagine if Bowflex commercials had unattractive, overweight people dressed in sweaty gym clothes using their machines. Close up shots of these couples struggling with the machine would give the wrong message to the consumer.  It would definitely not have the same effect as it does when body builders use the machines even though it would be much more realistic. The purpose of the body builders are to make the viewer of the commercials think “Hey, if that person has huge muscles and works out on Bowflex machines, I will get big muscles if I work out on Bowflex machines.” Having a commercial where average people in sweaty clothes used the machines would make the consumer believe using a Bowflex machine would not achieve any results that the out of shape consumer is not already exposed to in their daily routines at the gym.  Also, the sweaty clothes would make the consumer associate unattractiveness with Bowflex.

Take a look at this commercial camera is always moving when it is viewing the Bowflex. This is done in order for the viewer not to lose interest in looking at the machine. With so many shots and angles being thrown at the viewer, one viewing this commercial will get caught up in the agenda that Bowflex is pushing instead of having the ability to think for themselves. Also notice how the commercial is playing up beat music. The commercial wants you to think only positive thoughts about this product. If there were angry or sad music in the background, the viewer would feel anxiety or sadness and would not want to purchase the machine. Also the simple fact that there is music helps guarantee the chances that the audiences will actually watch it instead of being bored to death.  A man with a cheesy voice is telling you all the benefits of the product. His voice sounds sincere and happy so the viewer can trust him and believe all of the benefits he is listing. The flashing words that pop up as he reads the benefits such as “Cardio and Strength Training Combined” and “Total body workout in just 20 minutes” are also placed in order to ad to the benefits already being listed making the product seem much more valuable than it actually is.

The commercial portrays an attractive couple working-out on the Bowflex machine in what looks to be, a wealthy home. This is to make the viewer associate wealth and success with the Bowflex workout machine. The stylish couch and paintings in the background are all placed there to establish the setting of a rich home. The nice house makes the viewer think that successful people use Bowflex machine. The ad also uses sex to sell the product with the attractive couple. A male or female viewer watches the ad and thinks he or she could workout together with an attractive mate. The fact that the couple is smiling all the time when they workout is to show how using the machine is so easy and convenient.

The heading frame in the commercial is placed there for a reason. The frame being red and black matches the Bowflex logo and the Bowflex machine. Perhaps, it was placed there to make the product to appear more official.  It is another trick Bowflex uses to make it seem to the viewer that the product gives real results. Also at the bottom of the screen big, white letters read: This frame remains in the entire commercial. It is placed there to make the option of buying a Bowflex machine convenient to the viewer. Also, it is almost commanding the viewer to literally purchase a Bowflex from the website as it reads, “Get a Bowflex.”

While Bowflex advertises how their product will get you the “perfect “body, they fail to mention how getting the “perfect” body is an extremely difficult task. The body builders that were selected for the commercials probably spent years constantly working out in gyms and strictly eating healthy foods. The before and after segment of Bowflex’s ads are usually what hooks the consumer into buying the product, but are also the most deceiving. According to a staff report done by a federal trade commission on weight loss advertising, before pictures usually contain: “Snapshot quality photograph of the subject that incorporates poor posture, neutral facial expression, unkempt hair, unfashionable attire, poor lightning, and washed out skin tones” (Cleland 12). Go to the part in the commercial where it begins the consumer testimonials (1:15). Notice how the bald guy is talking about how in the first couple of weeks he started notice results. The ad then shows a before and after photo. On the before side, his body is relaxed, he is not shaved, and he is not smiling. On the after side, he is smiling, shaved, and he is flexing his muscles. The lighting on the after side makes his muscles more noticeable. The font that is in the center is highlighting the fact he lost 12 pounds in 6 weeks. But in small fine print towards the bottom of the commercial reads “Individual results will vary. 6 week challenge participants used the Bowflex Fast Fat Loss Now meal plan.” So while this bald guy actually did loose weight and gain muscle, he made it sound as though he lost the weight purely because of the Bowflex machine. The commercial does not mention once how eating healthy is a huge part of loosing weight and gaining muscle. This is Bowflex’s way of trying to deceive the consumer into thinking using only Bowflex products is an easier way to achieve good results instead of having to work hard.

As you continue to watch the customer testimonials, the commercial really makes it seem as if these people who bought this machine had their lives completely turned around.  Bowflex tries to make the viewer believe all of his or her life problems will be solved by purchasing the Bowflex machine. The fact is, Bowflex and exercise equipment commercials in general make people believe there is no way to be happy if one happens to be out of shape.

My anti ad would be a mock version of the commercial. Instead of having the attractive couple work out, I would have a sweaty overweight couple on the Bowflex machine. There would be upbeat music playing in the background and the couple would be struggling instead of smiling as they worked out. There would be close up shots of the subject’s arms and legs as they did the different exercises. I would then have the couple talk about how they spent $2000 on the machine while only loosing 3 pounds after having the product for months.

The purpose of having overweight people in the commercial would take out the sex appeal Bowflex uses to sell their machines. Also, it would be much more realistic especially with shots of them struggling. The part where they talk about how they spent money and only lost a few pounds will show what happens when most people buy a Bowflex machine. They spend a bunch of money thinking they will get into great shape by only doing the exercises Bowflex instructs them to do while still eating unhealthy.

Another anti ad I could do would just be a spoof of a before and after picture. I would have an average guy who is dirty and slouching under a before heading and then under the after heading, I would have a huge body builder flexing. On top of the ad I would have the Bowflex logo. In between the before and after picture I would have in letters read “Bobby lost 30 pounds and gained 60 pounds of muscle!” Under that I would have smaller fine prints that reads “Bobby only ate protein and took a bunch of steroids… Buying a Bowflex will not get you ripped unless you change the way you eat as well as work out everyday.”

In this ad, I would be mocking how Bowflex tricks consumers into thinking how working out on a Bowflex will get you into great shape with the before and after pictures. The fine print represents how Bowflex commercials secretly tell the viewer that the customers on the commercials actually are on diets. The fine print on my anti ad will also show how getting in good shape requires eating right while working out a lot.

Bowflex and exercise equipment companies in general aren’t all that bad. Their products actually do work for the most part, just not at all in the way the companies have consumers perceive them. The problem with the companies is that they create an illusion of convenience that goes along with exercising. Also, these companies mislead consumers into spending lots of money by making them feel insecure about their bodies. If Bowflex really wanted to help people loose weight, they would advertise their product while promoting eating healthier food and being committed to working out every day. Unfortunately though, Bowflex is only out to make as much money as possible and that is why they should be exposed for flexing the truth.

My anti ad

anti ad After

Works Cited

Cleland, Richard L. Weight-Loss Advertising: An Analysis of Current Trends. Rep. Rockville: Federal Trade Commission, 2002. <;






Macy’s Paper 3

Macy Blomeley

ENC 1101-10

Josh Mehler

The Smoking Doctors of the Past

It is clear that smoking is not healthy for consumers.  In fact, every year 440,000 people die in America from cigarette smoke (Rosen).  This statistic is alarming and disturbing, which makes it extremely hard for cigarette companies to advertise for such a deadly product.  They often must come up with creative methods of advertising.  In this ad, they use a doctor to sell cigarettes in combination with a survey.  These methods seem odd in today’s time to use for a cigarette company, but it shows how America has matured and become smarter about advertising awareness.  So for my anti ad, I used one of the dated methods and updated it to today’s time as a spoof.

The focal image in this Camel advertisement is the picture to the far right of a doctor smoking a cigarette.  The doctor is one of two colored images in the ad and is the largest.  These factors draw attention to the image, making it stand out.  The doctor is sitting at his desk in his white lab coat smoking a Camel cigarette.  He has a calm look on his face and looks sophisticated as he’s sitting in his office.  His hair is slicked back and he is not smiling, but rather has a smirk on his face.  This goes along with this sophisticated theme this image upholds and makes the doctor look trustworthy.  This may seem strange to the reader to see a doctor take part in an unhealthy habit like smoking.  Doctors are supposed to advocate health and promote it using their actions and words.  They tell their patients what to do and use their own advice.  Smoking is unhealthy therefore doctors are not supposed to partake in smoking or talk about smoking.  By using a doctor to sell cigarettes, Camel is connecting to their consumers using ethos.  When the reader sees a doctor smoking a Camel cigarette they assume that it is okay to smoke these cigarettes. They are using the connection between doctors and health and applying it to their unhealthy cigarette.  This discredits proven statistics that smoking is bad (American Cancer Society).  The reader chooses to believe the cigarette ad’s doctor over proven facts.  This technique of using a doctor to smoke cigarettes would never work for today’s cigarette companies.  In the fifties the threats of cigarettes weren’t known as well as today.  Doctors didn’t issue a surgeon general warning until 1980’s (Rosen).  The doctors are well aware of the consequences now and do not advocate smoking as they once did.

The survey preformed that is displayed in the ad is a major selling point for the consumer.  It is the main source for most of the written text in the advertisement and seems to tie the ad’s thesis together with the visual image.  At the very top of the ad is where the nationwide survey is first mentioned which draws the reader in.  The claim that the survey makes is located below this statement and is the largest font in the advertisement.  It states, “More doctors smoke CAMELS than any other cigarette!” with the word Camels in all caps and in bright red.  This draws the attention to the brand of cigarette and makes the brand memorable in the reader’s eye.  This conclusion is surprising for the same reasons the focal image was: doctors smoke cigarettes.  However, instead of using just ethos like the visual image did, the survey incorporates logos into the advertisement.  It’s is telling the reader that it is logical to smoke Camel cigarettes because doctors smoke Camel cigarettes, and the survey backs it up.  This assumption is obviously false and should not be believed. There is another paragraph below the main written text in a smaller font that states, “Doctors in every branch of medicine were asked, “What cigarette do you smoke?” The brand named most was Camel!” This paragraph supports the large claim at the top and helps explain to the customer how they preformed the survey.  By adding this paragraph into the advertisement it makes the survey more believable then just stating that they did a nationwide survey.  Although this survey is a good attempt at an advertising hook, it has many loopholes in it that discredits it.  The survey fails to give the readers actual numbers behind their experiment.  The reader doesn’t know how many doctors took part in the survey or what kind of doctors they were.  They could have been veterinarians for all they know.  The advertisement claims that it was a “repeated nationwide survey” however the reader doesn’t know how far the words repeated and nationwide extend.  Does repeated mean the question was asked to the same doctors at different times, or it was asked to different doctors at just one time?  The reader gets the same lack of clarity with the word nationwide.  Does nationwide mean how many states or cities did they use, or what states/cities did they use?  All of these questions show the lack of information the survey gives the reader.  These need to be clarified in order to get a worthy conclusion.  The question the doctors were asked is also biased.  “What cigarette do you smoke?” is implying the person answering the question must smoke cigarettes.  It doesn’t give them a choice if they don’t smoke cigarettes.  These faults in the survey can make a big difference in the claim they built their advertisement on.

Toward the bottom left of the ad states “THE DOCTORS’ CHOICE IS AMERICA’S CHOICE!”  There are also three images of typical fifties Americans all smoking cigarettes.  These pictures are in black and white which shows the lack of impact towards the advertisement, yet they directly connect to the proclamation above.  The written text in all caps makes a stronger impact and implies who the ad is aiming toward.   The statement talks about America’s choice which implies that the audience is the country’s population as a whole.   They are trying to make Camel cigarettes apart of the American culture by broadening the range of people they are trying to touch.  It’s promoting a whole country’s choice which would make Camel cigarettes the cigarette of the nation.  Also, by using an exclamation point and using all caps it enforces the proclamation.  They are telling the country what their choice is rather than the audience having a say in it.  The “nationwide survey” is another example of Camel aiming toward the American public and stressing Camel cigarettes being America’s choice.  The three models below this statement are the models of “America’s choice”. They all have the dated fifties look similar to the doctor.  However, these models are smiling in comparison to the more serious doctor.  The doctor has to play up his honest dependable ethos so he is pictured with a more serious responsible look.  The Americans are viewed smiling because they are happy that they smoke the same cigarettes doctors do.  Both images help to sell the cigarettes, just in different ways.

The ad uses another dated advertising technique pictured in the bottom right of the advertisement.  It shows a beautiful women in fifties fashion with the latest hair at the time and wardrobe smoking a cigarette.  Across her mouth and throat is a letter T.  The written text that is connected to this strange image states, “For 30 days test Camels in your “T zone” (T for throat, T for taste).  This aspect of the ad is detached from the rest of the advertisement and really has nothing to do with the thesis of the advertisement.  It serves as more of a slogan for Camel cigarettes rather than an addition to the techniques.  The T zone is no longer used as a Camel slogan.  Although this slogan may have been clever back in the fifties, today it would be viewed as corny and cheesy.  “Taste” and “throat” being connected with the image of a T covering a model doesn’t seem like the most creative or sophisticated form of advertising.

My anti ad is pretty similar to the original advertisement.  The only thing I changed was the image of the doctor, and yet it drastically changed the appearance and feel of the advertisement.  The new doctor is depicted lying in a hospital bed with IV’s strapped to him.  He has the face of the TV star Hugh Laurie who plays a doctor on the show House MD.  He is bald from his cancer treatments and is wearing a doctor headband.  Even though he seems to be on his deathbed he is still smoking a cigarette.  This new picture of the doctor destroys the doctor’s ethos that the original ad used and based its whole advertisement on.  Doctor’s are supposed to be healthy, so when the reader sees one on his deathbed they wonder what he did to be in such bad shape.  Both initial reactions to the doctor image on the original and anti ad are shocking but for different reasons.  The anti ad doctor no longer gives the consumer the feeling of sophistication and respect that the original ad provided.

The survey now has no weight to it in the anti advertisement.  With the claim unchanged it still reads, “More doctors smoke CAMELS than any other cigarette.  This implies that the doctors smoke Camel cigarettes and end up in a hospital bed.  This doesn’t make the reader want to buy Camel cigarettes for fear that they will end up like the doctor depicted on my anti advertisement.  This discredits the survey which destroys the logos of the advertisement.

The audience is still aimed towards America.  The statement and smiling faces at the bottom of the ad now change the readers mind about following the doctor’s choice and the American models.  The anti ad makes these models look dumb for following the doctor’s choice and potentially ending up like the doctor depicted.  It can be insulting to the American reader by proclaiming that Camel is their choice of cigarette.  They might feel ashamed to be associated with such a statement.

The original ad uses dated advertising techniques of the past to try and get customers to buy the harmful cigarettes.  They downplay the negatives by trying to get readers to buy into their poorly conducted survey and focus on the “doctor’s choice”.  These methods do an awful job and would never work today.  We know more about the harmful side effects of smoking because of doctors.  The surveys used in today’s advertising is much more detailed and researched to avoid questioned conclusions.  My anti ad plays on the use of a doctor to sell cigarettes.  By changing the image of the doctor, I can convince readers not to believe the “doctor’s choice” or buy into Camel Cigarettes.

Works Cited

admin. Earth Frisk Blog. 3 March 2008. 16 November 2009 <;.

Rosen, Leo and Gloria. American Cancer Society. 14 November 2003. 16 November 2009

Kedar Jambhekar

Josh Mehler

ENC 1101

21 October 2009

Marlboro: More than Just a Cigarette Company

When companies are selling products, a big way in which they stay competitive in their respective markets is through a process called advertising. Advertising is extremely powerful and can be used in many different venues. It can be used through outlets such as Television with a television commercial, a page in a magazine, on the side of any form of public transportation (a bus, subway, taxi, etc.). However, the one downside of advertising being extremely powerful is its ability to be extremely manipulative and deceiving. You never get the whole truth in advertisements, only what the common consumer would want to see and hear. That is how it is deceiving. An industry that is the epitome of deceiving is the tobacco industry, especially in terms of advertising. They always find beautiful or laid back settings where someone is smoking a cigarette. This makes whichever company’s respective cigarette a lot more attractive to consumers because it makes the person viewing the advertisement want to be like the person in the advertisement. Marlboro is one of the best in the tobacco industry when it comes to coming up with advertisements.

The advertisement I chose is a perfect example of the deceiving ways Marlboro uses in their advertising. The advertisement is portraying a cowboy smoking a cigarette. The cowboy figure is used to resemble someone who is “cool” and who has a lot of confidence in himself. It is used to get people to want to live that kind of a lifestyle. This is the Pathos part of advertising.  The cowboy is well dressed with clean brown boots, nice blue collared shirt, dark colored pants and a fitting cowboy hat. The color selection by the makers of the advertisement shows me that they are trying to use vibrant yet classy colors to be an image of their product. Cowboys are also known to be rebels so it tells me they are showing a man who has an exciting yet classy life. He is doing work on what appears to be his ranch. The cowboy is with his numerous horses trying to work on his lasso. With all the horses and the ranch, it shows that this guy is very successful and lives a very wonderful life. At the bottom of the advertisement there are two sentences that serve as the punch line to the advertisement overall. It says, “Come to where the flavor is. Come to Marlboro country”. What they are trying to say to the viewer of the advertisement is that when you smoke Marlboro cigarettes, you add more color and flavor to your lifestyle. You’re probably asking yourself, with all this looking so perfect, “what happened to cigarettes being bad for you”? That is where the manipulating and deceiving part of advertisements comes into play.


In Marlboro cigarette advertisements, it always shows a person smoking living a very attractive lifestyle that many envy. The advertisements never seem to mention the extremely harmful effects of cigarettes and how “not so perfect” one’s lifestyle can be if dealing with the malicious effects of cigarette smoking. Smoking kills lives as it releases numerous chemicals and lots of tar into your body. It restricts the lungs as you breathe in all the smoke. Smoking also can be the trigger tool for many types of cancer; cancers such as lung cancer, throat cancer, and even mouth cancer. Devastating illnesses such as emphysema are sparked up by smoking as well. In the advertisements they never tell you this stuff. Statistics on smoking are probably one of the most accessible things out there as more and more money gets invested into making people aware of the dangers of smoking. There was a survey conducted in 1980 in St. Louis, Missouri about the correlation between smoking cigarettes and depression. This survey consisted of information on both psychiatric diagnosis and smoking for a little more than 3,000 individuals. The survey showed that more people who were regular smokers suffered from major depression than people who did not smoke. It was a 6.6% to 2.9% ratio. The survey also showed that smokers who have a lifetime history of dealing with major depression are less likely to quit smoking than those smokers who are not dealing with major depression. Some interesting yet disturbing scientifically proven facts about smoking include:

(*all of these statistics are in comparison with the average non-smoking human)

  • If you smoke, you are twelve times more likely to die from lung cancer
  • If you smoke, you are ten times more likely to die from some sort of lung complication or disease
  • If you smoke, you are six times more likely to die of a heart disease
  • If you smoke, you are twice and likely to die from a stroke.
  • The greatest one of them all, the number one source of air pollution isn’t vehicles or pesticides, it is cigarette smoke.

Not only does smoking affect people directly, it also affects people indirectly. Children who grow up in households where the parents smoke on a regular basis and inside the house, are 15 times more likely to develop horrible smoking habits when they grow older themselves. In addition to that, thousands of babies either die at birth or are born with some sort of birth deficiency due to the mother smoking during the pregnancy. So smoking not only has negative effects on the people who smoke, it also has negative effects on the people who surround the people who smoke. The advertisements for Marlboro cigarettes, or any cigarettes in that matter, don’t mention all this and for good reason. They would go straight out of business. They tell the people what they want to hear and nothing else.

As explained, Marlboro cigarette ads are very deceiving and do not convey the true message that should be conveyed about cigarettes; that they are harmful and serve no benefit whatsoever to you and your body. If they were to come up with an advertisement like that, they can say goodbye to their business and the tobacco industry as a whole. However with more research being done and more time and money being invested into cigarette smoking research, anti ads for smoking are starting to be developed and they are effective. Getting the world tobacco free is nearly impossible but containing how many new smokers enter society is very manageable.

If I were to develop my own anti advertisement on a non smoking lifestyle I would make a spoof and a mockery of the Marlboro Cigarette advertisement I chose to describe earlier. The advertisement would contain everything the actual Marlboro advertisement contains except there would be some changes to it that would change the concept of it. In the original advertisement, the cowboy looks healthy and seems to be going about his ranch chores pretty easily. In my anti advertisement, the cowboy would be coughing and looking like he is having a tough time breathing because in reality that is what normal cigarette smokers go through. Normal cigarette smokers have respiratory problems and cannot deal with outdoor activities as well as non smokers therefore, his physically straining ranch work cannot be done as easily. Another thing I would change to spoof the advertisement and make my anti advertisement better is the gentleman’s clothing. With President Obama raising the cigarette tax about six months ago, cigarette prices are at an all time high and they keep rising. The gentlemen in the advertisement would not be as financially equipped to buy nice lavish clothes if he is a regular cigarette buyer.  The normal cigarette smoker goes through about four packs a week. The average pack for a box of Marlboro cigarettes is six dollars and twenty nine cents. That translates to about twenty five dollars per week on cigarettes alone. That translates to about a hundred dollars per month which means approximately twelve hundred dollars per year on cigarettes alone. The economic burden of cigarettes is one that should be mentioned when people discuss the negative effects of smoking. Next, my anti advertisement would consist of the cowboy smiling so everyone could see his teeth. This is pivotal because it shows that cigarettes not only effect your lungs and your breathing, but it also rots your teeth. This is because cigarettes contain massive amounts of tar which leaves dark residue stains on your teeth. I would use imagery as my next feature on my anti advertisement. I would make sure that it is not a pretty sunny day outside like it is in the original Marlboro advertisement. It would be gloomy outside to symbolize that smoking is extremely bad for you and in some cases, lethal. Instead of a lasso as it is in the original advertisement, I would have the cowboy holding numerous medicine bottles of medicines he uses to easy his violent coughing he gets from smoking cigarettes. Cigarettes cause prodigious damage to your bronchial systems which causes that violent cough. Anytime you cough you are doing strain to not only your lungs and throat, but also your ribs as they have to work to keep the expanding organs in the correct places. At the bottom of the original advertisement, there is a message saying, “Come to where the flavor is. Come to Marlboro country”. In my anti advertisement, I would change that message to, “Come to where the cancer is. Come to Marlboro country”. Many people find the word cancer to be a strong word to use in this case. However, I feel that being harsh and disturbingly realistic about smoking to smokers is the only way to truly get the message across that smoking is extremely bad. The last thing I would do to complete my spoof and mockery of an anti advertisement is have a list of the most gruesome effects of smoking going down the side in list form. I would list things from cancer all the way to heart disease and everything in between. It would send a hard message that nobody, even the most loyal and passionate cigarette smokers, could endure lightly. They would have to take it seriously.


Advertising is great for the economy. It helps boosts businesses in all sorts of ways in all the different forms of advertising. However, you always have to look past the first layer when it comes to advertising. It can be very deceiving and very misleading if you are not careful. Cigarette advertising is one of the worst when it comes to that. As explained, cigarette companies (especially Marlboro) make their advertisements such that cigarette smoking looks cool and looks like a lifestyle everyone would love and everyone can enjoy harm free. However, there are numerous harmful effects that come along with smoking cigarettes and they never are mentioned in any of the advertisements. If they were to unveil the truth about cigarettes in the Marlboro advertisements. The largest cigarette manufacturer in the world would surely go out of business. All advertising is like that, you only get what you, the consumer, wants to hear and never hear the other side of the coin.

Works Cited:

Kevin Drennan’s Paper

Kevin Drennan

ENC 1101-10

Josh Mehler


The Reign of Terror


            `The use of advertisements is one of the most widely used devices to influence people’s beliefs and opinions on world issues and conflicts.  Advertisements have the power to strengthen, weaken, and completely change people’s perceptions when dealing with these types of issues.  It may not seem it at first, but the use of advertisements truly has an effect on the world population.    No matter where one finds themselves in the world, ads are found almost anywhere at any given time.  For example, when someone drives down one of our nation’s highways or interstates one will encounter a barrage of billboards each trying to sell certain ideas and opinions.  When one reads a newspaper there is a whole section dedicated to advertisements.  Another way advertisements reach people, especially in developed nations, is through our television screens.  One of the most important aspects in our world today is politics.  Politics is what controls our world and sets how we live in it.  Advertisements are very important when it comes to politics because they are the way that most Americans get information about candidates during specific elections.  The majority of political advertisements are television commercials.  Commercials are one of the best ways to advertise political ideas and opinions because almost every American owns a television.  Also they have the tendency to make the candidate being advertised as the best choice because they portray the candidate in the best light possible.  Politicians such as George W. Bush use these commercials to enhance their popularity and show America what they


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will do, even if they are lying and never fulfill their promises.  During important elections political commercials are constantly being shown throughout all hours of the day so Americans

go out and vote.  During the 2004 presidential campaign between George W. Bush and John Kerry I found a political commercial very disturbing.  It was a political advertisement created by the Republican Party supporting former president George W. Bush.

            The political advertisement was a minute long television commercial that was shown to the nation during the 2004 presidential election.  The commercial is a speech that George W. Bush gave at the Republican National Convention in 2004, a few months before the election took place.  The speech is about the soldiers that are protecting our nation and the importance of their sacrifice for our nation.  It’s a sad speech because Bush continues to say how these fallen soldiers have families and how they are no longer together.  Bush also states that “Ordering Americans into battle is the hardest decision…even when it is right”.  While the president is giving this sad speech there is sad music playing in the background the whole time.  Also throughout the commercial the camera shows important aspects of the audience listening to the president speak.  For example, a war veteran is shown listening to Bush with great intensity as he takes in every word Bush is saying.  Another person shown in the audience is a middle aged lady who is so moved by the president’s speech that her eyes become teary.  The commercial then begins to make a transition.  Halfway through the commercial a transition is made from a sad commercial into a moving, motivational stance about supporting our troops and defending our nation.  Pictures are shown of Americans supporting the soldiers and the music changes from sad music into motivational and uplifting music.  Then Bush speaks about how the terrorists are being defeated, and he ends his speech with powerful words.  He states “I will never relent in


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defending America whatever it takes”.  Then the whole crowd at the speech stands up and cheers in support of George W. Bush.

            Several tools are used in this advertisement to influence other people to support George W. Bush.  This television commercial is very good because Bush is depicted as the leader of a tough, disciplined, and determined America.  The use of this specific speech was genius because no matter what party you support or whatever view you have about the War in Iraq, the majority of Americans always support the troops.  The men and women that serve in the military are greatly respected in America because they are sacrificing and risking their lives to protect the nation and its citizens.  The constant visual of the soldiers sinks into the viewers and they are reminded of the importance of our troops and how they are protecting our nation.  The use of the crying woman is also important because it shows how moving and heartfelt George W. Bush is.  The crying woman shows a love for her president which when viewed by other Americans, their support will go towards Bush.  This commercial achieves its main goal by getting more Americans to support Bush.  Another key factor is the last statement made by Bush when he says “Whatever it takes”.  This statement shows how Bush will do anything to protect the nation.  He is portrayed as a patriot to the American people in this commercial because he will not stop until he achieves victory against the terrorists.  The applause and reaction to the speech at the end of the commercial was used perfectly because it shows how the president has a large support system which influences other Americans to join this support system. 

            This advertisement is very disturbing because I can’t understand how a president can justify his own mishaps by using the military to cover for his mistakes.  The reason we need to

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support our troops and appreciate what they are doing to protect our nation is because the government and Bush did not perform their duties.  George W. Bush did not protect our nation by letting the September 11th terrorist attacks occur.  If he hadn’t let this terrible tragedy occur, we wouldn’t have to feel sad about the duties our soldiers have to do.  The presidency of George W. Bush has a lot more mishaps and mistakes then most other presidents in our nation.  .  This whole advertisement portrays Bush as a great American with all the right ideas.  This ad portrays Bush only in a good light; it doesn’t show the destruction he caused in the world and in his own country.  In my opinion, the Bush portrayed in this ad is not the Bush the majority of Americans saw.

            Advertisements are not always easy to decipher, in fact some advertisements appear to support or say something that there actually not.  These advertisements are called anti-advertisements.  As mentioned before these ads reverse the intended purposes that are being portrayed to the viewer.  In response to the “Whatever It Takes” advertisement, I have created my own anti-advertisement that expresses my opinion of former president George W. Bush.  The advertisement is a photo mosaic of George W. Bush.  The picture consists of a smiling George W. Bush with a nice blue suit on.  Below the picture his name is written in red, white, and blue letters.  Under his name there is a text written in the same American colors that say “Our Patriot”.  This advertisement is a photo mosaic which means that there is a collaboration of pictures in the advertisement.  The large photo of Bush is made up of over hundreds of very small photographs that show the true purpose of the advertisement.  These small photographs portray the mishaps and failures that occurred during our former president’s two terms in office. 


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The pictures consist of photographs taken from the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Hurricane Katrina tragedy, the War in Iraq and the Middle East, and photos from the military prison in Guantanamo Bay that show the cruelty our military used on prisoners.  Also the advertisement shows pictures of how the economy weakened and how it affected America.  These photographs show foreclosed homes, long lines in cities across the United States for food and jobs, and homeless people.  Also photographs showing the greed and corruption of our former president for oil are portrayed.  Together all of these photographs create a mosaic that shows the failures of George W. Bush.

            This anti-advertisement is very effective because at first glance it seems like a pro-Bush advertisement.  At first the viewer sees a smiling George W. Bush with his name written in America’s colors.  The use of these colors symbolizes patriotism and support of our former president.  This idea of patriotism is enhanced by the text stating “Our Patriot” written under Bush’s name in America’s colors once again.  This advertisement seems very American because it shows a happy George W. Bush surrounded by the American colors, and it seems he is being hailed as a patriot.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word patriot is defined as “one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests”.

            This definition shows that this advertisement is a lie because George W. Bush only supported his own authority and his own interests, not the interest of the people.  He did nothing for America except continue where his father left off when he was the president of the United States in the early 1990’s.  Like father like son, both of them were only thought about themselves, not the people.  According to Merriam-Webster Bush was by far no patriot.  To


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understand the truth behind this anti-advertisement the viewer must take a closer look at it.  The smaller pictures that make up the large picture of Bush smiling shows the horrors our country went through under the authority of Bush.  This advertisement works perfectly because the viewer’s perception is completely changed once they realize the content of the smaller photos.  At first viewers feel that this advertisement supports Bush and that he is a patriot.  But the photo mosaic shows that no patriot would be a part of these appalling events being shown.  The advertisement changes the perception of how patriots are usually seen.  Patriots are seen as heroes for their country.  How can a patriot be responsible for so many horrible events and tragedies?  A patriot would never be responsible for events such as these which show the main point of this advertisement.  Bush in no way, shape or form, is a patriot of the United States.  Also the use of these visuals enhances the reality of the damage that America has taken under this man’s authority and also shows how our nation has become.  This advertisement serves as a wakeup call not just to Bush supporters or Republicans, but to every American.  No matter what party or politician you support this advertisement shows these events that have occurred in our nation over the past eight years and we can’t go back and change what happened.  The underlying message in this advertisement is that we need to change and become smarter as a nation and not let America go through a period like this ever again.

            Political advertisements are a truly powerful means of expressing ideas, opinions, and messages across the world.  These types of advertisement truly have an effect because they change people’s perceptions.  The powerful “Whatever It Takes” commercial was a political



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advertisement that ultimately had a part in helping George W. Bush win the 2004 presidential election.  He was a man not fit for the job at all, which most Americans learned unfortunatelyafter they voted for him.  But advertisements made him look like the best candidate, which helped him win the election.  Our nation now is a weak one, and we have to get back up on our feet.  We must never let America go through an era like this again.  As a nation we need to be smarter when it comes to elections and we must be careful to whom we give power to. 


Works Cited


  1.  Republican National Committee.”Whatever It Takes.”, 2 May.2006. 5 November.2009
  2. “George W. Bush.” Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia, 9 November.2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2009


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This picture serves just as an example of my anti-ad.  I wasn’t able to create my photo mosaic because I had no idea how to.  The difference between this picture and mine is that this one shows the faces of soldiers who have died in the War in Iraq while mine shows pictures of the mishaps and failures of George W. Bush’s two terms in office.