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The sample for this advertisement analysis essay is The Staedtler Textsurfer Classic highlighter pen. This advertisement is published by Staedtler, a renowned German stationery company in 2018. Pictured in the advertisement is an oversized highlighter pen appearing on a road leading to a city. The Staedtler Textsurfer Classic highlighter pen appears to be in the front because of its size, colour and the cut-off cityscape. At the top part of the advertisement, the slogan “Never Get Lost” written in scribbled scrawl font is centred. The slogan and the pen suggest that the advertisement is issued to promote the sales of the newly rebrand highlighter pen line.
The advertisement has a rectangular, in fact almost a square portrait layout. The ratio of the vertical to the horizontal edge is about 5:4. There is neither a frame nor borders present at the edge of the advertisement.
The advertisement is vertically rather symmetrical, with the pen as the middle vertical axis and the line of symmetry. The only few things that are asymmetrical are the slanted tip of the pen and the height of the buildings in the cityscape backdrop. Another point worth mentioning will be the small slogan “Find your way easily”, the company’s name and logo placed at the bottom right corner instead of being in the middle. However, these features can only be seen when observed closely. The ground line of the backdrop cityscape connected by the separation of the tip and the body of the highlighter is the middle horizontal axis of the advertisement.
At both sides of the road are meadows, where the texture of the grass is depicted through fine lines and different achromatic value. The pen has a gloss finish body and a seemingly matt finish tip. This can be seen from the very fine highlight present at the shade of the body but not the tip. There is no light source in the advertisement, but the tint on the right side of the pen and the shade on the left side tell viewers that the light is from the right. Viewers can also see the shadow of the pen on the road at the left. The road has a rough texture, although it seems to be smooth due to the dark black colour, the thick chalk line drawn by the pen on the road suggest otherwise.
In this one-point perspective advertisement, the straight solid white lines of the road, the edge of the meadows and the relatively organic lines formed by the clouds converge to a vanishing point, which is obstructed by the pen. However, viewers can also say that the vanishing point is the pen itself, located precisely in the middle, putting a focus on the product.
Next we will analyze the colours of the advertisement. There is only one colour present in the advertisement, yellow, and the intention is clear: to show cast the pen to its fullest. Therefore, only the pen and the slogan are coloured with great intensity. Viewers can almost feel the bright yellow light projecting out to them. The great contrast in colour works well with the 2 slogans, which aims to let the product users “find” their way between lines of words. Yellow is chosen rather than other colours from the same highlighter pen line because it is the colour of light. Here the pen symbolises light in the dark, as if showing a lost wanderer, the way along the dark road to the city.
By analyzing the advertisement, viewers are unable to tell the name of the city since there are no prominent buildings like the Empire State Building in New York or the Shanghai Building in, of course, Shanghai present. However, identification is not important. The advertisement uses cityscape as the backdrop just to show that the products are used in offices in the city. The company wishes to penetrate the product to the corporate market, rather than perhaps just school-use market.
The whole dramatic, catchy ambience of the advertisement is a successful take to a mundane stationery advertisement. As seen from the ad analysis, the use of simple composition, colour contrast and one-point perspective provides clarity, something essential for a good advertisement.
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