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One of the most genius ways people are influenced to purchase an item or service is the common everyday magazine advertisement. The advertisements we glance at in a magazine do their job very well, and that is because they are designed to appeal to our psychological senses. They also target certain age groups, such as teenagers, young men, or middle-aged women, as well as interests, such as motorcycles or clothes. In this essay, I will try to correctly identify the psychological needs of a Wal-Mart ad I found in a magazine, which is aimed at middle-aged homemakers and appeals to three basic needs that are highly valued by such a customer.
The first and strongest need expressed in this ad is the need to nurture. The happy, smiling child clearly suggests that the need to nurture will be greatly and adequately fulfilled if the homemaker buys her groceries at Wal-Mart. The child is also looking up towards his mother, implying that he is enjoying his meal. This is also emphasized by the enthusiastic grip on his fork, which has food on the end of it. The child is in the center of the advertisement, which shows that the need to nurture is the most important thing expressed in the ad. The child’s plate also has a small amount of food on it, suggesting that he has already eaten and enjoyed the food.
The second need addressed by this ad is the need for financial security. Wal-Mart’s slogan reads, “Save money. Live better.” The ad also includes the headline, “What will you do with your savings? Stuff more than the turkey.” This strongly suggests that the homemaker will experience total financial security if she shops at Wal-Mart. The last example that supports this need is the sentence advertisers included near the bottom of the ad to act as a final push towards a desire to shop at Wal-Mart: “Get low prices on all the delicious Thanksgiving favorites they love to gobble up.”
The third and least noticeable need targeted is the need for sex and romance. The homemaker is handing a plate to a masculine hand, which we can see at the top of the advertisement. The plate is heaped with food, further suggesting that the person receiving the plate is a male, and most likely, the homemaker’s husband. Though this is barely noticeable, this need is one most women desire to meet. It ties in with the need to nurture, because women need to love and nurture their husbands. It is well-known that food is the way to a man’s heart, and so the high-piled plate fulfills this need. The hands and food at the top of the advertisement also look like normal, every-day hands and food, not fancy dishes or super model hands. This further appeals to the average homemaker, because it tells her that she can win her husband’s heart even if she doesn’t have the body of a super model or the cooking skills of Rachael Ray.
Though Wal-Mart can’t actually help you nurture your child or make your husband fall in love with you, it can help you shop for less. The advertisers show their skill by setting up ads with appealing scenes, and consumers react positively to the thousands of advertisements the see every day. They subconsciously retain the information presented about the product in the advertisement, which comes back to them while they’re in the store, and purchase the product. Thankfully, Wal-Mart is among the few advertisers who do help the consumer, and people who shop at Wal-Mart do save a significant amount of money.
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