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At first glance, the image depicts an inevitable belly flop into paradise. However, the viewer will soon discover a conspicuous green bottle of Men’s Vitamins contaminating the picturesque sunset. In this advertisement, the juxtaposition of the photoshopped vitamin bottle and the man in the surrounding landscape is an obvious attempt to affiliate the two images – a product and an emblem of health. The implication is that with these vitamins, your life could be just as healthy and enjoyable as the dauntless young man leaping towards the waters below. Ultimately, in the depths of these implications rests the overarching commentary on society – that men are valued solely for their physical appearance.
Beyond the daring leap and the imposing vitamin bottle, it is easy to surmise that the ad is relatively standard in invoking a sense of tranquility. The romance of the melodramatic sunset and the allure of the radiant waters culturally appeals to the serene, and it should come at no surprise that the sky is blanketed by iconic soothing blues and puffy white clouds. In this euphoric fantasy, the adults peruse the park watching the children play and lounging on park benches under protective oak trees setting the context for the major juxtaposition in this image. The clouds themselves form a ring framing a golden-bronze man boldly upsetting the serenity of the image. In this careful juxtaposition, not only does his presence contradict the tone, but his physique suggests an entirely different story; rather than presenting an expected aged almost retired figure, the man is an agglomerate of physical health and audacious youthfulness – serving as an example, even a testament, to the perception of the ideal. Derived from just a single snapshot, the man is evidently someone to be admired and valued for his implied physical prowess, which dehumanizingly can be bought and sold. The connoted message is that this prowess is deeply engrained into each fiber of these vitamins, and if the reader takes these vitamins, they will then be just as physically apt as the man in the image.
However, the ultilization of the man’s physique doesn’t stop just yet. Fluttering in the wind, the man’s lively clumps of hair becomes Vitafusion’s next target for exploitation. While his buoyant curls may seem innocent enough, they serve as a powerful allusion to youthfulness and the past; almost iconically resembling an unstyled messy bedhead, Vitafusion strategically makes use of popular cultural stereotypes to deliberately invoke memories of an alacritous youth. He triggers the familiarity of the past resembling the local soccer star, the high school quarterback, the typical teenager vigorously exercising for the cute cheerleader; he represents the climatic race for abs in high school and the preciously fit physique the viewers possessed in the past. As such, Vitafusion demonstrates the full understanding on the value of physical appearance and exploits it to relate the main focus of the advertisement: health and vitamins.
Considering his body relative to the rest of the evidence quizzically does not seem all that impressive. Despite being turned against our view, the man, though evidently fit and heathy, shows an interesting lack of muscle. This decisive choice can ultimately be attributed to economic incentives. Recognizing the average body types of Americans – many of whom cannot reasonably obtain massive muscle mass – Vitafusion naturally wants to appeal to the broadest audience possible. Thus, one can extrapolate how having a workout fanatic in the advertisement would be counterproductive, marginalizing people for their body rather than promoting their vitamins. Thus, as a result, Vitafusion no doubt carefully selected this man because he appears to be a compromise between good health and a believably attainable physique.
Another effective element of this advertisement is the careful orientation of colors. Within the captivating reds and greens, Vitafusion boldly accentuates a contrast between the man and the bottle of vitamins. These vivid colors flash the viewers with an array of allusions. The red swimming trunks – the man’s only article of clothing – plays on traditional color theory: the symbolism of the most emotionally charged color in the visible spectrum and the concept of complimentary colors to stress an association between two objects. Red is the color of blood and lust, seducing the viewer with implications of strength and power. On the other hand, green is the color of growth and rebirth, instigating the viewer with concepts of health and wellness. Ultimately, the affiliation of the two images serves as a covert attempt in associating health of the man with the vitality of the vitamins. Thus, essentially, the engrossing visual of the red shorts and the green vitamin bottle underscore both the literal and the metaphorical contrast between the two and, notably, the overarching societal emphasis on health – or at least the appearance of health.
With the combination of association and affiliation, the advertisement speaks volumes to the allure of Vitafusion’s Men’s vitamins. In this carefully crafted piece of art, Vitafusion not only promotes the vitamins themselves but also conveys important implications of our culture. Here in the nation of fantastic innovation and brilliant intellect, people are not valued for their minds but rather their physical appearance.
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