“Why are they smiling under the plastic vinyl?”
There are two human beings looking in really uncomfortable pose. I needed more information to understand the meaning of their grin and the vinyl stuck on their entire bodies. I spontaneously started searching for the clues. I could see the frozen moment of jumping in the air and the way the vinyl covering them quite tightly just as it was vacuum packed. The logo ‘Athletica’ together with the words “Last longer” made me sure of my interpretation. It must be expressing our universal wish, “living healthy and young immortally!” And I was kind of feeling proud of myself for smartly capturing the wit of the advertisement, and I came to like it and post here.
The time it takes to fully understand the meaning also matters in the level of liking it. If you take longer time to process a thing, you recognize it as more valuable just because you unconsciously know that you have put more cognitive effort in it, which might be supported by ‘effort justification’ principle.
With no such clues as ‘last longer’, the picture could hardly be seemed as vacuumed package –the man in the picture is not completely wrapped and also the picture is not of, hopefully, a man and a women actually vacuum packed. Nevertheless we successfully got that it must be depicting vacuum packing with the vinyl tightly stuck on the body because by doing so the healthy body and the grin in happiness can be preserved, as it is on the words. This is the power of metaphor that guides us to get the message in the advertisement. The metaphor using the characteristic of vacuum packing that can keep food preserved as longer as we want to and the wish of every human being to live young and healthy succeeded in guiding us to perceive that the man is vacuumed.
Smiling is something that captures human’s eye sight from the birth onward. Together with the physical attractiveness of the model in the picture and the vivid colour used in the background were enough to guide our positive perspective towards the pictures. In addition, the level of creativeness was associated with the quality of this company.
Even though the vacuum packed products are in general have something in common like “mass-produced”, putting the object in just the plain coloured background with bits of words may have enhanced its attractiveness by depicting it as the or “limited edition” “the only” product in the world similar to what we are to ourselves.
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Braun, O. L., & Wicklund, R. A. (1989). Psychological antecedents of conspicuous consumption. Journal of economic psychology, 10, 161-187.
Mio, J. S. (1996). Metaphor, politics, and persuasion. In J. S. Mio & A. N. Katz (Eds.), Metaphor: Implications and applications (pp. 127-146). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.