Purple Is Who I Am

Hello everybody, I hope you are surviving another week, Mondays are as always the worst day of the week, the day you get back to work/school. All I know is that after this week a lot of things is going to happened, first and foremost we will have spring break, I cannot explain how awesome that is going to be. I am in real need of a break from it all right now, some time to recharge the batteries as my mom would put it. After the break we are going to start playing games as well, I am  really looking forward to that. On the subject of games, I was still sick on Sunday so I could not play the Blue and Gold game, instead they played 6 vs. 6. Not to exiting to be honest, but the guys worked on really well out in the snow. It really does feel like we have taken a lot of steps forward both as a team and as individuals.

But any who next week is bringing to other things as well, I will get my phone back, after a long time of not texting I will be able to do it again, super happy! I transferred money from my Swedish account today so it should be here on friday, and that money is supposed to last me until the fall of 2013, I say good luck to my self but hopefully I have learned to hold on to my money in a better way. However, I am going to New York on spring break so I am probably going to spend quite a bit there.

In school there has been an unexpected uprise in my grades lately, A and AB on all assignments I hope I can keep that up especially since I had to exams today, one in Advertising and one in Media in Society. They both felt really good, and I hope the result will show so as well.

Not to forget super exiting, I just got new soccer shoes, and they are purple and look awesome. I love them!

Here is a paper that I got back Friday, it received 56/60 points and it is a semiotic analysis/ economy political analysis of an advertisement in a magazine.

The advertisement created by Kenneth Cole upsets and provokes, but more importantly creates awareness and guides people’s thoughts towards social issues. The ad displays a new attitude for young female adults, and creates a desire to be like the person in the picture. The creation of this ad might have made some older people turn their back on their brand, but they also gain respect and admiration from the new generation. This generation is ever-growing and will soon be the main part of society. With a creative ad that was displayed in a magazine for females, Kenneth Cole provoked and lost some of their consumers, however they invested in younger minds and planted ideas that will make society better and those who agree with Cole’s ideologies will continue to identify with them, purchase their merchandise and thus, improve their profits.

By just looking at the advertisement, the eye sees a young and very beautiful woman. The reason why the creators of the ad choose to use such a beautiful woman is to attract young female consumers. The creators have also placed her body in a position that evokes a feeling of independence, ferocity and power. Those are attributes females seek to gain and display in their personal lives. The portrayal of her as independent and fearless is also a part of Kenneth Cole’s description of people who should wear his clothing. The picture is displayed in black and white, to create tension and give it a serious tone. The woman in the picture is also wearing fur and ball gloves which they used to show that she is rich, and therefore, created even more desire to be like her. The model is also holding two hand bags which goes along with the text that is displayed next to her, “Should it be a woman’s right to choose if she’s the one carrying it?” They are using that text to connect the handbags in the picture.

The message Kenneth Cole is trying to send to the people seeing the picture is that females in society should have the right to choose what they do, they should be independent. The time where males are purely the dominant force between the two genders is over; no longer should females need to be relying on males to take care of them and make their decisions for them. Kenneth Cole wants the change in society that has been on going the latest decade to continue even more; they want young girls to learn that they too can do all that they want. They support that their gender should not stop them from becoming what they desire, and in that they need to be independent. If they do that they will be like the woman in the picture, and will have both power and respect in the eyes of society.

There are a lot of messages that one does not receive by just looking at the image, and those are both bold and provoking. The text that is used “Should it be a woman’s right to choose if she’s the one carrying it?,” is not pointing towards choosing between handbags as one might think after just looking at the picture. The message that is sent is of much more importance; they are bringing up the question of abortion and whether it should be accepted. Their intentions are to provoke an older audience, and at the same time, bring it to wide attention too. It is a common fact that today’s teenagers are more accepting of abortions, pre-marital sex, same-sex marriage, and Kenneth Cole is trying to align with that acceptance.  At the same time, as they provoke the older members of society, they gain support from the younger generation. All parts of the model in the image are to evoke a feeling, a need, and a desire to be like her, thereby accepting the fact that many choices are the woman’s own. Society should accept her choice as an independent and secure woman, and not see her choice as wrong. One must not forget that the ad is implying that there are two different stand points to choose between. They illustrate that by having the picture in black and white and by having the model hold two handbags, and therefore, alluding to the choice to either keep the fetus or not. Who should and can make that choice, the person who is carrying it, the person who is independent and secure, just as the model is portrayed.

American society is not as developed as the European society when it comes to liberty in choice and female independence, especially with young adults and teenagers. This ad conveys the liberty and empowerment of females, and the creators have ensured that the image communicates a need for being just like it. Not only the desire to be: attractive, secure, and independent, but also the desire to have and take control. That desire relates back to the issues brought with the text, and ensures that those who see it think about it in a new perspective.

This ad was used in the magazine Vogue, which is a fashion and lifestyle magazine that is known and sold all over the world. Their intended audience is females between the ages 21-35, but it has readers aged 16-45. That particular audience is known for shopping and caring about their appearance; they are likely to get inspired by a magazine like Vogue because of their credibility. The product that this ad focuses on fits in what is expected to be seen in a magazine like Vouge: handbags, clothing, accessories, but more importantly an attitude to young females. Not only is the ad showing a part of their clothing and accessories, but an attitude intended for young woman’s to pick up. The creators of the ad are trying to shape the beliefs and thoughts of their intended audience, which would be young female adults. As Kenneth Cole says “What you stand for is more important than what you stand in” and “To be aware is more important than what you wear.” (Cole, 2012) That is the attitude he wants to bring into society, an awareness of problems that needs to be dealt with. Kenneth Cole is known for his work with social issues, and he uses his influence within fashion to convey solutions for those issues.

Those who created this image did it to be provocative and cause awareness. The provocation comes down to old values about abortion and certain religious groups might have been highly offended; however, the attention that would have brought up would have been substantial. Just like the old Dolce Gabbana ad, that was seen as rape, they were sued on a substantial amount of money but the profits they made thanks the attention they received was even greater. That might have been one of the thoughts involved in creating this ad, but they also wanted to bring this touchy subject up in a way that not only provoked but also made their audience really think about the issue. One can assume they gained a lot of people who refused to buy Kenneth Cole, but more importantly gained even more who support them for the issues they bring up. For the most part, the younger generation is more accepting about abortions and same-sex marriage, and is against caring weapons.  All of these are social issues Kenneth Cole has included in his campaigns. They most certainly lost parts of their business by creating an ad like this, but they gained support and respect from the younger parts of society that will stay loyal to Kenneth Cole. They gained the young adult’s admiration, and their bravery to bring up issues like this will be rewarded due to the fact that society will become more and more accepting and they will have no problems with a company that stands for such nontraditional ideologies.

There are a lot of messages within an image, some more obvious than other and some that have more meaning than others. In this advertisement, the creators try to reach out to a younger audience with a message about social issues and show that females should be more independent and secure; however, they also tried to provoke certain elements of society, and those provocations might have made them lose some customers. More importantly they gained attention and sent a message that is important for society to improve, and the chances for them as a company to gain more profits than before are great. Greater portions of the people in society accept those issues that Kenneth Cole brings up, and those will come to admire and respect the brand Kenneth Cole and all that it stands for. As the company describes itself, “I have a refreshing point of view, and I am inspired to be inspiring” (Cole, 2012).

 

Reference List

Cole. (2012). Kenneth Cole Reaction. Retrieved from http://www.reaction.com/

///Sebastian

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18 thoughts on “Purple Is Who I Am

  1. Always dangerous to try moving a brand from one demographic to another – like standing with one foot in the canoe and the other on the dock.

    Personally I find it pitiful that selling handbags requires playing on one of society’s tinderbox issues but based on the final quote from Cole, it’s obvious his ego is larger than his humanity.

    Nice article, well reasoned and stated.

    • I like the way you think, and that is a great analogy. However, sometimes you manage to get on to the deck, but others you drip into the water.

      The worlds economy has made some drastic changes in the world of advertising, and many companies struggle to maintain their selling numbers and therefore they try to combine their brand with another element of society. Just as you say though the ego sticks out from the rest, however I am glad it does so for a according to me good cause instead of a bad one.

      Thank you for your insightful comment.

  2. Nothing wrong with your brain, or your thinking. In fact, keep the ego out of it, and speak up! us old folks need to hear you too. Enjoy NYC, and the photogrpahy and design of your blog is wicked cool. Smiles Superatsixty.

  3. ur blog looks supercool..
    Yes the world needs to look ahead with brighter thoughts and ideas. And it is not about the women only, it should be in the entire humanitarian aspect. Inspiring thought, well expressed, and that makes me look at Kenneth Cole in a new light.

  4. Great post, inspiring thought – thank you for sharing. Love the quote – What you stand for is more important than what you stand in” and “To be aware is more important than what you wear.” Thank you so much for stopping by My Journal of Praise and liking a post.

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