Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Jonathan Villarreal
Marcus Hammonds
Chris Ford

Boncilla – Clasmic Beautifier

In this ad, the image shown is an illustration yet it is realistic looking. The women pictured are dressed similarly with similar hair styles. The main difference, however, is that one is smiling confidently while the other looks sad and envious. The language used is very dramatic and seems to parallel John Kennedy’s theory of “salesman in print”. Phrases like “Why Look Old Before Your Time?” and A Boncilla Today Keeps the Wrinkles Away, combined with the imagery tell you why you need to buy Boncilla. The quote -and One was fair to look upon - the Other fading fast – A Bedtime Story really dramatizes the whole thing. It almost sounds like a fairy tale.

The emotional appeal this ad plays on is a common fear many people have, even now: aging. You see two women sitting down, one looking happy and confident, the other sad and envious. The copy below says: “You look as young as you did eight years ago, Adele – How in the world do you do it? And a wistful tone of envy unconsciously crept into Marjorie’s voice”. These words, coupled with the imagery all work to build reader anxieties about aging. After a brief conversation about the two women, the ad goes on to describe the product – what it does, how it works, where you can find it and how much it costs. Basically, the ad creates anxiety through an image and a story about the image, then tells you how to get rid of the anxiety by using the advertised product. Their slogan, A Boncilla Today Keeps the Wrinkles Away definitely sums this up.

It is difficult to say whether or not the ad makes a logical appeal. An anti-wrinkle cream sounds rather absurd to us now but during the time of this ad, I doubt knowledge that these things don’t work was common. That being said, the product further claims that not only will you “…see renewed color in your cheeks, your skill will be soft and satin-smooth, free from pimples and blackheads, and you will experience that delightful sensation of having been ‘made over’”. This is starting to sound a lot like patent medicine ads. It tells you what the product will do but never offers any outside sources to verify their claims. The image used shows a woman who is feeling that “delightful sensation of being made over” while her friend looks on in envy. It is also evident that the ad is targeting women during the depression era because it advertises the “Boncilla Pack O’ Beauty” for 50 cents but says “later, you will want the larger and more economical sizes”.

1 comment:

Zachariah said...

I think this ad does a great job of selling specifically to it's target audience: ladies. The font really jumps out as elegant yet stylish, which would be the crowd of women it's targeting: women with enough money to focus on the need to look forever young and beautiful. At the same time, it's not alienating anyone. The women in the picture are not necessarily upper-class, and they don't need to be. This add targets all women, and sells them the concept of "looking young," which any woman, rich or poor, can relate to. It's genuis in the sense that it uses whisper copy to make Boncilla appear to be one of the best kept secrets among women. Only one of these women knew about it, and she used Boncilla in time to preserve her youth. The other, well she wasn't so lucky, but as the ad implies, it's never too late. They will even send a free book on beauty tips.