Essay 2

Callie DavisEnglish 1010mm

Robert Cole

October 2, 2015​



Universal Language; An Analysis of Rolling Stone Magazine  

(ad pictured at the bottom)

​Our society is commercialized and materialized in every facet of our culture. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary an advertisement is, “a notice or announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event or publicizing a job vacancy.” As you can see in this Rolling Stone ad, they successfully convey their point and bring in the target audience by their representation. The point of this advertisement is to show that music is life. You can see this in the way that the guitar is shaped, colored, the font and the lack of surroundings around it. The representation is showing that music is the heart and soul of each person. Rolling Stone, being a leading music magazine, are stating that if music is an intricate part of your life that a magazine purchase would enhance the experience.  

​For a huge portion of our culture, music can be a centerpiece in their lives. From waking up, driving to school, watching TV, listening to the radio or falling asleep, music is always surrounding you and you might not even know it. We have been so accustomed to it that sometimes we don’t even notice the importance of it. Rolling Stone is a leading musically oriented magazine and they try to take advantage of this reliance on music. The ad shows that music is the center of our lives. At first glance, you can see that the only living organ is the heart. This is implying that music is the heart and soul of many of us. Symbolically speaking, the heart is the most important aspect of our existence. Not only does it physically sustain us but also it figuratively describes us. Our emotions, our love, our ambitions are always associated with the symbol of a heart. It is a vital aspect. In this ad, it shows that music is as vital as the most important thing that sustains us. Secondly, the spine and rib cage is in the shape of guitar. This serves as a bridge in this picture. A bridge that symbolizes that the heart is important but this love for music will be distributed throughout the body.

​The portrayal of barren space around the guitar makes the reader focus on nothing but the idea of music being the center of their everyday life. The barren space also implies that the guitar is the center of attention by it being the item that stands out most. It is life. It is the only thing that really matters. Everything else is secondary to our main attraction and love. There isn’t any distraction in the ad that takes the attention away from the guitar. Music and love are the only things that matter. Another musical representation would be the rock star signature graphic. “We are made of rock” directly portrays the idea that music is life. One thing that the signature shows is that it looks almost like an authentic signature. If people find rock star signatures so valuable, Rolling Stone is trying to take this pleasure into profit. If a consumer is willing to spend on a signature, they will be willing to pay for a magazine subscription. Rolling Stone is comparing the appeal of having a famous persons signature to the same as having their own magazine.

​Artistically speaking, black is the combination of all colors. Materialistically speaking, metal can be one of the most formidable and durable substances. The bones around the heart in this advertisement consists of a dark metal rib cage and spine. Going with the theme of music is life; the black metal directly represents this. Black color represents the all-consuming aspect that music is in our lives. Other things are secondary. The metal shows the durability of this infatuation and necessity. Music will always be one piece of our life that can never really change. It will always be there and will never do any harm. As the late, great Bob Marley said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”. Music will always be a pillar in our lives and is one of the very few things that can do us no harm. Music is an all consuming, formidable and loving aspect in all of our lives.

​The point of an advertisement is to draw an audience in to sell a certain product. Rolling Stone successfully portrays their point through color, layout, description and simplicity. The darkness, the positioning and the simplicity all provide the point of the ad. The idea that music is life is a simple but heavy one. Music is engrained in all of our lives. Rolling Stone is taking advantage of this fact and successfully does so. Advertisements come in many different forms and many different styles. Humor, depth, impact, emotion are just a few of the different styles advertisements. In Rolling Stone’s, simplicity is key. Music is life. And subscribing to their product will only enhance your life.














“Advertisement.” Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2015.


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