Davis 1Callie Davis
October 11, 2015
Universal Language: An Analysis of Rolling Stone Ad
(ad pictured at the bottom)
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 just hearing the rain drops, music is always surrounding you and you might not even know it. Music has a omnipresence effect on everyone, everywhere. 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. In July 2014, Rolling Stone produced an advertisement that tried to convey that music is life.
The ad is made to try and convey to the reader that music is the center of life. At first glance, you can see that the only living organ is the heart. Rolling Stones is attempting to imply that music is the heart and soul of many of us. The heart is usually depicted as the most important aspect of our existence. Not only does it physically sustain us but also is supposed to describe 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. A second physical aspect of the ad is that the spine and rib cage are in the shape of a guitar. This aspect is attempting to describe the layout of the bones as a figurative bridge. A bridge that symbolizes that the heart is important but this love for music will be distributed throughout the body. The attempted 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 ad is showing that music is the heart and soul of each person.
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 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. Rolling Stone is implying that 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. Rolling Stone is saying that as individuals we are made up of the one thing that brings us together. 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. As the late, great Bob Marley said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”. Rolling Stone is trying to imply that 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 or project a certain idea. 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 advertisement. The idea that music is life is a simple but at the same time a heavy one. Music is engrained in all of our lives. We can sometimes be unaware of the effect. 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 ad, simplicity is key. Music is such a important factor in our lives. Rolling Stone successfully portrays the idea that subscribing to their product will only enhance your life and experience.