Reaching Sub Cultures: Social Smokers – Clare H

Posted: January 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

As discussed in today’s lecture, advertisers define subcultures within society – groups that may have otherwise not been recognized. After watching the Scooter clip, we discussed as a class the ways in which advertisements define and distinguish between subculture groups. While the Scooter clip illustrated the different product preferences in contrasting rockers and mod groups, this campaign from the Ontario Ministry of Health separates “social smokers” from smokers. The commercial identifies this subculture as those excusing their bad habits, with phrases such as “I don’t buy my own, I just bum off my friends” and “I just do it when I am out.” However, rather than emphasizing the differences between this new sub culture and “smokers” in general, the Ontario Ministry of Health uses this campaign to expose the similarities and absurdity in referring to oneself as a “social smoker.” Therefore, the subculture is recognized, only to be grouped back into the larger consumer base of addicted, routine smokers.
Furthermore, the ad uses the comedic reference to “Social Nibbling” in place of referring to their actually topic of discussion: smoking. As today’s documentary, Art and Copy discussed, satire is often used in advertisements to shock and drawn in viewers. By catching the eyes of their audience with humour and irony, the Ontario Ministry of Health is successful in creating a message the will stick with its viewers.

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