237.130 A1 Week 2 TASK 1 – Billboards around Wellington – Site 1

billboard noun

  1. a large outdoor board for displaying advertisements; a hoarding.

Our first task as a group was to scout out Billboards in Wellington’s city centre. As intended, they weren’t hard to find. Billboards are suppose to draw your eyes, and to convey a simple suggestion about a brand or a product, and we found that their ways of doing this were simple but effective. As seen in the ANZ Go Money and Steinlager Billboards:

“All artefacts are products of specific conditions,” (Clarke 25). When analysing these billboards, Clarke’s suggestion that all things are products of “specific conditions” can be applied; the Billboards are products of their placement, target audience and subject matter. I.e., the Steinlager ad is positioned on the Sharp Building on Taranaki St. It looks over a busy intersection, and from this we can assume that the main audience would be motorists, and therefore adults. It then makes sense that an alcohol advertisement would be placed here. We then can take those conditions and apply Clarke’s suggestion again in saying that because the ad is aimed at motorists, the use of wording is minimal, and instead the the ad captures attention with colour and form, and gets the point across quickly with the large brand name and matching brand colours.

Tui Ad. Taranaki St. 2016

A Tui Billboard we came across, also on Taranaki St, employed the use of narrative to suggest consuming its product. As is common in alcohol advertising, it suggests that drinking Tui is synonymous with being apart of New Zealand having a, “good life”, enjoying good company and generally having a great time. This narrative can be harmful in that it continues to promote an already terrible drinking culture in New Zealand. Often the target audience here, adults in the CBD, are on their way to work and wishing they weren’t, and this ad reminds them that this weekend they can be somewhere better, with the help of Tui. If I was to analyse this an image, I would also say that the use of blue in the background contrasts the golden colour of the lager, and draws attention to it. It also evokes feelings of being warm, and enjoying the summer period, a time New Zealanders love. It is effective in its placement, and use of visual elements.

I think it’s also interesting to note that out of  11 Billboards we saw around Wellington, half of those were for alcohol. I think it says a lot about our drinking problem, and just how susceptible to alcohol advertising we might be.