Advertising Appeals: ESPN The Magazine
ESPN stands for Entertainment Sports Programming Network. Not only do they produce a magazine, but they have several television stations in which they have round the clock, 24 hour sports coverage. Naturally, the first appeal that jumped out to me was the need to escape. Second, the need for sex came to mind. Third, the need for aesthetic sensations and that is followed by some physiological needs such as food, drink, sleep etc. I will be going over each one of these advertising appeals, why they came to mind and breaking down what I found as an end result.
The first advertising appeal that came to me was the need to escape. This truly might be the single reason, whether they know it or not, that people enjoy sports. Sports are an escape. They are a getaway. They provide relief from stress caused by real life problems. When the game is on, for those 2.5+ hours, you are locked in and nothing else matters. It takes you to a temporary paradise, where everything could have been going wrong that day, but once the game is on you are lost in it and none of your problems are even given attention. Without a doubt, that is the first appeal I thought of for ads to aim for. What I found was pretty accurate, only pertaining to the advertising world rather than sports. In every ad, whether it was for A1 steak sauce or Gatorade, they portrayed some type of Utopia. They made you feel like you wanted to be where they are. Using athletes to indorse certain products also causes you to feel this need to escape. If Dodgers sensation Yasiel Puig’s favorite flavor of Gatorade is Lemon Lime, then there must be something fantastic about it that makes you swing the bat faster and hit the ball farther. The ads do a tremendous job at taking you away and putting you in this state of mind where you find yourself wanting to be where they are, live their life and escape from your boring every day one.
The need for sex is something that for whatever reason fits hand in hand with the sporting world. ESPN magazine is a magazine directed towards people who love sports and everything about them. Of course, that is mainly directed towards men. I was expecting to see adds of scantily dressed women holding up alcohol or eating some kind of cheeseburger, but was pleasantly surprised at the lack of sex appeal I found. Magazines such as Sports Illustrated who produce the swim suit addition every year, as well as Men’s Health have ad after ad of women in bikinis, laying in some provocative position that catches your attention and makes you want to look at whatever they are indorsing. In ESPN the magazine, I did not find a single add with a women in a bikini. It makes me wonder why Sports Illustrated takes that approach and absolutely dominate that approach, but ESPN the magazine does not. Maybe they are trying to appear as the “clean, family friendly” approach to things?
Lastly, I thought that physiological needs would fall in third place as far as advertisements go in the magazine… Boy was I wrong. 99% of ads in the magazine are some sort of food or drinks, making you want to give every single last one of them a try. Everything from Ball Park Franks hotdogs, to Coca-Cola, to Miracle Whip dominated the advertisements of this magazine. Every hot athlete you could think of was holding up some kind of sandwich, drink, and razor or sitting in a car. It is strange the emotions that you feel when you see these ads. When I look at the KIA Soul car, I don’t see anything that is appealing to me personally. When I see an ad with Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton sitting inside a KIA Soul, it changes everything. I all the sudden find the car attractive and wonder what I would look like driving one around. When I see Knicks forward Amare Stoudamire eating a sandwich from Burger King, it makes me think that he is a normal guy who eats at the same place I eat at, why wouldn’t I eat at Burger King?
You never really take a moment to step back and look at these things when you are just flipping through a magazine or watching television. Advertisements are everywhere, they are all around us. The approach that they take to drawing our attention and striking one or multiple of our emotions is incredible. You find yourself looking at things in an entirely different way and wanting to try things you maybe never have before, all because your favorite athlete is seen holding their product. It truly is incredible how the creators of these ads know the type of people that they want to direct their ad towards and how well they actually do it.