By Chris Jenks

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It is counter-intuitive to suppose that a bit of surrealism or the odd visual pun 38 ADVERTISING: THE RHETORICAL IMPERATIVE would be sufficient to generate the necessary desire. So, while it has been argued that even supposedly innocent, informative, ads are creating and inflating desire, it is difficult to understand how ads of this type, like the ‘Bottle-top’ and other, surreal or visually punning, ads can thus create or inflate desire. It may well be counter-intuitive, but Chapman’s research, a 1990 MORI poll and a 1993 Health Education Authority report suggest such a connection.

Was more in fashion at this time, as well as ‘little Cuts and Figures’ and ‘the blind Italian Character, which…gives the curious Reader fomething like the Satisfaction of prying into a Secret’. 7 As Addison says, all these devices are to catch the reader’s eye, they are intended as ways of drawing attention to a thing which otherwise may ‘pass over unobserved’; as such, they conform to the sense of advertising as informing. Indeed, Addison explicitly says in this article that the third and last function that advertisments perform is to ‘inform the World’ where they may be furnished with almost every necessity.

18 The first stage they call the ‘Product-oriented’ approach and they claim that it lasted from 1890–1925. Ads in this period leave behind the ‘announcements’ of earlier periods in favour of a persuasive informational approach’,19 in which text is used to provide ‘rationalistic’ explanations of the reasons for using a product. 21 The next stage they call ‘Product Symbols’ and they claim that it lasted from 1925–45. 22 Products are made to ‘“resonate” with qualities desired by consumers—status, glamour’ and so on.

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