Reverse Engineer, Visual Media

It’s a little bit…cheesy

Ladies and gentleman, today I present to you a stunning masterpiece of advertising: an ad for Sargento Sweet Balanced Breaks®. The word choice is, I suppose, a little cheesy ;), but the design is effective and well-presented.

The advertisement:

Sargento ad

Analysis:

Proximity:

Proximity

The proximity is interesting in this advertisement because of the use of the words “close”  and “closer” and the resulting necessity to visually represent that.

To begin with, though, the proximity of the words and images in this advertisement is well done. The white words in the top center are grouped together in a way that makes them easy to understand. Then the image, of someone holding snacks close to them, is grouped close to those, easily communicating the relationship. I think the proximity also corresponds nicely with the point, which is to “keep your snacks close.”

The placement of the logo at the top and the slogan at the bottom is nicely done, indicating that the two are important to the ad, but not part of the specific message of this particular advertisement. The “Sargento” at the top lets you easily know that it’s an ad for their cheese, and the slogan at the bottom ties in with the top.

Alignment:

Alignment

This advertisement is center-aligned, and I think it’s a good example of when that is okay and that it was definitely intentional.

The text is lined up with the part I circled in red: the center packet of Sweet Balanced Breaks, and the center of where the hands meet. Using this image as the guideline, the rest of the advertisement looks best center-aligned. Moving text to the right or left would look off-balance, and in this ad, Sweet Balance is important. 😉

Another thing I noticed and liked is how the hands and the dark space at the top create a frame for the hands and the words, which are the emphasis of the advertisement. The words also help create a frame for the main highlight of the picture: the snacks.

Repetition:

Repetition

Repetition is a strong point in this image. First and most noticeable, the brand name and logo, Sargento, is repeated no less than seven times throughout the advertisement, as outlined in white.

Less prominent instances of repetition also occur as well. One, the white text (outlined in blue) is the same font and the same capital letters in the front and center and on the bottom. The repetition of the font type and color draws your eyes from the big, emphasized words down to the smaller words at the bottom–the company’s slogan.

An important but subtle repetition is the use of the red bar at the top and the bottom (outlined in green). This creates continuation from start to finish, and provides a connection throughout the entire advertisement. The ad would look unfinished without those unifying red bars.

Contrast:

Contrast

I’ll start talking about contrast by pointing out where the light source is shining: the spot circled in white. That is where the most light is, and the top, where the shirt fades into darkness, is where there is the least light. That creates the foundation for the contrast in this ad.

The other main contrast is fairly prominent: the brightly-colored, warm-hued packages against a gray shirt. The two are so different that the snacks easily stand out against the shirt so they go noticed and very few will even think about the fact that the shirt is gray–which is exactly what’s supposed to happen. The two are so contrasting that the important part gets noticed and the unimportant part goes completely unnoticed.

The last clear example of contrast is the white words against the dark background of the shirt. Again, the plain gray–almost black that far up away from the light–shirt provides an unnoticeable background for the large white words to stand out.

Color:

Color

There are three main colors in this advertisement, the ones I circled in white and then brought out in the white box. To me, the combination of these three colors presents a couple of ideas. One, it seems very Italian, which presents a picture of quality and elegance, particularly when related to cheese. Another idea this combination brings to mind is comfort, and happiness. It seems very relaxed, but comfortable and homey. These colors were chosen well for the product and the advertisement.

Another detail I noticed about color was the teeny spot of green I circled. I thought it was well-placed to give the eye a tiny, imperceptible break from the warm yellows and reds. It’s small enough that most won’t notice that it was there, but it’s a different enough color that it provides a rest from the repetition of reds and yellows.

Conclusion:

All in all, the designer of this ad did well with proximity, alignment, repetition, contrast, and color. Ideas and words were grouped together to represent closeness, staying true to the message of the ad. The center-alignment was necessary to keep in line with the image that was used, and it wouldn’t have worked if it wasn’t aligned in the center. Repetition brought attention to the name of the brand, and made the ad pleasing to look at and easy to follow. Bright snacks contrasted against a gray shirt, and white words stood out against a dark background. The colors used represented elegance, quality, and comfort. Everything combined created a memorable and aesthetically-pleasing advertisement.

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