My Ad:

Ad Critique

The ad was found online at  It is an advertisement for Australian Post, which is an Australian company that provides postal services. This ad is meant to convince the viewer that in order to better connect with someone emotionally the best method is a letter, and more importantly the best way to send that letter is through Australian Post. At first glance the center of the image is the woman. She is being hugged by a human figure. She appears to be comforted by his embrace. The viewer then realizes that the figure has words/writing on him. This leads the viewer to recognize that the man is actually a part of something bigger, a letter. The two figures, the woman and the man, have a basic narrative of compassion but the “story” is not filled in until the bottom of the ad is read; “If you really want to touch someone, send them a letter.” It is this line that starts to fill in the details of the narrative, that these two people have a possible relationship and may not be able to see each other often. The eye then travels to the letter that the man is a part of and the viewer is filled in more on the story. These individuals have been apart for quite sometime, but this letter has brought them together/closer in some way. This helps create the underlying mood of comfort and connection. There is warmth illuminating from the picture as a result of this connection between the two in the picture and the letter that is helping to bring a better connection. The letter is also consoling and comforting the two individuals who are not able to see each other currently.

The woman is the point of orientation for ad. The curved lines of the two individuals’ arms present a meaning of comfort and safety. The lines of their bodies, standing straight up, provide a meaning of stability and solidity (possibly resulting from the connection the letter is bringing). There is a balance of three-dimensional and two-dimensional form.  The woman and man are both realistic forms. Although he is not as an average human looks (writing, part of a letter, color, etc.), his basic shape and form is that of a human. Also, although the letter the man is a part of is intricate and busy in that it is full of words, it still helps to sharpen the focus on the man as he breaks up the normal form of the letter. The man then holds the focus on the woman as she breaks him and the letters form and stands out because of her coloring. The movement of the ad is like that of the product. A letter is read from left to right and thus the viewer’s eyes work from side to side. The color of the letter is relatively mute in comparison to the woman’s purple shirt, brown hair, and skin tone. This helps to make her the focus of the image, as the individual that the man has written a letter to “touch”. This also allows for a pattern for the viewer’s eye to follow the path of least resistance from muted color to more vibrant color. The red of the company’s logo background helps to stand apart from the picture, letting it be uninterrupted by the words by the company while still providing the viewer with what the ad represents.

As for the principles of design used within the ad, there is a fair balance to the ad. The woman balances the ad symmetrically, because there is an equal amount of the muted coloring and words from the letter surrounding her. The man is larger proportionally to the woman, possibly as a means to symbolize his ability to hold and comfort her. The man is also a part of the letter but is disproportionate to it in order to stand out. Rhythmically there is a flow from left to right, but it starts at the woman because she is the focal point. There is an emphasis on her but the next important thing is the man because he is able to comfort her (through the letter). However, it is their embrace that is the purpose of the ad. The letter lets the man “touch” her. There is a unity to the photo because of the balance of proportions and fitting emphasis on important objects. The colors match and are balanced. The photo serves its purpose overall for the ad.

The ad is trying to say that when an individual is unable see someone or connect with them that they should write a letter. For although they cannot physically touch them, a letter allows for two people to touch each other emotionally. This allows for two individuals to be with each other without physically being next to each other. Semiotics is in this ad through the use of a well-known narrative. Although the viewer doesn’t know these the woman depicted in the ad, there is a familiar or recognizable story present. This woman appears (facial expression) to be missing someone, she is being comforted by a male figure who is possibly her lover that she is unable to see. She wants to connect with him or be able to “touch” him again but she cant because he is not near her. However, she receives a letter from the man. Thus the man in the picture is a symbol for the man who wrote the letter, his is embodied within the letter. As the words comfort the woman and reach her on an emotional level, it is as if the man is touching her himself. This image omits a small amount of sadness into the viewer (me) because I do miss my family back home in North Carolina. However, the ad erases this sorrow by providing an outlet of hope- a letter to reconnect. This ad is potentially deemed a success because it does make me consider writing a letter to my family, even though I call them and email them every so often, because of the effect letters have on people.

I think this ad is an effective and nicely designed one. Although there is a lot of detail in the background in the form of writing, the entirety of the ad is simplistic. It presents the emotion and purpose clearly. It provides a conflicted woman within the narrative and places the product (mail services) as a solution. The portrayal of the idea of a reaffirmed connection is one that is common to all humans. However, there is warmth within the ad from the reconnecting the letter has caused. If other viewers are like me, they will consider writing a letter to someone that want to reconnect with or just generally miss. However, there is a chance that it wont be in the form of a physical letter but rather an email. After all, we are in the Digital Age and our mediums of choice are much different.