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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Semiotic Analysis of Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Enterprise Rent-A-Car released a new ad that stresses the importance of African American success. The context in which the advertisement appears proves to be of great importance. The advertisement, where only one Black man is visible, is contained within The Black Collegian magazine. This magazine’s target audience is African American college students, which explains why most of the advertisements in the magazine contain only African Americans.
This advertisement goes hand-in-hand with Jack Solomon’s criticism in Masters of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising. Instead of the American dream ideology that Solomon refers to, the ideology of “a better life for African Americans” is present. There is also a status symbol present, which becomes evident because of the words that appear at the top of the advertisement: “Your Own Cubicle? Or Your Own Business.” This symbol is implying that money is important, as well as a goal that is in reach.
The man that stands alone in the advertisement represents the successful African American male, as well as the man that the reader of the advertisement should be trying to emulate. The man has a smile and direct, welcoming gaze on his face as well. His hands are outward in an inviting manner. These three features show that the man is very welcoming, as if he wants the reader to be just as successful as he is. It is also important to note that the only other people that appear in the ad are White and are blurred out. This shows that the ad focuses on the one African American male, as well as reiterating who the target audience is.

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