Monday, 15 October 2012



The two images we are comparing are both posters with a purpose, focused on first capturing the audience’s attention and then delivering the proposed message. Both posters deliver their meaning through a combination of image and text, it will be interesting comparing the similarities and differences in their advertising methods as the posters were produced decades apart.

The first poster, entitled ‘The Uncle Sam Range’ was created by Schumacher & Ettlinger in 1876 and is a poster advertising a cooking oven. The second poster was created by Savile Lumley in 1915 and is a propaganda poster aimed at persuading middle class men to join the army.

Firstly, both posters sell you the dream of your life being better in some way. The ‘Uncle Sam’ poster is aimed at the American middle and upper class, as the illustration depicts a scene of wealth and affluence. Moreover, there are patriotic American references drenched in every space possible. The use of patriotic references makes the poster relevant to its target audience, people aspiring to live the American dream. Additionally, The poster created by Lumley is aimed at middle class men in Britain. Created as a world war two propaganda poster, the image depicts a man lost for words as his children question him about his role in the war. The poster cleverly hints at the fact that this man played no role in the war. Through his distant stare, the artist portrays his feelings of remorse and cowardliness. Portraying a clear message to men viewing the poster, join the army and become a hero your family can be proud of.

Both of the posters rely heavily on illustration to help convey the message and connect to the viewers. In the poster by Lumley, we see the use of children, they help question the male ego, as there was a focus put on how a man should provide for and protect his family. The male’s blank stare reiterates the fact that not going to war will leave you looking like a coward to your family. However, contrasting this ‘The Uncle Sam’ poster uses images of wealth and patriotism to entice its viewers.  Using illustration, the poster shows an American family cooking a variety of food on their new oven. Everyone is smartly dressed and the interior of the house oozes prosperity. Moreover, there are aspects of racism also included on the poster. At the time the image was created slavery was still generally accepted in America, a small slave working around the oven makes this apparent. Additionally, there is also list of food, making fun of the foods eaten is other countries, the purpose of which is to show how America is more culturally sophisticated than the rest of the world.

To conclude, both posters portray a similar message, that if you buy or do what the poster is advertising your life will be better off. However, each poster uses a very different technique of persuading its viewers to do so. The ‘Uncle Sam Range’ portrays a life of affluence that can be obtained if the product is purchased. Contrasting this, the poster created by Savile Lumley uses guilt and shame to persuade its viewers to join the army and help the war effort.

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