Advertising design and product design are used to make products more attractive to consumers. Design is especially important in perfume advertising because it is impossible to understand a fragrance without experiencing it in person. Print advertisements give a sense of what a perfume is like. The Essence of Joy or Acqua di Gioia by Giorgio Armani was advertised in the October 2011 edition of Vogue (fig. 1).
The Acqua di Gioia advertisement occupies an entire page of the magazine, with the women’s fragrance on one side and the men’s fragrance on the other. A photograph of a woman on a beach covers the majority of the page. The bottle of perfume is depicted in the lower right hand corner, next to a small area of text which announces the name of the perfume, its designer, and the company’s website. A fold of paper containing samples of the men’s fragrance and the woman’s fragrance runs along the left hand side of the page.
The foci of the advertisement are the woman and the bottle of perfume. The woman occupies most of the area of the page. Her face alone takes up about a fourth of the space. The bottle is also an important part of the image. The glow surrounding it suggests that the bottle is floating in space somewhere in front of the scene the woman is in. It is placed in a corner so that it can be considered separately from the rest of the image. This configuration allows the advertisement to have two focal points without confusing the viewer.
The woman leans against tropical foliage and a stretch of water and sky is visible to her right. These clues help the viewer to infer that the man in the men’s advertisement is also at the beach. Little information is given on the men’s side of the page. It relies on the other image to communicate the translated name of the fragrance and the company’s website, as well as to house the sample of the scent. As a result, the men’s fragrance advertisement is simpler and appears less cluttered. The lack of information creates a less confusing visual experience but would not be effective for advertising purposes on its own.
Two lines of text state “The New Essence of Joy, Giorgio Armani”. Only very basic information is given in words, the image and the sample take the place of a description. The font used is the font associated with Giorgio Armani, not this product in particular. Two different fonts are used on the bottle. “Acqua” and “Gioia” are in elegant capitals. The “di” in Acqua di Gioia is in a cursive font.
The bottle appears in the lower right hand corner of the advertisement. Its form is almost square but has rounded corners. This form does not relate to the rest of the image, except in that it is simple and the design of the advertisement is simple. However, the colors of the bottle are used in the design of the rest of the image. The blue of the woman’s eyes, as well as the blue tones of the foliage she is leaning against, mirrors the blue of the cap of the perfume bottle. The perfume itself is an icy blue and the advertisement is colored in blue and other chilly hues.
To me, the advertisement suggests that Essence of Joy should be associated with leisure and tranquility. The color scheme seems to indicate that the “joy” referred to is a kind of deep, luxurious contentment rather than the vibrant happiness that the word usually brings to mind. The men’s fragrance advertisement incorporates warmer tones, but projects the same sense of peace and luxury. The name Essence of Joy suggests happiness in its simplest form, and this is reflected in the advertisement’s lack of embellishment.
The design is meant to appeal to women who wish to be young, beautiful, and at a beach. It does not contain the bright colors and flashy text that appeal to young people. This suggests that the target audience of this advertisement is a mature woman. It also seems to be targeting people who have money. It does not seek to entice the viewer with a gaudy display of wealth. Instead, it depicts a woman who is happy with nothing more than sand and sky. It is not selling affluence; it is selling peace of mind.
Through the use of simple text, a calming color palette, and images of luxury, the Acqua di Gioia advertisement conveys a sense of peace and indulgence. While the consumers are not given and real details about what using the product would be like, it is effective because it uses other senses to give an idea of the nature of the perfume. Acqua di Gioia is presented as part of a life of luxury and ease.
Figure 1. Giorgio Armani, Acqua di Gioia. 2011, 8.75 x 10.75 in, In Vouge (accessed October 2, 2011)