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Analyzing Advertisements, Essay Example

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This paper analyzes the print ads of Sprint and Nawrus, who are mobile communication services provider in the U.S. and Oman respectively. Sprint Nextel had nearly 56 million customers by the end of 3rd quarter of 2012 and is known for innovative track record including being the first national carrier to offer 4G wireless service. The American Customer Satisfaction Index has rated Sprint no. 1 among all national carriers in customer satisfaction (Sprint). Initially starting its operations as Omani Qatari Telecommunications Company SAOG in December 2004, the company adopted the current brand name Nawrus in March 2005. The company launched international gateway in April 2010, corporate broadband services in May 2010 and home broadband services in June 2010. The company now serves around two million customers in Oman. Nawrus is now majority owned by Qtel Group (Qtel Group Companies). Sprint and Nawrus ads reveal important clues into the cultures as well as consumers’ lifestyles in the countries where the two companies operate, respectively.

Sprint’s ad shows three NASCAR cars racing around the professional track at nighttime. The three main cars are enveloped in glowing aura, each one in different color, which gives them the appearance of speed demons. The glowing aura is probably due to the fact that the objects get heated up at extremely high speeds. The ad also emphasizes the high speeds of the cars by showing the surrounding objects with fuzzy details which is a common visual technique to imply speed. The car in the number one position is enveloped in green aura and is leaving behind a huge trail of glowing light. The two cars not far behind are enveloped in red and blue auras but are not leaving behind any trail of glowing light. We also see few competitors in the background but they are barely noticeable due to being quite behind the three NASCAR cars, further giving credence to the extremely high speeds of the main actors.  In addition, the competitors in the background also lack the glowing aura of the NASCAR cars, further confirming their slow speeds. As far as the Nawrus ad is concerned, it shows different actors engaging in different activities. The range of activities include playing a guitar, singing, playing soccer, taking pictures, making videos, being a clown, and dancing. The actors are wearing both traditional and western attire and are seen emerging from a smart phone.

The Sprint ad is targeting active users of mobile internet most of whom are probably young professionals and college students. The ad’s main message is that Sprint’s mobile internet is the fastest in the industry, even among competitors who offer similar services. The car in the number one position with green aura probably presents Sprint and the two other cars with red and blue aura probably present T-Mobile and AT&T. The ad implies that there are several providers of mobile internet services but most of them are not even worth mentioning, as portrayed by several barely noticeable cars in the background. The two closest competitors may offer a similar service but Sprint even leads them. In other words, Sprint is the industry’s undisputed leader in mobile internet speed and leaves the trail which others follow.  The exploits both the popularity of stock car racing as well the image of NASCAR being the sport of speed aficionados. The ad is also utilizing the popularity of fictional superhero characters by giving cars, the appearance of speed demons with fierce personalities.

The ad makes use of all three major rhetorical tools which are ethos, logos, and pathos. Ethos is apparent with the use of racing cars which imply that if you want speed, you use one of the three major mobile internet providers but if you want the absolute fastest, you simply choose Sprint. Even among fastest internet services, Sprint is the clear leader. NASCAR racing is the ultimate symbol of speed in America and even among NASCAR racers, the winners are in their own league. The fastest car with the green aura is also the only one leaving a trail behind. It is a message that if one wants to be the hippest even among the trendsetters, he/she should have a Sprint mobile internet service. The use of logos is also clear with NASCAR’s logo which confirms Sprint as NASCAR’s official telecommunication services provider. Similarly, the ad’s text says that the leading car is few inches ahead of 190 mph which is the speed of closest competitors. In other words, Sprint’s mobile internet speed is always faster than the benchmark set by competitors. Thus, one has no choice but to choose Sprint if he/she really wants the fastest mobile internet speed. The ad also makes use of the pathos or pathetic appeal that people who choose cheaper services get horrible speeds that are not even remotely close to that offered by Sprint. The ad is trying to convince the viewers that speed is everything in mobile internet and if they get Sprint, they will also be ‘that dude’ with blazing internet speed.

Nawrus ad is aimed at the general population instead of specific customer segments. The ad’s primary purpose is to announce the introduction of five new news services which are breaking news from CNN and BBC as well as Headline News, Sports News, and Islamic sayings. The ad sends the message that the customers’ mobile experience is going to be significantly improved because there will be news service for almost every one whether he/she is into politics, sports, music, or entertainment.

Nawrus ad makes use of the rhetorical tools of ethos, logos, and pathos. Ethos is apparent by the fact that the ad shows actors with different lifestyles to indicate that Nawrus’ customers come from all walks of life. In other words, if the viewer shares one or more of the lifestyles shown in the ad, he/she also needs Nawrus. The use of smart phone reminds the viewers that smart phones are now internet-enabled and Nawrus is the key to taking full advantage of smart phones’ capabilities. The use of logos is indicated by mentioning the names of reputed news sources such as BBC and CNN. Thus, the viewer can trust he/she will be getting news from credible and reliable sources. The use of pathos is indicated by implying that one’s passion is not real unless he/she continues to stay in touch with the news related to the passion. Someone who likes music can’t be real music fan unless he/she knows what the latest in the music industry is or someone with love for sports can’t be real sports enthusiast unless he/she also stays in touch with the latest news and scores. This is where Nawrus comes in the picture with its news service that can be accessed through smart phones.

Sprint and Nawrus ads also reveal useful clues about American and Omani cultures, respectively as well as the consumers’ preferences and lifestyles in these respective countries. Sprint’s ad shows that NASCAR is a popular sport in America. It also tells the viewers that Americans are obsessed with speed be it in racing or technology, thus, speed is always an attractive value proposition. Sprint’s attack on its closest competitors T-Mobile and AT&T also reveal the highly competitive mobile telecommunications sector in the U.S.

Similarly, Nawrus ad tells the viewers that soccer is probably the most popular sport in Oman. It also indicates the importance of local culture as most of the actors are dressed up in national costume. Nawrus also doesn’t target any competitor which may be due to the fact that competition is quite low in Omani market due to small population size. Nawrus claims to serve about 1.5 million customers which are almost half of the Oman’s estimated 3 million population (CIA). Nawrus ad also indicates that the rate of technology adoption in a traditional country like Oman is a little slow. The services being introduced by Nawrus are taken for granted in other countries like the U.S. where consumers are more concerned with speeds in order to enjoy advanced internet capabilities of their smart phones.

It is difficult to compare both ads for effectiveness because they both are aimed at customers with quite different needs and who are at different stages of technological adoption. Both ads have certain positive and negative characteristics. Sprint’s ad gets marks for being eye-catching and making effective use of the company’s partnership with NASCAR. The ad focuses the aspect of mobile internet services that is probably most important to most U.S. smart phone owners. The ad is confusing because not everyone will get the significance of showing three main actors. Nawrus’ ad gets marks for an attempt to appeal to locals’ national pride by shunning western clothing in favor of traditional clothing. The ad also provides detailed information about the new services. The negative aspect of the ad is lack of creativity which makes it boring in comparison to Sprint’s ad.

Both Sprint’s and Nawrus’ ads reflect the cultural and customers’ characteristics of their respective countries. Sprint’s ad relies more on visuals to send the message while Nawrus’ ad relies more on text. Sprint’s ad emphasizes speed because that is what American customers, especially avid mobile internet users desire while Nawrus’ ad reflects the reality that mobile internet market is still relatively infant in Oman.

References

CIA. Oman. 26 November 2012 <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mu.html>.

Qtel Group Companies. Our Company. 26 November 2012 <http://careers.nawras.om/qtelgroup/page.aspx?businessunitid=652>.

Sprint. About Sprint Nextel. 26 November 2012 <http://www.sprint.com/about/>.

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