Monday, 10 October 2011


The Uncle Sam Range (1876) Advertising image by Schumacher & Ettlinger, New York

'Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?'
Poster By Savile Lumley (1915)

Compare and contrast the two images in relation to the following:
-the choice and organisation of font and style of illustration
-the purpose and meaning of the image
-the target/potential audience of the image
-the social and historical contexts relevant to the production of the image.

Both posters are advertisements and have similar attributes that work to create a patriotic and persuasive sense of belonging, ultimately the function that they are using is the same, however the way they go about capturing the audience is different.

Both images show a strong sense of nationalism, one subtler than the other.  The ‘Uncle Sam Range’ is quite obvious, the entire image uses ‘American’ colours (red, white and blue) throughout, with a strong running theme of the stars and stripes also incorporated, everything from the curtains to Uncle Sam’s attire.  The advertisement focuses on Uncle Sam, hence ‘The Uncle Sam Range’ and uses this respectable figure to sell the product; Uncle Sam is seen as the ‘perfect American’ showing him using the Uncle Sam Range adds to the pressure of audiences wanting to purchase this range, to be able to have a similar lifestyle.  The other poster shows patriotism in a different way.  This poster uses very traditional colours and displays understated fleur de lis on the armchair, it also has the red roses on the curtains, these subtle qualities leave a running theme of British patriotism.  In both posters a male figure is the centre of attention but are both portrayed in different ways.  The British man has a look of guilt; the image plays on his masculinity, suggesting he is a coward.  This poster glorifies the idea of the Great War, and the child reading the story suggests that in year’s time storybooks will write positively about the events.  However, in the ‘Uncle Sam Range’ Uncle Sam sits proudly at the table inviting the rest of the world to come and dine with him.  The child in the ‘Great War’ poster indirectly challenges his father by playing with the soldiers and guns.  The choice of font in each is very different, the ‘Great War’ poster emphasizes the word ‘YOU’ as though to make it personal.  The ‘Uncle Sam’ range uses big imposing font and is gold, to highlight the wealth of America.  The ‘Great War’ poster is persuading people to fight when they didn’t have conscription: propaganda.    The poster does not have an aggressive nature, and the man stares back at the audience, submissive, as a weaker figure.  The ‘Uncle Sam’ Range has quite a low intelligence level and would be more directed at the lower class being persuaded to buy into wealth, the advert trades on the desire to want more materialistic things.  It has a strong sense of chauvinism and a general prejudice towards American culture, putting it on a pedestal.  This is highlighted by the list of foods from other cultures that are not as progressive as what the Americans are feasting on.  To conclude both these adverts use the same techniques but in different ways to attract its audiences.  Both posters give the audience false hope, by persuading them to do what the poster suggests you will have a better and more fulfilled life.

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