Explicit and Implicit Arguments:Adverts
Target is America’s largestdiscount retailer after Wal-Mart. The firm, which was founded in1902, has 1795 stores in the US and another 130 stores in Canadaalongside its online stores. This gives the store a wide reach andinfluence in the North American market. The new wedding gift registryservice at the firm allows couples to register their weddings fromwhere invited guests can choose and purchase items listed by thecouple.
Theimage is an advert for the wedding registry gift service at Target.It targets couples planning to hold marriages in the near future. The advert does not address racial inclusion as the two personincluded in the picture are Caucasian. Age is also an importantfactor in the message being communicated as the persons in the imageare adults judging from their looks. This is in recognition of thefact that marriages and weddings are only legally acceptable foradults. Interestingly, the ad features an unconventional couple oftwo men holding hands, smiling and leaning towards one another withforeheads touching as a show of affection. This picture of a coupleelicits excitement and interesting views and drives a key messagethat the firm supports and recognizes same sex relations. In fact, itidentifies such relations as unique far from the “weird” tag usedby persons opposed to same sex relations.
Forthe audience, the image is catchy and holds an implicit argument. Itis different from a conventional image that people are accustomed toof a wedding. It thus makes an implicit argument on what a coupleshould be. The accompany text to the image makes an explicit argumenton being unique and drives the message home and explain the image.The accompany text reads “be yourself, be together” in a big boldred font imposed the image and “Build a target wedding giftregistry as unique as the two of you” in white font. The textconfirms the fact the two men are not just friends but a couple readyfor a wedding.
Theuse of a same sex couple in the advert directly seeks to appeal tothe LGBT community. Furthermore, this is a show of commitment by thefirm in their belief in diversity and inclusivity of people no mattertheir political, religious, sexual and or racial differences. Whilesuch a stance by the firm embraces some people, it also challengesthe views of conservatives opposed to same sex relations especiallyChristians. Merritt (2013) defends such organizations that make suchpolitical statements by saying that they should be judged on theirability to meet customer needs rather than their politicalorientation. He adds that “we must resist creating a culture whereconsumers sort through all their purchases (fast food and otherwise)for an underlying politics not even expressed in the nature of theproduct itself” (3). This is because the stance on LGBT’s bytarget for instance does not affect the quality of the wedding giftregistry or any of other target products and services.
Ordinarily,weddings have been recognized as a bride’s affair with many groomslargely playing peripheral roles. The common depiction of weddings,as is obvious in other Targets adverts for the same product, is abride a groom and not just a bride but a bride in a wedding dressusually white. Such an image is recognizable even to children asyoung as five years who have been accustomed to the image of an‘ideal wedding’ from real life experience, television, movies andimages. For the current image therefore, it require one’sacquaintance with the idea of same sex marriages to understand thenotion of wedding being communicated in an image where two men aredressed in suits. It would probably have been more obvious if one ofthe guys was in a wedding dress despite being a man.
Targetdoes not seek to segregate any one group through their advertisingpolicy. The current image of a same sex couple is just one of themany that the firm has published on couples advertising for the samewedding registry gift service. As such the image is not intended toalienate any one group but to capture American diversity includingdiversity on sexuality. Other images published by Target on the samefeature African American couples, interracial couples andheterosexual couples. This is also in support if the firm’s stanceto support diversity in the workplace and as an official supporter ofLGBTs. The firm’s executive vice president and HR chief JodeeKozlak clarified this position in an open letter which stated in part“It is our belief that everyone should be treated equally under thelaw, and that includes rights we believe individuals should haverelated to marriage” (O’Connor, 2014).
Itis expected that the advert does not settle well with someindividuals. This is because different organizations and individualsare guided by different values. However, this should not be a sourceof hostility towards any other group. Merritt (2013) is highlyopposed by the calls for boycott products from organizations thathold different views from certain individuals. The author opines thatthe boycotts actually have no pocketbook effects on such firms exceptfor PR damages. This is because, a larger percentage of individualsmake their purchase decision solely based on the value and utility ofproducts and services regardless of political statements from suchfirms. This implies that consumers who do not agree on same sexmarriages are less likely to boycott Target and its wedding giftregistry service courtesy of its support for same sex marriages.
AdvertisementAnalysis Notes (n.d.). Retrieved online on 10thSept 2014 from
Merritt(2013). In Defense of Eating at Chick-fil-A. TheAtlantic.
O’Connor,C. (2014). Target makes gay marriage support official after GOPdonation gaffe.
Forbes.Retrieved online on 10thSept 2014 fromhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/08/07/target-makes-gay-marriage-support-official-after-gop-donation-gaffe/
TargetWedding gift registry. Retrieved online on 10thSept 2014 from