After hours of tireless searching for the perfect advertisement on the internet, I finally had the bright idea of going to Orkin’s website (for some odd reason). Orkin is a pest control and prevention service that my own parents have used plenty of times to deal with pests inside our house. I was pleasantly surprised when I was greeted by their front page which presented a young business looking man wearing a white collared shirt and a tie. The words “Pest Control Down To A Science.” stood out, taking over a portion of the page, as if to tell the world that killing bugs needed to be more scientific than the heel of a shoe. Although not very sophisticated in its presentation, something about Orkin’s ad and its visual clues made me believe it had scientific influence, so I began my search for these clues to try and determine why I felt that the ad had scientific authority.
The young man in the image is wearing clean tailored clothes while supposedly crawling around in some dark crawlspace or attic, showing the public that the job of finding the creepy crawlies happens where most home owners don’t tend to look. He has two flashlights on his body, shedding light into the darkness of the house and the possibility of infestation. Everything about this young man says clean, hardworking, and sophisticated, just like science which appeals to everyday people who are looking for qualified exterminators. Orkin has done a good job of implying that their workers are clean and confident simply by dressing the worker in a sharp uniform.
The worker is also wearing a hard hat that gives the feeling that although tailored, the Orkin worker is also hard working. He looks clean shaven and has a well kept hair with a determined expression so as to prove that the science of extermination is nothing to scoff at and should be treated seriously. Once again, Orkin has attempted to subliminally prove to everyday homeowners that their workers are confident and determined using facial expressions and a hard hat.
Finally, the words “Pest Control Down To A Science.” take a large portion of the ad itself. It almost seems coincidental that the word science should be shined in that light it helped create ,the flashlight, while the young man stares confidently at the word control. The ad is clearly trying to implicate that if you have a pest problem, Orkin will be able to control it using science and its many breakthroughs with a touch of pesticide. These words outline what Orkin wants you to think of when you use their services, not mere exterminators, but sophisticated workers using science with a goal of keeping you and your house safe from infestation and outbreak.
This ad from Orkin shows how much thought and consideration goes into proving to homeowners that Orkin is taking extermination to the next level with science. It amazing that even though the ad is not very scientific compared to many other ads, it is able to pose as a scientific ad simply due to the fact that the word “science” is used. In today’s culture, it seems that all you need to make an ad seem scientific is the word science and a well dressed man. The same ad without the word science would not have drawn my attention nearly as much and would not have seemed scientific in any way.
After reviewing this simple picture on Orkin’s website, I understand how advertisements can consume so much time and money for a company. Orkin tries to make its customers feel that its workers are clean cut gentlemen, using science to solve their pest problems, without having to write more than a single sentence and only having to use the word science to give it slight credibility. The ad itself is not very conventional for a scientific ad, but Orkin has gone to many lengths to ensure that their ad shows homeowners that their exterminators can protect their home with physical and chemical force so as to prevent future outbreaks. A picture truly is worth a thousand words, especially if it has science in it.
In regards to the use of the photo essay genre, I believe it helped facilitate my points by allowing me to focus the reader on the part of the advertisement I wanted them to see. Should the project have been a simple essay, the reader may have missed one of my points since the ad itself would not have been directly in front of them. It was difficult finding photos for my photo essay due to the fact that I had a very simple ad, but I believe without the photos, the essay would have lacked visual reinforcement. I also determined to make my photo essay informal by using “I” which I found very effective and personal in presenting my opinion of the ad. I found it extremely interesting how, after my analysis, I determined that the ad only had a few scientific references but seemed to have much more influence as a scientific ad simply by using the word “science” in the ad. I hope that my audience understands how much thought and subliminal messaging goes into creating ads and how even something as simple as an Orkin ad can attempt to influence your opinion using our cultural perceptions of the world around us.