Dawn Woolley’s essay features the above image but in a cropped format – she removes all product references thereby inviting us to guess what is being advertised. I have chosen to show and review the uncropped original image thereby allowing me to analyse further aspects of the image in the context of the product and in particular the roles of the three women in the foreground.
The advert is anchored by the phrase the ‘U.K.’s No1 hairspray. For hold you can rely on’.
The fundamental message is given by the three foreground figures. The principal subject, dressed in the corporate green, shows a stylish middle-class woman elegantly carrying strawberries to someone she is evidently pleased to be approaching. We can presume it’s her love her/husband as she is smiling and carefully adjusting her immaculate hair. She is confident and in control – as is her hair.
This image is then juxtaposed with the other two women. One is eating something from her hand, wearing casual frumpy clothes. The other seems to be clearing up – she is wearing an apron and carrying dishes. They lack the poise and class of the main subject. And of course, their hair is anything but controlled. The advert is signifying that classy happy attractive women use Silvikrin to control their hair. And if you use it that is what you will become.