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Introduction

Images not only affect communication among the people but also influence the behavior of a man. Visual image has a profound effect on what a person does and how he or she feels. Human experience and experimentation present a tremendous opportunity for a man’s understanding of the visual world. Psychologist Albert Mehrabian, as quoted by Parkinson, states that more than ninety percent of communication is nonverbal. According to Parkinson (2012), “human brain deciphers image elements simultaneously, while language is decoded in a linear, sequential manner taking more time to process”. The images presented by McDonald Company in its advertisement are clear depiction of how images can be used to influence and increase sales. Images shown are arrays of human faces which depicts different people who are all united by the great service McDonald Company offers. Images stick in human subconscious mind for long and this form the basis of their application in most companies’ adverts.

The inclusion of the text “Come as you are” in the analyzed advert is used to capture the audience’s attention based not on the text alone but in relation to the visual aid. “Come as you are” is elaborated by the way in which the five men are dressed. They are all smiling and have different dressing types. There is one man in the image (from left-right, the first man in the second row) who is dressed in a corporate manner, which depicts that he is working in a formal institution or company. The first gentleman (from left-right in the first row) in the picture wears winter clothes; this is directly opposite to the man who has a bare chest. Bare chest implies that he could have been on picnic, holiday, or working out.

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The McDonald company’s logo is jut next to the “Come as you are” text so, at the first instant, a reader knows where to get the products from. Despite the advert being captive enough, there is immediate reaction created by the whole textual and visual impressions. Visual images send a powerful message to consumers. Towards this, the smiling arrays of images of human faces in the McDonald company advert are used to send a message that the company is committed to the satisfaction of all its customers across the globe. In addition the inclusion of different, hair styles as well as grooming style is a clear depiction that the company values all people irrespective of their origin, style, taste and preference.

The advertisement by McDonald’s communicates a lot of cultural values that affect the modern society. To begin with, the message communicated is that McDonald’s advert has gender bias that favors man. This could be a sensitive social issue that readers could react to given the current voice of the society towards gender equity. If one goes by this interpretation, then the advertisement could be offensive to the female gender. However, this could work in their favor. It is supposed a female reader’s attention is caught by the gender bias due to the lack of a female figure. The attention of the female in question will be shifted from the images to the words “Come as you are’ and finally the McDonald’s logo.

The other cultural message communicated by the advert is racial discrimination in the society. The pictures of men in the visual imagery are all white decent. They could have been drawn from American, European, or Asian societies given their kind of dressings. In every region of the world, it is likely that the people of African origin would be found. Since there is no image of the African man, the Africans could read racial discrimination from the advertisement. There is clear discrimination of the blacks in favor of the whites. Therefore, the advert raises sensitive issue of race that is evident in most societies to which McDonald’s offers its products.

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The third issue communicated that affects the society is the irony of the smile on the faces of the men amid the growing concern of fast food consumption in the society. Junk foods are the main cause of lifestyle diseases like obesity, heart related problems, and some forms of cancer. A significant part of government revenues is spent on health care provision. Therefore, to cut the cost, the human race ought to change their behavior and reduce intake of fast foods. The irony in the visual imagery is that despite the public outcry on the aftermath of consuming fast food, the gentlemen on the advert are all smiling. 

In the interpretation of visual imageries and words, there are key terms that should inform such an analysis. The first element of the analysis is the interpretation of visual rhetoric in which the author only uses five faces of gentlemen in a smiling mood. The other visual image is the McDonald’s logo where the word message is put. The visual function is to reinforce the message that the firm accepts one the way he or she appears. Visual composition consists of two elements as mentioned above. These are the use of visual imageries and words that work in unison for an audience to interpret the advertisement. The use of both pictures and words appeals to the readers; as such, the objective of the advertisement is achieved. The words and the colors of the logo contrast effectively. This enhances the visual coherence and hence the salience of the advert. In the organization of the whole advertisement, the five pictures and the McDonald’s logo have been proportionally placed in equal frames that make the two the rows and three columns. There is no background and front ground effect created in the advert. This could make the advert a little bit dull.

The purpose of the use of images of smiling human faces in the advert is to draw attention and with a strong message that the company’s ultimate goal is to make its customers happy and satisfied. Every customer would like to be happy. Therefore,McDonald Company has used the images to promote their sales in order to make more profits. The psychology of human being is quite important in designing any visual image for a specific purpose. Smiles are associated with happiness which important in sending a positive message about a good or a service. In addition, images illustrated in the advert depict various hair styles which show that McDonald Company is dynamic to all customers’ tastes and preference in the market.

Conclusion

The global market coupled with economic crisis has necessitated a stiff competition among companies. Therefore, creativity and innovation are critical for good performance in the market. In this regard, the application of visual images in advertisement is important so as to communicate the desired message in a more logical and convincing manner. McDonald Company is one of those companies which would like to maximize profits and as the same time remain relevant to the customers. Therefore, the application of visual images in their adverts is an intentionally calculated move to attract and retain their customer. It is prudent to note that, visual images can sometime be misinterpreted and therefore authors should take into consideration the general interpretation of each portrait used so as protect the public values.

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