Banking services

The purpose of this advert is to persuade the reader to buy a financial service offered by the Halifax or to save using the Halifax's banking services. The intended audience principally, is young families. This can be deduced from the headline 'you'll be carrying him for the next 18 years' and is stated at the bottom of the advert, "Financial planning for young families". However, any age group could be potential targets as the 'best insurance scheme' and 'the right life assurance plan' are advertised which could be appealing to anyone.

Financially and socially the advert would suggest the middle to upper 'class' are the target audience, as the figures mentioned for the initial expense of baby equipment would seem extreme to the working class man. Further indications of this can be denoted by talk of private schools. The tone of the advert is generally relaxed and informal in nature, using a colloquial tenor that makes the products advertised seem easily accessible. The audience is put at ease with the casual register used. A comfortable, stress-free atmosphere is created for the intended purpose of persuading readers to buy Halifax's services.

Predictable characteristics have been chosen by the designer of this advert in order to 'catch' the customers. These techniques are customary in the advertising industry and some of these are evident in the layout of the text. The advert is on A4 sized paper and is black and white which would suggest it originated in a newspaper, possibly the financial times given the targeted audience. Many adverts are found in newspapers, so in order to guarantee its noticability, the designer has made graphical choices ensuring this advert stands out above the rest.

A large upper case font is employed for the heading, which occupies almost half of the advert. This is centered on the top section of the page and is very striking by means of its boxed and horizontally lined effected font, which draws in an audience with its hypnotic appearance. Halifax uses its name, as its logo, as this represents a well-established and trusted financial institution, which will help to sell their services. Their logo is outlined and encased in an 'x' made up from the same horizontal lines used in the heading. It is positioned centrally at the bottom of the page with a reassuring phrase alongside, 'Our expertise is understandable' plus legal wording demanded by the ASA.

The main body text is set out directly below the title in two columns with double lined spacing throughout. A much smaller font is used here and requires more attention from the reader. The designer has to keep the readers interest and does this by keeping all paragraphs short and easily digestible. No paragraph in this advert contains more than two sentences. Hanging indents are used on all paragraphs, which are left aligned. The overall layout is symmetrical in appearance and pleasing to the eye, which maintains the audience's attention. This advert is constructed to the high standards expected from such a reputable firm.

The lexical choices made by the designer are very subtle. Immediately, a conversational tone is used in the title and continues throughout. Use of elision ("You'll", "he's", "that's" and "don't") adds to the relaxed and informal tone the advert delivers, further putting the audience at ease, which gives them the inclination to read on. A further lexical choice such as the proper noun 'Oliver' arouses connotations of the targeted audience. This name, I would associate with the middle to upper classes. The word 'Porcelain' also suggests, upper to middle class families are the intended audience, as I would presume this social group would have such items in their homes.

The use of the clipped and compounded word 'Hi-fi' indicates this advert is somewhat dated, as this term is rarely used today. It is interesting to note the contrast of this word with the word 'porcelain' employed here. I would suggest 'hi-fi' is to attract young families, as this item would be associated with such an age group and the word 'porcelain' reiterates the financial bracket of the clientele, the advert is aimed at.