7/7/10

Norge Appliances - The home front.

Advertising is a foul and hateful business filled with reprehensible scumbags that you wouldn't want to have a beer with. That's a given. During World War 2, the advertising industry was faced with a problem they couldn't scumbag their way out of. How do you advertise your product when the total company's production has been nobly converted to producing gun turrets instead of, say, refrigerators? Hmm...

Ding! Problem solved! Use the old "soft sell".

Sure, people those looking at this ad, decades down the road, who've never seen a world war, and who've never lived through food rationing, simply wouldn't understand. The audience of sixty years in the future was not their audience. America was terrified of being invaded, and even worse, it seemed possible.

So how do you sell appliances in 1943 that you're not selling in 1943? Show them what you are selling. "Do you want a frikkin GUN TURRET in your kitchen? DO YOU? Because THAT'S what we're making here at Norge, people! For shooting Germans and Japanese and maybe some Italians! No? No gun turrets for you? Then SHUT THE HELL UP about your wobbly old fridge for a few years, for chrissakes! Thank you. Come again."

There is a thing in advertising called "the soft sell" - a sales technique characterized by indirect persuasion and subtlety. Talking rather than shouting. This ad is a glowing example of the soft sell, the cleverest and most intelligent of all human pursuits. Here's why...

1. Although Norge would like you to keep them in mind for your next refrigerator purchase, there is no refrigerator actually shown in the ad. Indirect, see?

2. The barrels of the gun aren't actually pointing at the civilian couple. If you look carefully, the sights are pointed up and to the left (from the soldier's point of view) of the couple. They are in no real danger from the gun turret they are apparently horrified to find that they installed in their kitchen. The danger is implied. Subtle, see?

3. The fruit in the bowl consists of a banana and two oranges, possibly tomatoes (Yes, tomatoes are fruit. Shut up.). This implies the shape of the male penis, which is recalled in the gun barrels, which are longer than they are wide, you'll notice. Also notice how the woman looks frightened and the man has more of a "I don't believe how aroused I am by this gun turret I've found in my fridge nook!" look on his face. All ads have sexual undertones. This makes men want Norge appliances.Clever, see?

4. The man is cowering behind his wife. His right hand is desperately clutching her arm, holding her in front of him, hoping that her body will stop the slugs and save his life. Also, the woman has thrown her arms protectively across her man. This implies the strength of American women, who helped out with the war effort and made victory possible. Feminism in the ad helps to suck up to women, who, let's face it, do all the work in the kitchen and as such, will be the deciding factor in the appliance purchase. Progressive, see?

5. The man and woman are huge. Since the gun turret is nearly the height of a refrigerator (note the height of the nook in the cabinets), and the couple are looking downward at the soldier, they must be in the neighborhood of nine or ten feet tall! Norwegian people are famously tall. This shows Norge's solidarity with Norway during it's continuous occupation by the Germans throughout WWII. Also, Norwegians are horny. See point number C about sex and stuff.

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