The advertisement I chose for analysis is PayPal’s “New Money in Town” campaign. The commercial aims to promote the usage of PayPal’s online payment methods, and through a comparison method, attempts to prove why their company is the sort to be taking advantage of. The ad features symbols,psychoanalytic and the companies political economy are present.
The ad opens with an upbeat song that emanates excitement with the text “New Money” boldly across the screen with rushing city lights. A dramatization of a storm and lighting the ad exclaims that New Money is not a dirty word. Flashes of paper bills explains the idea that “new money isn’t paper, it’s progress”; this begins to establish the idea of old money being dirty – explaining that it “closes at 5” and shows a flashback of white, rowdy wall street-eqsue men hollering and a old-fashioned bank closing the windows. In contrast, “new money” is “always open”. The symbolism of the old-fashioned cartoon being stuck in the TV, “Old money is stuck in the past.” A comparison of a female boxer and text “New money gets better everyday”. The ad makes a comparison of “those people” “all people”, displaying how PayPal is inclusive. The ad finishe by claiming PayPal is the new money in town.
Semiotics and symbols play a major role in conveying the message of the ad. One of the most important semiotic symbols of the ad is the music that plays throughout the whole time; it’s a catchy, upbeat rhythm and a popular song, that conveys a revolutionary theme. There are also symbols that represent the old money and new money aspect. Old money is symbolized by the white wall street-esque bankers, the old television and cartoon, and the old paper money. New money is symbolized by the technological advancements (the robots, mechanical bridge and windmills), the tablet, the idea of progress and the idea of “all people”. Some key semiotic elements of the ad are the idea of old money being white men and new money being for all people and that being represented by the multiple ethnicities and ages of people who use PayPal. The shots of people include an old white woman, a young asian man, a middle aged black man, among many others. This gives the idea that money and doing well in America is not restricted to the white man anymore as was once perceived.
Psychoanalytically, the ad guarantees success when using the product, PayPal. The motivational music, idea of wealth and progress that stream through the ad is portrayed to be possible if a person uses the PayPal product. The ad creates an idea that people who use the service are part of progress and of the future.
The political economy of the ad is interesting, because while PayPal may not be perceived as “new money”, they are one of the first companies to introduce online payments. One may say, due to the introduction of other online and mobile payments, PayPal is trying to rebrand their name to identify as “new money”. Despite their longer history in mobile and online payments, PayPal is doing well financially; revenue has gone up 21% and the company gained 17 million new customers in 2015. Another interesting thing to examine is an ad aired in the UK in Christmas of 2015. The ad gained a lot of backlash claiming that a present-purchasing theme commercial introduced the idea to children that Santa was not real. Consequently, the company may be attempting to make up for a negative effect with a more general, alli-nclusive commercial marketed towards all age groups and people.
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