Keywords: shoe in culture shoes persuasive communication semantic transformations visual advertising

KMT 2019 nr 2 Download PDF

Shoes and Footwear Imagery in Visual Advertising

Cite: , Buty i metaforyka obuwnicza w reklamie wizualnej, "Kultura - Media - Teologia", 2019( 37) nr 2, s. 8-24.

DOI: 10.21697/kmt.37.1

Shoes are advertised in many ways, and the only limitation is the creativity and courage of the creator. Numerous footwear advertisements are targeted at consumers with a pragmatic approach and they attribute shoes with qualities related to their use ​​(such as comfort, durability, health benefits), others focus on aesthetics (beauty, attractiveness of their owners), and others on ‘added characteristics’, that is, those are associated with the subject in an arbitrary or even fanciful way. Essentially, shoes fit into the unusual world of modern advertising in two ways: their representations symbolise propagated goods (in advertisements of companies or footwear stores) or they promote other types of products, i.e. they are a component of semantic transformations that are supposed to increase the persuasive force of the message. What can you “sell with shoes”? Almost everything as it turns out: from car tires and restaurants to perfumes. Contemporary culture, not only popular culture, often sees in shoes an aesthetic or erotic fetish, which makes them extremely attractive to advertisers. Footwear imagery allows the persuasive power of various advertising messages to be increased significantly due to the multiplicity and nature of connotations associated with shoes. It does not happen often that an object, by its very essence, becomes so integrated in many aspects into a network of collective imagery, and at the same time remains an object of aesthetic perception. The author of the sketch proves that the combination of these qualities predestines shoes (or more precisely footwear motifs, or their representation) to play the role of a particularly convenient and effective element of the advertising game with the audience.

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Brygida Pawłowska-Jądrzyk

ORCID: 0000-0001-9900-2070

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