Analysis of Max Factor Ad
Analysis of Max Factor Ad
Analysis of Max Factor Ad
The 1940s were an era troubled by war, but also the glamour of the golden age of Hollywood. This advertisement for Max Factor Pancake Makeup capitalizes on the desire of average women to appear visually appealing to men, but also to themselves. By using large red eye-catching font and an attractive young actress as a spokes model, the ad sells women not only a product, but an idea: they too can be just as beautiful and glamorous as a Hollywood actress, even if they’re just plain-Jane secretaries, housewives, or factory workers.

Font type, size, and color play a large role in reaching the audience. At the top of the ad, in large red script, which looks a bit like handwriting, is the name of the Hollywood actress Merle Oberon. The script font implies that this woman has put her signature on the ad, endorsing it. The size of the font and the color also draw the viewer’s attention. Red is the most noticeable color in the ad, both in the font and in the image. The name of the product is also in red script at the bottom of the page, and her lips are painted red, all of which is eye-catching. Also in red is the phrase “You’re Glamorous,” which attracts viewers. By addressing women directly, the ad ensures that women will pay more attention to the ad. With these words, the ad appears to be selling a product, but also an idea, which is that women should purchase this product in order to show the world that they too, ordinary as they may be, can also be attractive and glamorous, just like a Hollywood actress. The goal is to sell the prospect of glitz and romance.

The most notable feature of the ad is the picture of the actress. The woman’s gaze is indirect. She appears to be looking off to the side, as though she’s unaware or unconcerned that she’s even in the ad. This is appropriate, as women in the 1940s were not encouraged to be overly sexual in their behavior. They were to be demure and attractive, but not necessarily flirtatious or suggestive. She does not challenge the viewer at all. She appears to be lying on a decadent setting and is dressed in feminine, delicate lace. The pillow she leans on seems to be gold embroidered silk, which is resting on a leather sofa. These materials indicate wealth and luxury. They are fine items. All of this further reinforces the connection between the product and the idea of glamour.

Other images off to the side include a woman admiring herself in the mirror, likely impressed by her complexion thanks to the makeup, along with two illustrations showing women interacting with men. In the first of these, a man in a captain’s hat (a symbol of power) peeks over a woman’s shoulder and grins at her. In the last picture, a man strokes a woman’s hair away from her face. The idea presented here is that if women

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Large Red Eye And Desire Of Average Women. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from