Shakespeare In Advertising
Shakespeare. One word, a name, that represents so much more than a man. Shakespeare is an industry, a language, a symbol of literature and art, and an era in time. The advertising world has used this to their advantage, and Shakespeare’s influence can be recognized in almost every branch of pop culture. To try and understand why companies would choose Shakespeare as their focus in advertising or even company name we must have to pay attention to what Shakespeare represents. First of all, what Shakespeare is arguably primarily known for is romance. This is due to his play Romeo and Juliet tagged “the greatest love story of all time” and the language he uses when a character expresses their infatuation or love for another. A couple of examples would be:
1. This advertisement focuses on Shakespeare’s language, and his “verbal seduction.” Although I myself do not think this book could be particularly useful in “seduction” since most girls would probably be confused at why some guy is talking to her so strangely some people must believe in its use. The book’s advertisement says, “Do you long to be seductive? Have a desire to be seduced? Then “let lips do what hands do” and put into practice the most enticing baubles of seduction ever written. Shakespeare and the Art of Verbal Seduction contains the Bard’s best seducing lines to cajole, charm, and even proposition the object of your desire.”
2. This advertisement focuses solely on the romantic aspect of Shakespeare. His version of romance is, especially in Romeo and Juliet, passionate, instantaneous, and powerful. This is what the radio station Espace 2 was alluding to.
3. This is another radio advertisement which quotes Twelfth Night, and pertains to love and music. It is pretty self explanatory.
4. The rest under this category are advertisements that focus on the play Romeo and Juliet itself. In many different advertisements I have noticed that although that although the object being sold has nothing to do with romance, Juliet is the chosen name for the female part of the package and Romeo is chosen to signify the male. An example would be as follows:
These following advertisements, however, still retain the essence, no matter how slight, of Romeo and Juliet as a whole (or in a romantic light). The first one is an advertisement for Romeo and Juliet Couture. The brand’s description states, “Whether ironic or romantic, the name is familiar to the old and young alike. Through the Line, we presents an idea to contrast the tragedy with a universal collection of versatile and comfortable clothing. Offering a diverse selection from couture sophisticated feminine tops, romeo and Juliet couture also sends a positive message of love, tolerance and Kids Organization, which empowers our youth worldwide to make the right decisions for themselves and to treat everyone with human dignity.” The second advertisement is for a “Love Chocolate Bar.” The other couple below are just creative and I thought I would just share them for fun.
Now if Shakespeare is known for romance, why would other companies that aim for a completely different audience still use him? Why is he still such a dominant presence so long after his death? The answer is simple. Shakespeare exemplifies what many strive to be, he has become what one may call the ideal man. Society has depicted him as a genius, a man with the skill of wordplay, one who can be appreciated by those of upper class, a man who is known as the renaissance man, and a playwright of timeless nature. To talk of Shakespeare is to talk of quality. His plays are of their own genre. The name Shakespeare can be associated with people who are pretentious and of higher class but most importantly, those who are educated. To know and understand Shakespeare is to assert oneself as a person of knowledge and culture. Now it becomes clearer as to why so many companies use Shakespeare in their advertisements and/or names. The desired effect may be that of comedic value or a desire to be regarded with a certain air of respect.
Here is an advertisement from the Brazilian Newspaper Association that uses Shakespeare to demonstrate the prestige he embodies:
Below are two advertisements, one for Marlboro, and the other for Coca-Cola. Both use Shakespeare to give off the idea that their products are of better quality, and that Shakespeare himself would have used them:
These next advertisements are for beer. a few are for ShakesBeer, one is for Rogue’s beer named Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout, and another is for Stella Artois:
These final advertisements use comedy and Shakespeare. The final four pictures are creations of different bloggers on tumblr.